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The Incredible Bangs Sisters

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The Incredible Bangs Sisters Empty The Incredible Bangs Sisters

Post  Helen on Sun 19 Jun 2011, 2:29 pm

I read an article detailing a particular demonstration of the work of the Bangs sisters (it is actually Bangs not Bang as I had thought). I'm aware of the spirit artistry and automatic writing produced through the physical mediumship of the Bangs sisters, however what escaped me was the life that their portraitures take on during their development. Whilst acknowledging the speed at which these portraits take shape and also the finished product, what I had missed was what was taking place during it's formation. These portraits take on a life, not because of the spirit artist, it is the actual spirit person within the portrait that is alive. People witness eyes within the canvas opening and closing and the actual portrait of the spirit person appears with their eyes closed until the portrait is finally completed and then they open their eyes. Imagine the emotional euphoria of the parents as they watch a life like image of their deceased daughter appear before their very eyes, initially her eyes are closed and then they open to gaze back at her parents. I will let you read it for yourself.

It is August, the year is 1911. A large audience has filled to capacity the auditorium at the world famous Chesterfield Spiritualist Camp in the State of Indiana, America. They have come to witness a demonstration of psychic power, one of the most unique and marvellous in the entire world.

A select committee has arranged beforehand that upon entering the building, all have been given a numbered ticket, the stub of which is torn off and put into a large vat to be thoroughly mixed up; later on, one stub will be randomly drawn from the collection. Now, after a close examination by the committee to see that there are no markings or paint of any kind, or signs of chemical treatment, a large plain canvas is placed on an easel in the centre of the stage. The spirit mediums who will demonstrate the phenomena now enter the auditorium, they are sisters and appear to be about 35 to 40 years of age. Both take their seats on the rostrum, one situated on each side of the easel and clearly four to five feet from it; they will never touch the canvas throughout the entire demonstration.

A member of the committee now reaches in and selects from the vat one ticket stub and reads the number aloud to the audience; it belongs to a Mrs Alice Alford. Mrs Alford and her husband are now invited to come up and take a seat on the stage; they will be sitting for a portrait but in this particular instance the painting will not be of the Alfords; the artist and the subject of this session are from another dimension; the world of Spirits.

When all is ready, the mediums slowly bow their heads and close their eyes as if in prayer and deep concentration; the silence in the auditorium for five straight minutes is so absolute that the air itself seems to stand still. Suddenly, many in the audience lead forward in their chairs, sitting rigidly, their eyes tense and fixed on the canvas, from which a thin, vapour-like cloud, or shadow it seems, sweeps across it, pulsates, and then flickers out. After a few more tense moments, shades of definite colour begin to appear, as if successive layers of fine dust have been thrown, or precipitated on to the canvas to form a cloudy background and this also seems to pulsate and flicker and then quickly disappear. On and on it goes for several minutes; the other-worldly artist it seems, is making preliminary sketches, and trying out different colour schemes.

Suddenly, all at once, the background slowly and steadily now precipitates into view; clearer and clearer it comes, only this time with it there is an astounding addition; three pairs of eyes have suddenly appeared on different parts of the canvas; two pairs of which are open and the last, situated directly in the centre of the canvas, are closed. The two open pairs immediately disappear and the closed eyes remain only to also instantaneously disappear; the audience gasps in astonishment.

With each successive phase of the unfolding phenomena, the background becomes clearer and clearer and now, a faint outline of a face and bust slowly precipitates itself into view, disappearing and reappearing several times before remaining in focus on the canvas. It is the unmistakable likeness of a young girl, perhaps 14 to 15 years old: many in the audience are now standing, some pointing in wonderment. Gradually, the appearance becomes more clearer and more distinguishable; she is transcendently beautiful and her hair, clearly auburn brown, falls luxuriously to her bare shoulders, revealed by the white dress she is wearing having been pulled down. Around her neck she is wearing a black onyx teardrop necklace, and pink roses surround the top of her dress as embroidery. Her eyes are closed.

With the portrait now having been completely precipitated on to the canvas, to the utter and absolute astonishment of all, the eyes suddenly open, and the audience thunders in applause. To the front of the stage now steps the Alfords, clearly shaken by the experience, and Mr Alford announces to the gathering that the portrait is an exact likeness of their deceased daughter, Audrey. The Alfords, as it turns out, are a prominent family of Marion, Indiana, are not Spiritualists in belief, and this was their first visit to Camp Chesterfield. Mrs Alford wore around her neck, hid from sight, a locket containing a photograph of her daughter almost duplicate in likeness of the spirit picture obtained, but different in poise and position. The mediums had not seen the locket picture or any photo of the child, nor had they ever made the acquaintance of the Alfords. The finished portrait was precipitated on to the canvas in twenty-two minutes. The spirit mediums of this extraordinary event, The Bangs Sisters.

Unfortunately, I have struggled to find information regarding Lizzie and May Bangs childhood. I know their mother was a medium and I think their other 2 siblings also displayed mediumship abilities. I couldn't find any anniversary dates for births or deaths, in fact somewhere in the 1920s Lizzie and May both seem to have slipped under the radar.



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The Incredible Bangs Sisters Empty Re: The Incredible Bangs Sisters

Post  Michelle Nation on Sun 19 Jun 2011, 2:49 pm

Hi Helen,
How amazing is that! Thank you.xx

Michelle Nation

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