Daughter Vouches for Helen Duncan's Séance Voice
By Alan Cleaver
Psychic News No.2621, Saturday, September 4, 1982
IN a dramatic two-world test it has been established by her daughter that Helen Duncan is one of the controlling spirit entities behind the Leicester-based home circle which is receiving superb phenomena.
In past PNs I have described how the circle has obtained apports, levitation, direct voice and other séance room happenings. On all of my visits a woman claiming to be martyred medium Helen Duncan has spoken at length from the spirit world. And in a thrilling confrontation, Helen and her daughter Gena Brealey, have spoken again. Gena talked with her mother for more than an hour at the circle, discussing intimate family details.
When the circle was first revealed by PN (August 14) its sitters claimed Helen Duncan, the famous physical medium who died in 1956, was speaking directly through their séance trumpet. So since Helen's daughter, Gena, is still alive she was invited to the circle to confirm, or deny, it was her mother communicating.
And after speaking to her mother for more than an hour, often talking of details known only to themselves, Gena declared:
"Yes it is my mother. There is no doubt about it."
In fact, Gena had only been at the séance a few minutes when she received, she explained, all the evidence she needed.
Helen apported to her daughter a single red rose. This had a special significance known only to the two of them. On receiving the rose Gena broke down in tears of joy and cried,
"What greater proof could I have?"
She later revealed the meaning behind the rose. At her mother's funeral Gena placed a single red rose in Helen's hand and whispered, "I love you."
The rose was discovered on a table in the séance room. Also on it were found several deep red carnations, gifts for the other sitters, Pat and Barry Jeffery, and the medium Rita Goold.
We were instructed by the regular communicators - known as the outer circle - to extinguish the candle again and place the tambourine on the table. When not speaking through direct voice the outer circle communicate by tilting or rapping the table to the equivalent letter in the alphabet. The tambourine was levitated above the table and shaken by unseen spirit entities. They then asked for the trumpet to be placed on the table and for us all to sit back. It was not long before Rita was taken into trance. Normally at this stage the outer circle remove her shoes and watch and throw them onto the floor.
Barry had expressed some concern about Rita's watch possibly being broken by this and asked if they could be more careful. Therefore, when I felt something being placed on my lap I correctly guessed it was Rita's watch.
At the time Rita was sitting several feet away on the other side of the room, but it supernormally travelled across and was laid on my lap. All this was in total darkness. Soon the trumpet was seen, with the help of two luminous strips on the cone, to rise into the air.
Helen has always been the first person to speak through the trumpet, but that evening first came Russell, a nine-year-old boy who died of cancer several years ago. His parents are yet to visit the circle. It was later explained the outer circle let Russell speak first to allow Gena to become accustomed to hearing someone talking through a trumpet. Russell is always quick to make sitters laugh and break any tension in the air. This, he admirably succeeded in doing. In fact, he appeared to organise the whole séance proceedings that night.
Laura, one of the outer circle members, also treated Gena and the other sitters to some singing before Helen finally came in to greet her daughter. The impact of this historical moment was not lost. For the first time since her death 26 years ago Helen Duncan was once again going to talk to her daughter. She spoke first of the rose she brought to Gena and declared,
"If I could, I would bring you a thousand roses."
There was a break halfway through the séance, but apart from that Gena spoke almost continually to her mother, and to Russell, for more than an hour. As most of it was of a highly personal nature Gena asked PN not to publish it all. She did, however talk afterwards of some of the messages. At one point Gena, and Helen talked about how Helen had been given her full name "Victoria Helen Duncan." Helen asked her daughter to tell us all about it after the séance.
So it was Gena revealed the fascinating story behind Helen's name. The medium was named after Queen Victoria. When Helen's mother was a child some travellers took shelter from the rain at her parents' cot. A man and two women were given shelter and a cup of tea. For an hour Helen's grandmother talked with these obviously high-class visitors. When it was time for them to continue on their way they asked for pins to lift their dresses off the ground and out of the mud. This Helen's grandmother willingly did, but when the man asked if he could borrow an umbrella she was more hesitant. The man reassured her it would be returned. Eventually she consented. A week later the umbrella still had not been returned. Then a carriage again stopped outside the cottage. A man in livery returned the umbrella and gave the grandmother a letter. He said,
"I am instructed by Her Most Gracious Majesty to give you this box and to thank you for your kindness and hospitality."
Helen's grandmother had hosted Queen Victoria in her cottage for more than an hour without realising who it was! So in her honour Helen was given her first name "Victoria."
After the séance Gena also explained some of the Scottish slang Helen and she had used during their conversations. At one point Helen said she had thrown all the illnesses she had suffered from during her physical life in the "midden." Gena explained this was a term for a rubbish bin. Helen also suggested to Gena she took the rose home in a "poke." This word had also baffled the rest of us, but Gena explained that a poke was a paper cone used for holding flowers, sweets or other articles. Helen told Gena to give the rose to her husband George as "he would know what to do with it." This also puzzled us. We could not think why such a precious gift should be passed to someone else. Gena later told us that her husband has "green fingers." From the rose he would be able to grow a new bush. This would mean roses blooming every year instead of just one flower.
Related material on this site:
A First-Hand Account of Materialisation Mediumship - Michael Roll describes an experiment he attended with the materialisation medium Rita Goold. This account was written in 1983, but was not accepted for publication until 1992.
Alan Cleaver's report: In 1982, Alan Cleaver carried out a revolutionary scientific exercise that completely vindicated the pioneering experiments of Sir William Crookes and the Nobel Laureate Professor Charles Richet when they proved survival after death through repeatable experiments under laboratory conditions.