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Corralès, Ophelia (ca. 1908)

Corralès, Ophelia (ca. 1908)

Materialization medium of San José, Costa Rica, of whose powers the most astounding claims were made in three publications: the Annals of Psychic Science (1910); El Siglo Espirita, (March 28, 1908), the organ of the Mexican Spiritist Federation; and La Voz de la Verdad of Barcelona.

The séances were presided over by Dr. Alberto Brenes, professor at the law academy and a skeptic. Roberto Brenes Mesên, under secretary to the minister of public instruction, and Ramiro Aguilar, principal of the high school of San José, were attending.

Corralès was 18 years old at the time when she retained complete consciousness while an entity, giving the name "Miguel Ruiz," materialized. He could be touched, his heart could be tested, he could become tall or reduce his size, and if a match was struck, he immediately vanished. He became the guide of the séances and often came in the company of other phantoms, among whom "Mary Brown" was the most remarkable.

It was claimed that as many as five phantoms were sometimes witnessed at the same time, each talking in its mother tongue. The medium could project her double into the séance room while she remained outside. The double wore a different costume but exactly reproduced the voice and appearance of Corralès. When the medium, who was heard talking outside simultaneously with the double, was asked to transmit to the double a comb that was in her hair and a handkerchief, the two articles came immediately through the wall. On request, the medium herself was similarly transported.

While the medium was possessed by a spirit, her double could be seen in the room, and on command, spoke in her voice. Once, when the medium was not possessed, the double was heard accompanying Mary in song. The voice emanated far from where the body was placed by Mary.

Many other marvels, unparalleled in Spiritualist records, were said to have been performed by these spirit visitors. Mary Brown began to write, then she placed her hand on the shoulder of a sitter, who continued the writing in the same character. Similarly, if she or Miguel touched a sitter, the sitter could speak in a language of which he or she was ignorant.

In the light of a small lamp Mary often rose and floated in the air. She could also multiply herself into four personalities or psychic forms, three of which took one of the bystanders by the arms and talked about different things at the same time, acting as though they were independent of one another, while the fourth, some distance away, sang.

Mary explained the feat as a division of the astral body, the parts of which could materialize separately and consciously. Several flashlight photographs were taken; Mary is remarkably lifelike in some.

However, according to a letter from the medium's father to W. T. Stead, published by the Voz de la Verdad, "the photo-graphs taken of Mary have not all the interest which at first attached to them. It is proved that she introduced a young un-known girl into the room, and she appears on the plate (phenomenon of transport and possession)."

Mary gave this explanation: "I sought amongst living persons for one who could faithfully reproduce the expression of my countenance: I found her and brought her here. My intention was a healthy one, and I am ready to repeat the phenomenon in order that you could submit it to a more severe control."

Upon visiting San José, Prof. Willy Reichel found attempts at fraud during the materialization séances, yet he affirmed that Corralès was a medium for independent voices and automatic writing.

Corralès discontinued her séances in 1914. In the absence of any reliable evidence for her phenomena, and the questionable records of other people who have attempted similar feats, the claims made for Corralès remain doubtful.

(See also Teleportation )

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Corralès, Ophelia

Corralès, Ophelia

Mysterious phosphorescent lights often seen over marshes or in churchyards. They are also known as "fetchlights," "jack o'lanterns" and "dead men's candles," and are termed ignis fatuus. They are believed by some to presage death. The size is said to indicate the age of the victim, a small light representing an infant death, especially if it is a pale blue color.

These lights are erratic, sometimes disappearing and reap-pearing. They may be seen on or near the earth, in the air, or over lakes, or on the sea. They may be red, white, or blue and are thought to be caused by unusual atmospheric conditions, gaseous emanations, or by luminous insects.

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