Back in 1952 we went on a school trip to a steel
foundry in Ebbw Vale, Wales, to see how the metal was
rolled out into strips of sheet metal. Work was going
on as usual, and it was exciting to see all the
processes in the huge works. The great vat of molten
steel was pretty scary, and we were told that just the
day before our visit, a workman had been walking along
the scaffolding above and had fallen in. His body had
immediately vanished into the molten metal. There
were no remains to bury, and his funeral would take
place without his physical presence. But work in the
steel plant continued, the furnaces were not
extinguished, and the metal continued to pour, and
life and work went on as usual. We were all rather
silent and thoughtful on our return journey to school.
The spirit who is the subject of the following
séance met his death in a similar way, but he had been
working in a soap factory, and had been drowned
instantly in the boiling soap. Here is the
account, straight from the appendix of Admiral Usborne
Moore’s book “Glimpses of the Next State.”
WAKING THE SO-CALLED DEAD
SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 26, 1890.
EVA, [the spirit control of the medium, Leander FIsher, a professor of music in Buffalo, New York.]:-
To-night we bring a man who fell into a vat of boiling liquid. We will have to dematerialise him a good many
times, on account of the unnatural manner of his death.
EVA : He has got to make those sounds before he can get the
forces to talk.
SPIRIT: Why, yes, I remember I fell in! Oh, yes, I fell in! What has happened to me? I feel so very strange.
Mr. DANIEL BAILEY (leading the circle of sitters): You remember falling into the vat?
SPIRIT: Yes, I remember; but I feel awful strange. I feel that burn. (He is dematerialised.) I am glad that I feel better. That was a dreadful fall. I felt it strike me. Well, this is very strange! It
has all dropped off from me, and I have new flesh on!
MR. BAILEY: You have flesh on you now, haven’t you?
S(pirit). : Yes, that feels better. That was a very bad feeling, that dropping off. Where are the boys?
Mr. B(ailey).: I presume they are in the factory. Where were
you when you got hurt?
S.: I was just over there—you see, don’t you? I went
up there to fix something, and I slipped and fell.
Mr. B.: Didn’t you feel very badly when you fell into
the vat of boiling liquid?
S.: How in the world did it happen that I am alive?
Mr. B.: Would you be surprised if you found that you didn’t live?
S.: My skin is going off!
EVA : We have materialised him and thrown it off twelve
times since I spoke to you first. It is a~ big case,
on account of his flesh having been fried to a crisp.
In a spirit’s dissolution from the body, it is natural
for the gases to pass out, and they assist the spirit
in taking up its spiritual body. We have a spiritual
body within us that we take possession of when we
leave the old body. And in a case like this the
passing out is very slow indeed; and while they don’t
suffer, they lie in kind of a trance state a
good deal of the time until this process is completed;
and by bringing them here and materializing them,
taking on and throwing off, it becomes a more natural
SPIRIT: I suppose I can go to work now?
Tom ( GUIDE,IN SPIRIT): Not just yet. Wait until you feel a
S.: Oh, I feel very well now!
Tom: But it is better for you to rest a little bit.
S.: I have been resting.
Tom: Yes, I know you have; but I wouldn’t be in a
S.: I feel about as well as I ever was.
Tom: That may be; but I think it is just as well not
to hurry back too quick. They can get along without
you for a day or two—don’t you think so?
S.: Yes, I guess they can; but, then, I would like to
see some of the boys.
Tom: You can wait a day or two, I guess?
S.: No, I don’t feel exactly right—that’s so.
Tom: I thought it wouldn’t be best for you to be in
too much of a hurry.
S.: I must take it “easy.”
Tom: Yes, take it “easy.”
S.: Where are you from?
Tom: I came from New York.
S.: You did! That’s a big city, isn’t it?
Tom: Yes; that’s a big place.
S.: I was there once. They do a lot of business there,
Tom: Oh, yes! there’s lots going on there.
S.: I once thought I would go there to live.
Tom: There’s a great deal of life there; there’s a
great deal to be seen and learned there.
S.: Sometimes people learn what they don’t want to,
too, don’t they?
Tom: I don’t think many people learn what they don’t
want to. I think most people try to learn that that
they want to most; but it isn’t always best for them.
S.: But when a fellow gets robbed, he doesn’t want to
learn that, especially if they take all he has got.
Tom: No; but you are liable to get robbed in other
places besides New York, and murdered, too.
S.: Oh, yes!
Tom: Don’t you know there was a man in your town that
S.: Whom do you mean?
Tom: Don’t you know Mr. Thompson?
