Auras, energy…

…and the spirit of a dog that wasn’t dead. Spiritualists take Tom Nicholson to church.

Spiritualism is generally seen as a quirky piece of Victoriana these days: all wobbling tables, flickering gas lamps and people having attacks of “the vapours” before having to go to Bournemouth to recover their nerves. The schism between the spirit world and our own is nothing compared to the vast canyon separating the worldviews of Spiritualists from the orthodoxy of the largely rational, secular society they live in.

Photography by James Sebright

Photography by James Sebright

To better understand Spiritualism and those who practise it, I met Muriel Chapman, president of the Heaton Spiritualist Church, in the back room of the church building itself. On the wall, the seven values of Spiritualism were spelled out in the 1970s-flavoured, diagonally-slanted, copper-coloured capital letters usually found on gateposts outside largeish houses.


Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #5