Cummins,Geraldine (1890–1969)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Born in Cork, Ireland, Geraldine Cummins was the daughter of Professor Ashley Cummins. She became a well known medium specializing in automatic writing. Her mediumship started in December, 1923, when she sat with a Miss E. B. Gibbes. Normally Cummins’s writing was done slowly but when acting as an automatist she wrote at very high speed while in a light trance. On March 16, 1926, she wrote 1,750 words in just over an hour and went on to produce her first book, The Scripts of Ceophas, which supplemented the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul as found in the Bible. Her second book, Paul in Athens, continued the story of the first. She also wrote a third book, The Great Days of Ephesus. The material Cummins produced in these three books was scrutinized by eminent theologians who believed they gave new meaning to several obscure passages in the Acts of the Apostles and that they showed close acquaintance with the apostolic circle and that age.

According to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dr. Oesterley—Examining Chaplain of the Bishop of London and one of the foremost authorities on Church history and tradition—declared that the Ceophas books bore “every sign of being from the hand of one who lived in those days, and who was intimately connected with the Apostolic circle.” Doyle himself went on to say that the scripts “represent, in the opinion of the author [Doyle], two of the most cogent proofs of spirit communication which have ever been afforded upon the mental side. It would seem to be impossible to explain them away.”

Cummins’s fourth book was The Road to Immortality, claiming to be a series of communications from Frederick W. H. Myers dealing with his vision of the progression of the human spirit through eternity. Sir oliver Lodge wrote in his preface to the book, “I believe this to be a genuine attempt to convey approximately true ideas, through an amanuensis of reasonable education, characterized by ready willingness for devoted service, and of transparent honesty.”

In 1957, W. H. Slater, honorary secretary of the Society for Psychical Research, approached Cummins and asked if she would do an experiment. She agreed and for the next three years received scripts from Winifred Coombe Tenant, who had died the year before. During her life, Mrs. Tennant had been known as “Mrs. Willett” and herself had produced many automatic writings. What came to be known as the Cummins-Willett Scripts gave full details of the Tennant family, with names, dates, and family history. The results were published in Cummins’s book Swan on a Black Sea (1965). Tennant’s son, Major Henry Tennant, was initially a skeptic but later wrote, “The more I study these scripts the more deeply I am impressed by them … There was no tapping of my mind because much appears that I never knew.”

Among Cummins’ other books are Perceptive Healing (1945), They Survive: Evidence of Life Beyond the Grave (1946), Unseen Adventures: A Biography Covering Thirty-Four Years of Work in Psychical Research (1951), Mind in Life and Death (1956), and Healing the Mind (1957).


Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
Stemman, Roy: The Supernatural: Spirits and Spirit Worlds. London: Aldus, 1975
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