Leslie Flint (1911-1994) was probably the most famous direct voice medium of modern times. In a career that began before the Second World War and lasted well into the 1970s he gave hundreds of sťances at which communicating entities were allegedly able to speak through him. These included not just ordinary souls but the spirits of many famous and departed people including Sir Winston Churchill, Maurice Chevalier, Mahatma Gandhi, Rudolph Valentino, George Bernard Shaw and Lionel Barrymore to name but a few. During the course of his 42 years as a professional medium Flint was subjected to several tests by organisations as diverse as the Society for Psychical Research and the Sunday Express newspaper - neither could establish how Flint produced the spirit communications although he was controlled by being gagged and bound firmly into a chair. In 1955 two researchers, Betty Greene and George Woods, began making tape recording of Flint's sťances and in a 15 year period they amassed a library amounting to over 500 individual recordings.
At a sťance in 1963, the communicating 'entity' introduced himself as being none other than Harry Price himself. The following is an original transcript of the 42 minute tape recording in which the phony medium debunker and pioneering psychical researcher speaks out apparently from beyond the grave. Topics discussed include the nature of ghosts, the Borley Rectory haunting, the importance of encouraging the orthodox Church to believe in survival after death and the attacks on Sir William Crookes over the mediumship of Florence Cook. Are these indeed the words of the great ghost hunter? - judge for yourself.
I would like to express my thanks to Larry Taylor, the Director of the Leslie Flint Educational Trust for permission to include this material on the website. For more information about the life and mediumship of Leslie Flint visit the website of the Leslie Flint Educational Trust at www.leslieflint.com
"I'm not very sure as to whether you can hear me or not."
"We can hear you very well."
"Very well indeed, thank you."
"Good. Before I commence talking to you about what I feel is a matter of great interest, and I'm sure you'll find what I have to say of some service and of great use, I want you to make quite sure that you hear distinctly because it's rather a problem to know exactly how much one is registering. I do not have to presumably go into a lot of detail about communication and how it works and what those difficulties are that we have to contain with. This point I'm sure you know quite well. I have been thinking very much latterly how interesting it would be for me to come and talk to you about ghosts..."
"Because I'm sure that the work you're trying to do, and I've been doing this successfully. you must have many questions put to you by people, and particularly the question about ghosts; and since I myself when I was on your side studied the subject and as you probably know I wrote quite a bit about it - about my endeavoring to discover the truth and the matter, particularly with regards to Borley - my name by the way is Price, Harry Price."
"I'm very pleased to..."
[Interrupting] "I'd like to say first of all that I'm only too conscious of the fact, now I'm on this side, how very difficult it is - I would almost say impossible it is - to prove anything appertaining to psychic matters in a purely material way or scientific way. I think that we must accept the fact that scientific proof - that is the kind of proof that would appeal and would be accepted, strictly on scientific grounds or scientific basis by scientific minds - that it is practically impossible to prove a hundred per-cent; and you know science is only concerned with hundred per-cent proof, it's not concerned with fifty or seventy-five, it may to some extent accept with reservations the - science is too anxious I think - for a hundred per-cent proof on a scientific basis something which these days I feel cannot be accepted scientifically or proved scientifically.
"But the reason for my coming is that I thought a discussion, a talk, on ghosts would be interesting, and also perhaps answer, as I hope it certainly will - my talk to you - certain problems with regards to them. One often hears of ghosts and entities that haunt a certain place, often for centuries, and sometimes they are, according to the mentality of the ghosts in question, a nuisance. Sometimes they are very much undesirables from the point of view that they disturb and frighten individuals who happen to be living on the premises. But I think first of all we should differentiate because there are varying kinds of ghosts.
