Direct Voice

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Direct Voice

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Jst as direct writing is produced by spirit without using the medium’s hand and arm, so direct voice is the voice of spirit produced without using the medium’s vocal chords. Direct voice may come from the trumpet, from the cabinet independent of the medium, or from anywhere in the room. It is also known as Independent Voice. Nandor Fodor said, “Physically the phenomenon requires the supposition that some material, more solid than air, is withdrawn from the medium’s or from the sitters’ bodies to produce the necessary vibrations in the surrounding atmosphere. Indeed, séance room communications speak of improvisation of a larynx.” Arthur Findlay, in his On the Edge of the Etheric (1931), gives a description of the building of this artificial larynx.

“From the medium and those present a chemist in the spirit world withdraws certain ingredients which for want of a better name are called ectoplasm. To this the chemist adds ingredients of his own making. When they are mixed together a substance is formed which enables the chemist to materialize his hands. He then, with his materialized hands, constructs a mask resembling the mouth and tongue. The spirit wishing to speak places his face into this mask and finds it clings to him, it gathers round his mouth, tongue and throat. The etheric organs have once again become clothed in matter resembling physical matter, and by the passage of air through them your atmosphere can be vibrated and you hear his voice.”

William Stainton Moses said of a spirit voice box, “I did not observe how the sound was made, but I saw in a distant part of the room near the ceiling something like a box round which blue electric light played, and I associate the sound with that.”

Most mediums have no trouble speaking even when the direct voice is also speaking, but some mediums are unable to speak at the same time, indicating a connection of some sort between the two. Fodor reported that the medium Mrs. Thomas Everitt (1825–1915) could diminish the level at which the voice spoke by placing her hand over her mouth. Her spirit guide, John Watt, explained it by saying that he used the medium’s breath in speaking. Mrs. Everitt could never speak at the same time that John Watt was speaking.

Direct voice communicators have been known to laugh, whistle, and sing; there seems to be no restriction on the vocalizing. Foreign tongues, such as Welsh, Greek, Japanese, and Hindustani, have been heard and even recorded. The strength of the direct voice can vary considerably. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle compared one voice to the sound of a roaring lion. David Duguid (1832–1907), a Scottish medium, on one occasion had the spirit voice so loud that it alarmed and frightened the sitters and they asked him to go away! Elizabeth Blake’s guide had a voice that could be heard a hundred feet away. Similarly, George Valiantine’s guides, Hawk Chief and Kokum, always spoke with tremendously booming voices. Some mediums—a good example is Leslie Flint—have the spirits speak quite loudly from various places, without the aid of a trumpet, and the medium is not in trance so is able to listen to what the spirits have to say. In the case of Leslie Flint, the voices have been recorded and on occasion more than one voice is heard speaking at the same time.


Brown, Slater: The Heyday of Spiritualism. New York:

Hawthorn Books, 1970
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Findlay, J. Arthur: On the Edge of the Etheric. London: 1931
Flint, Leslie: Voices In the Dark: My Life as a Medium. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933