Couple studied the paranormal


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This article was published 23/06/2017 (2172 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

People from the northeast Winnipeg area and elsewhere came to the Elmwood East Kildonan Active Living Centre on May 28, 2017 at 2 p.m. to hear about the Hamilton House and other local stories.

The event was organized by the Northeast Winnipeg Historical Society (NEWHS) and the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation. NEWHS President Jim Smith stated that two organizations were partnering to increase local history programming in the area.

 Linda Horodecki, a retired worker with the Manitoba Legislative Library, spoke on the Hamilton House. Located on 185 Henderson Hwy. in Elmwood, the House is famous as the site of psychic and occult research conducted by Dr. Thomas Glendenning Hamilton and his wife Lillian Hamilton in the early 20th century.

The Herald The Hamilton House on 185 Henderson Highway was the site of psychic and occult experiments by Dr. Thomas Glendenning Hamilton and Lillian Hamilton in the early 20th century. (SUPPLIED/DYLON MARTIN/THE HERALD)

“They were quite involved in psychic research”, Horodecki noted.

She described the Hamiltons as very meticulous, owing to Mr. Hamilton’s work as a medical doctor and Mrs. Hamilton’s work as nurse. The couple kept detailed notes and made participants in their research sign affidavits stating they did not tamper with equipment or bring outside items to the sessions.

The Hamiltons’ work involved mediums, who purportedly levitated tables and generated teleplasmic masses with deceased individuals’ faces on them. Teleplasm was a substance thought to be generated by mediums that many spiritualists believed was spiritual energy materialized.  

Occult and psychic research, including the Hamiltons’, had a high profile in the early 20th century. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was fascinated by the Hamiltons’ research and participated in a circle of 10 people held at the Hamilton House as part of an experiment. Canada’s 10th Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, was another fan of the couple’s research.

Linda Horodecki noted that Dr. Hamilton was a very strenuous worker and also involved in community work. On April 1935 Dr. Thomas Glendenning Hamilton died of a heart attack. Mrs. Hamilton continued the experiments, with less frequency, after his death.

Ruth Wright, who is involved with the NEWHS, was the next speaker. She described stories about several figures with local northeast Winnipeg connections that are planned to be released in a book later this year.

Among the figures discussed was Cindy Klassen, an Olympic speed skater who earned six medals. Klassen started out playing hockey at the Gateway Community Club and is the first Canadian to win five medals in a single game.

Albert Braizer, Terry Sawchuk, Tommy C. Douglas, and Martin Bergen were other figures with local connections mentioned by Wright.

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for Elmwood.

Dylon Martin

Dylon Martin
West Broadway community correspondent

Dylon Martin is a community correspondent for West Broadway.

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