"First you have the ghost of an individual who is long since dead; that has no connection with the actual spirit of the person concerned. What I'm trying to say here is that you may have a very powerful thought force which may, by its very powers give the impression that the individual person or personality is there on the occasion of the haunting; and a lot of people, when they have seen what they term to be a ghost, are under the impression that they are seeing the apparition in outward shape and form of the individual who has long since been dead. What actually is happening there is that the individual concerned is not necessarily present. This is an astral projection upon the atmosphere which on certain occasions, usually because the atmosphere is conducive to it, manifests itself in shape or appearance. But this apparition has no power whatsoever, because the mentality of the mind of the individual - the ghost - is not there, is not present. In other words it is a kind of a shell that is formed out of the ether under certain given conditions, quite often at certain times, and it has a limited power. It can only move in certain areas and under certain conditions, and can only be seen quite often by people who are without realising it mediumistic or sensitive to the extent that they can see onto that vibration which is all around here, which is very much used, often by spiritualist mediums, to link up and to tune in with spirits from other spheres. By this, what I am trying to convey to you is that a ghost is an entirely different thing to a spirit. You might say a ghost, he has no real substance and no real power, is a very strong thought vibration which has impregnated itself upon the atmosphere in a certain given place, invariably because of the time of the death of the individual, [indistinguishable] was very strong and powerful that they left behind a memory condition which can be to some extent tangible, although the individual concerned [difficult to distinguish] has recently or at some time within the happening of the passing took place, has long left, since left.
"A lot of these hauntings - the poltergeist - has no connection with the individual. It is a condition of the path that is registered, has registered itself strongly upon the atmosphere, thereby being able to recreate in a given form, shape and substance of a kind which has no actual physical power - material power - but merely a [indistinguishable] condition, and cannot under any circumstances do any harm whatsoever to any living person; cannot in any way do anything or say anything or have any power upon any individual that may be conscious of its presence. You find that in very old houses, castles and so on that these apparitions do appear, and not necessarily are they alone - for instance there are places where great battles have been fought, where sudden death has taken place en mass and the thought force has been so powerful, so much registered around and about that spot, that there are definitely occasions when visually those battles can be seen again.
"In fact once people in your world can realise that the astral or the astric world which intermingles with yours is in a sense a mirror. It registers and is able to show all manner of incidences appertaining to man, like particularly the point of death. The Earth world is surrounded, completely and absolutely, by this astric condition of life or substance such that it is which contains reflections of past events. In fact one might say that everything that has happened of any consequence, individually and collectively to Man is still in the atmosphere. Even the most ordinary of people, the go to a house with the intent to buy that house and to live in that house in the future; and not necessarily being psychic as is generally understood in the term 'mediumship', and on opening the door will sense and feel an atmosphere. Sometimes it is so strong that no matter how pleasant the house may seem and be in many respects they will not buy it, neither would you have it as a gift, because in that house is a power of a kind which is so strong, so powerful, that no individuals would feel happy. The walls are impregnated with the thought forces of individuals or an individual who has lived in that place. Know it is perfectly true that we ourselves create our own atmosphere.
"We are all individuals, some much more powerful than others; and in regard to our possessions when on earth - our houses, our places of worship and so on, you find varying conditions, usually of course, fortunately, they are quite pleasant and livable. But there are these places where deeds have taken place, things have happened to individuals which have so impregnated the walls and the very atmosphere that it has been left behind, even though the spirit has gone on in the spheres, it has been left behind and registered to a certain extent that no one feels disposed to live in those vibrations and conditions.
"Unfortunately we on this side - and I endeavored to find out something of this truth on yours without much success - know so little about vibrations. Vibrations have always been quoted in regard to sound, and indeed I think science today in your world is discovering much more about vibrations, what it can achieve, what it can do, what it is. Even so there is a limit I feel to what science may discover in regard to psychic forces, because psychic forces are in themselves unscientific from the material point of view. They are so powerful too, that they cannot necessarily be harnessed in a material sense. A house that retains powerful vibrations of thought forces is not easily altered or changed. Quite often it is the common thing when a house is reputed to be haunted to call in perhaps a local Jesuit or canon or a dean or someone to exorcise. But there is no such thing as being able to exorcise a power which manifests itself in astric conditions, unless the individual spirit is present. What can of course transpire is the only way it seems to me that a change can be brought about is not by exorcism but by the power of the individuals concerned who may live in that building to concentrate their thoughts in such a way that those thoughts will counteract the vibration in and around the building, that they may release as it were those memory forces, those forces which in themselves as I say have no substance but are purely mental conditions left behind by the entity who has gone ahead. In other words, by the power of thought you can change the vibrations of that building and clear it of its force which may not necessarily be evil. In fact so much is said in regard to evil influences or evil spirits where, quite frankly, it is very rare indeed that you have a place that is evil, if you accept evil in the sense that it is generally accepted.
