Guldenstubbe, Baron L(udwig) von(1820-1873)

views updated

Guldenstubbe, Baron L(udwig) von(1820-1873)

Prominent nineteenth-century Spiritualist who wrote several influential books on Spiritualistic phenomena. He was a Scandinavian nobleman who appears to have had mediumistic talents himself. Because he spent time in Paris, he is often mentioned as "de Guldenstubbe." He was interested in animal magnetism for many years and was anxious to find evidence of the immortality of the soul. When he heard of the American Spiritualist movement in 1850 he promptly formed a circle at his own house in Paris, and soon obtained phenomena of raps, mysterious noises, and movements of furniture.

In August 1856 he began to experiment in the phenomenon of direct writing without the intervention of a medium. He placed paper and pencil in a small locked box, carrying the key with him. After 13 days he opened the box and found some written characters on the paper; the experiment was repeated successfully ten times on the same day.

Later, with his friend the comte d'Ourches and other acquaintances, Guldenstubbe visited churches, cemeteries, and public galleries and obtained writing on pieces of paper left on tombs or on the pedestals of statues. These writings were in various languages including Latin, Greek, Russian, French, German, and English and claimed to be from illustrious figures such as Mary Stuart, St. Paul, Cicero, Melchisedec, Plato, and Juvenal. Some of these communications were reproduced in the baron's book La Réalité des Esprits (1857). The French and German letters were small, regular, and perfectly legible, but the Latin and Greek characters were large, irregular, and badly formed. Such spirit messages foreshadowed the famous mahatma letters of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.

Among the distinguished witnesses who repeatedly assisted Guldenstubbe in his experiments were Delamarre, editor of the Patrie; Choisselat, editor of the Univers; Robert Dale Owen; Lacordaire, brother of the great orator; the historian Bonnechose; the Swedish painter Kiorboe; Baron von Rosenberg, German ambassador at the court of Wurttemberg; and Prince Leonide Galitzin.

During 1867 Guldenstubbe had a house in London at which Spiritualist séances were held. The medium was Agnes Nichol (later Agnes Guppy-Volckman ). At one of these séances, a sister of the Baron was discovered to have a wreath of flowers and ferns on her head, presumably placed there by spirit hands.


Guldenstubbe, Baron Ludwig von. Pensées d'Outre-Tombe. 1858.

Goldenstubbe, Baron Ludwig von, and J. von Guldenstubbe. La Morale Universelle. 1863.

About this article

Guldenstubbe, Baron L(udwig) von(1820-1873)

Updated About content Print Article