A Neglected Orange Blossom Tree

This is an article reporting on a number of Gordon Higginson’s physical mediumship seances from 1976 where flowers and blossoms were apported into the seance room.  These apports often took place in challenging heat as the summer of 1976 was one the hottest on record in the UK.  The writing style of this article is not always the easiest to follow but it is well worth a read.


Mr Higginson’s visit to Reading National Spiritualist Church on 13/14th June yet again evidenced the excellence of his varied mediumship.

Superb Demonstrations

In the week-end’s sweltering heat, with temperatures well into the 80’s, his Sunday address and clairvoyance was of the superb calibre for which he is justly famed – and under circumstances which completely eliminated all possibility of any reflection upon his psychic integrity.

Physical Mediumship

A catalogue of the outstanding personal evidence given on the Sunday, positive and interesting as it was, would prejudice space for a resume of an aspect of his physical mediumship on the Monday which left the congregation gasping!

Difficult Conditions

Preliminary exercises over – which included a thorough examination of the medium by a male member of the audience – and Paddy, Gordon’s Irish guide and ‘master of ceremonies’ observed that they ‘would do their best’, but the intense heat and consequent discomfort of the medium made psychic conditions very difficult.


Notwithstanding Paddy’s misgivings however, following the presentation of a voluminous quantity of white, iridescent, ectoplasm which streamed from the face of the standing medium, fell in a cascade before him and piled on the floor, several materialisations manifested to members of the hundred strong audience with evidential personal details.


Occasional humorous interjections from ‘Cuckoo’ a delightful child helper – who assured the meeting that ‘of course she was really the one in charge’ – did much to ensure a relaxed and happy atmosphere, so essential for good psychic conditions, besides distracting attention from the exceptional and distressing heat.

Orange Blossom Apported

The item of crowning interest came when Paddy called for a lady called Lloyd. ‘I have your Father here’ (a positive statement – no qualifying ‘Is your father in Spirit?), he told Mrs Doris Lloyd – several years Social Secrerary of the Church, and after relating personal information.   He continued with ‘He tells me you have a large orange blossom tree in your garden’, ‘Yes’.  ‘He says you have done nothing with it and it’s “all over the place!”’, ‘Correct’, ‘In fact some of the bloom is already dropping’, ‘Yes’.  ‘Well to show he knows all about it, I think we must try to bring you a piece of the orange blossom in your garden’ – ‘Will you please come on to the platform, into the cabinet’.  (The curtains of the cabinet were, and had been wide open).   ‘First of all we must pull his vest right up so that you can place your hand on his “tummy’ – It’s quite alright, he won’t mind-because he will not know anything about it!’

Following instructions, Mrs Lloyd placed her hand firmly on the medium’s stomach, to be asked in a few moments if she could feel anything?  ‘Yes – something is pressing against my hand’, she replied.  ‘Yes that’s right, keep your hand there’.

In Full Bloom

Within a minute or two, Mrs Lloyd held a large sprig of the bush with several stalks covered with blossoms, some petals of which dropped as she left the platform – and which were promptly and proudly retrieved as a wonderful souvenir by a lady church member.

‘Now isn’t that nice’, said Paddy – ‘to have a little souvenir from your own garden with your Dad’s love’.  A sentiment echoed by everyone present as a memorable and uplifting weekend came to an end.

Note by Doug Lawrence, President of the Reading Church:  It should be said that Gordon was so unwell and tired when he arrived that I resisted cancelling the Monday seance only against my better judgement and because his visit was to fulfil a previous postponement.  Happily the President’s Fund for Stansted benefited by £50.


This church was the venue for the last of a course of lectures held in the area.  The rostrum was removed from the platform.  The medium sat in the centre with Mrs W. Wood on one side and Mr C. Bullen on the other.  Everyone in the first few rows could see the proceedings clearly.

A Cabinet Was Not Used

A complete blackout of the hall had not been achieved and light came between the curtains.   The medium was examined before the seance.

Paddy asked the lady on the platform to approach the medium and when his shirt had been pulled up to place her hands on his stomach and push firmly into his navel.

Huge Snowball Blossom

A huge blossom emerged with numerous sprigs and dozens of tiny flowers all springing from a long stem with several leaves.  Mrs Wood supported the flower with two hands to show everyone.  Paddy asked that the side door be opened to let in more light so that even those at the back of the hall could see clearly.  He also asked them to note that the flower was absolutely fresh but completely dry.

Perfect Shape

The blossom was a wonder to behold – having emerged through the physical form of the medium.  A few petals fell to the floor as it was handed to the recipient Mrs Windsor.  Cuckoo drew attention to the conditions saying, ‘Don’t you think I’m clever to do this in the heat?’

Perfect Present

Mrs Windsor in spirit, whose birthday it was, wished to bring a present for her daughter-in-law.  Paddy explained that this would be a blossom from a tree which stands in the Windsors’ garden and which the mother had always loved.

An Iris and a Rose

At a similar seance held at Moston, a beautiful iris was produced and at Birmingham, a perfect rose was given to a delighted recipient.


A materialisation we recognise as being formed from ectoplasm which can vary widely in quality.   Ectoplasm may appear as fine mist, as threads, cords or rods or can appear in vast quantities billowing and flowing; in texture like gossammer or dense and coarse.  The degree of brillance, luminosity and colour is also variable according to prevailing conditions.

Materialisations of persons may be partial or complete in every particular.  The form is withdrawn or disappears as the ectoplasm is controlled by the spirit operators or ebbs naturally.

An apport is an article, animal or person brought into the seance room other than by normal physical means.  It is generally understood that the spirit operators are able to manipulate many forms of matter, and it is in this way that objects may be brought from nearby or from a distance of many miles.

An object thus apported will remain tangible, unless it decays naturally or is destroyed in a normal eventuality, whether it has appeared spontaneously or in the course of a seance.  Apports rarely seem to be spirited away once the trouble has been taken to bring them.

The Question Remains – Materialisations or Apports?

The flowers produced in the four seances featured in the article remained at the end when conditions had returned to normal.  Petals fell from two of the flowers.  Each flower was taken home by the recipient.  If the flowers were not formed from ectoplasm, why did the spirit people find it necessary to bring them through the physical body of the medium?  Was this manipulation of matter to obviate any question of fraud?

The conditions were so hot and the seating in some cases so close that a delicate blossom or flower without water for a period of approximately three hours would hardly remain fresh, and each was noted as being fresh.  How can one account for the fact that a flower complete with stalk could emerge from the medium’s stomach under the closest possible scrutiny – remember that Paddy gave the instructions to ‘press firmly’.  It must also be recorded that the medium sat in some instances without a cabinet – in full view of the sitters.

The Medium Explains:

The flowers are apports.  They are brought from a specific place on earth by a process which involves dematerialisation and rematerialisation.  They are not spirit flowers brought from the spirit world.  The physical body of the medium is used to fulfil the same purpose as that of a cabinet.

Source: SNU Communicator Aug/Sept 1976


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