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Not ‘till death do us part,’ but beyond

Posted on 07 September 2010, 12:48

As Roy Dixon-Smith, a British career military officer serving in the Indian army, came to see it, the marriage vow, “till death do us part,” does not apply to everyone.  After the death of his wife, Betty, he continued to hear from her, communicate with her, and even see her. He told of his continuing romance with Betty in his 1952 book, New Light on Survival.

Suffering from a condition called bacterial endocarditis, Betty passed into spirit in India on August 23, 1944, during her early 30s, after some five years of marriage to Roy. “Exhortations to prayer and faith and assurances of a future reunion in a vague sort of heaven, supported by biblical texts, were of no use whatever to me,” Dixon-Smith (Roy and Betty below) recorded his initial despair, adding that at the very most religion offered him nothing more than a gray tinge to his black despair.

roy & betty dixon smith

After returning to Scotland and depositing their four-year-old daughter, Cherry, with her aunt in Falkirk, Dixon-Smith went to London and began exploring mediumship. Over the next five years, he had numerous evidential sittings in which Betty communicated.  They came through clairvoyance, automatic writing, trance voice and even the direct voice, but as of July 1948 he had not yet experienced the materialization phenomenon he had read so much about.  He therefore sent a letter to Psychic News requesting information on a genuine materialization medium.

The letter resulted in being invited to the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Patterson of Buckie (Scotland) for a July 31 sitting with a medium, who for privacy purposes, he refers to in his book as “Mrs. ‘D’.”  Dixon-Smith took with him a dark red rose and Betty’s wedding ring.  A minute or two after the members of the small circle took their seat and a red light was turned on, a male voice (the medium’s control) addressed the circle and began introducing materialized figures before they emerged from the materialization cabinet. “The first few visitors were for other sitters,” Dixon-Smith wrote.  “They spoke clearly, naturally, and intelligently, and were apparently recognized; each only lasted for about a minute, sinking swiftly to the floor as he or she withdrew within the curtains.”

The male voice then announced that he had a lady present for the “gentleman by the door” and asked him to call her out.  Dixon-Smith responded by asking her to come out. “A tall slim figure thereupon emerged from the left edge of the curtains, stretched out a hand, picked up my rose, crossed the floor to my chair, walking outside the curtains and in full view of the circle, and threw the rose in my lap,” Dixon-Smith continued the account. “I stood up to peer into the face dimly seen in the enveloping ‘cowl’ whereupon Mrs. Patterson exclaimed, ‘Don’t touch her!’”

The materialized figure stepped back toward the curtains and “said in a voice and accent exactly resembling Betty’s, ‘He won’t do that.  He knows better.’”  While the voice seemed like Betty’s and the shape of the head and face appeared to be hers, Dixon-Smith could not make out her features well enough to confirm that it was Betty. He was certain, however, that it was not “Mrs ‘D’ masquerading as Betty as she was a much shorter and stout woman. As the materialization lasted only about a minute, Dixon-Smith deemed it inconclusive.

It was pointed out that the heat of the evening made for less than ideal conditions. The group met again the following night when conditions were cooler. “After a few visitors had come and gone, the guide asked the sitters to sing, ‘I’ll walk beside you,’ [Betty’s favorite song],” Dixon-Smith wrote. “At the close of the song, the same slim figure as before emerged from the left edge of the curtain, groped for the ring (which he had placed on a sideboard), and in doing so, knocked the torch (i.e., flashlight) off the sideboard on to the floor.” Mrs. Patterson picked up the ring and gave it to the materialized figure, after which the materialized figure slipped it on Dixon-Smith’s little finger. “I felt the touch of her fingers as she put it on, and they were warm and seemed as normal in all respects as any physical ones.”

A torch was then permitted by the guide. “I was standing up within a few inches of Betty’s form, and I peered closely into her face which was on a level with my own,” Dixon-Smith continued.  “My critical faculties dominated my emotion as I took in every detail of the features; yet it was not till the following day that the full wonder and joy of this experience came over me.”

