‘‘Walter’’
The claimed spirit control of the medium Mina Stinson
Crandon, popularly known as ‘‘Margery,’’ the name used by
those who investigated her early in the twentieth century. ‘‘Walter’’
was identified with Walter Stinson, the medium’s brother,
who had died in a railway accident in 1911 at the age of 28. He
manifested at a séance for the first time during his sister’s visit
to a clairvoyant. ‘‘Walter’’ furnished proofs of personal identity
and took charge of Crandon’s sittings.
‘‘Walter’’ was described as a spirit communicator, active,
having a keen sense of humor, showing no pretence of saintliness,
and, on occasions, swore and cursed. He was supposedly
highly intelligent and full of energy and curiosity. He never
pretended to know whether he could accomplish something
new, but was always ready to try and was gratified at his own
achievements.
Supposedly, ‘‘Walter’’ gave the impression that he himself
was learning about conditions while giving a demonstration. ‘‘I
don’t give a damn about convincing the public or anyone. You
have no idea why I am here,’’ he said once.
Reportedly, ‘‘Walter’’ often threatened the sitters ‘‘When
this is done I am going away, and I shan’t come back. My crowd
came here because we liked you people, and you kept us here
working at this damned thing.’’ However, he never kept this
threat. It is believed the satisfaction that his increasing dexterity
gave him in producing high-grade psychic phenomena was
enough to bind him to the ‘‘Margery’’ circle.
He introduced many new features into the experiments,
provided cross correspondences, and gave his fingerprints
(see plastics). These fingerprints were later found to be those
of another living individual, prompting accusations that Crandon’s
mediumship was partly or wholly fraudulent.
‘‘Walter’’ was also manifested at Glen Hamilton’s circle in
Winnipeg, being the chief control of the medium ‘‘Mary M.’’
Sources
Bird, J. Malcolm. ‘Margery’ the Medium. New York Maynard,
1925.
Tietze, Thomas R. Margery. New York Harper & Row,
1973.