Creighton, William

William Creighton (1885–1972) was a medical doctor, psychical research associate of Thomas Glendenning Hamilton, and founding council member of the Winnipeg Society for Psychical Research. William Creighton is believed to have been the first Canadian to photograph Ectoplasm during his investigation of the Mediumship of the Scottish-born Elizabeth (Gibson) Young.

Born on May 3, 1885, in Alexander, Manitoba, Creighton graduated in medicine from Manitoba Medical College in 1908 and began his medical practice in Winnipeg. In 1911, he married Florence Melita Graham (1889– 1982). The couple had three sons. During World War I, Creighton served in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and was awarded the Military Cross (1917) “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.”

According to Hamilton, Creighton photographed a “teleplasmic mass” falling from the mouth of the entranced Young on March 20, 1927 (the year is also recorded as 1926), in the presence of six witnesses and using three cameras simultaneously. Creighton reported that the mass “felt cold and gelatinous, the size of his thumb and in the form of a cord,” like an umbilical cord.

From at least 1924, William and his wife, Florence, participated in the Psychical Research experiments conducted by Hamilton and his wife. At a sitting in Hamilton’s home with Medium Elizabeth Poole on November 16, 1924, a wax mold of an unknown fingertip was found on the top of the CABINET. The finger was only found when Poole insisted that the cabinet top be searched.

In addition, something cold and wet touched the back of Poole’s neck during the sitting and left moisture that was verified by all the sitters. The Creightons were among those who attended the Winnipeg “Margery” Séances during the December 1926 visit of Mina Stinson Crandon and her husband.

Further Reading:

  • Hamilton, J. D. Intention and Survival. Toronto: Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1942.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007