Dixon-Smith further explained that the “ectoplasmic wrapping” made it difficult to clearly distinguish the features, but he was now certain that it was Betty. “Speech combined with materialization is very rarely possible, since the ‘power’ is generally used up in the forming of the figure,” he explained what he later came to understand. “That is why materialized people can say so little, and the more they talk the shorter the time their forms can last.”
Soon after the Buckie sittings, Dixon-Smith arranged a sitting with Minnie Harrison (below) at the home of Sydney and Gladys Shipman in Middlesbrough.  “For evidential reasons I revealed no details of my private life before the séance was over, and for the same reason they would have refused to have listened to them, since they were just as anxious as I for genuine evidence,” he explained his approach to such sittings.

minnie harrison

His first sitting with Mrs. Harrison took place on October 9, 1948 with 10 people, including himself and the medium, present.  Tom Harrison, Minnie’s son,, was one of those present and confirms the Dixon-Smith sitting in his 2004 book, Life After Death – Living Proof.

The first phase of the sitting was the “direct voice” in which a trumpet hovered in front of the sitter to be addressed.  Some voices came through loud and clear, while others were difficult to understand.  When the trumpet settled in front of Dixon-Smith, the circle guide gave an “excellent description” of Betty and then allowed her to speak directly. “Betty then attempted to speak to me,” Dixon-Smith recorded.  “After prolonged and seemingly painful effort and a few exclamations to the effect that she couldn’t do it, she managed to say, ‘I am your Betty’.”

At the conclusion of the direct-voice phase, the red light was turned on and the room was well illuminated, so that Dixon-Smith had no difficulty in observing forms and faces. Minnie Harrison,  (below) who had been in the circle and not in trance during the direct-voice phase, then took her place behind the curtain.

harrison ectoplasm

Dixon-Smith observed a half-dozen materializations of friends and relatives of the other sitters.  “I rose from my chair, walked up to them and shook them by the hand, and we made conventional remarks to each other just exactly as everyone does when first meeting a stranger,” he wrote.  “They were swathed in white muslin-like draperies and cowls…They were solid, natural, and except for their apparel, exactly like ordinary living people.  In fact, had everyone been dressed similarly, it would have been quite impossible to distinguish these materialized forms from the rest of the company. Their hands felt perfectly natural and life-like in every respect and their handgrips were very firm.  They smiled, laughed, and chatted to me and the others; all their features, complexions, and expressions being perfectly clear in that ample light…There were mutual cheery good-byes as they departed, sinking apparently through the floor in precisely the same manner as the forms at Buckie.”

Then the guide announced the coming of Betty and asked them to sing, “I’ll walk beside you.”  As they sang, Betty emerged from the curtain and stood silently in full view.  “I rose from my chair and walked up to the figure, taking the extended hand in mine,” Dixon-Smith further recorded the experience.  “I examined the hand, and it was just like Betty’s and quite unlike the medium’s.  I stared into the face, and recognized my wife.  We spoke to each other, though what we said I cannot remember, for I was deeply stirred and so was she and her voice was incoherent with emotion.”

One of the sitters asked if Dixon-Smith could kiss her and Betty responded in the affirmative.  “I then kissed her on her lips which were warm, soft, and natural,” Dixon-Smith went on.  “Thereupon she bent her head and commenced to weep, and in a moment or two she sank. I watched her form right down to the level of the floor at my feet where it dissolved, the last wisp of it being drawn within the cabinet.”

In concluding his book, Dixon-Smith wrote that he realizes that the reader will find it difficult to believe such amazing accounts of life after death as he has related. “Yet why should these accounts be so incredible when all professing Christians must believe in the similar materialization of Jesus to His mother and disciples, as I can now quite easily do?”

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.




