Monday, March 8, 2021

Katie King: a red-haired spirit?

Katie King was the name given by Spiritualists in the 1870s to what they believed to be a materialized spirit. The question of whether the spirit was real or a fraud was a notable public controversy of the mid-1870s.

The spirit was said to have appeared first between 1871 and 1874 in séances conducted by Florence Cook in London, and later in 1874-1875 in New York in séances held by the mediums Jennie Holmes and her husband Nelson Holmes.

Katie King was believed by Spiritualists to be the daughter of John King, a spirit control of the 1850s through the 1870s that appeared in many séances involving materialized spirits.

Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about her in his book The History of Spiritualism.


- " She stated that Katie was taller and heavier than Florence and that Katie had red hair, while Florrie's hair was dark and almost black."


- "... with large grey or blue eyes, a white skin and a profuzion of golden red hair."


- "Crookes had cut a lock of Katie's golden auburn hair..."  

- "King had a fair complexion and light auburn hair.

Florence Cook

Portrait of Katie King
by Gabriel von Max

"Photograph" of Katie King

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