Home » Automatic Writing: People Communicate to Us from the Life after Death

Automatic Writing: People Communicate to Us from the Life after Death

Slate writing proof of the afterlife
Writing by a Person in Spirit on a Slate

People living in the life after death communicate to people living on this side of life through writing. The video below explains how they communicate through writing using five methods:

Automatic writing
Direct Writing
Precipitated writing
Slate writing
Independent typewriter writing

The afterlife communication through writing demonstrates the reality of life after death. The people who are writing are alive and well, living on in the afterlife.

A transcript of the presentation follows the video controls.

Inspired Writing

The automatic writing explained in these pages is writing guides, loved ones, and others in the afterlife do by taking over the medium’s body, without the medium’s control. Sometimes “automatic writing” is used for writing sessions in which an individual is open to ideas and receives inspiration from guides, loved ones, and others in the afterlife. The person writes the thoughts as quickly as them come, fully aware of what is happening and in control of the writing. That is “inspired writing.” In inspired writing, the individual receiving the inspirations is completely awake, with no sign of trance. The inspirations can be valid communications from sources outside of the individual. The explanation that follows is of automatic writing in which the person’s body is taken over by the person in the afterlife who does the writing.

Afterlife Communication through Automatic Writing

Chico Xavier medium
Chico Xavier

In automatic writing, the writer is entirely unaware of what the hand is writing and has no control over the hand’s movements. The writing and signature most often match samples of the person’s writing from their time on earth on this side of life.

It differs from inspired writing that is often called automatic writing. In inspired writing, the writer is in control of the process and writes what the person in spirit inspires. A prominent example is Chico Chavier.  There are two varieties: In the first, the medium enters a mild trance state, steps aside mentally, and allows the messages to flow freely onto paper, not knowing what is being written and being more or less alert.

 The second state is with trance in which the entities take over the medium’s nervous system and do the writing. The feeling of having the hand moved by those in spirit is described as the feeling of holding in the hand a handkerchief over a fluttering bird.

Leonora Piper automatic writing
Leanora Piper

 The most studied automatic writing medium was Leonora Piper, who lived in New England until her transition in 1950. While in trance, her control, Phinuit, spoke using her vocal mechanism. Piper would rest her head on a pillow on a table with her face toward the left.  Writing material was arranged on the right side, usually a hundred blank sheets of paper and four or five soft-lead pencils. After she went into trance, someone would place a sheet of paper in front of her and a pencil in her hand. Piper’s hand would write page after page while she was in trance, with someone removing each sheet after it was filled and replacing it with a fresh one.

Two personalities were able to control Piper and conduct conversations with individual sitters or groups of sitters while she was in trance. Her control personality in spirit, Phinuit, used Piper’s voice in the normal way, holding conversations with the sitters. At the same time, other individuals in spirit were using Piper’s writing hand to write continuously about unrelated subjects, oblivious to the conversations Phinuit was having through Piper.

 Members of the British Society for Psychical Research invited Piper to stay with them in England so they could observe her mediumistic performance.  She was studied by Dr. William James, the father of American psychology, Dr. Richard Hodgson, an English investigator of psychic phenomena, Dr. Oliver Lodge, professor of physics at University College in Liverpool, Dr. James Hyslop, professor of ethics and logic at Columbia University, and Frederic W. H. Myers, a British classicist.

Piper held regular sittings in England with the five researchers for the next three months, with Oliver Lodge alone attending 83 sittings. As a result of their experiences, Frederic Myers, Richard Hodgson, and James Hyslop each wrote extensive reports concluding that based on their observations, Piper’s talents were legitimate.

 In the United States, William James sat with Piper for eighteen months, carefully monitoring her and controlling the séance arrangements. James wrote in the 1890 Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research   “And I repeat again what I said before, that, taking everything that I know of Mrs. Piper into account, the result is to make me feel as absolutely certain as I am of any personal fact in the world that she knows things in her trances which she cannot possibly have heard in her waking state, and that the definite philosophy of her trances is yet to be found.”

