Centurione Scotto, Marquis Carlo (ca. 1928)
A famous medium who was a member of the Italian nobility.
His family was one of the oldest in Italy, one of the titles of the
marquis being Principe del Sacro Romano Impero. He was a
member of Parliament for eleven years and undertook research
work in the hope of communicating with his deceased son, the
Marquis Vittorio dei Principi Centurione, captain of the Aerial
Army, who, while flying over Lake Varese in testing a new machine
for the Schneider Cup Race in America was killed on September
21, 1926.
The grief-stricken father was advised to seek comfort in
reading H. Dennis Bradley’s Towards the Stars (1924), which
had been translated into Italian. He found hope, and with letters
of introduction from Ernesto Bozzano, he went to London
and participated in séances with the medium George Valiantine
in Bradley’s home. During one séance, he believed that his
son spoke to him in a voice that he recognized and gave other
evidential information. A trumpet also produced the particular
noise of an airplane engine and then the sound of the plane
falling. The performance was an imitation of the airplane of
Vittorio Centurione, of whose tragic death neither Valiantine
nor Bradley knew.
In séances held in New York a similarly noisy manifestation,
apparently for identification, was noted in the spring of 1928.
After the London séances, Valiantine had presented the marquis
with an aluminum trumpet and begged him to sit for direct
voice mediumship in his own house. Whether this acted as
a suggestion to awaken latent faculties or not, the marquis obtained
much success from subsequent séances.
However, it was not his dead son who communicated but
one named Cristo d’Angelo, who said he had been a Sicilian
shepherd. This spirit control took charge of the manifestations
from the other side. Direct voice was the main feature, but
many other supernormal manifestations were also witnessed—
direct writing, unusual apports (for the production of which
the presence of another medium, Fabienne Rossi, was involved),
a wide range of lesser physical phenomena, materialization,
and once his own teleportation from the locked séance
The direct voice usually issued from a corner of the ceiling,
but sometimes it came from inside one of the trumpets standing
upright. The voices spoke Latin, Spanish, and German, as
well five dialects unknown to the medium Piedmontese, Romagnolo,
Neapolitan, Venetian, and Sicilian.
The scientific side of the experiments or the question of propaganda
did not interest Centurione Scotto at all. To suggest
test conditions was an extremely delicate matter for his chief investigator,
Ernesto Bozzano. In the absence of these, strong
criticisms of the phenomena were brought forward in Germany
by Baron Albert von Schrenck-Notzing and Rudolf Lambert.
In England, for similar reasons, the phenomena were questioned
by Theodore Besterman of the Society for Psychical
Research in a manner that the noted champion of Spiritualism
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle found derogatory to Bozzano’s
reputation as a competent psychical investigator. As a result
Conan Doyle resigned his membership from the society.
Huck, Gwendolyn K. Modern Psychic Mysteries Millesimo Castle,
Italy. London, 1929.