October 2014: Spiritualist photographs

PRONI’s document of the month for October is a set of four spiritualist photographs to celebrate Hallowe’en.

photographs from the 1930’s show spiritualist manifestations

These photographs from the 1930’s show ‘spiritualist manifestations’, surround people who were involved in a séance. These manifestations appear as ‘faces’ surrounded by white mist known as ‘ectoplasm’. This was considered the spirit taking form in the material world.

The photographs remind us of the post-WWI period in which many personal tragedies were being played out. Many people had lost family members in WWI without having the opportunity to say goodbye. During the 1920-30s some sought comfort by trying to contact their missing loved ones through their belief in spiritualism.

“It is thought the photos were created either by double exposure of the plates or by creating a ‘spirit-like’ mannequin.”
The photographs dating from the 1930’s were found within the records of Lieutenant Colonel E. J. Gordon Tucker. PRONI ref: D3122/4/4/A-L.

D3122/4/4 D3122/4/4 D3122/4/4 D3122/4/4
photographs from the 1930’s show spiritualist manifestations photographs from the 1930’s show spiritualist manifestations photographs from the 1930’s show spiritualist manifestations photographs from the 1930’s show spiritualist manifestations

 

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