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Indridi Indridason: The Amazing Icelandic Medium

Posted on 28 December 2015, 7:52

D. D. Home is often referred to as the greatest physical medium on record, at least the greatest one since Jesus of Nazareth.  But Home may have to relinquish his top spot to Indridi Indridason of Iceland now that we have a record of his phenomena set forth in English by Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson and Loftur R. Gissurarson in their book, Indridi Indridason: The Icelandic Physical Medium, released recently by White Crow Books.

Born in 1883, the son of a farmer, Indridi (below) was a printer’s apprentice who discovered his mediumistic ability in late 1904 or early 1905, after attending a mediumistic circle at the home of a relative.  When he took his seat, a table reacted violently and when he got home a table there moved violently around the room.  Initially, he was frightened by his ability, but he gradually came to accept it and develop it, his mediumship being at its height in 1909.  He died in 1912, at age 28, after a three-year battle with typhoid fever and tuberculosis.

 indridi

During his four to five years of mediumship, Indridi was studied and observed by many members of the Experimental Society of Reykjavik, later called the Icelandic Society for Psychical Research. The phenomena reported by the Society included materialization of human forms, dematerializations (Indridi’s arm disappearing), levitations of both Indridi and furniture, direct writing (a pencil writing without a visible hand), automatic writing, direct voice (voices independent of the medium and others in the room), trance voice (voices coming through the entranced medium), musical instruments floating in the room and giving off music, apports, and poltergeist-type activity (shelves being torn from the wall, tables overturned, etc.).  Although Indridi spoke only Icelandic and knew only a few words of Danish, “spirit communicators” came through in various other languages, including Danish, Norwegian, French, Dutch, and English.  A deceased French woman often sang at the séances – sometimes using Indridi’s vocal cords and at other times using the independent voice – with just the right enunciation, while those in attendance who understood French spoke with her.  At times, the researchers could hear two voices singing simultaneously – the soprano voice of the French woman and the bass voice of a man. 

The researchers included a number of distinguished Icelandic scientists and scholars.  The detailed minutes left behind by these researchers make it clear that they were very much aware of the need for strictly controlled conditions in studying the phenomena. They strip-searched the medium, had “watchers” holding his hands and legs, had him surrounded by a large net, attached phosphorescent tape to him and various objects, and carried out their study behind locked doors. 

“Oh, see me and me. . .  You are there below with the body,” Indridi was quoted after going into trance early in his mediumship.  “The body is not me.  I am up here.  There are two Indridis.  Oh, is it not strange to see the nerve [cord], which lies between me and me!  The lips of the body move and they say what I say.  The nerve becomes thinner, the further away I am from my body.”

Indridi’s primary spirit control was identified as Konrad Gislason, the brother of his paternal grandfather, who had died in 1891 after a career as a professor of Icelandic and Nordic Studies in Copenhagen.  During an early sitting with Indridi, the researchers reported a sofa “carried around the séance room by invisible powers, while Indridi lay prostrate upon it,” apparently in a trance state. Speaking through Indridi’s lips, Gislason invited the sitters to stand and inspect the sofa, which was at the height of their chests and to confirm that nothing was holding it up, which they did before the sofa slowly moved down to the floor.  On another occasion, it was reported that Indridi floated over their heads while seated in a wicker chair.

On November 24, 1905, a “spirit” introducing himself as “Mr. Jensen,” unknown to anyone present, communicated and stated that a fire was raging in a factory in Copenhagen (more than 1,300 miles from Reykjavik).  It took a month before news of this fire reached Iceland, but the date and time were consistent with the communication from Jensen.

While the researchers observed some phenomena, including tables moving about during daylight and also observed some phenomena under red light, they discovered that light, even red light, resulted in diminished phenomena.  They would often strike a match to momentarily observe what was going on.  It was noted that light caused Indridi much pain while he was in the trance state.

Dr. Gudmundur Hannesson, a professor of medicine and twice president of the University of Iceland, was highly skeptical when he first sat with Indridi in 1908, but he gradually came to the conclusion that there was no magic or trickery involved. He reported that after Indridi fell into a trance, voices came from all over the room, and that they had their own unique characteristics, each one speaking in its own way.  “They reply unreservedly when spoken to; sometimes humorously, sometimes solemnly, just according to the individual inclination of each one,” Hannesson recorded.  “We may happen to converse with a humorist making fun of everything; or a deceased clergyman may raise his voice and say a pathetic prayer.  It is, however, quite common that the voices of those appearing for the first time are hardly intelligible but gradually become plainer as time goes on.”