S.: Yes, I know Mr. Thompson. Yes, those things happen
all over; but I think there are not so many cases
anywhere as there are in New York.
Tom: You know there are so many people congregated
there together, and so many
nationalities; there is a rough element.
S.: Yes, that’s so. Oh, I tell you I saw some hard
things when I was there!
Tom: How long ago were you there?
S.: I was there two years ago. Do you live there?
Tom: I used to live there.
S.: What was your business?
Tom: I was a coachman.
S.: For some of those big folks, I suppose?
Tom: Yes; my mistress was a very wealthy woman, and,
of course, I saw a great deal of high life.
S.: I don’t think I would like that.
Tom: We don’t always like the conditions that we are
placed in, in life; but I have found out since that it
is always best to make the best of your conditions,
for it doesn’t do any good to keep fretting about it
if you can’t change it.
S.: Yes; but if you don’t like it you can get out of
it—can’t you ?—and try something else.
Tom: Yes; but sometimes there is nothing else for you
to do. What was your trade?
S.: Oh, I didn’t have much of a trade!
Tom: What did you do?
S.: I was in the soap factory; but there we had a good
boss. Oh, he was a jolly fellow!
Tom: What was his name?
S.: His name was Rogers. You know him, don’t you?
Tom: No, I am not acquainted with him.
S.: I would like to know what those people are doing
over there. Are they having a camp meeting, or what in
the devil is it?
Tom: You watch, and, perhaps, you can see something
else. What do they appear to be doing?
S.: I only asked you. I thought, perhaps, you knew.
Tom: I do know; and after a little I will tell you all
about it. I thought I would like to have you give your
S.: I haven’t got an idea. I never had an idea in my
Tom: How old are you?
S.: I am twenty.
Tom: You are a young fellow, aren’t you?
S.: Well, I should think I was! You don’t suppose I am
an old man, do you?
Tom: I knew you weren’t an old man.
S.: Why, I am not acquainted with anybody here! How in
the devil did I come here?
Tom: These are good, kind people that have helped you.
You know you have been very sick.
S.: I knew I fell down. I thought I was a goner, sure.
Tom: Do you know that you fell in that vat of hot
S.: I thought I was going to fall into it. How did it
happen? I believe I am kind of off.
Tom: You fell into that soap. That’s enough to make
any man sick for a while, isn’t it?
S.: I should think so. But I didn’t fall into the
soap; if I had, I would have been as dead as a smelt.
Tom: You don’t suppose if you had gone into that soap
you would have been dead, do you?
S.: Of course I would!
Tom: No, you wouldn’t have been dead; but it would
have been the means of separating your spirit from
your body, because it would have made your body unfit
for your spirit to live in; but you would have been
alive just the same. Say, Rob, do you know, sometimes
when people meet with terrible accidents, and are
killed, they don’t know what has happened to them?
S.: I suppose so.
Tom: Now I want to ask you a question, and it is quite
a serious question: Did you ever have any idea what
the change called death would be like?
S.: No, I couldn’t tell.
Tom: No; you are a man without an idea; of course, you
didn’t have an idea on that
S.: Do you know why I am a man without an idea?
S.: Well, no matter what under heaven I used to do,
old Aunt Sarah would say, “What an idea !—what an
idea! “—and I got sick of it.
Tom: I don’t blame you. Well, I won’t say an idea; I
will say, Did you ever have any
thought on that subject?
S.: I don’t know as I thought much about it.
Tom: Did you go to church?
S.: Sometimes. Do you go to church?
Tom: No; but I used to—I go to church now, but not the
kind of a church that you think I do.
S.: What should I think about what church you go to?
Tom: Not a church like you have in your town. Now you
understand, don’t you?
S.: Yes; that’s a bright man, that is.
Tom: You are a pretty good young fellow.
S.: There are not a great many tell me that, though.
Tom: You were a little wild, but you had a good heart.
If you had a cent in your pocket and you saw a man
that was hungry, you would give him half; I don’t know
but what you would give him the whole and go without
S.: That’s Irish blarney.
Tom: There’s a fellow here, and his name is Ned.
S.: I don’t know about that.
Tom: Well, I think I know. He wants me to ask you if
you remember the time you and he went swimming down
there by the river—in the river, I mean?
S.: I thought that would be just like him to say “by
Tom: He did say so; but I thought that would sound
queer. That Ned was a comical fellow, wasn’t he?
S.: Yes, he used to go swimming by the river.
Tom: Say, Rob, what does Ned mean? He is holding up
the queerest kind of an old poke bonnet that I ever
S.: Why, that’s what he wore to the ball.
