I am often asked what were readings like in the “old days” – the beginning. I found this article from the Jamestown Sun March 31-April 9th 1890 in one of my old files. A reporter went to Maggie Turner who lived just on the edge of Cassadaga NY on what is now Dale Drive. I felt this may be of interest and also because it made the front-page news.
Miss Lillian Peterson a young woman from Jamestown, N.Y. went missing the last week of March 1890. A diligent search with drag and explosives failed to reveal the body of the girl in the inlet. Detective Wilber stated that the lapse of time we can hope the girl will be found alive and well. A young lady who worked beside her in the mill stated Miss Peterson’s home life was one of unusual serenity after rumors circulated she had suffered a cruel home life. Theories and rumors having all came to naught; the Jamestown Sun was induced to contact clairvoyants.
Miss Maggie Turner whose reputation for unraveling mysteries, seemingly unfathomable is far reaching among those who have given their attention to occult things, was recommended to The Sun with the introduction: “If she can’t find the missing girl none of them can.” The Sun therefore sent a representative to interview her.
She lives in a comfortable home on a broad and fertile farm about a mile from Lily Dale, the great camping ground of the Spiritualists, and is yet a young lady of pleasing form and face, and possesses a wealth of auburn hair. The Sun’s representative had never seen her, and does not think she has seen him. He did not introduce himself and even to this day is ignorant of his name or where he came from. He simply said he wanted a “sitting,” but gave no intimation whatever as to the nature of his business. Miss Turner stated in an explanatory way that her “control” was a German and she was informed did not handle the English language well, and then she went into a Trance. [her language and style will be followed as closely as possible]
There are big clouds before you—big shadows. Everything seems to be mixed-up. I think you are looking for something and you cannot find anywhere. I don’t know if I can, but I will try. Let me see. I see houses, what you call a town. Yes that is it. I see one house in particular. It is not what you call a busy part—kind of away. There seems an excitement about the house.
What kind of house is it asked the reporter? It is a wooden house—not a big house. Just back of it I see another house not so big or tall—and just a few steps. I see a young lady come out of the back door of the bigger house. There was two ways to get out of the house. The lady was a little taller than what you call medium height. She has light complexion, light hair, blue eyes, straight form—but she is all mixed up in her mind. She doesn’t know what she is about. She put her hands to her head. She sometimes hurt her back. She put her hands to the small of her back.
I see some water and it is running pretty fast. I see a person walking down to the water—now she is gone. I don’t know if is a man or a woman. Maybe I was on the wrong track. Maybe you were not looking for somebody—it was a lady. I see her by the wheels and lots of people around. I see water again. I see the girl walking along down by the plank. Seems she jumped into the water. The water was over her head and she realized for the first time what she was doing and where she was and tried to get out. Then something hit her left shoulder, what you call the collarbone, and her left arm near the wrist so she cannot help herself. She tried to get out but can’t raise her arms.
Where did she get into the water asked the reporter? On the left side of the dam as you go down. There was a big tree where she jumped in. She didn’t jump off from anything. The water runs pretty swift. It turns around to the right and gets wider as you go down; I see some boards—like as though they had been put there to hold the water back. But they don’t. The water runs over. The girl did not go over the place. She did not get so far out in the stream.
She floated down about half way from the place she jumped in the place where the water breaks over. Then she got caught on something and can’t get away. She will not stay there long. I see the water running out of the place. If the water was low she would not be far from the shore. When they find her they will find her left collarbone and her left arm hurt bad. If she had not got hurt she would not have gone down. She would have saved herself. You know the place was full of sticks and everything. She could have gotten out if she did not get hurt. When the water goes down they will find her. She did not want to die, but she didn’t know what she was doing till the water cleared her head. There was no one to blame for what she did– just couldn’t help it. There was nobody there when she jumped in. Nobody pushed her in. She just went in all by herself. She was mixed up in the head.
Here comes a woman who stands beside you. She says “Lucien,” what does she mean by that? “Lucien” what does she mean by that. “Lucien,” what does she mean by that–no that is not right. She shakes her head. I can’t hear her very well. She holds up a big letter “L” and a big letter “P.” Do you know what that means? She had something on her head—black it was. There is something on her that will have to be lifted up before you can get to her. There is a bridge with high sides. She didn’t jump off of it, but she now is below it. There was a mill down here—and that was why all these things were in the water—yes that is right. They were for the mill. But she did not go down by the mill. She is just where I told you and when you find her you will find the hurts where I told you. And if you do not want to ask any more questions I will go now. Miss Turners “guide left and she came to consciousness and was surprised she was under “control” for almost an hour.