Afterlife Communication through Direct Writing

Sir William Crookes
Sir William Crookes
Mrs. Thomas Everitt medium
Mrs. Thomas Everitt

The next area of afterlife communication through writing is direct writing. In direct writing, the writing results from some instrument or action but without the medium’s control.

 Sir William Crookes, an English chemist and physicist who discovered thallium and invented the radiometer and other devices, recorded his first experience in direct writing with physical medium Kate Fox-Jencken:  This is his description of the experience: “A luminous hand came down from the upper part of the room, and after hovering near me for a few seconds, took the pencil from my hand, rapidly wrote on a sheet of paper, threw the pencil down, and then rose up over our heads, gradually fading into darkness.”

 In séances with another medium Mrs. Thomas Everitt, Sir William Crookes tested the medium’s direct writing.  Folded sheets in a sealed envelope were marked and inserted into a closed book. The book was placed in a locked box with a pencil in it. When the box was opened and the envelope unsealed, the paper was found to have writing on both sides. No matter how thin the paper was, the pencil produced no indentation. Nevertheless, it was clear that the pencil had been used, since once the words appeared double because the lead had a double edge. Another supernormal phenomenon was the speed with which the scripts were delivered.

Robert Dale Owen
Robert Dale Owen

 Robert Dale Owen, a member of the U.S. congress,  sat with medium Henry Slade on February 9, 1874.  During the sitting, Owen observed a white, feminine, marblelike hand, detached and shaded off at the wrist, creep up Slade’s knees onto the table. The hand grasped a pencil, wrote on the notepaper that had been placed on the table, and slipped back with the pencil under the table. Five minutes later the performance was repeated by a smaller hand that resembled the first.

Afterlife Communication through Precipitated Writing

Dr. Paul Gabier finds proof of the afterlife
Dr. Paul Gabier
Scole Experimental Group studying the afterlife
Scole Experimental Group

The next area of research is precipitated writing. Precipitated writing appears on a surface with no human hand or writing instrument involved. Some precipitated writing has occurred using slates, explained later in this presentation.

 In 1889, Dr. Paul Gibier, founder of the Pasteur Institute in New York, set out to study reports that hypnotized subjects were able to project characters and lines of writing on blank sheets of paper.  He and twenty witnesses observed a séance in which he witnessed two hypnotized subjects sitting apart from carefully observed blank sheets of paper when writing precipitated in full light. The observation was signed by all twenty witnesses. The precipitated writing was a full page of written verses signed “Corneille.”

 The Scole Experimental Group was a group of sitters in Scole, Norfolk, England, who engaged in physical Mediumship from 1994 to 1998.  The group produced a wide range of phenomena and was investigated for two years by three senior members of the Society for Psychical Research.

 Dr. Walter Schnitger, a consultant engineer, and his wife Karin had heard that undeveloped film would have words and images precipitated on it during the Scole Group’s seances. Dr. Schnitger arranged to test whether such a phenomenon was possible.  The Schnitgers brought their own Polaroid 35 millimeter film in a box. Both the Schnitgers checked the room before the rest of the group entered the room. Dr. Schnitger marked the film and placed the unexposed film in a box in the center of a table on a sheet of plain white paper and padlocked the box. Dr. Schnitger drew a line around the perimeter of the box on the underlying paper showing the exact position of the box and the location of the padlock which hung down onto the paper. Each group member wore a luminous wristband to ensure all knew the positions of other group members. No one left their seat. Dr. Schnitger held the box in his hands through the entire session.

When the session was finished, Dr. Schnitger confirmed that the box was in precisely its original position. The unexposed film was retrieved from the box and touched only by the two Schnitgers. Dr. Schnitger checked the marks on the film to ensure there was no substitution. The two Shnitgers supervised the developing.

Image on film during seance

What emerged on the film was a dragon image. In the right area of the film was a cross with something entwining the cross, possibly a serpant, and a landscape with mountains or trees and clouds.

