Herne, Frank (ca. 1870)

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Herne, Frank (ca. 1870)

Famous nineteenth-century English medium. His first séances were given in January 1869. He began with clairvoyant descriptions of spirits and of the sitter's aura, but physical manifestations soon developed. In 1870 at the house of a Dr. Dixon he was said to have manifested elongation of the human body. Florence Cook held her first sittings with Herne, from whom she may have learned some of the techniques of physical mediumship.

In 1871 Herne joined partnership with Charles Williams. Their séances at 61 Lamb's Conduit Street, London, were very impressive. Voices, psychic lights, independent music, apports, and levitations were often allegedly witnessed. Agnes Guppy-Volckman 's famous transportation occurred in one of these joint sittings. In 1875 St. George Stock made an attempt to expose Herne as a fraud but did not succeed, and two years later in The Spiritualist apologized for the attempt.

Much suspicion surrounded the mediumship of Herne and Williams. Williams, who worked closely with Herne, was caught cheating in séances in Paris in 1874 and in Amsterdam in 1879.


"Alleged Mediumship of F. Herne." Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 7; Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 10.