Fifty Years a Medium – Chapter 16, 1/7 by Estelle Roberts


Hannen Swaffer, Swaff as he was affectionately called, worked with me on public platforms for many years. His connection with Fleet Street is well known; his interest in all the work that I did with the press was great. During the years, my mediumship has been the subject of several series, some lasting many weeks, in the Daily Sketch, the Sunday Pictorial, as it was then known, and The People, the paper for whom Swaffer himself wrote a weekly article.

As a direct result of all this he paid me a compliment which I have never forgotten; he introduced me as “Estelle, the medium who made Spiritualism respectable.” I know there are many who still decry Spiritualism as fraudulent, fraught with charlatans but, generally speaking, they have never studied the subject in depth. All religions have their false prophets and those who are only too willing to gather personal gain from the sorrow of others. Spiritualism is no exception.

Over the past ten years attitudes have changed, Spiritualism is now freely discussed, and people in all walks of life are willing to express their opinion. Nevertheless, I have a great admiration for those, who having become well known, even famous, are still willing to have their conviction, which is often a very personal matter, expressed in print. Peter Sellers is one such person and in the book ‘Peter Sellers:

the Mask Behind the Mask’, by Peter Evans, he leaves no doubt of his belief in Spiritualism. The author writes: “He (Peter Sellers) discusses the subject with respect that falls short of unction, with authority that is not dogmatic; he speaks with care because it is important, but the care does not become caution, for caution is the defence of the weak, the first barricade of the uncommitted.”

My son, Terry met Peter at the outbreak of war when they both were in Ilfracombe, and they saw each other occasionally through the ensuing years. My life has always been preoccupied with work, my relaxation was gardening, and I doubt if I have seen a dozen films through my entire life. Therefore, when Terry asked me if I would give an appointment to Peter Sellers I must confess that it meant very little to me, because I had never seen him either face to face or on the screen.

It must be about eight years ago that he and Anne, his first wife, came to my home at Esher in Surrey. Red Cloud, as always, was ready with the evidence Peter was seeking. He had brought from the spirit world a young writer, Larry Stevens, who had died suddenly and had been writing some of the early God Shows.
He was immediately recognized by Peter who told Peter Evans: “He sent messages that Estelle Roberts could not possibly have known about. He used words and whole phrases that we only used together, It was . . . convincing.” Other messages and proof of a personal nature were given and Peter Sellers knew that they were true.

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