"Individual forces of individual minds create certain conditions which are not always easy to change, easy to alter, but it can be done when you understand more about this subject of haunting. The ethric, the substance - it is a substance - in which is registered all manner of things appertaining to the past cannot in itself necessarily be changed, but it can be so affected by thought forces from your side, from your world, the right thought forces for good to counteract and disperse something which in itself is unpleasant and I would go so far as to say unnecessary.
"There is a vast difference between these thought forces which often appear in ethric form as replicas of individuals, but never the less, there's a vast difference between these so called apparitions which have no real power than, for instance to a haunting which is due to an individual spirit; and where you have an individual spirit haunting a place or staying around a place or appearing at certain times at a place, that - because it has no substance behind it - the thought force and power of that thought on the individual, there you come up against an entirely different sort of ghost. There it is possible to communicate with that spirit by mind and ask it to leave and to help that spirit because they are in need of help, they're earthbound and you can help them.
"At Borley it is a well known fact, the rectory that was and in the church itself, a manifestation which was very real, were not of one person but of two. One was of a nun who for many years had clung to the place. She had been very ill-treated and had been seduced and her child had been destroyed in infancy, and to keep her quiet she had been murdered; and also of a monk who was responsible. This happened many centuries ago and you would have thought that her soul would have over many centuries long since departed. But you know this nun appeared at intervals and she was anxious - one would have thought after so long a time that it would be rather pointless - but nevertheless she was anxious for the skeleton, the body, to be discovered and also for the child. The monk himself committed suicide at a later date and was hushed up. This is going back many centuries - somewhere round about four hundred years. But there again there was no evil; there was nothing there which could be considered unpleasant. It was simply that from time to time she was drawn back to Earth by thought forces and memories of past events and of the desire for justice to be done, and also the strange idea too for the body to have been buried in hallowed ground which was then considered to have been very important. She herself was not buried in hallowed ground, it held her in some senses closer to Earth. She wanted to see, this was important, she wanted to see justice had been done; but this is only one isolated case.
"There are thousands of authenticated cases of individuals who have seen manifestations, sometimes of the individual concerned who's troubled in their mind and wants some matter put right that was undone or someone brought to justice or some deed that had been done against them such as murder. Most of these cases of which I am now speaking which are well authenticated were definitely individuals who were perturbed in their minds and could not find peace or rest and definitely haunted certain places with a hope, either of bringing justice into being with regards to themselves, or to perhaps show where money had been hidden which preyed on their mind after death, or some reason such as that. There is a marked difference between these individual hauntings by individual spirits than there is to these other apparitions which have no substance as such, which are merely ethric manifestations in the ether of thought forces long since, as far as the individual person is concerned, long since departed; and you find particularly in places like the Tower of London there are these ethric forces hovering around the building, and it has been so well authenticated that the individual soldiers on duty who have seen apparitions without any shadow of a doubt that they are not necessarily individuals, they are thought force creations in the ether which at certain given times and under certain given conditions can be seen, can be even spoken to. It is very rare of course that a ghost speaks. They have not the power of speech, but where you have an individual, that is an entity who returns to Earth, they are sometimes able to register sound waves or to vibrate sound waves and make themselves heard. They are audible.
"Then of course you do have poltergeists which are invariably individuals who are Earthbound who do, by the power of which they may have under the conditions which they exist in the particular place, able to use various things to attract attention. But usually you will find there is someone in that household -quite often a young person - who through the vitality and powers and psychic force makes it possible for them to become more material inasmuch that they can either if not be seen, they can use the power drawn from the individual in the household to move furniture or to throw things about. This is a deliberate attempt at communication; invariably not spiteful, very rarely spiteful, usually done in exasperation to attract attention to themselves, invariably because they wish something in that house to be discovered. It may be money that is hidden or it could be perhaps even a body that has been buried, perhaps under the floorboards. In fact there are many reasons and very good reasons why some spirits do return and haunt places, because they want something put right that is disturbing them. They cannot as it were rest or settle in their new environment, they are concerned with material things because those material things, they are very much on their mind. They realise that there is something they want to put right and until it is put right they do not feel they can leave the Earth world - they cannot leave without this matter being settled. Often a person will die leaving money hidden perhaps in floorboards or something and it worries them. They feel that they should have left a will or indicated where this particular money was hidden. All manners of things cause people to be Earthbound and this is not necessarily a long lasting thing. Usually a person is not Earthbound for a very long time because after a time they are not able to get in touch, eventually they begin to realise the futility of trying to something in a material sense which often they realise is impossible, to attract the attention sufficiently to make it possible what what it is they wish to convey to be understood and they leave. But you do get the persistent types who will cling and will hold on and they will in consequence do everything in their power, particularly if they feel within themselves that it is absolutely essential that it should be attended to or done.
