Helen Duncan was born Victoria Helen MacFarlane in Callander, Perthshire on the 25th November 1897.
Helen was famous for
her physical phenomena whilst in trance, including her ability to produce materialised spirits in the form of ectoplasm.
She was also famous for being one of the last mediums to be convicted under the The Witchcraft Act, 1735. During one of her Portsmouth demonstrations in 1941
Helen Duncan made contact with a sailor in spirit from HMS Barham, a British battleship which had been sunk days earlier in the Mediterranean.
Since all news of the sinking of HMS Barham has been suppressed by the War Office,
it was information which proved to be sensitive enough for Helen Duncan to become a risk to national security.
Helen continued to work as a materialisation medium until January 1944 when she was arrested and subsequently jailed, five months before the D-Day Landings.
It is widely believed that Helen Duncan was convicted in order to ensure she did not bring to light any further sensitive military information from spirit.
After being released in 1945, Helen Duncan continued to work for spirit although she was arrested in 1956 during a police raid of a séance in Nottingham. Sadly she died
from injuries allegedly sustained from being interrupted in a trance state by the police. Helen Duncan will always be remembered as the lady who directly influenced Parliament's repeal of the Witchcraft Act,
which was replaced by the Fraudulent Mediums Act in 1951.
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