Psychic Matters!

PM 029: In Search Of Maria B. Hayden with Sharon DeBartolo Carmack

February 11, 2021 Ann Theato with Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Psychic Matters!
PM 029: In Search Of Maria B. Hayden with Sharon DeBartolo Carmack
Show Notes Transcript

#029 Hi there, my name is Ann Théato and I am here to teach you proven techniques for spiritual and psychic development from the comfort of your own home. I’m also here to investigate the teachings of experts across the globe, to bring you their wisdom, their advice and their spiritual wealth.

My guest this week, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, has written a fascinating book about the life of this remarkable woman, a book which not only includes the social history of the spiritualist movement but also includes accounts of more than 30 of Maria’s seances, 130 illustrations and handwritten spirit communications from Maria’s private sittings.

By the time you have finished listening to this week’s episode, you will be fully informed of the pioneering work of an incredible spiritualist – a lady by the name of Maria B Hayden, who is credited with bringing Spiritualism to the UK in the 1800’s.  Through many of her seances in England and American, Maria convinced many of the elite and upper classes, as well as scientists and clergy, that there is life after death.  

DEAF FRIENDLY: If you'd like to get the links & show notes, including a complete transcription, head to www.anntheato.com

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/psychicmatters)

Hello everybody! My name is Ann Théato and welcome to the Psychic Matters Podcast – episode number 29.

If you are already subscribed to this show, thank you so much, you Psychic Matters Fans! – you’re brilliant!  Do make sure you subscribe to the show, because today, as in every forthcoming episode, I am here to teach you proven techniques for spiritual and psychic development from the comfort of your own home.  I’m also here to investigate the teachings of experts across the globe, to bring you their wisdom, their advice and their spiritual wealth.

By the time you have finished listening to this week’s episode, you will be fully informed of the pioneering work of an incredible spiritualist – a lady by the name of Maria B Hayden, who is credited with bringing Spiritualism to the UK in the 1800’s.  Through many of her seances in England and American, Maria convinced many of the elite and upper classes, as well as scientists and clergy, that there is life after death.  My guest this week has written a fascinating book about the life of this remarkable woman, a book which not only includes the social history of the spiritualist movement but also includes accounts of more than 30 of Maria’s seances, 130 illustrations and handwritten spirit communications from Maria’s private sittings.

Grab a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, a glass of wine or a drink of sparkling water.  Let the dog out.  Let the cat in.  Settle in to you most comfortable chair and enjoy every moment of this podcast episode, as we give a warm welcome to my next guest and thank her for generously sharing her incredible knowledge with you and the world.


Ann

I’m in the Psychic Matters studio today with Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Sharon is a Certified Genealogist and Writer she's also a Medium and and Certificate Holder and a Diploma Holder of the Spiritualists National Union, and Sharon has written an incredible book, it is so in depth, I cannot tell you, must go straight out and buy it, it is called In Search Of Maria B Hayden - The American Medium Who Brought Spiritualism To The UK, Sharon Debartolo Carmack, welcome to Psychic Matters!

 

Sharon

Thank you Ann, it’s such a pleasure to be here, I have been looking forward to this.

 

Ann

So tell us, first of all, I've read this book, it's so in depth, it's so detailed, about this wonderful Medium Maria B Hayden. Perhaps we will start off with, why did you write it, how did you get the idea, where did it come from?

 

Sharon

That is a perfect question. I was taking a course through the Spiritualist National Union, one of their very foundation courses, and as part of the course, you had to write about 3 spiritualist pioneers, just short little sketches about them and why they interested you.  And it gave a list of, I don't know, two dozen pioneers, with little biographical sketches of them and Maria’s was the least interesting, I can say it that way, there was no birth year,  no death year, all it said was she was she was the first American medium to bring spiritualism to the UK and the press was very negative towards her, but she convinced Robert Owen, who was a socialist at the time, a social reformer at the time, and he was her champion, and that's really all it said.  So the Genealogist in me wanted to know more about her, and because I'm American, she's American, it was my natural inclination to start researching her, and when I did, I found more about her than I had found online on any website, and it turned into a book, it turned into a biography of her.

 

Ann

I've never met a Genealogist before, how do you work, where does that begin and what does a Genealogist really do?

 

Sharon

Well as a hobbyist genealogy, genealogist, most of us want to trace our own ancestors and find out where we came from, who our ancestors were.  I'm a professional Genealogist, a Certified Genealogist, which means I, just like becoming a Certificate Holder of the Spiritualist National Union, I had to fulfil certain requirements to become a certified Genealogist.  So for clients, I trace their ancestors, for people who don't know how to do it, or don't want to do it, or might get stuck tracing their own ancestors, that's where I come in as a professional. And so when I started researching Maria, I put to use all of my research skills on researching dead people, people of the past, and finding those records both on line and in repositories, I had tremendous help from librarians and archivists in England and places where I couldn't physically get to, who scanned documents for me, but it was an incredible journey, just to be able to learn about her life and tell her life story.

