views updated


The claimed spirit control of the medium Mina Stinson Crandon, popularly known as "Margery," the name used by those who investigated her early in the twentieth century. "Walter" was identified with Walter Stinson, the medium's brother, who had died in a railway accident in 1911 at the age of 28. He manifested at a séance for the first time during his sister's visit to a clairvoyant. "Walter" furnished proofs of personal identity and took charge of Crandon's sittings.

"Walter" was described as a spirit communicator, active, having a keen sense of humor, showing no pretence of saintliness, and, on occasions, swore and cursed. He was supposedly highly intelligent and full of energy and curiosity. He never pretended to know whether he could accomplish something new, but was always ready to try and was gratified at his own achievements.

Supposedly, "Walter" gave the impression that he himself was learning about conditions while giving a demonstration. "I don't give a damn about convincing the public or anyone. You have no idea why I am here," he said once.

Reportedly, "Walter" often threatened the sitters: "When this is done I am going away, and I shan't come back. My crowd came here because we liked you people, and you kept us here working at this damned thing." However, he never kept this threat. It is believed the satisfaction that his increasing dexterity gave him in producing high-grade psychic phenomena was enough to bind him to the "Margery" circle.

He introduced many new features into the experiments, provided cross correspondences, and gave his fingerprints (see plastics ). These fingerprints were later found to be those of another living individual, prompting accusations that Crandon's mediumship was partly or wholly fraudulent.

"Walter" was also manifested at Glen Hamilton 's circle in Winnipeg, being the chief control of the medium "Mary M."


Bird, J. Malcolm. 'Margery' the Medium. New York: Maynard, 1925.

Tietze, Thomas R. Margery. New York: Harper & Row, 1973.