EnaTwigg (1914–1973) was one of the most famous British Mediums in the latter part of the 20th century, Twigg promoted Spiritualism through radio and television broadcasts. Her uncanny successes and plain housewifely ways caused thousands of people from all walks of life to seek her services, either in private Séances or through letters and telephone calls.
Twigg was born shortly before the outbreak of World War I in Gillingham, Kent, England, to Harry and Frances Baker, the second of four children. She described her childhood as happy and ordinary but admits she was psychic from a very early age, remembering Out-of-Body Experiences as early as two years, when she “flew” about the house after being tucked into bed. She often saw spirits, whom she called “the misty people”; they foretold her beloved father’s untimely death when Ena was 14. All of the Bakers were psychic, but most of them denied their talents.
After her father’s death and her mother’s remarriage 18 months later, Twigg drew closer to her childhood friend, Harry Twigg, and they married when Ena was 17. Harry joined the Royal Navy, and most of their working lives were spent on the move in different ports throughout the world. The Twiggs had no children.
Twigg’s paranormal experiences increased after her marriage, much to her chagrin. She had visions of Harry, wherever he was in the world, and received visitations from her deceased father. When she fell seriously ill with heart disease, spirit doctors healed her, asking that she help others in return. At that point Twigg relented, vowing to develop her talents as a clairvoyant, clairaudient and trance medium for society’s greater good. Twigg also performed Psychometry and Direct Voice Mediumship.
The spirits showed her all of World War II before it occurred and helped her track Harry on board ship when his whereabouts were unknown. She helped many bereaved widows and families reach their loved ones. She became increasingly active in the fight to have spiritualism recognized in Britain as a religion, and gave sittings both in private and in public. Twigg also worked as a healer.
In 1957, Twigg appeared on BBC-TV’s “Press Conference,” the first time an avowed spiritualist had appeared on television. With the repeal of the Witchcraft Act of 1754 in 1951, and its replacement by the Fraudulent Mediums Act, spiritualism gained wider acceptance as a legitimate faith, and Twigg often spoke for spiritualism at Anglican church conferences. She gained the support of Rev. Canon Mervyn Stockwood, Bishop of Southwark Cathedral, and Canon John D. Pearce-Higgins, vice-provost of Southwark. In March 1967, Twigg sat on a panel discussing survival for “Meeting Point,” a religious program on the BBC, thereby breaking the 30-year ban on Spiritualist participation in religious broadcasting. Her television and radio appearances increased, gaining her more requests for sittings than she could accommodate.
The Twiggs travelled all over Europe and to the United States, gaining more converts. Exhausted, Twigg eliminated her public clairvoyant performances, moved with Harry to a small house in East Acton Lane, London, and devoted her time to private Séances.
Perhaps her most famous series of communications began in March 1966, when she sat with American Episcopal bishop JAMES A. PIKE. The bishop’s flat in Cambridge, England had been host to poltergeist phenomena for the past two weeks when he called Canon Pearce-Higgins for help, and Pearce-Higgins suggested a Séance with Twigg. During the sitting, the bishop’s son James Jr., who had recently died of an overdose of pills in New York City, came through strongly, as did the young man’s godfather, liberal theologian Paul Tillich. Both Tillich and Jim Jr. encouraged the bishop to continue the fight against charges of heresy by conservative church officials.
In another sitting with Twigg, and later through mediums George Daisley and Arthur Ford, Jim Jr. came through often. During a televised Séance with Ford and Bishop Pike, Ford spoke in trance on Jim’s behalf for about two hours. Because of her earlier contact, this event gave Twigg even more television exposure.
Tragically, Twigg served as medium for the bishop three years later, when he died in the Judaean wilderness. Before searchers had found the body, Bishop Pike came through Twigg while in trance in a sitting with her husband Harry and Canon Pearce-Higgins. The session was long and tortured as the bishop struggled with his transition to the Other Side.
Throughout her life and work, Twigg taught that spiritualism was not about death but life. If people could believe that death was not the end, that the spirit survives, then their lives—their living—would be richer.
- Twigg, Ena, with Ruth Hagy Brod. Ena Twigg: Medium. London: W.H. Allen, 1973.