Husk, Cecil

Husk, Cecil (1847–1920)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

From early childhood, in England, Cecil Husk was aware of his potential mediumship, frequently experiencing clairvoyance and psychokinesis. His father was a professional singer but also a Spiritualist, which made it easier for Cecil to understand and accept his gifts. Of his teen years, Husk said, “On several occasions persons that I did not recognize would open the door, walk into the room where I happened to be sitting, and without a word would just walk out again.” Although nothing was said on either side, he understood what the spirit was trying to convey to him.

Husk sat two or three times per week to develop his mediumship, and quickly developed the ability to do table tipping. As he grew older he followed his father into the music profession and became a member of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. While traveling on tour, he would give séances. By 1875, he was able to produce materializations. At his sittings, musical “fairy bells” would be heard and often seen flying about the room, like orbs.

Husk had five spirit guides, the main one being the ubiquitous John King, who seemed to have been a guide for many different mediums. Many times the sitters would hear the guides speaking among themselves before beginning phenomena. On one occasion King described the process of materialization and that it was a concerted effort which frequently encountered difficulties in exactly replicating a person’s physical body.

Husk often produced the phenomenon of matter through matter; one example being when Dr. George Wyld held a ring that was too small to slide over Husk’s hand onto his wrist, yet while Wyld held the medium’s hand, the ring was suddenly found to be on Husk’s wrist. Husk was examined by Sir William Crookes and three other psychical researchers on April 17, 1885. Careful measurements were taken of the internal circumference of the ring, which was 182.5mm while the widest part of Husk’s hand was 194mm. However, they declined to definitely attribute anything to spirit intervention. Another investigator was Sir William Barrett, who recognized Husk’s materializations as the only valid ones he had witnessed.

There were many witnesses to Husk’s séances over the years. One such—Admiral Moore, sitting in 1904—testified to the movement of objects about the séance room and to the materialization of fifteen different persons. In 1908, the Maharaja of Nepal visited England and had sittings with Husk and with spirit photographer Richard Boursnell. Materialized forms in the photographs were recognized by the Maharaja.

By 1917, Husk was virtually blind, paralyzed, and bed-ridden, but was given financial support by other Spiritualists and admirers. A Husk Fund was set up for him. He remained cheerful and spoke of continuing his communication with John King. Husk died in 1920.


Boddington, Harry: The University of Spiritualism. London: Spiritualist Press, 1947
Cecil Husk Biography:
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Marryat, Florence: The Spirit World. London: F. V. White, 1894
The Spirit Book © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.