While certain that fraud was not involved, Hannesson said he could not bring himself to believe in what he had witnessed. “It is not easy for unbelieving people to accept the theory that inanimate things move about without any natural causes,” he wrote.  He added that he didn’t see much point in discussing what the “spirits” had to say about their living conditions, since proof could not be offered, but he did say that the communicating spirits retained their personality and their happiness was according to their desserts, differing a great deal in each individual case.  While he felt that most of what they described would be acceptable to Christian people, there was also much that clashed with church teachings. 

Apparently, Indridi was not immune to low-level and mischievous spirits. On one occasion, as he was sleeping in an experimental house, he was dragged head first along the floor as two other men attempted to restrain the invisible force pulling him by holding on to his legs. The following night two chairs and a large book were thrown across the room by an entity identified as Jon Einarsson.  The next morning, as Indridi was dressing, he was flung down on his bed and a bowl thrown at him.  As reported by Brynjolfur Thorlaksson, Indridi was putting on his trousers when he screamed for help. “I ran into the bedroom to him,” Thorlaksson wrote.  “But then I saw a sight that I shall never forget.  Indridi was floating horizontal in the air, at about the height of my chest, and swaying there to and fro, with his feet pointing towards the window, and it seems to me that the invisible power that was holding him in the air was trying to swing him out of the window.”  Thorlaksson then grabbed Indridi’s legs and found himself being lifted with Indridi, until a third person ran in the room and helped hold them both down.  Soon thereafter, Indridi’s spirit controls found a way to control Jon, an angry spirit who had committed suicide.
 
In spite of the reports by the various researchers, scientists who had not been part of the research group, the press, and religious leaders scoffed, certain there had to be some trickery involved, even though they could not understand it, or it was the work of the devil.  More than a hundred years later, nothing has changed.  The scoffs and guffaws are much the same.  Although physical mediumship does not seem to be as prominent as it was 100 to 150 years ago – probably because of all the distractions and “noise” we now have in our lives – there are still some physical mediums producing somewhat similar phenomena, although perhaps not as dynamic as those given off by Home and Indridason. 

For the open-minded person, this story of Indridi Indridason should add to the reports by other credible researchers involving other physical mediums and perhaps convince him or her that there really is something to such mediumship, as mind-boggling as it might be.

Indridi Indridason: The Icelandic Physical Medium by Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson and Loftur R. Gissurarson is published by White Crow Books.


Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die is published by White Crow Books. His latest book, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife is now available on Amazon and other online book stores.
His latest book Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I is published by White Crow Books.

Next blog post:  January 11


Comments

Richard,
I think everything in our inner life is subjective. I can’t prove I know anymore than the ant outside my door knows that a nuclear bomb has recently exploded in North Korea (of course, the ant might know about it, I just don’t know).  However, as humans, we seem to be naturally curious, and I am inclined to pay attention to mine and others experiences, and follow the evidence to see where it leads.

Many people reading this kind of book are trying to understand why we are here, did we exist we before we arrived here and will we exist after we leave? Some choose to the get their information from the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, etc., others prefer, newspapers, TV, peer reviewed scientific journals, or the guy/girl in the pub!

Science often does a good job of disproving so-called facts held true by past generations and that has to be a good thing, but religious dogma also has to be challenged, and often adherents to a particular religion are not prepared to do that. Likewise, atheists don’t believe that any religion can be associated with the truth and dismiss all of it out of hand. I was one of those atheists for the first 44 years of my life until I experienced things that challenged my materialistic worldview. I then had a choice to stick to my atheist beliefs and live in denial or investigate my experiences further and abandon my atheist belief, which in the case of the latter, I did.

My experience of psychic phenomena (my own small glimpse) and sitting with mental mediums has been hugely beneficial, and if the messages came from the Akasha or some elementals (whatever we mean by elementals) I would like to thank it/them. In my case, far from deceiving me, the information has been a great help to me and others around me.

