Sloan, John Campbell

Sloan, John Campbell

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

John Campbell Sloan was from Glasgow, Scotland. He worked for many years as a packer in a warehouse, and later became a shopkeeper. All his life, he was aware that supernormal occurrences took place around him. As a young man he frequently heard rappings and strange voices. Over a period of about thirty years, these gradually developed into manifestations of a specific nature. He would go into trance. He would experience psychokinesis, apports, direct voice, materializations, clairvoyance and clairaudience.

Sloan’s spirit guide was a Native American named White Feather. The guide spoke through a trumpet and, on occasion, through Sloan himself, using his vocal cords. As Arthur Findlay put it (On the Edge of the Etheric, 1931), “When Sloan was in this state he speaks, but it would be more correct to say that his vocal organs vibrate the atmosphere, as no one can be with him long, while this is taking place, and think that his own personality is responsible for what is said. The voice is different and the accent is different, and much of what is said is quite outside his range of knowledge … In the medium’s presence, but quite apart from him, voices, claiming to be those of deceased people, speak, and, when replied to, answer back intelligently, which proves that there is not only a mind behind the voice but that the intelligence is able to hear as well as speak. … After twelve years’ intimate experience of Mr. John C. Sloan, and having sat with most of the other leading mediums in this country and America, I can say with conviction that he is the best Trance, Direct Voice, Clairvoyant and Clairaudient medium with whom I have ever sat.” The British College of Psychic Science also tested Sloan for five years.

After looking at 180 reports of Sloan’s communications, Findlay stated, “An eminent mathematician on calculating the chances of correctly guessing all the facts recorded, answers that to have reached such accuracy represents the equivalent of 1 to 5,000,000,000,000, in other words the odds were 5,000,000,000,000 to 1 against chance being the explanation.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, speaking of both Sloan and another Scottish medium named William Phoenix, said that both “have remarkable powers which cover almost the whole range of the spiritual gifts, and both are, or were, most unworldly men with a saintly disregard of the things of this life.”


Awtry-Smith, Marilyn: “They” Paved the Way. New York: Spiritualism & More, nd
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Findlay, J. Arthur: Looking Back. Stansted: Spiritualists’ National Union, 1955 Findlay, J. Arthur: On the Edge of the Etheric. London: 1931
Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933
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