Image on film during seance

In another area of the film, on the left were letters the Scole Group interpreted as standing for the initial letters of the Hebrew names for God. The words in the middle of the strip of film, Quadrans Muralis, refer to a star constellation originated by an astronomer in 1795 who named it for the wall-mounted quadrant he used to plot and observe stars. A triangle and unknown symbol appeared on the right extreme of the strip of film.

Image on film during seance

 In another image on the same film, the word or name “Cassiel” appeared and an unknown symbol. The reason for its position on the film is not known.

Afterlife Communication through Slate Writing

Slate writing as evidence of the afterlife

The next area of afterlife communication through writing is slate writing. In slate writing, those in the afterlife write on slates without the medium’s physical involvement in the writing. The slates were of the kind used by school children in the nineteenth century when paper was in short supply. The slates could be written upon and erased for new usage. The chalk most often wasn’t like the school chalk used today. It was soapstone or softer pieces of slate cut into strips to form the familiar shape of a writing instrument. A piece of cloth or sponge was used to clean the slate. The cloth was often attached with a string to the bottom of the writing slate.

Binding slates together

 At times, slate writing was done by having two of these slates bound together with a string or other binding. There was sufficient space between the slates because they had wood frames so that a small crumb of chalk could be inserted. At other times, the slate was placed flat on a table with the crumb of chalk under it or held against the underside of the table with a piece of chalk against the table. Guests observing would often bring their own slates and observe closely as the slates were bound together with no writing on them. The activity could occur in light or darkness. Often scratching could be heard coming from the slates. When opened, there were messages to the sitters.

Slate Writing Afterlife Communication with Fred Evans

Fred Evans medium
Fred Evans

The first example of afterlife communication through slate writing is the slate-medium in the presence of Fred Evans from San Francisco. The editor of the Golden Gate newspaper, David L. Hollub, and his wife had a session with Evans on May 18, 1887.  Evans’ pschographic guide was a man in spirit named John Gray. The three sat at a table in full daylight. John Gray signaled his presence by raps on the table.  Hollub asked Gray whether he could bring together a number of spirits of different earthly nationalities who would write short messages on the slate. Gray communicated that he agreed.

Hollub inspected the slate and was satisfied that there was no writing or other marking on it. From that moment the slate never left Hollub’s hands. A small crumb of slate pencil was placed on the table. The two sitters placed the slate over it and rested their hands on it. The medium, sitting on the opposite side of the table, touched the outer edge of the slate frame for a few moments and then removed his hands entirely. In about 5 minutes a loud rap signaled that the writing was finished.  They raised the slate and found the underside covered in writing. The languages on the slate were German, Italian, French, Greek, Spanish, Norwegian, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew, Egyptian, and Old Asiatic. John Gray had given Hollub what he asked for. An image of the slate follows.

Fred Evans slate writing from life after death
Fred Evans’ Slate Produced for David Hollub

Slate Writing Afterlife Communication with P.L.O.A. Keeler

P.L.O.A. Keeler's mediumship
P.L.O.A. Keeler

 Another slate medium was named P.L.O.A. Keeler at Lily Dale, New York, a Hamlet whose residents are largely connected to Spiritualism. Three officers of the Lily Dale assembly, the oversight body for medium activities at Lily Dale, conducted an investigation of Keeler’s mediumship.   During the afternoon of Thursday, July 23, 1908, Mrs. Humphrey, president, HW Richardson, vice president, and George Warne, treasurer, selected two slates from the center of a newly open bundle of slates bought at the general store, and placed a special stamp that could not be duplicated on the frames and writing surfaces of the inner side of the slates. The two slates were placed on the table with a small crumb of slate chalk beneath each. Each sitter wrote their name on a separate slip of paper, folded it tightly, and placed it on the table beside the slates. No names of friends in spirit were at any time written by the sitters.

The slips, slates, and Mr. Keeler’s hands were never out of sight of the three officers’ eyes. At the close of the 1 ¼ hours sitting, the slates were turned over. On the two slates were one message from a brother of Mr. Richardson, four messages for Mrs. Humphrey and her immediate family, two messages for Dr. Warren, and one for an unidentified personality. One was written in yellow, but the others were from the common slate pencil crumb that was placed between the slates at the beginning of the seance.