Edgar Cayce is a good example of spirit influence. Thousands of people benefited from his messages and still do benefit from the health remedies that were transmitted via him. He claimed he was being helped on the “other side” by spirit doctors/guides. He also claimed he was able to tap into the Akashic records and his readings suggested that in time we can outgrow our guides. Of course, he couldn’t prove he was being helped by spirit doctors any more if it were claimed he was being helped by elementals or grey aliens, but he was being helped!

Apparently, Edgar read the Bible every day and I imagine after reading Deuteronomy 18: 9-13 he felt very uncomfortable with his newfound gift but fortunately he overcame his fear and began to use that gift to help others.

Should I believe a communicator is who they say they are when they give me good information? To be honest, when it has happened I haven’t been so concerned who was giving me the information: If the information is useful and can help someone or myself then I’m very thankful for it.

Should someone reading Deuteronomy 18: 9-13 take Moses’ word for it? There are scholars/archeologists around who state there is no evidence Moses ever existed. I can’t comment on that because I’ve never looked into it. I guess that’s up to the particular enquirer.

I do subscribe to the adage, “truth is the highest religion.”

Jon, Fri 8 Jan, 11:34

Dear Jon while much of what we are told through ouija boards, channeling, mediums, clairvoyants etc. may be beneficial, veridical and suggestive of an afterlife and moreover purported to come through the channels you suggest. The questions still remain without definitive answers as to where the information is retrieved from and who or what is doing the retrieving. The only things I would suggest by way of counter argument to all of the above is that elementals, whilst not immortal, have, in all likelihood, been around a lot longer than we have and have acquired a vast knowledge along the way. Furthermore, if we are to follow the teachings of Edgar Cayce, a great wealth of information is available through the Akashic Records which mediums and or elementals could be tapping into.
Whilst I would, personally, be more inclined to draw on spirit communication and information pertaining to an afterlife as being more elemental in origin I do not feel that this view denigrates the veracity of the information in any way. Moreover, when all is said and done, we still, just don’t know!
In reference o Joe Fisher’s book, the main message that came through to me was that none of the communicating entities turned out to be who they said they were, i.e. they lied. Whether you take this perhaps as being in response to unpaid karmic debts, which may have been perpetuated by revealing their true identity, or you believe it to be because they were just malicious elementals is once again entirely subjective.

Richard, Thu 7 Jan, 23:58

I don’t know much about Alistair Crowley, but I have had a lot of useful, evidential information over the years purporting to be from dead relatives, none of which was available to the person giving it to me by “normal” means. In many cases I wasn’t aware of the facts given until I went looking and found them to be true.

For instance, recently I was chatting to a woman in another country on Skype. She has some psychic ability and she told me my deceased father’s father (my grandfather) was with her and that he was interested in what I was doing. This was interesting for me because since I was 2 years old I have grown up with my stepfather and step grandparents and I never met (well, not since I was christened when I was 1 year old) or knew the names of my biological grandparents. I told her I had no knowledge of them adding, “I don’t even know their names.”

We carried on the conversation and a few minutes later she gave me two names but she didn’t know who they were supposed to be. The names meant nothing to me. After a while we ended the conversation and I thought nothing of it. Later, I was thinking about what I had said, “I don’t even know their names,” and this prompted me to get in touch with a relative from that side of the family who I have met in recent years and I asked him the names of my grandparents. He came back to me with the same two names the woman had given me.

Of course I cannot prove the person communicating was my grandfather, but having had many of these personal experiences I know the information wasn’t coming from the medium alone and I know that she hadn’t gleaned the information from materialist sources. Given the amount of information I have amassed similar to this, i’m inclined to accept I’ve been communicating with the people who thus far have claimed to be friends, family, and a business associate. The account above isn’t the best evidence I’ve had but it is the most recent and as is often the case, it’s very compelling (for me, anyway).

If we do indeed retain some or all of our memories and personality after the body dies, it would be logical to assume there are the same mix of personalities “there” as we have here particularly in the early stages. It appears that in order to communicate with us, entities have to be at a low vibration (close to ours), which would suggest they haven’t progressed far since physical death, or have learned more about their true selves and want to stay in a low vibration state in order to relay it to us. Then there are the higher beings who purport send information from their state of higher vibration, sending information via deceased entities and in turn people of a more psychic disposition in our physical dimension.  We cannot prove any of this (or much else in life) but the evidence is that this is the case.

