home books e-books audio books recent titles with blogs
  Life Eternal
W. T. Stead

Amazon  RRP £11.99 UK Paperback
Amazon  RRP $16.99 US Paperback

Other territories...

Also available as an eBook

Continuing on from his books After Death: Letter from Julia and The Blue Island, pioneering journalist, William Thomas Stead, who in 1912 went down on the Titanic, communicated additional advice and information from the spheres beyond our physical existence, or what some call, the afterlife.

Following more than twenty years of communication, directly and via mediums Hester Dowden and Geraldine Cummins, Stead’s daughter, Estelle, published Life Eternal in 1933.

In this book, Stead expands on and clarifies “The Blue Island,” the illusory state, he and other passengers and crew on the Titanic found themselves after their physical deaths. He describes that time as “a period following a shattering shock, and a great and sudden change.”

He goes on to say:

“As a matter of fact a “cure” was being accomplished, and … we awoke, rubbed our eyes, and found ourselves in a world not so unlike your own: a world in which we all felt awkward and strange at first. Then we knew that The Blue Island was a dream common to all of us, and that now we should go on our separate ways, and begin our new life.”

Stead discusses a broad range of subjects including the so-called spheres of existence, reincarnation, children in the afterlife, good and evil, the method and challenge of communication between the spheres and much, much more.

Comparing the physical world to where he now resided he remarked, “Your Earth is like the sediment at the bottom of a vessel, the higher you go, the clearer the fluid becomes.”


Introductory Note
Note by the Automatist


Limitations – Facts about “The Blue Island” – The Spheres –The Planes –The Reality Within – The Blue Island: A Dream State – Sudden Death, its Effect on the Soul – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 1. The Source of Life
Our Great Spiritual Ancestor – Our Spiritual Parents – Our Physical Parents – The Law of the Spirit – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 2. The Soul
The Physical Body’s relation to the Soul – Man only Conscious of One-Seventh of his full Personality – Object of the Journey through the Spheres – Free-will Limited – The Mind, the Eye of the Soul – Spirit, the Life which Animates the Whole – The Purpose of the Soul – The Length of the Journey – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 3. Pre-Natal State
The Soul complete at the Moment of its Conception – The “Watcher”.

Chapter 4. Reincarnation
The Souls who do not Return – Hungers which cannot be Gratified – Conditions in the Lower Planes – Return a Choice, not a Law – Good and Evil – The Criminal – When Evil Predominates – The Astrological Aspect – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 5. Life After Death
First Experiences – Plane of Delirium – Experience of “The Blue Island” Necessary – Free from the Cramp of the Body – Time Non-Existent – Life in the Full Sense – Clothed – but How? – The House I had Prepared – Memories of my Earth Life – I visit my Parents – Tracing by means of Personal Vibrations – How the Tracing is done – We preserve our Shape and Appearance – Difference in vibration of Embodied and Disembodied.

Chapter 6. What Happens at Death
Death through Sickness – Sudden Death – Consciousness: What is it? – Comparison between the Newly Born and the Newly Dead – Our Next Great Move – A Pause and a Break – The Joy of Life – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 7. Our Life here
Differences that make exact Information difficult – Do We Eat? – Are We Clothed? – Does Each Prepare His Own Dwelling? – Do we Sleep? – Are Professions Carried On? – Medicine – Law – The Army – Science – The Arts – Are We Conscious of Two Spheres at Once? – What Qualities in the Earth-Life Lead to Most Rapid Progression on Our Side? – Essential Spiritual Values – What is Prayer? – Can I Define “Help?” – Do Those of Low Development on Earth Survive on Our Side? – How Do We Travel? – Capacity for Travelling through Space – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 8. Arts and Professions
Commercial Professions – Money – Specialized Professions – The Church – Barristers and Judges – The Artists – All working in a wider Consciousness – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 9. Medicine and Nursing
Our Sick – Care of the Newly Arrived – Ailments – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 10. The Curative Power of Music
How Music is Used – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 11. The Child: Its conditions in our Sphere
Training – No School Hours – Needs Sensed – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 12. Animal Survival
Questions and Answers.

Chapter 13. Eternal Life
God: the Source of Life – The Seventh Sphere – The Earth Sphere – The Kindergarten – The Second Sphere. The Schoolroom – The University – The Creative Spheres – Guides and Controls – Complete Self-Mastery – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 14. Religion and Faith
Value of Religious Faith – Faith – Angels and Archangels – Christ a Manifestation of God – Jesus the Vehicle – Saints and Prophets – Questions and Answers.

