Castelvitch, Countess (ca. 1920)
Early twentieth-century private medium of Lisbon, Portugal,
whose powers of physical phenomena were carefully observed
by Dr. d’Oliveira Feijao, professor of surgery in the Lisbon
University and Mme. Madeleine Frondoni-Lacombe.
According to Feijao’s description
‘‘Blows were struck, the loudest being on the glass of the
bookcase. Articles of furniture sometimes moved. Heavy chairs
moved about the room; efforts were made on the locked doors
of the bookcase, which were opened; large and heavy books
were flung on the floor (our hands being linked all the time);
an office bell and a handbell, the half open piano and a guitar
in its case all sounded loudly. The table rose as much as 24
Once a heavy table weighing 160 pounds was raised on two
legs when it was barely touched and a smaller table was torn
into 200 pieces. Objects were brought into the séance room and
out through closed doors and excellent materializations were
witnessed, among which there was a unique phantom with a
death’s-head. This phantom and other claimed materializations
were photographed.
The mediumship of the countess was discovered in January
1913. Like Katie King, in the celebrated case of Florence
Cook, her control, who manifested for years, departed after a
dramatic farewell on July 14, 1920. The history of the mediumship
is well told in Frondoni-Lacombe’s Merveilleux Phenomènes
de l’au delà (Lisbon, 1920).
Richet, Charles. Thirty Years of Psychical Research. London,