Yes reading this fills my heart,I am the grandson of Mrs Paterson that sat with Roy Dixon,and Mrs D,Mrs D was well known for her mediumship,as she could only be described as perfect,as I wasn’t born until 1961,some years after Mrs D’s promotion,I sometimes feel I missed out

Lewis Gordon Paterson, Sat 8 Oct, 21:54

Someone once told me, if you’re smart about money you can be smart about a lot of other things—woutiht ever being too greedy! But the WTS do not teach their followers that kind of strategy. They prefer to teach them that being smart about money and with martial stuff is all Satan’s doing with their silly Watchtower magazines to persuade them into thinking that whatever nice things you see in our world is poison. I know the feeling of being feared and it goes a long way as much as neglect can go!

Dion, Sat 28 Apr, 15:16

And I, too, wish to advance in knowledge and experience.  I have now an imbalance problem which keeps me in most of the time, but several years ago I talked to my deceased son by computer, through an aquaintance who trance channeled him.  It gave her headaches, though, and we stopped.  I would love to speak with him again.

R. D. Ludden, Tue 16 Nov, 03:15

Naresh, I am sorry that I do not know of any groups in India.  However, there are groups in Europe and Australia.  You might want to check out The Felix Group in Germany.  See
or check


P.S.  Robert Simpson, I agree 100%.

Michael Tymn, Tue 21 Sep, 03:53

Having studied this subject for almost 30 years, and receiving extremely evidential material myself from several clairvoyant mediums, it must be said that the entire subject of the afterlife has been presented in too weak a pink tea fashion. The time has come for what I call “radical spiritualism”. We must once and for all refute the idiots that deny the reality of this truth. No more time can be wasted on trying to present the evidence, and as Victor Zammit has tried to show through the experience and expertise of a seasoned trial lawyer, it is evidence, to the world. Just as the radicals of other world religions are trying to wreck the world with their delusions, we must finally wrest control of man’s religious attentions once and for all with the simple truth that life after death is the only true religion. We must use cataclysmic and unrelenting force, but the force of the pen only, to make this knowledge worldwide once and for all. The salvation of all of humanity depends completely on all persons the world over coming to realize once and for all that we all survive death, that good behavior and civility matter more than anything else right here and right now, and that you had better be decent to all other life as far as is possible, or you will live to regret it. Period. That is why all persons who teach in this area must change their tone and start being much much more forceful. We need motivational people like Tony Robbins and others like him, high wattage high energy people to start proclaiming this truth from the rooftops once and for all, or the whole craphouse is going to go up in flames soon.

Robert Simpson, Mon 13 Sep, 02:36

It is really unbelievable
But the mind says is TRUE.
If the eyes could see.

Could anyone inform the materialization
taking place anywhere now,in INDIA or any where in these times.

naresh, Sat 11 Sep, 10:59

You always bring up the best afterlife evidence Michael. If it’s on your site, I know it’s gonna be good!

Cyrus, Fri 10 Sep, 06:20

What a lovely story, Michael, to add still more reassurance to those who have lost loved ones. And for all of us to know that the end of our mortal existence is not the end of our being.

howard jones, Wed 8 Sep, 14:01

Well done Michael, again you have done us a huge service by bringing such a wonderful account to our attention. These wonders need to be preserved and disseminated for the vast bulk of humanity who do not have access to materialisation mediums.

Wendy Zammit, Wed 8 Sep, 10:05

This is very moving and convincing, Michael.
I deeply wish for such a materialization experience myself. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

Jane, Wed 8 Sep, 01:53

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The Orpheus Motif in North America: The Comanche tradition – To give the reader a general idea of the form taken by the Orpheus tradition in North America, I reproduce the version of the Comanche Indians, here published for the first time. It was communicated to me orally by the late Dr Ralph Linton, who noted it down in the course of his field-studies among the Comanche (1933). Particular interest attaches to the Comanche narrative, for it is the first recorded Orpheus tradition from the more easterly Shoshonean groups. No account is given of it in Wallace and Hoebel’s Comanche monograph, which is otherwise a valuable source for the religion and folklore of this tribe. Read here
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