Epilogue: The New Knowledge

Communication between the Spheres

Chapter 1. Evidence of Survival
What are the Essentials of the Soul? – The Road Back.

Chapter 2. First Attempts
Adequate Response was Lacking – The Extent of the Soul – Time a Difficulty – How Communication is Achieved – Broadcasting to Mediums Only – The Psychic Light – The Power to Reflect – Attitude of Controls – The Reflecting Mirror – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 3. Communication with Sphere above my own
The Right Conditions – I am able to see my Communicator.

Chapter 4. My First Clumsy Efforts
I Overshoot the Mark – I was ill – I dart from Sitting to Sitting – Memory of my Earth-Life – The Difficulty of Collecting Facts.

Chapter 5. Trance
Through the Brain – Soul and Body Contact – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 6. Direct Voice
The Use of the Trumpet – The Means Used – Light a Deterrent and Dangerous – Development for Voice – Period of Development – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 7. Materialization
How Ectoplasm escapes from the Body – Incomplete Materializations: Why? – Suggested Methods of Investigations – Ectoplasm – The Reflectograph and the Communigraph – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 8. Automatic Writing
Soul only Partially Withdrawn – Control’s Task Difficult and Subtle – Difficulty in giving Small Details – Dangers to be Overcome – Normal Conditions Best – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 9. Clairvoyance and Clairaudience
Man’s Path not Inflexible – The Inward Eye – Clairaudience – Phenomena at Public Meetings – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 10. Psychic Photography
The Eye of the Soul – How Ectoplasm is Emitted – More Subtle than Materialization – How the Extras are Produced – Supersensitive Nature of the Material Used – The Cenotaph Photographs – Symbols – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 11. Hauntings
The Common Ghost – Vapours without Light or Soul within – Communication Possible but Rare – Hauntings in Open Spaces – Power of Emotion on Objects – Dangers of being in a Haunted House – The Vampire and the Werewolf – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 12. The Poltergeist
Apparitions: What are They? – The Double – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 13. Apports
How it is Done – Daniel Home – Crawford Experiments – Dowsing – The Stigmata – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 14. How to Approach Communication
Hints from the Other Side – Living not Dead – Honest Scepticism Appreciated – Attitude of Sympathetic Expectancy – Fatal to begin Sittings under Wrong Conditions – We need Response – Advice to Scientific Investigators – Materialization a Highly Specialized Game – Doubt, the Cause of Fraud – No Response, No Result – Advice to Professional Mediums – The Sensitive a Super-Human-Being – Attitude to Guide all Important – Fraud caused through Nervous Tension – Change and Recreation Essential – Advice to Amateur Mediums – Go Slowly. Guide’s assistance Essential – Testing Guides – Universal Mediumship: Is it Advisable? – Need for Specialization – Subtleties of Communication – Questions and Answers.

Chapter 15. Communications from Spheres far Beyond
How it is Achieved – Groups of Amanuensis – Coloured and Altered in Transmission.

Chapter 16.
What and Who are our Guides and Controls? – The Group Control – The Individual Control – Training His Instrument – All Controls Part of a Larger Body – How We on Our Side Contact the Control – The Linking Up of the Spheres – Service a Matter of Free-Will – Definition of the Word “Soul” – Your Responsibility to Your Soul – Questions and Answers.

The Great Subconscious Mind – White and Black Magic – Degrees and Kinds of Madness – The Power of Mind to Converse with Mind While Still in the Body


About the author

Stead, William Thomas (Embleton, Northumberland, July 5, 1849 - Titanic, 1912)

Known to the general public primarily as a dedicated journalist, author, social reformer, and pacifist, William Thomas Stead was on his way to New York to give a speech on world peace at Carnegie Hall when he became a victim of the Titanic.

Stead is remembered in psychic circles as the founder of Borderland, a quarterly journal devoted to psychical subjects, and as founder of Julia’s Bureau, a psychic bureau intended to demonstrate the reality of survival after death as well as to assist in a spiritual revival. In 1891-92, stories from Borderland were compiled into two separate volumes – Real Ghost Stories and More Ghost Stories, and in 1897 they were published under one title, Real Ghost Stories. These true cases of apparitions, hauntings, astral projection, clairvoyance, and premonitions, collected by Stead, have since become a classic under the title Borderland. Stead was also an automatic writing medium when alive and a frequent spirit communicator after his death.

