Mansfield, Dr. J. V.

Mansfield, Dr. J. V.

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Dr. J. V. Mansfield has been called the “Spiritual Postmaster” because of the way in which he dealt with sealed letters addressed to the spirit world. In the 1870s, Mansfield ran advertisements in the Banner of Light Spiritualist magazine, asking people to send him sealed letters. This they did; some going to extraordinary lengths to guarantee that the contents were inaccessible. For example, one person sewed up the letter all the way around, on a sewing machine. Mansfield would lay out the letters on a table and then pass his left hand over them. In his right hand he would hold a pen poised over paper. Hewould suddenly stop at one of the letters, apparently read it clairvoyantly, and then start writing an answer from the spirit to whom it was addressed. Sometimes the letters, and Mansfield’s channeled reply, would be in a foreign language. He wrote some in Latin, Greek, Spanish, German, Arabic, Sanskrit, and Chinese.

Mansfield’s séances were witnessed by many people and his mediumship was fully described in Dr. N. B. Wolfe’s book Startling Facts in Modern Spiritualism.


Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933 Podmore, Frank: Modern Spiritualism. London: 1902; reprinted as Mediums of the Nineteenth Century. New York: University Books, 1963
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