A medium is a person who has marked psychic ability, including the ability to communicate with the dead. Mediums are psychic, but not all psychics are mediums.
Mediums have been known by various names, among them oracle, soothsayer, wizard, cunning woman, wise woman, fortune-teller, witch, witch doctor, medicine man, sorcerer, shaman, mystic, priest, prophet, and channeler. However, distinctions are also often made between these terms. According to anthropologist Michael Winkelman, the role of the medium—and of several other magicoreligious practitioner types—developed historically out of that of the shaman (see Shamanism).
Mediums usually know early in childhood that they are different from others. There is some evidence that mediumistic ability—like psychic ability in general—may be inherited, but this is controversial. At a young age, a medium sees and communicates with the dead, usually family members and friends. As their ability progresses, they are able to communicate with the dead who are not personally known to them. They work with spirit Controls who help to organize their access to the dead and the Afterlife.
Sometimes mediumistic skills open up after an accident, especially trauma to the head or brain, or after a severe emotional shock. It is thought that the person already is predisposed to mediumship and needed an event to activate the ability. Some people become mediums in adulthood.
Most mediums are women, not only in the West but in other cultures as well. This may be due to women’s ability to access intuition more easily than men, but also may have to do with the low social status traditionally held by mediums. Nonetheless, some of the most famous and successful mediums have been men (see John Edward; D.D. Home; James van Praagh).
Most modern Western mediums are mental and receive communication via Telepathy and mental impressions. Some are physical mediums, manifesting physical phenomena such as Apports or Materializations.
Mediumship is hard on the body, and many mediums suffer health problems.
Mediums are a focal point of Spiritualism, and they have been studied by psychical researchers. Spiritualist churches and organizations offer training to mediums, who give readings, perform pubic Demonstrations called messages or platform readings, and do Spirit Releasement.
Many paranormal investigators work with mediums in investigations of Hauntings. Mediums, as well as other psychics, can provide details that can be researched and validated. However, no medium has ever been shown to be 100 percent accurate, making their use in investigations problematic to some in the field.
- Blum, Deborah. Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life after Death. New York: Penguin, 2006.
- Weaver, Kelly with John D. Weaver. Whispers in the Attic: Living With the Dead. Camp Hill, Pa.: Spirit House Press, 2004.
- Weisberg, Barbara. Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism. San Francisco: HarperSan- Francisco, 2004.
Derek Acorah is one of Britain’s most famous contemporary Mediums. Derek Acorah is the psychic star of the international television ...Read More
Maurice Barbanell (1902–1981) was an English journalist and Medium, widely known as “Mr. Spiritualism.” The teachings of his spirit control, ...Read More
Beraud, Marthe (c. 1886–?) French Materialization medium, better known by her pseudonym “Eva C.” She was studied by Charles Richet, ...Read More
Bishop, Beatrice Ethel Gaulton (1891–1974) Nurse, Medium, minister, and leader in Canadian Spiritualism. Beatrice Ethel Gaulton was born on December ...Read More
FlorenceCook (1856–1904) was the most famous Medium known for spirit Materializations, especially full-form, but who was exposed as a fraud ...Read More
Mina Stinson Crandon (1889–1941) Better known as “Margery,” a Boston Medium at the center of one of the most bitter ...Read More
Dorothy Stella Cranshaw (1900–?) British physical Medium discovered and tested by Harry Price, known in research reports as “Stella C.” ...Read More
The Davenport Brothers were Americans who conducted one of the most successful Séance acts of the 19th century. William and ...Read More
Allison DuBois (1972– ) is a Medium and profiler who is the inspiration for the NBC series Medium. Allison DuBois’s ...Read More
Helen Duncan (1897–1956) was a spiritualist and physical medium whose conviction on flimsy charges of witchcraft for mediumistic fraud eventually ...Read More
Leslie Flint (1911–1994) was an English Medium noted for his 35 years of independent Direct Voice Mediumship, a rare mediumistic ...Read More
Arthur Augustus Ford (1896–1971) was an American Medium who gained international fame for his ability to communicate with the dead ...Read More
Eileen J. Garrett (1893–1970) was an Irish Medium, founder of the Parapsychology Foundation (PF) in New York City and a ...Read More
Agnes Guppy (also known as Mrs. Samuel Guppy) (1838–1917) was the first Medium to perform full-form Materializations in Great Britain, Agnes ...Read More
Daniel Dunglas Home, (1833–1886) was a Scottish Medium renowned for his remarkable physical feats. Daniel Dunglas Home repeatedly moved objects, ...Read More
Indridi Indridason ( Indriði Indriðason ) - (1883–1912) Remarkable Icelandic physical Medium who exhibited numerous paranormal feats while under strict ...Read More
Jan Guzik (1875–1928) was a Polish Materialization Medium. Jan Guzik was the son of a weaver, a native of Warsaw. He ...Read More
John Edward (1969– ) American Medium and television personality. John Edward began his psychic career in his 20s. As with ...Read More
Gladys Osborne Leonard (1882–1968) was one of the world’s great Mediums, who worked closely with the Society for Psychical Research ...Read More
Louis Rodgers (1901–?) was an English Medium who gained international fame for his ability to project his Double. Louis Rodgers ...Read More
Rev. William Stainton Moses (1839–1892) was an university- educated Medium, among the most prominent of British spiritualists. William Stainton Moses ...Read More
Eusapia Palladino (1854–1918) was one of history’s most outstanding yet controversial physical Mediums, investigated by a record number of Scientific ...Read More
William Charles (Bill) Partridge (1893–1984) Horticulturist, spiritualist, Medium, and minister, and a leading figure in Canadian Spiritualism. William Charles Partridge ...Read More
Leonora Evelina Simonds Piper (1859–1950) was a celebrated medium, known throughout her career simply as “Mrs. Piper.” Discovered by the ...Read More
James Van Praagh (1958– ) is one of the foremost Mediums in America. James Van Praagh has been aware of his ...Read More
Noreen Renier is a psychic who helps law enforcement solve homicides and other cases. Noreen Renier uses Psychometry, the art ...Read More
Schneider Brothers Austrian physical Mediums, Willi (1903–1971) and Rudi (1908–1957). Rudi, the younger, was one of the most celebrated mediums ...Read More
Slade, Dr. Henry One of the most famous Slate-Writing mediums during the 19th century. Henry Slade (the “Dr.” apparently was ...Read More
SusySmith (1911–2001) was a Self-taught Medium and author, known for her books on Ghosts, Survival After Death, Psychical Research, and ...Read More
Smith, Helene (19th century) was a swiss medium who underwent a spirit Possession and was overtaken by the discarnate Count ...Read More
Minnie Meserve Soule (1867–1936) was an important mental Medium who worked closely with the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) ...Read More
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) was a Swedish mystic and medium who became renowned for his visions of and travels to the ...Read More
EnaTwigg (1914–1973) was one of the most famous British Mediums in the latter part of the 20th century, Twigg promoted ...Read More
Kelly Weaver (1960– ) Psychic Medium and cofounder with husband John D. Weaver of the Spirit Society of Pennsylvania. Kelly ...Read More
The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written byRosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007