Born on July 5, 1849, at Embleton, Northumberland, England, Stead was first educated by his father, a Congregationalist minister, and later attended Silcoates School, Wakefield. In 1863, he became an office boy in a merchant’s countinghouse in Newcastle-on-Tyne. The poems of James Russell Lowell played an important part in shaping his life’s work, which, he decided, around age 18, was to help other people.

Stead’s career as a journalist and author began during the 1860’s when he became a reporter for a newspaper called the Northern Echo, advancing to editor in 1871. In 1880, he accepted a position as assistant editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, then became its editor in 1883. In 1890, he founded the Review of Reviews. According to Leslie Shepard, who wrote the Introduction to the New American Edition of Borderland, published in 1970, Stead is credited with inventing the “New Journalism,” bringing important topics in bright, colorful prose to the man in the street. Shepard states that he introduced the interview technique to British journalism and was a pioneer of cheap reprints for mass sale in the form of penny pamphlets.

In a story written by B. O. Flower, the editor of Arena, a popular American publication, Stead is referred to as a cosmopolitan journalist “with a rare blending of intellectual force with moral conviction, idealism with utilitarianism, a virile imagination, and a common sense practicality that strove to make the vision a useful reality.”

One survivor of the Titanic reported seeing Stead calmly sitting in the smoking room reading his Bible as other passengers scurried to the decks and the lifeboats. Another survivor recalled seeing Stead calmly holding back men who were attempting to board the lifeboats with the women and children. Stead was also remembered for having frequently discussed spiritual matters during meals on the Titanic. In one of his many stories, From the Old World to the New, a novel published in 1892, Stead described the sinking of a ship called the Majestic in the North Atlantic from hitting an iceberg. The name of the ship’s captain was Edward J. Smith, the same name of the captain of the Titanic. In an 1886 story for The Pall Mall Gazette, Stead wrote about the sinking of an ocean liner and how lives were lost because there were too few lifeboats. Whether these two separate stories were precognition on Stead’s part or merely coincidence is not known, but Stead apparently did not foresee the tragedy when he booked passage on the Titanic.

In 1909, three years before his death, he published After Death: Letters from Julia, a series of messages purportedly coming to Stead from Julia T. Ames, an American newspaperwoman, for her friend Ellen, during 1892-93. Stead had met both women on his travels, and several months after Julia’s death, Ellen told Stead about seeing apparitions of Julia in her bedroom. Having recently discovered that he had the gift of automatic writing, Stead told Ellen that he would see if she could communicate through him. “Sitting alone with a tranquil mind, I consciously placed my right hand, with the pen held in the ordinary way, at the disposal of Julia, and watched with keen and skeptical interest to see what it would write,” Stead explained in the book’s Introduction. Julia’s Bureau was formed that same year.

Hester Travers Smith, a Dublin medium, recalled a sitting, on April 15, 1912, when she and a “Miss D.” received a very rapid message stating: “Ship sinking; all hands lost. William East overboard. Women and children weeping and wailing – sorrow, sorrow, sorrow.” They had no idea what the message meant and no more came through at that sitting. Later that day they heard that the Titanic had sunk. As a spirit claiming to be Stead communicated at subsequent sittings, Travers Smith concluded that because of the rapidity of the message they got the last name wrong the first time.

According to Rev. Charles L. Tweedale, the Church of England vicar of Weston, Stead appeared at a sitting given by Etta Wriedt in New York on April 17. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the physician who created Sherlock Holmes, called Wriedt the best direct-voice medium in the world and the plan was for Stead to accompany Wriedt back to England on his return voyage so that she could demonstrate her gift there. Wriedt made the trip without Stead and gave a sitting on May 6 in Wimbledon. In attendance were Vice-Admiral W. Usborne Moore and Estelle Stead, Stead’s daughter. Moore reported that Stead talked with his daughter for at least 40 minutes. He described it as the most painful but most realistic and convincing conversation he had heard during his investigations of mediumship.

General Sir Alfred E. Turner reported that he held a small and private sitting at his home with Mrs. Wriedt. “We had hardly commenced when a voice, which apparently came from behind my right shoulder, exclaimed: ‘I am so happy to be with you again,’ Turner reported. “The voice was unmistakably that of Stead, who immediately began to tell us the events of the dire moments when the leviathan settled down. There was a short, sharp struggle to gain his breath and immediately afterwards he came to his senses in another stage of existence.” At a later sitting with Wriedt, Turner saw Stead materialize, wearing his usual attire.

Tweedale also recorded that Stead was seen and heard on July 17, 1912 at the home of Professor James Coates of Rothesay, a well-known author and investigator, who had Mrs. Wriedt give a sitting with a number of witnesses. “Mr. Stead showed himself twice within a short time, the last appearance being clearly defined, and none will readily forget the clear, ringing tones of his voice,” Tweedale quoted Coates. “There in our own home, and in the presence of fourteen sane and thoughtful people, Mr. Stead has manifested and proved in his own person that the dead do return.”

Dr. John S. King, a Toronto physician and president of the Canadian Society Psychical Research, reported receiving over 70 messages from Stead, the first one coming within two days of the Titanic disaster. They came through several mediums, including Mrs. Wriedt.

When the Titanic went down, Estelle, Stead’s daughter, was on a tour with her own Shakespearean Company. One of the members of the touring group was a young man named Pardoe Woodman. According to Estelle Stead, a few days before the disaster, Woodman told her over tea that there was to be a great disaster at sea and that an elderly man very close to her would be among the victims. In 1917, shortly after being discharged from the army, Woodman began receiving messages from William T. Stead by means of automatic writing. Estelle Stead then started sitting with Woodman and observing. She noted that the Woodman wrote with his eyes closed and that the writing was very much like her father’s. Moreover, the writing would stop at times and go back to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s,” a habit of her father’s which she was sure Woodman knew nothing about.

Stead informed his daughter that there were hundreds of souls hovering over their floating bodies after the big ship went down, some of them apparently not comprehending their new state as they complained about not being able to save all of their valuables. After what felt like a few minutes, they all seemed to rise vertically into the air at a terrific speed. “I cannot tell how long our journey lasted, nor how far from the earth we were when arrived, but it was a gloriously beautiful arrival,” Stead recorded through Woodman’s hand. “It was like walking from your own English winter gloom into the radiance of an Indian sky. There, all was brightness and beauty.”

As for his initial attempts to communicate through other mediums, Stead said that there were souls on his side who had the power of sensing people (mediums) who could be used for communication. One such soul helped him find mediums and showed him how to make his presence known. It was explained to him that he had to visualize himself among the people in the flesh and imagine that he was standing there in the flesh with a strong light thrown upon himself. “Hold the visualization very deliberately and in detail, and keep it fixed upon my mind, that at that moment I was there and they were conscious of it.”

He added that the people at one sitting were able to see only his face because he had seen himself as only a face. “I imagined the part they would recognize me by.” It was in the same way he was able to get a message through. He stood by the most sensitive person there, concentrated his mind on a short sentence, and repeated it with much emphasis and deliberation until he could hear part of it spoken by the person.

Biography courtesy of Micheal E. Tymn

Publisher: White Crow Books
Published July 2020
234 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inches
ISBN 978-1-78677-139-1
translate this page
The Only Planet of Choice: Visitations – Many people use the word ‘Alien’ to describe a visitor from outer space. Extra terrestrial is another word, which is rather more user friendly. For the sake of the question and answer format, the word used by the questioner has been left, though even Tom questions our use of‘Alien’. Should we wish to foster openess between all beings of the Universe perhaps we should also look at our vocabulary? In a discussion between Andrew and Tom many years earlier, Andrew had asked Tom about UFOs and whether they were created manifestations. Tom had replied: “Many of the flying things that you call UFOs come from our place, but they come from other places also, and they do come in physical form. But many of them are not physical. They are like your movie screen”. Read here
also see
After Death: Letters From Julia   After Death: Letters From Julia
W. T. Stead
The Blue Island: Experiences of a New Arrival Beyond the Veil   The Blue Island: Experiences of a New Arrival Beyond the Veil
William Thomas Stead with Estelle Stead and Pardoe Woodman
Thirty Years Among the Dead   Thirty Years Among the Dead
Carl Wickland
© White Crow Books | About us | Contact us | Privacy policy | Author submissions | Trade orders