There is also much evidence that communicators from the other side can be devious as they can be here, but most of us don’t lock ourselves away assuming that every person we come across is a deceiver. Read The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts by Joe Fisher if you want to see how mediumship and communicators can be deceptive and dangerous, and Conjuring up Philip by Iris M. Owen for a fascinating account of how to create an afterlife fictional character, or alternatively read the thousands of positive accounts of afterlife communication published over the years, too numerous to mention here.

As for the Bible, how anyone can take the Bible as a whole literally I don’t understand. First of all there are different Bibles, primarily Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox, so, which one is the arbiter of truth, if any?

It seems to me you can be a peacemaker and follow Jesus’ teachings or you can be a murderer or warmonger and find justification in the Old Testament. Personally, I prefer Jesus. 

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15-16

We judge most people by their fruits - I think it’s good advice.

Jon, Wed 6 Jan, 12:19

I think mr. Aleister Crowley would be very much in agreement with Sheryl….. strange how a preacher and Mr.Crowley coming from very opposite sides of the spectrum hold the same beliefs…. make of that what you will. I think to qualify the statement you would have to state that the “husk” is indeed reanimated by the demon…. why do you think, innevitably the so called voices of the dead always end up slipping up (lying) or give us facts that are blatantly untrue? If you read Geraldine Cummins works you will find out all you need to know about the “husk”. I too would like to think that I could talk to long lost relatives but realisticly I think this is probably not possible.

Richard, Tue 5 Jan, 13:52

“The older of the two went from affable to apprehensive in an instant.  He told me that there were certain parts of his bible that should be ignored.  He had only minutes before assured me that the Bible was ‘the Word of God” so I asked him by whose authority was it possible to ignore ‘the Word of God’ and where could I obtain a copy the parts that can be ignored?”

Sorry - there was a phrase missing t the end of the last sentence.

Leslie Harris, Sat 2 Jan, 02:16

Wow. Indridi Indridason is truly one of the all time great physical mediums.

I wonder if there others of his caliber out there today in some far away place and speaking a language that most of us don’t understand.

Erich Avedisian, Fri 1 Jan, 17:38

Amos,

You don’t nominate the particular deity to which you subscribe but thank you for the kind thoughts.

L

Leslie Harris, Thu 31 Dec, 01:21

Michael,

Well put!  This reminds me of two proselytisers who came to my door several years ago.  I put to them the question of the biblical rules for selling my daughter into slavery and caught them flat-footed. 

The older of the two went from affable to apprehensive in an instant.  He told me that there were certain parts of his bible that should be ignored.  He had only minutes before assured me that the Bible was ‘the Word of God” so I asked him by whose authority was it possible to ignore ‘the Word of God’ and where could I obtain a copy?

They fled!

Leslie Harris, Thu 31 Dec, 01:17

God bless us, every one! (Especially you, Leslie.)  Have a happy and healthy new year to all. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 30 Dec, 14:43

Sheryl,

Since some of the requirements of the Old Testament have been raised, I will add another.

I am considering selling my daughter into slavery and I have forgotten the Biblical requirements; perhaps you could remind me.

Leslie Harris, Wed 30 Dec, 11:24

Sheryl,

If the Bible is to be interpreted literally, then why do Christian leaders ignore all of those Old Testament teachings, such as putting to death both persons in an adulterous relationship (Deut. 22:22), stoning to death stubborn and rebellious children (Deut. 21:18-21), accepting polygamy (Deut. 21:15), sanctioning slavery (Lev. 25:44), not eating shellfish (Lev. 11:10), or not having one’s hair trimmed (Lev. 19:27)? 

If the dead know nothing and we shouldn’t be talking with them, as we are told in Deuteronomy,why should we or how can we “test the spirits, as to whether they are of God,” as we are instructed in 1 John 4:1?  Why should anyone bother to “discern” what the spirits have to say, as we are counseled in 1 Corinthians 12:10, if they know nothing and we shouldn’t even be communicating with them?

How are we to interpret 1 Thessalonians 5:21, which says to “test them all and hold on to what is good”?  Or 1 Peter 1:5, which tells us that we should add “knowledge” to our faith?