When the folded papers with participants’ names on them were opened, words written in green appeared on the paper bearing Dr. Warren’s signature. The message read: “It is difficult to get anything on slates not magnetized.”

 The investigators concluded, “The messages were not written in advance—a substitution of slates was impossible—Mr. Keeler could not have written them during the sitting, for he could not have gained access to the inside surfaces where they were found without immediate detection.”

Another group of six board members conducted an investigation the following day taking similar precautions and  received 11 messages in Greek, German, French, Swedish, and Japanese or Chinese. Linguists consulted afterward said the Greek, French, and Swedish messages were grammatically correct. The report was signed by all six members of the board who took part in the investigation.

Henry Slade's mediumship as proof of the afterlife
Henry Slade
Dr. William Barrett
Dr. William Barrett

In another example of afterlife communication with slate writing, Dr. William Barrett, a physicist and co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research, tested the direct writing done by medium  Henry Slade. Dr. Barrett provided a clean slate. He put a crumb of slate pencil on the table, placed the slate over the crumb of pencil, held it firmly down with his elbow, and allowed only the tips of Slade’s fingers to touch the slates. He observed the following:

While closely watching both of Slade’s hands which did not move perceptibly, I was much astonished to hear scratching going on apparently on the under side of the table, and when the slate was lifted up I found the side facing the table covered with writing. A similar result was obtained on other days.

Afterlife Communication through Independent Typewriter Writing

The next area of afterlife communication through writing is independent typewriter typing. In independent typewriter typing, the medium sits with a group of sitters around a typewriter. The entities in spirit manipulating the typewriter cause the keys to strike, typing out messages.

Lizzie Bangs medium
Lizzie Bangs
Typewriter c. 1893
Typewriter of the Period

A group of researchers including a “Professor Ames” asked Medium Lizzie Bangs, one of the famous Bangs sisters, to demonstrate her automatic keyboard actions during the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1895 for them to observe the phenomenon. Four sitters and Lizzie Bangs sat in the dark around a table with a typewriter on it.  The early typewriters required considerable effort to type, so unseen hands typing on them would have been quite a feat.

All joined hands, including Lizzie Bangs who was behind the typwriter. As the machine began typing on its own, Professor Ames who was facing the typewriter keys bent his head down over the machine till his face almost touched the keys and the keys continued to type. Ames reported that there was no room for a hand, spirit or human, to intervene between his face and the keys. When the first message was finished, the sheet was taken out by those in spirit, put into a box beneath the machine, and a fresh sheet of paper was adjusted into the machine. Five messages were thus written and put into the box. When the seance was finished, the sitters found in the box a message addressed to each sitter. Professor Ames stated that the typing was more rapid than could be done by any of his secretaries.

Another report of Lizzie Bang’s independent typewriting was published in the June 17, 1893, edition of the Light of Truth by journalist George Lieberknecht. This is Lieberknecht’s account:

The circle consisted of six men and one lady besides the medium. We were seated closely around a small table with hands joined. A typewriter was place on the small table in the center. Before the lights were put out the door was locked. The medium sat in the circle just like the rest of us but facing the back not the front of the typewriter.

Positions in automatic typewriter session

I feel confident in saying the medium does not touch the typewriter at all. It is used independent of or without contact from the medium’s hands or fingers. There is no holding or hesitating in the action of the machine. On the contrary you hear that it is operated with an astonishing degree of swiftness and dexterity. When one letter or message is finished, the sheet is removed, folded up, addressed on the machine, and the next one is printed, until each one of the sitters has one.

The one addressed to the writer of this article from his son contains 186 words. In mechanical execution this independent typewriter, of which I examined several specimens at the close of the seance, is done in a neat, clear businesslike manner, and although punctillius critics could point out some errors in punctuation, the performance is as good as the letters one receives from first class business houses.

Conclusion: Afterlife Communication through Writing

These examples of afterlife communication through writing are proof of life after death. The writing was done without the mediums’ control and the messages were meaningful to the people assembled.