Fletcher, John William

Fletcher, John William (1852–1913)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

John William Fletcher’s mother had the gift of “second sight” and as a boy Fletcher puzzled his school teachers by reciting something that had been presented to him in a vision instead of writing what was prescribed. By the time he was seventeen he was already being sought after as a trance speaker. His spirit guide was a Native American girl named Winona.

Fetcher married Susie Willis, who had been a clairvoyant and public lecturer from the age of fifteen. They set up as professional mediums at the Lake Pleasant Camp Meeting in Massachusetts in 1873. Four years later, Fletcher went to England but was badly received and heavily criticized by The Spiritualist magazine. He gave test séances at the home of Mrs. Guppy-volckman, at the Dalston Association, and at the British National Association of Spiritualists.

In England in 1881, Fletcher’s wife was sentenced to twelve months hard labor for unduly influencing Mrs. Hart Davies to give up her home and possessions to the Fletchers. At the time Fletcher himself was in Boston, lecturing to an audience of 3,000. Fletcher was a palmist in New York in later years. In June, 1913, the police raided his rooms with a warrant for his arrest. Fetcher collapsed and died of a heart attack.


Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
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