There are so many conflicting passages in the Bible. I’ll bet your pastor doesn’t know that the “dead” in Deuteronomy, in the original Hebrew, referred to the “spiritually dead,” meaning earthbound spirits or low-level spirits.  If we understand this, it makes sense to “test” the spirits whether they are of God, and to “discern” the messages.

But if a literal interpretation gives you peace of mind, stick with it.  Thanks for writing.

Michael Tymn, Wed 30 Dec, 04:45

Sheryl,
I’d be interested in knowing what evidence you have that “Ghosts are demons impersonating the dead. It would be very helpful to me to know since I believe that Patience Worth was probably the farthest thing from a demon that there is and while I would not describe her as a ghost, I think she would meet your definition of one. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 30 Dec, 00:18

Sheryl,

One of the core purposes of sites like this one is to accumulate and evaluate the vast amount of information about the survival of the human consciousness after physical death.  This process is entirely based on evidence – verifiable evidence – and not on hearsay, wishful thinking, religious tracts or dogma. 

Imprecations to adhere to or avoid this, that and the other are part of all religious tomes, including the Christian Bible.  They are always laid down as dogma and are never accompanied by reasoned substantiation.  (They are frequently accompanied by threats aplenty but never reason!)

You would do well to start reading the wealth of books already written on the matter of the perpetual nature of the human consciousness and the communications between the next realm and our current but temporary residence here o0n this planet.  You will no doubt notice that many authors are people of the highest standing and include Nobel Prize winners, people knighted for their contributions to science, professors of various disciplines, many PhD holders, scientists, engineers, medical practitioners and people highly placed in respected professions.

What you will not find is anonymous authors and claims that cannot be substantiated in any way.  You will not find anyone saying that their opinions are the only valid ones and that all other opinions are rubbish, dangerous, heretical and a path to some nasty place when you die.

You might be surprised to find that there is no evidence of religion – ANY religion – in the next realm; no gold candlesticks, no parasitic clergy and no ruling by fear.  You might be heartened to find that there appears to be escalating levels of enlightenment.

There is a considerable amount to be learned but you must be mindful of accepting nothing until you have a satisfactory level of cross-substantiation, of which there is ample.  You will soon find that this is a matter of evidence, not belief!  You might simultaneously realize that all religions are matters of belief, not evidence.

A good place to start would be the White Crow book list.

Leslie Harris, Tue 29 Dec, 21:20

Dear Mr. Tymn, I was interesting in reading your book about the afterlife until I saw the word “medium.”  Let me explain.  I had a Ouija board in the house that I destroyed years ago after a preacher pointed out the following passage to me in Deuteronomy 18: 9-13. “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.  Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who priactices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who connsults the dead.  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.  You must be blameless before the LORD your God” (NIV).  I was clueless about the occult until I read those verses.  Ghosts are demons impersonating the dead.

Sheryl Stinchcum, Tue 29 Dec, 08:10

indridi indridason appears to be a very interested
personage, unfortunately since it happened 100yrs ago little is known about the man.Were it 30-50yrs ago,and media coverage as it is today,it would be more acceptable to the general public.
To me,however,I need stories that that are current and I can personally verify.

david, Tue 29 Dec, 01:26

“While certain that fraud was not involved, Hannesson said he could not bring himself to believe in what he had witnessed. “It is not easy for unbelieving people to accept the theory that inanimate things move about without any natural causes,” he wrote.  He added that he didn’t see much point in discussing what the “spirits” had to say about their living conditions, since proof could not be offered. . . “

Sad stuff when people of unquestionable intelligence find themselves in this position and ultimately come down on the side of not believing what they saw.  Perhaps it was just caution on his part; it might have been that he thought that he was missing something and that there might be a material explanation that was not then evident to him.

Eventually, it is probably a good thing that he took this position because his observations were grounded in scepticism, which in turn would make it difficult to challenge his observations, which would not have been coloured by any measure of wishful thinking.

The reports of malicious activity are useful for us today because they remind us that we should be cautious in accepting without question everything that is communicated to us.  For a brief period several years ago, I was in contact with a small English EVP group; they were in regular contact with a group of (presumably) discarnate entities and there was a LOT of leg-pulling going on at their expense, of which they appeared to be quite oblivious.  They accepted everything at face value, which detracted considerably from the content of the communications.

Leslie Harris, Tue 29 Dec, 00:47


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