Accession GA445 - Thomas Lacey séance collection : 2019 accrual.

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Thomas Lacey séance collection : 2019 accrual.

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4 cm of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas Lacey, a trance and direct voice medium, was born in Glossop, Derbyshire England on November 4, 1895.

Thomas married Edith Emma Lomas on March 18, 1918 in Whitfield. Edith was born in Whitfield, Derbyshire England on September 28, 1895.

Thomas and Edith immigrated to Canada in March 1923 and April 1924 respectively. Thomas worked as a mechanical engineer at companies including Dominion Rubber and Sutherland and Schultz.

Records of Thomas conducting séances in the Kitchener-Waterloo region begin in 1924. Edith, although not a medium, was an active participant in the séances. Thomas and Edith moved to Hamilton in the 1950s before returning to Kitchener-Waterloo in the 1960's. The séances recorded in the 1960s were held in the home of Otto and Nelda Smith in Kitchener. Otto Smith, a local businessman, played the organ at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Kitchener and his organ playing can be heard throughout the séances.

Thomas and the séance sitters believed his main control during the 1960s was a spirit named Amirah and they maintained that his younger brother Walter, who died at a young age, acted as his gate keeper. Thomas Lacey purportedly channeled the spirits of Thomas Edison, Emmanuel Swedenborg, and John Wesley, amongst others. Sitters at the séances were said to have experienced apports, materializations, and automatic writing. One séance recording also contains what is believed to be an example of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP).

The séances fall into three general categorizations: Masters Night when philosophical discussions took place; Visiting Night when spirits of friends and family were welcomed; and Rescue Night when the sitters would help spirits who had not crossed over the veil to do so.

Thomas Lacey died on June 17, 1966 at age 70. Edith Lacey died in 1993 at age 97. Thomas and Edith Lacey were buried in Parkview Cemetery, Waterloo, Ontario.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Thomas Lacey séance collection accrual includes several files of séance reports that contain details regarding the sitters involved in the séance circles and messages on various topics from spirits alleged to have communicated through the medium Thomas Lacey.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Stan McMullin in 2019.


Language of material

  • English

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No known copyright restrictions.

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General note

Thomas Lacey was a white medium active from the 1930s to the 1960s. Some séance reports contain racist wording, accents, cultural references, and stereotypes. These records have been identified at the file level.

General note

The séance reports contain language that is outdated, racist or otherwise harmful and have been maintained in keeping with Special Collections & Archives’ approach to language in archival descriptions, which prioritizes speaking openly about and clearly identifying problematic, harmful, and otherwise offensive records in the department’s holdings. This approach, while potentially upsetting, allows for the critical assessment and questioning of historical material by contemporary researchers.

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Described by SGL October 2020.
Reviewed by NM October 2020.
Revised by DR November 2023.

Language of description

  • English

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