Transfiguration Phenomena

By Travis Sanders

The medium takes her seat inside the cloth draped cabinet. A dim red light shines from above. The sitters sing a few upbeat songs as the medium lulls herself into a trance state. Suddenly a whitish haze begins to build in front of the mediums face. Sitters are astounded when the facial features begin to change. The middle aged woman now looks like an asian man, a bearded farmer, a young girl…That is exactly what happened to those who sat for transfiguration medium, Queenie Nixon.

Parapsychologist and psychical researcher, Nandor Fodor, defines Transfiguration, a type of physical mediumship, as ‘The metamorphic power of the medium to assume bodily characteristics of deceased people for their representation.”

Queenie Nixon

            Ectoplasmic Face materializing just above Nixon’s Face during seance


Queenie Nixon 1918-1989 was involved in Spiritualism and seances from a young age, attending with her aunties who would later nurture her gifts. It was as a young girl, Queenie fell drowsy at a circle, and attendees saw other faces superimposing over her own. She would eventually become the queen of transfiguration phenomena of the time and inspire other developing mediums such as Diane Elliott (d.2013) who saw Queenie’s feats and decided she would develop the gift herself.

While sitting for physical mediumship development, Diane trained in mental mediumship and platform demonstration with Mavis Patilla, and was even given validation from Gordon Higginson that her gifts were blossoming, in a “Physical Week” at Stanstead Hall, Arthur Findlay College. In all it took 15 years for Diane’s transfiguration to reach full development. Other notable transfiguration mediums of a more modern era include Jean Skinner, and Sharon Harvey.

While it may seem like Transfiguration is a mediumship trick of the era of seance parlors and Spiritualist meetings, many Spiritualist view the biblical Transfiguration on the Mount, as a demonstration of Christ’s unparalleled mediumship.


Book of Matthew :

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Traditionally, transfiguration uses ectoplasm to form a mask of sorts over the mediums facial features, which might leave some to argue that the transfiguration on the mount, was actually more Materialization phenomena than transfiguration, although as you can see in the above photo of Queen Nixon’s mediumship, that the faces could appear above or to the side of the medium also, being considered a partial materialization. Either way, its a rare form of mediumship few today have been blessed enough to witness.

The last medium I wish to mention is Rev John Lilek.

John Lilek 1957-2014

The internet yields a lot of garbage in regards to self proclaimed physical mediums. A quick search of transfiguration on youtube yields numerous results of A) well-intentioned but delusional people who clearly do not have any true talent for transfiguration, or B) People using trickery with lighting to attempt to fool others.
However in a video of some photographs of Rev Lilek, notable genuine transfiguration can be seen.

Rev John was a teacher and healer through the Universal Spiritualist Association ordained in 1992. He was the student of regarded Transfiguration and Materialization medium, Rev James Tingley. He was the co-pastor of the Temple of Love & Light Spiritualist Church, in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

In her book: Mediumship, Scrying & Transfiguration, Diana Palm describes one of the last seances John gave before his passing, where not only did remarkable transfiguration occur, but so did spirit lights, the dematerialization of a spirit trumpet, trance speaking AND direct voice phenomena occurred, where Chesterfield medium, Mabel Riffle came to speak with the sitters.

Mediumship, Scrying and Transfiguration for beginners: Palm
The Spirit Book: Buckland

2 thoughts on “Transfiguration Phenomena”

  1. I was able to meet Rev. Lilek and participated at several of his demonstrations at the USCL in Cincinnati. His work was very interesting and inspiring to behold. May he always walk in the Light.

  2. Rev. John Lilek was a very good friend and is sadly missed by all of us at the Spiritual Episcopal Church in Owosso, Michigan. Rev. John had spoke here numerous times and had a number of seances at our church, all being very satisfying. At the last seance with John we had approximately 50 – 60 people present and it was just great. Not only did he transfigure, but I personally watched a trumpet standing by his side move about 2 feet across the dais. Michael Hedderich, now deceased, and member of our church who was a professional videographer was doing a video all about John as a transfiguration medium and had planned to publish it for all to see, unfortunately Michael passed before it was completed. Michael had invested over a year in this project and we were very excited about watching this video, unfortunately none of us have the expertise to finish the project and the computers it was stored on we have no idea where they are. Rev. John was a very gifted medium and I pray for GOD’s blessings on his soul for all the wonderful work he had accomplished while he was here.
    Larry Turner

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