Pincock, Jenny O’Hara

Pincock, Jenny O’Hara (1890–1948) Canadian author and spiritualist. Jenny O’Hara Pincock is noted for two publications: Trails of Truth (1930), which contains descriptions of spiritualist Séances held in a Home Circle in St. Catharines, Ontario, during 1928 and 1929; and Hidden Springs: A Narrative Poem of Old Upper Canada and Other Poems (1950), published posthumously. The latter includes a foreword by her husband’s friend Dr. E. J. Pratt, a prominent Canadian poet.

She was born Jenny Helena Florence O’Hara in 1890 at Madoc, Ontario, the daughter of Benson O’Hara. She married Robert Newton Pincock (1883–1928).

In the Séances detailed in Trails of Truth, Robert Pincock and other family members allegedly return through the American Medium William Cartheuser to prove their Survival After Death. Cartheuser was well known for his Direct Voice Mediumship. Cartheuser’s SPIRIT GUIDE, Dr. Anderson, was often present at the TRUMPET Séances. Anderson’s communications were philosophical, about the nature of the Afterlife and other matters of interest to the sitters.

All of the Séance participants are named, with the exception of Dr. E. J. Pratt and his wife Viola Pratt, who are identified in the introduction only as “Dr. X, Ph.D., M.A.” and “Mrs. X, B.A.” The author’s sister Minnie (O’Hara) Maines and her husband, United Church minister Reverend Fred Maines, regularly took part. Other group members were poet W. W. E. Ross and a number of local citizens. The group was well educated and largely middle class.

The foreword to the book was written by Reverend Benjamin Fish Austin, an Ontario minister who was ousted from the Methodist ministry in an 1899 heresy trial after he converted to Spiritualism.

Cartheuser worked for the New York section of the American Society for Psychical Research. He also had a home at the Lily Dale Assembly SPIRitualIST CAMP, where Jenny spent summers as librarian. After her last sitting with Cartheuser in 1935, Jenny came to wonder if Cartheuser had, to some degree, let his mind influence the content of his messages from the spirit world. However, she still believed that his mediumistic abilities had been genuine at the time of the Trails of Truth sittings.

As well as participating in Séances, Pincock and the Maineses founded the Church of Divine Revelation in 1930 and the Radiant Healing Centre in 1932, both at St. Catharines. Reverend B. F. Austin reordained Reverend Fred Maines into the spiritualist ministry and Maines was appointed as the church’s pastor. The United Church of Canada, where Maines had been originally ordained, was quick to act and in February 1931 suspended him from its ministry. For many months, a controversy raged in the local newspapers, with vicious attacks from ministers of orthodox churches and letters in response from supporters of spiritualism.


  • McMullin, Stan. Anatomy of a Séance: A History of Spirit Communication in Central Canada. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004.
  • Pincock, Jenny O’Hara. Trails of Truth. Los Angeles: Austin Publishing Company, 1930.


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