Guldenstubbe, Baron L(udwig) von
Prominent nineteenth-century Spiritualist who wrote several
influential books on Spiritualistic phenomena. He was a
Scandinavian nobleman who appears to have had mediumistic
talents himself. Because he spent time in Paris, he is often mentioned
as ‘‘de Guldenstubbe.’’ He was interested in animal
magnetism for many years and was anxious to find evidence of
the immortality of the soul. When he heard of the American
Spiritualist movement in 1850 he promptly formed a circle at
his own house in Paris, and soon obtained phenomena of raps,
mysterious noises, and movements of furniture.
In August 1856 he began to experiment in the phenomenon
of direct writing without the intervention of a medium. He
placed paper and pencil in a small locked box, carrying the key
with him. After 13 days he opened the box and found some
written characters on the paper; the experiment was repeated
successfully ten times on the same day.
Later, with his friend the comte d’Ourches and other acquaintances,
Guldenstubbe visited churches, cemeteries, and
public galleries and obtained writing on pieces of paper left on
tombs or on the pedestals of statues. These writings were in various
languages including Latin, Greek, Russian, French, German,
and English and claimed to be from illustrious figures
such as Mary Stuart, St. Paul, Cicero, Melchisedec, Plato, and
Juvenal. Some of these communications were reproduced in
the baron’s book La Réalité des Esprits (1857). The French and
German letters were small, regular, and perfectly legible, but
the Latin and Greek characters were large, irregular, and badly
formed. Such spirit messages foreshadowed the famous mahatma
letters of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky.
Among the distinguished witnesses who repeatedly assisted
Guldenstubbe in his experiments were Delamarre, editor of the
Patrie; Choisselat, editor of the Univers; Robert Dale Owen; Lacordaire,
brother of the great orator; the historian Bonnechose;
the Swedish painter Kiorboe; Baron von Rosenberg,
German ambassador at the court of Wurttemberg; and Prince
Leonide Galitzin.
During 1867 Guldenstubbe had a house in London at which
Spiritualist séances were held. The medium was Agnes Nichol
(later Agnes Guppy-Volckman). At one of these séances, a sister
of the Baron was discovered to have a wreath of flowers and
ferns on her head, presumably placed there by spirit hands.
Guldenstubbe, Baron Ludwig von. Pensées d’Outre-Tombe.
Goldenstubbe, Baron Ludwig von, and J. von Guldenstubbe.
La Morale Universelle. 1863.