W.T. Stead and Spiritualism

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W.T. Stead & Spiritualism

Eighteen months ago my eldest son passed into the other world. I heard his first cry as a new-born infant. I caught his last sigh as he passed into the unseen. I had always said I would never make my final pronouncement on the truths of Spiritualism until someone near and dear in my own family passed into the great beyond. Then I should know whether Spiritualism stood the test of a great bereavement, bringing life and immortality to light. W.T. Stead. Quoted in Estelle W. Stead, My Father: Personal & Spiritual Reminiscences (1913) pp. 311-312

Stead’s interest in Spiritualism seems to have begun in his final year at the Northern Echo, probably through his association with Mark Fooks, his assistant editor, who “had some knowledge of the matter.” But it was not until he moved to London that he began to take a serious interest. In 1881, he attended his first seance where, he later claimed, he was hailed as the future “St. Paul of Spiritualism.” Though he continued to dabble in spiritualism during his time at the Pall Mall Gazette, political and editorial contraints prevented him from over-indulging, and it was not until he became his own boss as owner and editor of the Review of Reviews in 1890, that he was able to pursue his interest further. In 1891, he published Real Ghost Stories as the Review of Reviews Christmas annual, and a year later, he followed this up with More Ghost Stories, again as a Christmas Annual… Read More