Tom: Did you wear a poke bonnet to the ball, too?
S.: Of course I did. Say, what are you talking about,
Tom: Why, I am talking about Ned.
S.: Why, he’s dead.
Tom: He isn’t dead, he has only got out of his body. I
never saw you before, and you never saw me before. All
I know, Ned is here and he held up an old poke bonnet.
S.: That’s very strange. I don’t know what to think of
Tom: I was telling you, you know, sometimes when
people meet with accidents, and
their body becomes unfit for their spirit to stay in
any more, the spirit goes out of the body, and that is
what people call death. And many times, when the
spirit is separated from the body in this unnatural,
sudden way, they are not aware of it. It isn’t like
having sickness gradually loosen the spirit from the
body, so that the spirit can pass out of the body in a
natural manner. But when they go out by accident, like
being run over by these cars, or drowned, or falling
into a vat of hot soap, they don’t know it. And that
is the way with you now; you don’t think you fell into
that hot soap, do you?
S.: No, I thought I was going to.
Tom: But now you don’t know you fell in, do you?
S.: How could I be alive if I did?
Tom: Your spirit could be alive, because that never
dies. Would you be afraid if you found that your
spirit had got out of your body?
S.: Oh, no.
Tom: You wouldn’t care very much, would you?
S.: Yes, I would care, but I wouldn’t be afraid.
Tom: Why would you care?
S.: It’s a terrible thing to die, you know.
Tom: Oh, no; it’s beautiful if you die in a natural
way; but it is a great shock to the spirit to go out
in an unnatural manner, as by accident or suddenly.
And therefore, I will tell you, Robert, it was a great
shock to your spirit.
S.: To my spirit! What do you mean by that?
Tom: It was a shock to your spirit for you to fall
into that vat of hot soap, for your spirit separated
from your body.
S.: What do you mean by that?
Tom: I mean you have made the change called death, my
dear boy, for you are nothing but a boy.
S.: Well, you are not much more than a boy, are you?
Tom: To be sure I am.
S.: You don’t look it.
Tom: You don’t see me.
S.: I guess I do.
Tom: I know you think you see me, but you only see the
young man whose powers of speech I am using to speak
S.: Well, what did you say to me?
Tom: I said you have made the change called death.
S.: I have made the change called death!
S.: You mean that I have died?
Tom: I mean that you have died, but you are not dead;
your spirit has only left your body; you feel just the
same until you are made acquainted with your condition
and take up your surroundings and things pertaining to
the spirit life which you have now entered.
S.: Well, that seems very strange.
Tom: Yes. You were brought here that you might be made
acquainted with the fact and be helped up to your
spirit friends, friends who are interested in your
condition. And now I will show you myself as a spirit,
that you may see the difference between me and the
S.: It’s boggy here, isn’t it?
Mr. B.: You look at him closely and tell us what you
S.: There that man comes right out of him—it’s a sure
case, no mistake about it; I saw it with my own eyes.
Mr. B.: Yes, that’s the spirit that occupied the young
man temporarily, so as to talk to you; he controlled
S.: He did!
Mr. B.: Yes, he will go back pretty soon and talk to
S.: Is that your bird singing?
Mr. B.: We can’t hear any bird singing as you can; we
haven’t spiritual ears yet.
S.: He’s gone right back into him. I wish I knew what
is the matter with my hand; it
seems kind of numb.
Tom: That will be all right presently; you see it was
a very great shock to your spirit, dying in the way
you did (I use those terms so that you will better
understand me), and the effects of it still cling to
your spirit; but in a little time this condition will
pass off from you, and you will feel better. Did you
see me, Robert?
S.: I saw somebody, if that was you.
Tom: Yes, that was me; my name is Tom.
S.: Tom who?
Tom: That don’t matter now—you wouldn’t know; but you
can call me Tom. I am a spirit, and I came here to
control this young man and talk to you.
S.: Is that what you do all the time?
Tom: No, not all the time; but most of the time my
work is to help spirits when they die and are not
aware of their condition, that they have made the
change called death, and get them acquainted with
their new surroundings, and get them started a little
in the new life they have entered. Would you like to
S.: Well, I don’t know; it is kind of mysterious to
me. I see something has happened to me, because I have
seen things I never saw before; but I don’t
understand. I remember falling, and now I remember
striking; yes, I remember that very distinctly. Rob, I
guess you are a corpse.
Tom: You are a pretty lively corpse. You are alive
just the same, only you have entered a new life. It is
like entering a strange city or country; you are a
little mixed up. If you should go to China, and didn’t
see anything but Chinese, nor didn’t understand a word
the people were saying, you would be badly mixed up.
