There are several photographs on display at The College of Psychic Studies of how the rooms (especially on the top floor) were used in the past; such as Harry Prices’s laboratory.
A student asked me about one of the photographs and what the large curtained off area was for. I explained it was a trance cabinet or a variation of one. This led to the obvious question – ‘What was that and what was it used for?”
A trance cabinet is used with trance and physical mediumship.
What is it?
Literally, a large cabinet that the medium sits in. It can have three sides and a lid with curtains down the front. Or be a corner of a room that is curtained off across the diagonally making an enclosed area (floor to ceiling). A trance cabinet is often painted black with black curtains but historically they were unpainted dark wood and the curtains were mostly burgundy velvet (similar to theatre curtains).
What is it for?
- To contain and enhance energy. The cabinet (box) acts as a vessel to hold the energy and as such amplifies it. Over time the cabinet builds more and more energy, holding the trance vibration.
- To act as a back backdrop for the audience watching. It is easier to see energy against a very dark or very light background.
- Most importantly the cabinet was used to prove physical phenomena was created by Spirit rather than faked. In Victorian times physical mediums were tied to a chair (wrists and ankles) and gagged placed inside the cabinet and the curtain would be drawn. The physical phenomena would then occur outside the cabinet in the room, such as sounds, voices, apparitions. Afterwards, the curtain would be drawn to show the medium was still bound and gagged. One famous incident included the mediums suit jacket being turned around. When he was bound his jacket was on the right way, but afterwards when the curtain was pulled back his jacket was on the wrong way round (buttons at the back) – seemingly taken off him and put back on again by Spirit whilst the curtain was drawn.
Are they still used?
Yes, physical mediumship circles still use them as do trance mediums. They are a wonderful tool when developing as a trance medium even if phenomena is not being produced.
Sharing tips and information as a professional trance medium 🦋
For more information about The College of Psychic Studies visit their website – https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk