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Mediumship is the act of communicating with spirits. According to spiritualism, mediumship is defined as an ability for communication between men and spirits. Mediums are deemed subjects gifted to communicate with the dead in order to get information about the past, present, future, living conditions in the Underworld. They are obtained by clairvoyance (appearances), clairaudience, clairsentience.

We would all be more or less mediums but to different degrees. Indeed, although mediumship would apply to all, it could be developed in some people and it could remain latent for others. Some individuals, called mediums, would possess also the ability to feel the influence of spirits and convey their thoughts. In other words, they would be the “messengers” standing at the boundary between the material world and the spiritual world.


Since immemorial times, mediumship has been much talk of it, fertilizing the most incredible stories, feeding the greatest legends and historical facts considered fantastic. Such was the case of Roman and Greek vestal sibyls, Egeria of Numa, dreams of Scipio, voices of Joan of Arc, etc.

Although the often stated aim of mediumship would be using the next eagers to reconnect with missings, some believe that there were numerous civilizations that have used the mediumship to obtain a real power to dominate others.

This is truly during the nineteenth century only when there was a real craze for mediumship especially with the Fox Sisters (turntables, events …) and then especially with Allan Kardec, codifier of Spiritualism, who gave him a more scientist dimension.

Skeptical point of view

Silver Belle Fraud (The spirit guide Silver Belle was made from cardboard. Both Ethel Post-Parrish and the lady standing outside of the curtain were in on the hoax.)

The skeptical point of view considers the hypothesis of possessing psychic powers as far-fetched. It envisages the implementation of well-known engineering techniques from the world of mentalists at shows, typically: hot reading (gathering information prior to the meeting), cold reading (based on observation and deduction ), the cunning of the rainbow sky (say one thing and its opposite), the Barnum effect (statements that cater to a wide audience) or shooting the little lead (to go by trial and error).

The technique of hot reading is to gather information about the viewing person. This can be through discussions between accomplices and participants in meetings, questioning the entourage, information gathering on the internet, the use of private detectives.

Cold reading begins with the observation starting from the general starting and ending with the details.

The Barnum effect is the effect that individuals accept that description because of their personality if it remains sufficiently vague.

Favorable doctors viewpoint

Worldwide, many doctors are researching the mediumship, among which may cite:

  • Dr. Julio Pérez who works at the University of Pennsylvania, which develops memory regression therapies, says he objectified expression of mediumship in brain imaging.
  • Dr. Nelly Berchtold, Swiss infectious disease specialist, discusses the many links between mental illness and mediumship; by total ignorance of the media phenomenon would be locked up in mental hospitals.
  • Dr. Marlene Nobre, who studied biological interactions of spirituality on the body through the structural changes of mitochondria, assimilates the insights to “psychic faculties inherent to each individual.”
  • Dr. Fellipe de Oliveira, psychiate doctor, teacher at the University of Sao Paulo, think the pineal gland could play a key role in psychic abilities.

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