Thursday, 9 July 2009

Mediums - Doris Stokes

Doris May Fisher Stokes was born Doris Sutton on 6 January 1920. A British spiritualist, her memoirs, public performances, and television appearances helped to raise the profile of spiritualism and promoted a resurgence of interest in psychic phenomena in the 1980s.

She was a controversial figure, with some believing her to possess psychic abilities, while sceptics stated that her performances amounted to nothing more than cold reading, a technique used to create the illusion of clairvoyance.

Stokes was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, Britain. In her memoirs she claimed that she started seeing spirits and hearing disembodied voices in childhood, and developed these abilities further once she joined a local spiritualist church. She was recognised as a practising clairaudient medium by the Spiritualists' National Union in 1949.

During a crisis of confidence in 1962, she gave up her work as a medium and retrained as a psychiatric nurse, but had to retire five years later following an attack by a patient. She returned to her psychic work, and in 1975 became the resident medium at the Spiritualist Association of Great Britain.

She first came to public attention in 1978 during a visit to Australia, when she appeared on 'The Don Lane Show'. In the wave of interest that followed her appearance, she played to three capacity audiences at the Sydney Opera House. She was also the first medium to appear at the London Palladium, with the tickets selling out in two hours. In 1980, her first, ironically ghost-written, autobiographical volume, 'Voices In My Ear': The Autobiography of a Medium was published, pulling her further into the public eye in the UK. Over two million. copies of her book were sold.

Stokes received much condemnation from the Church of England and other Christian denominations, which objected to spirit communications as an offence to God. She would counter that her work was done for God and in accordance with the Bible's injunction to "test the spirits to see if they [were] good".

She was also accused of using various forms of deception to achieve the effect of communicating with the dead. These included cold reading, eavesdropping, and planting accomplices in the audience. Guardian columnist Simon Hoggart claims that Stoke's husband, John Stokes, would take information from those who called to ask for sittings, offer them free tickets for public performances, then forward their information to his wife to be presented during the show. However, positive testimonials continue to come forward from Eamonn Holmes and Dale Winton.

In her book, 'Voices in my Ear', Stokes claimed that she had solved two murder cases in England. However, Detective Chief Superintendant William Brooks of the lancashire Constabulary stated that Stokes made no contribution whatsoever to the detection of either murder.

Stokes health was poor throughout her life. Her thirteen or so cancer operations included a mastectomy, and in April 1987 removal of a brain tumour, after which she did not regain consciousness. She died in Lewisham on 28 May 1987. At the end of her last memoir, published after her death but completed before her final operation, she reported a disembodied voice telling her "Your life on Earth is over, your life in spirit has begun."

Famous London Pubs - The Worlds End

(Click on image to enlarge)
The World's End is a pub in Camden High Street in Camden Town, London, just south of Camden Town tube station. It is a long established business, formerly known as Mother Red Cap or Mother Damnable's.
The first reference to a tavern in the area occurs in 1690. At that time the locality was entirely rural and the proprietors relied on trade passing by on the road from London to Hampstead and Highgate. The name Halfway House was accordingly also used. It is not clear whether there was one establishment in the first half of the eighteenth century or two, but by 1751 the Mother Red Cap and the Mother Black Cap (now the Black Cap) were both in business. In the late eighteenth century the Mother Red Cap was at its present location, and it had acquired a tea garden. Camden Road was later built across the grounds, and the building was reconstructed. The present building dates fro 1875 and was designed by H. H. Bridgman.
There is a legend that the names Mother Red Cap and Mother Damnable's derive from the story of a Kentish Town woman named Jinney who had several husbands who died in mysterious circumstances, but there is no documentary evidence for this. The pub and the Underworld Club below is also said to be haunted by the ghost of Mother Red Cap, with several staff members, and other members of the public, experiencing strange incidents within both venues over several years.

Witty Bits

Don't drink and park - accidents cause people.
Solution to two of the worlds problems. Feed the homeless to the hungry.
My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and is widely regarded as a bad move.
I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.
Why do they call it PMS? Because Mad Cow Disease had already been taken!

The Best Tatoo I've Ever Seen

(Click image to enlarge)

Thought For Today

I saw the Angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

Kids Grow Up Quickly These Days

To see just how quickly they grow up, click on the link below and watch this amazing video clip:

Watch in full screen mode, Sound on.

Who Am I? - Wednesday's Answer

Yesterdays Who Am I?
Our mystery celebrity
Freddie Star

If you would like to watch some hilarious video clips of Freddie in action just click on the link below: