Berry, Catherine (1813–1891)(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Catherine Berry was a British medium who discovered her talent as a “developing medium” at the age of fifty. She could imbue with power any other mediums who sat with her. Many well known mediums of the time sat with her in order to be charged with her power. According to Human Nature,
“After sitting with Mrs. Berry a medium has more power to cause the phenomena at any other circle he may have to attend. Messrs. Herne and Williams have been known to visit this lady for the purpose of getting a supply of power when they had a special séance to give. Mrs. Berry is, therefore, successful in developing mediums, and has conferred the spirit voice manifestation, as well as other gifts, upon several mediums … These facts have not been arrived at hastily, but after years of patient investigation.”
Berry’s teacher was Mrs. Marshal. She also sat with Agnes Guppy, Frank Herne, Charles Williams, and Mrs. Everitt—all well known mediums of their time. She recorded these séances in her book Experiences in Spiritualism. Accounts were also published in the journal The Medium.
Berry was especially good at automatic writing, drawing, and painting. Five hundred of her unusual watercolors were exhibited at Brighton, Sussex. She also made prophecies, many of which came to be. She foresaw the Franco-Prussian war, for example, based on a Bible text that she felt was pertinent. It has also been said that she could throw sitters to the ground by a wave of her hand.