"Of course so many different things can be discussed in this subject, for instance the apparitions of horses, of dogs, of cats, even of birds. Now these apparitions are not necessarily real in from the point of view of the soul is present. Invariably these come under the category of etheric manifestations which are thought force on the ether which are at certain times visible. These phantom horse-drawn carriages, they have no real substance. There is a kind of reality inasmuch as they are definitely seen and witnessed by people on your side but they have no real substance; in fact they are ethric reproductions of events that have taken place perhaps hundreds of years ago which are very strong and powerful and continue to register, often for many years.
"But so much nonsense has been discussed and talked about ghosts. So much fun has been poked at them and indeed one might say in certain instances there are a few good reasons for there to be an amusing side, because there are some very amusing ghosts. Ghosts with a good sense of humour and sometimes you do get individuals who have a wonderful sense of humour and they do from this side endeavor to do things which cause perhaps some irritation or annoyance, but there is a sense of fun because we on this side as you know are not necessarily changed immediately by death. We are very much the same people - that is one thing that I have discovered since I've been here. This is a world of reality to us, of course your world is a world of illusions inasmuch that some much that goes on that you accept as factual and real to us is very unreal apart from being factual. This is the world of reality and we have the attributes and we have the defects often that we may have had on Earth. We don't suddenly become angels and we do see the funny side sometimes of the goings on in your world, particularly the individuals we are fond of, and you do find at certain times people come back from this side and they enter into your life, take an interest in what you're doing, and of course they can see more deeply than people on your side can see into the hearts and minds of others; and they do see things which possibly an individual concerned endeavors to hide very carefully from others [indistinguishable] but we see the full person, we don't just see a facade. We don't see what people would like others to see and ignore the rest, we see everything and we have a sense of fun and sometimes individuals from this side who are by no means dead souls do do things to try and cheer people in your world out of themselves, to make them conscious of things which are more important, and also to make them think [difficult to distinguish].
"Most of the things that go on around and about your world, what you term hauntings, there is a reason and a purpose, and sometimes it even strikes us as rather funny when a clergyman starts to try and exorcise because quite frankly no one has the power to exorcise, and in any case I'm quite sure the average clergyman hasn't a clue about this whole subject. In fact quite a number of clergymen have the vaguest notions about communication, about spirits. In fact as you well know the average Church man is very ignorant of the truth of life after death. He has a vague belief which may be to him a reality but he has no substance behind it to prove his statements. We come often to jerk out of themselves these very people who exorcise. Actually sometimes a haunting that may take place is deliberate inasmuch as it may bring in the clergyman and make him try to do something about it, but much more important to make him think more seriously about it - to make him think more seriously about the possibilities of life after death and communication; to try and make him know there is something in the truth of survival.
"A lot of things that go on which sometimes seem a little bewildering are done deliberately by our side. The apparitions that one sees occasionally, as I have already said, may be actually remembrances of things past registered upon the atmosphere - there is no deep substance or reality of individual life. But a lot of the individual hauntings by spirits, apart from those who come because they wish to have something put right; a lot of it is done by souls from this side with the deliberate intention of arousing interest at certain times and at certain places to bring all manner of people to the realisation that there is something outside of your normal so-called existence; and if we can bring the Church into it who preach so much about life after death and make them think more seriously about it and the possibility of communication as well, then we're doing a jolly good job.
"You know we use all manner of methods - all manner of ways - for trying to bring realisation and truth of survival to the world, and hauntings are quite often something which to us is a method and a way of arousing interest. So if we can get the local clergyman or the Canon or whoever he may be into the house or into the place and get a lot of newspaper publicity about it, then we are setting people thinking and wondering and also the parson himself, if its possible to make him realise that he is also being used as the medium, making him think about survival and communication, we're on the right track, infiltrating truth in all directions. So there are many reasons for this."
"Mr. Price. May I ask you something?"
