Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Adelaide Part II - How to Talk to the Dead

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Adelaide Part II - 

How to Talk to the Dead 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a tenacious champion of the spiritualist movement, after first discovering it in 1886. He devoured as many texts about the subject as he could, and became involved in seances and table tipping, as well as frequently visiting psychics.
Conan Doyle lost his first wife, Norma in 1906, and it is believed that the depression he felt after her death, may have triggered him to bury himself further in the occult and spiritualism.
He truly believed that his own son, Kingsley, who died in 1918, had contacted him from beyond the grave, talking through a medium. He stated that Kingsley had also touched him on his head during the séance.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle arrived in Australia at Fremantle on board the R.M.S. Naldera on the 17th of September 1920. He then, on the same ship, arrived in, Outer Harbour, Adelaide on Tuesday the 21st of September, before making his way to Gibson’s Grand Central Hotel, where he based himself for the duration of his time in Adelaide.

Conan Doyle’s tour of Australia, titles “Death and the Hereafter” began in Adelaide: 

On Saturday the 25th of September, Conan Doyle delivered his first lecture in the Adelaide Town Hall, titled “The Human Argument”, to an estimated audience of 2000 people. It was noted by journalists of the time that many in the audience were well educated business people of Adelaide.
 During this talk, Conan Doyle outlined what led him to his belief in spiritualism, and what he called “the hard facts” about the movement. He also detailed the history of spiritualism around the world up until that point.

On Monday the 27th of September 1920, Conan Doyle delivered his second speech, this time titled “The Religious Argument”. During this lecture Conan Doyle explained that spiritualism was not separate from the Churches beliefs, but that they were intertwined, and that one proves the other.[1]

On Tuesday the 28th, Conan Doyle delivered the final lecture to Adelaide audiences, titled “Pictures of Psychic Phenomena”. During this lecture, Conan Doyle had many of his photos that were taking during seances, projected onto a screen for the audience. Within the photos were alleged apparition photos of his son Kingsley, and of mediums producing “ecto-plasm”.[2]

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle then took his tour around Australia and New Zealand to sold out venues. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle went on to write twenty books about spiritualism, they are:
The New Revelation (1918),
Life After Death (1918),
The Vital Message (1919),
Spiritualism and Rationalism (1920),
The Wanderings of a Spiritualist (1921),
The Coming of the Fairies (1922),
The Case for Spirit Photography (1922),
Our American Adventure (1923),
Our Second American Adventure (1924),
Spiritualist's Reader (1924),
Memories and Adventures (1924),
The Early Christian Church and Modern Spiritualism (1925),
The Land of Mist (1926, fiction),
The History of Spiritualism, in two volumes (1926),
Pheneas Speaks. Direct Spirit Communication in the Family Circle (1927),
Our African Winter (1929), The Edge of the Unknown (1930).

A small plaque on the Corner of Rundle Street and Pulteney Street (near Hungry Jacks), Adelaide, Australia unveiled in 1995 marks his stay in the City of Churches.
© 2017 - Allen Tiller = The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal
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[1] 1920 'THE RELIGIOUS ARGUMENT', The Northern Champion (Taree, NSW : 1913 - 1954), 27 November, p. 8. , viewed 15 Jul 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158367509

[2] 1920 'THE CONAN DOYLE LECTURES', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 24 September, p. 8. , viewed 15 Jul 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57921970