Mediums of History: Daniel Dunglas Home By Travis Sanders

By Travis Sanders


Daniel Dunglas Home (pronounced Hume) was a delicate and often sickly young man, born in Scotland in 1833. His father, William, was a drunk, who claimed to be the illegitimate child of a noble, and his mother Elizabeth McNeal, was said to have the gift of Sight.

Allegedly because of his frail health, he was sent to live with his Aunt Mary McNeal at the age of 9, around 5 years after the time his own visions began. His Aunt’s family, along with Daniel, moved to Connecticut, USA, where Daniel began to be visited by Spirits, including the Spirit of his sister who had passed, and a friend who died around the age of 12.

Around his 17th year, Spirit Rappings, and supernaturally moving objects began to manifest in Daniel’s presence, very similarly to the phenomena that took place with the Fox sisters in Hydesville, a couple years prior. Distraught by what was perceived as unnatural or ungodly, Home, was turned away from his his family home, and began staying with many spiritualist, living somewhat of a nomadic lifestyle, eventually ending up in Europe, where he continued to conduct seances for people from all walks of life.


One of the phenomenas that DDH is most famed for are his levitations. The first occurring in 1852, where he floated to the ceiling, and circle members where unable to hold him down. Home  was also know for trance, elongation, and handling hot coals without being burnt. Often times in his seances musical instruments were levitated and played by Spiritual forces.

In 1855 while spending an extended period of time in Florence, Italy, Home was stabbed three times, and nearly killed by a man who accused him of sorcery and believed his “powers” were evil. Not long after, he fled to Paris, and in February of 1856, Spiritualists delivered a message to him from the Spirit world, that he would be without this Spirit power for the period of a year, and true to word, Home was without his remarkable talents for exactly a year, after which he went back to performing Seances, this time for Napoleon the 3rd at royal court.

Napoleon the 3rd was not the only Royal enamored with Home’s mediumship. He also held seances for the King of Naples, the Queen of Holland, The German Emperor, and Russian Royalty.

Home’s most famous seance and feat of levitation occurred in London in 1869. During his seance (which were held in natural light) Home horizontally levitated out of an open window 70 feet up from ground level, into the adjacent window of the next building, the distance between windows being about 8 feet apart. Not only was this observed in clearly lit conditions, but the window itself was only opened about a foot, and yet a stiff and entranced Home glided between buildings and through windows with grace and speed.


In 1871 Daniel married a Russian noble woman, much to the surprise of many, as Home was a handsome but effeminate man, and rumors of homosexually followed him throughout his career.

In 1871 Home wrote the book “Lights and Shadows of Spiritualism”, and in 1886, passed away at the age of 53 from tuberculosis, the same condition that his wife died from. He is buried in St Germain, Paris. His headstone reads: ” To Another, Discerning of Spirits.”


The Spirit Book: Buckland
Spirit Guides & Angel Guardians: Webster
Time Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown: Spirit Summonings


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