Everitt, Mrs. Thomas (1825–1915)
One of the earliest and best British private mediums and the
first to produce direct voice in England. She was the wife of a
North London tailor. She began to give séances in 1855 but was
little known to the public before 1867. She produced a variety
of physical phenomena, raps, movement without contact, psychic
lights, and direct writing, in addition to the direct voice
of ‘‘John Watts’’ and of ‘‘Znippy,’’ a South Sea Islander, who was
heard through a cardboard tube. The earliest such record of
‘‘Znippy’’ dates from 1867 when, at a dark séance with Agnes
Guppy-Volckman, Everitt was thrown for the first time into
trance.
Many descriptions of Everitt’s phenomena were published
in Morell Theobald’s Spirit Workers in the Home Circle (1887).
The Theobald and Everitt families were close friends. The book
describes how Everitt, on returning to consciousness, frequently
told what she had seen in the spirit world, that cool breezes
and scents were frequent phenomena, and that she had considerable
powers of psychometry. On one occasion, in Cornwall,
she placed a piece of rock to her forehead and entertained her
friends by descriptions of antediluvian monsters, boiling masses,
and upheaving rocks.
Theobald compared the sounds that accompanied her direct-writing
phenomena to a quickly working electric needle.
In close and legible characters he had seen 500 or more words
produced in five or six seconds.
E. Dawson Rogers, in a letter to E. T. Bennett, states
‘‘The most completely proven cases of direct writing of
which I know are those of Mrs. Everitt. As to many of them I
can personally testify their genuineness is beyond dispute. My
first séance with Mrs. Everitt was on May 3, 1870. I thought I
would ask a question which Mrs. Everitt herself could not possibly
answer. ‘John Watts’ spoke, and promised to give us some
direct writing and I thereupon said ‘Please give us a definition
of the distinction between the Will and the Understanding.’
Paper and pencil had been placed on the table and in eight seconds,
or perhaps ten, on lighting up, we found a direct and intelligent
answer to the question, containing over 150 words. Its
phrasing was peculiar. I afterwards found it was an extract from
one of Swedenborg’s writings, with a few slight alterations, and
an extract such as it would be extremely difficult for anyone to
carry in his memory. Certainly Mrs. Everitt could never do it.
One of Mrs. Everitt’s spirit attendants is said to be a gentleman
who had been a distinguished Swedenborg Minister.’’
Several other pieces of direct writing proved to be quotations
from books, sometimes from ancient ones. Once, in the
presence of Sir William Crookes and Edward William Cox,
the following quotation was given in direct writing ‘‘Religentum
esse oportet Religiosum nefas. You will find the meaning
in Incerti Autoris Aprice Aut. Gell.’’ After considerable search,
the passage was found in Autus Gellius, book 4, canto 9. (Gellius
was a poet who lived in the reign of Adrian in the second century.)
Writing in Light, July 7, 1894, Mr. Everitt describes a cold
wind and strange sounds that preceded the approach of the
‘‘influence’’ and states
‘‘Then the paper and pencil are whisked up into the air, a
rapid tick-tick-ticking is heard, lasting barely a few seconds,
paper and pencil fall to the table, and a light is called for. The
writing is done. The speed of production varies from 100 to
150 words a second. The exceeding minuteness of the writing
is striking, also the closeness together of the words and the
lines. Crookes was the first to draw attention to the fact that no
indentation whatever is produced by this writing. Even with the
thinnest paper there is not the slightest perceptible mark on
the back.’’
Everitt being a private medium, test conditions were not applied.
Sources
Theobald, Morell. Spirit Workers in the Home Circle. Boston
Colby & Rich, 1887.

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