"Erm, is it not right that some of those Earthbound spirits are actually Earthbound through sheer ignorance through the wrongs teachings and know nothing about an afterlife and don't realise that they have passed over?"
"Well, of course there are these cases of individuals who are Earthbound because of ignorance and because they are held so much down by material thoughts within themselves. I mean they are so much materialists in life that they cannot fail to be, although in a sense apart from the Earth materialists do and they cling to those things they know and those conditions that they like and most of the time they live in a kind of illusionary world. They seem to have such pleasure and fun and happiness of a kind out of making other people do the kind of things that they like doing. In other words of course, they sometimes impinge themselves on individuals in your world and use them often for there own ends, and that of course is bad and could in some instances be dangerous.
"You see that I've tried to explain the whole manner and form and conditions appertaining to hauntings, appertaining to apparitions and spirits. We move on very much if we can to give a much clearer picture of this. To us it's a very important thing for people on your side to know about."
"Why is it when there is a spirit around - I mean not an etheric spirit form but a proper one - why is it that the atmosphere goes icy cold?"
"I don't really know why it should necessarily go icy cold."
"I don't know that whether in the process of drawing energy and power from perhaps individuals on your side to make the manifestation possible that, erm, they may be taking some - something from the atmosphere - which gives warmth. I don't know - I really can't say but it's a feasible solution. But the point is that there is always this, I believe, and I have experienced it when on your side, of the coldness and the feeling as if there is something not normal or natural, and this may be due more to a mental thing than a physical - it may be a mental process that has a physical reaction and the coldness is the reaction that you have. It may not be a temperature change it may be an illusionary thing of change in temperature. Although it has been ascertained by means, by scientific - so-called scientific methods - noting that the atmosphere has dropped, that the temperature has dropped.
"But I must, if I may, like to discuss this much further with you at some later date because there is so much in this which would be of help and interest to many; and would also help certain souls on this side who are often in need of help. We have already said there are these Earthbound souls who cling to individuals and use those individuals and often detrimentally. Anyway, I hope I haven't bored you."
"No, not at all, Mr. Price. I'm very pleased you've come on that subject. But there is one thing I'd like to ask you, Mr. Price before you go if I may?"
"What is that?"
"Well, Sir William Crookes - there has been something not very nice written about him [see below]. Could you just enlighten us on this subject? He was a famous scientist, wasn't he? - and a good scientist."
"Well I don't really know much about this but I have heard certain things said and I think the best thing to do - I suppose it is not always easy to do. Things were said about me that weren't very complimentary. It's always been like this and will - if they cannot by one means or other, some means or other, they'll use foul means to blacken the name of the person who has done so much to progress science and truth. I suppose one could say the best thing is to ignore these things because they will be accepted by the kind of mentality who want to accept and discarded by those who are not of the same mentality. It's a problem."
"He was a famous man, wasn't he? He was wonderful."
"Well there is an old Chinese proverb - I think it's Chinese - that the tall trees gather the most winds. I think that's perfectly true. The more high you become, the more famous you are, the more you become an Aunt Sally. I don't think I should worry too much about it. Truth will out, and in regard to any criticisms of a moral nature which I believe were suggested with regard to Crookes, well you want to ignore that, and that he would be party to something which was, well, fraudulent is ridiculous. He staked his reputation on something of that nature."
"A man who has got so much to loose - a good man, would not be party to anything unless it was completely honest and straightforward. He wouldn't be so stupid - any intelligent person would refuse to - [would] disbelieve such gossip. Anyway, I must go. May I take this opportunity of wishing you a happy Christmas."
"Thank you very much indeed."
[Mickey, a spirit child speaks in a high-pitched squeaky voice] A happy Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.
"I hope we do, Mickey."
[Mickey] "Bye, bye. And I hope the spirit of Christmas will be with you."
"Thank you, Mickey, very very much."
Note - This sťance took place shortly after the publication of The Spiritualists, a book by Trevor H. Hall in which the author alleges that in order to cover up an affair with the medium Florence Cook, Sir William Crookes was a willing party to fraudulent sťances at which the materialised form of the spirit Katie King appeared and was photographed. Trevor Hall was also a severe critic of Harry Price himself and was one of the co-authors of the SPR Borley Report which accused Price of fraud and willful deception in his investigation of the Borley Rectory case.
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