Miller, C. V.

Miller, C. V.

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

C. V. Miller was a materialization medium born in Nancy, France. He was living in San Francisco when Willie Reichel investigated him and described the results in a book titled Occult Experiences (London, c.1908). Miller’s séances usually followed the same pattern: Miller himself would stand outside a cabinet, fully conscious (not in trance) and speaking throughout the proceedings. A variety of materialized figures would come out of the cabinet, frequently several at one time. As Reichel described it, “They came out one by one, spoke to the sitters and usually dematerialized in front of the cabinet. They sank through the floor.” On one occasion Reichel’s deceased nephew floated upward and disappeared through the ceiling. The most spirits Reichel saw at one time was twelve.

Miller visited Europe on two separate occasions. In 1906, he seemed to avoid contact with Lt.-Col. Eugene Rochas, the prominent French psychical researcher who had arranged for Miller to visit France. Instead, Miller held séances with Gabriel Delanne and Gaston Méry, Chief Editor of Libre Parole and Director of the Echo du Merveilleux. Méry said that he thought it probable that the phenomena produced by Miller were genuine, but “until there is fuller information we must be satisfied with not comprehending.” The sitting was held in Méry’s home, where Miller was stripped naked, examined by three doctors, and then dressed in some of Méry’s own clothes. Miller was not allowed in the séance room prior to the sitting. Dr. Gérard Encausse (better known as the occultist “Papus”), stated in L’Initiation that his expectation was fully satisfied and that he believed Miller displayed mediumistic faculties more extraordinary than any he had encountered previously.

Miller went to Germany and gave well-received séances in Munich. Nandor Fodor stated, “The materialized form was often seen to develop from luminous globes and clouds which at first appeared near the ceiling. If several forms were materialized at the same time they were transparent.” Although Miller stopped in France again on his way home to America, Professor Charles Richet reported that Miller would not subject himself to intensive investigation under the proposed conditions.

Two years later, Miller returned to Paris. On June 25, 1908, he appeared before forty people and gave a very successful séance under test conditions. The medium was stripped, examined, and dressed in black garments provided by the investigating committee, which again included Gaston Méry. The clothing had neither pockets nor lining. As usual, a number of spirits materialized and then later dissolved. Cesar de Vesme was unconvinced of the genuineness, though was unable to offer any explanations. Several others of the committee seemed doubtful. No more was heard of C. V. Miller after his return from France.


Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
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