Then is it to be wondered at that, leaving your old
body in the sudden manner you did, you should feel
strange? I’ll tell you, Robert, I will take you and
show you some very pleasant beautiful things, and I
will try and teach you as far as I can of the things
pertaining to the life you have now entered.
S.: Where will you take me?
Tom: I will take you to a place suited to your present
condition. I will take care of you until you are able
to walk alone.
S.: Oh, I can walk very well.
Tom: Yes; but I mean figuratively speaking —I mean
until you understand somewhat your new conditions and
S.: Well, I guess I will have to accept it.
Tom: There are many bright, beautiful things before
S.: I hope so.
Tom: This is a beautiful life you have now entered, a
life where you can learn of the wisdom and glory of
this great universe; not all at once, but day by day,
and hour by hour, some new lesson will be presented to
you, so you will be learning more and more of the
wonderful powers which you possess in that spark of
S.: Well, I don’t know much about the divinity, but if
there is anything pleasant to see I would like to see
Tom: I will take you and show you some very pleasant
things which will interest you.
Jimmy: When you know you are right stick to it, no
matter what anybody says, and you will come out
victorious. When you are through breathing through
this mortal body you will see that you have left a
light pathway behind you, and that light will be a
light to others.
This was one of several accounts of rescue work taken
from the Appendix of the following book:
GLIMPSES OF THE NEXT STATE
(The education of an agnostic)
by Vice–Admiral W. USBORNE MOORE Author of “The
Cosmos and the Creeds” LONDON: Watts and Co., 17
Johnson’s Court, Fleet Street, London EC
1911 “TO MY SPIRIT COMPANION AND GUIDE IOLA THIS RECORD OF INVESTIGATION AND SPIRITISTIC PHENOMENA, IN WHICH SHE HAS TAKEN
SUCH PROMINENT PART, IS GRATEFULLY DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR”
Usborne Moore's introduction to the rescue circle work:-
ON January 1, 1909, owing to the courtesy of Mr. E. C.
Randall, of Buffalo, N.Y., I made the acquaintance of
Mr. Leander Fisher, a professor of music in that city.
This gentleman, then over fifty years of age, had
participated in some remarkable seances between the
years 1875 and 1900, which were arranged for the
special purpose of helping the so-called “dead” to
realise their position, and thus assisting them to
pass naturally into spiritual life. The events at
these meetings, especially those about the year 1890,
were faithfully recorded; and he showed me a pile of
documents two feet high, not one of which had been
publishe4l. I asked permission to take some of them to
England in order that my countrymen should be informed
of this "mission" work, a phase of spirit
manifestation to which they were strangers, at any
rate so far as the “direct voice” was concerned. Mr.
Fisher and Mr. Randall selected twelve records, and
had them copied for me. They are now printed in this
Appendix to my book. In my opinion, it is undesirable
for any investigator to record experiences in the body
of his work which he has not himself witnessed. But it
must not be supposed that I have the smallest doubt as
to the strict fidelity of these documents. The high
character of Mr. Leander Fisher is sufficient voucher
for their authenticity. As will be seen in the
records, he was sometimes in trance, but at others
normal, and joined in the conversation. Mr. and Mrs.
Bailey and Mrs. Fisher, his mother, people of the
highest reputation in Buffalo, were normal throughout,
as was Mrs. Eggleston, the stenographer, whose
affidavit adds value to the manuscript.
I made inquiries as to whether any of the spirits thus
brought, tactfully, to understand that they had
entered a new state of consciousness, had been
satisfactorily identified. The reply was that many had
been discovered, but after several had been verified
it was considered useless to go on
searching for the relatives and places of abode in
earth-life of the remainder. Such inquiries involved
much time and labour, and always ended with the same
result. Nor were the verifications of value to any but
doubters, to whom the personality of “Eva” was
unknown; the records were only of use to the circle,
and were not expected to see the light. They satisfied
the sitters, and that was enough.
The book Thoughts from the Inner Life, by D. E. Bailey
(Colby and Rich, publishers, Boston, 1886), still in
many libraries, is a good introduction to the
narrative of the seances. Mr. E. C. Randall’s
experiences with Mrs. French, the Rochester medium,
mentioned elsewhere in this book, were similar to
those of the Baileys and Fishers with Mrs. Swain; but,
of course, the great charm—the presence of the spirit
of “Eva “—was not available [being Mr. Fisher's guide.]
Vice-Admiral W. Usborne Moore.
Submit Your Own Article