 

Ann

So where did you start when, you had that tiny piece of information from the, where was it written the information that you had? 

 

Sharon

Right, that was in a course from the Spiritualist’s National Union.

 

Ann

That's it, so you had that little paragraph about her, so then where did you go from there?

 

Sharon

Well, because the paragraph said she was in England from 1852 to 53, I knew that's my starting point. There is in the United States an 1850 census, so I immediately went to the 1850 census, and found Maria there.  She was living with her soon to be husband, William Hayden, her name was Maria Trenholme, and her family is originally from Yorkshire in England, and so with that, they weren't married yet but they were living together.  It's OK it happened in the 1850s, just like it does today.

 

Ann

Wow, really?  Goodness!

 

Sharon

Yeah, oh yeah.  So, with that piece of information I was able to find their marriage record.  I was able to find them in later census’ 1860, 1870, 1880, I was able to find a picture of her headstone online, and it just grew from there. I just used all the typical records that every person in the 19th century would generate in their lifetime.  Vital records, census records, land records, military, well she wasn't in the military, but military records I checked for William and what was interesting about Maria, is I was able to document practically, I think, every year of her life, because she was advertising herself as a medium and as a healer in the newspapers. I had, I forget how many, hundreds of pages of newspaper articles and advertisements about her, so I could document every move she made in her life practically.

 

Ann

Wow, that must have been really interesting to go on that journey.

 

Sharon

Well, and as well as that kind of information, I was also able to document more than 130 of her seances.

 

Ann

Wow.

 

Sharon

That people had written about, that she had given, in journals, and newspapers, and everything else, I was able to document.  Obviously she did more seances than 130 of them, but I was able to document at least 130 or more. 

 

Ann

That’s amazing, so without giving the content of your book away, what are you able to tell us about her?

 

Sharon

Well, what I'm able to say is she has lived in obscurity for so long, most people have never even heard of Maria B Hayden.  Spiritualists who have taken the course that I took have heard of her, but most people have never heard of her, and part of the reason they haven't, unlike someone like Emma Hardinge Britten, most people have heard of her in the spiritualist movement, have heard of her, Maria was not a trance speaker.  She was just a medium doing private sittings, and unlike mediums who were trance speakers, or did something really unusual and amazing, like Daniel Dunglas Home, who did a lot of levitation and levitated out of windows and back into windows, you know the average everyday medium, just like today, nobody knows anything about them, and what was so much fun about researching Maria, which some writers and researchers may not think it was fun, she left no diaries, she left no letters, she left no memoirs, she left nothing to tell me about her life.  But her husband William, did write a memoir of that time period while they were in England.  So I had great detail with that, and I was able to track down all the sources he talked about to confirm the seance details.  So I did have that much but I didn't have much about her life before England or after England and that's what I had to reconstruct.  What's also fascinating about Maria, she started as a spirit medium and I'd be happy to explain how she did mediumship then in just a moment, she then became a healing medium or a clairvoyant physician if you will, and then in her 40s, in the mid 1860s, she went to medical school and became a medical doctor.  And she was so good at it, she gained the respect of her colleagues, because she was also, without making a big deal about it, using her psychic abilities and her connection with the spirit world.  And so she became, very, had a wonderful reputation among her medical colleagues.

 

Ann

Wow that's amazing.

 

Sharon

So I wanted to describe her method of mediumship if I may, because it's so different from today. Today as mental mediums, we get the information subjectively in our minds. We are the only ones that hear it or perceive it and then we give the information.  In Maria’s day she used physical mediumship which is rapping.   We're all familiar with the Fox sisters and how spiritualism started in 1848 with the rapping on the wall and they communicated with this intelligence. The method of mediumship that Maria used or and some American mediums were using at the time and this is why it was so significant when she went to England because nobody had heard of this method, was an alphabet method.  She had printed on a piece of cardboard something that looks exactly like a Ouija board today.  It had two rows of the letters of the alphabet and then a row of numbers 1 through 9 and a zero. And so how she would do her seances, private sittings were called seances, she'd have up to six people around the seance table at a time or just one person, is the sitter would point to the letter of the alphabet.  If there was no rap, they moved on to the next letter.  If there was a rap, okay, write right down a beat and then they would start over again.  ‘A’ no rap, no rap for ‘B’,  no rap for ‘C’ and they’d go through the alphabet to get the letters to form words and form sentences.  Her seances took 2-3 hours sometimes.

 

Ann

I was going to say,  they must have taken quite some time.  It's quite laborious.

 

Sharon

Very laborious.  And there were a lot of people who tested her and so they would, because they thought oh well she's seeing the letters what were pointing to, and she would turn her back to them, or they would shield the alphabet so she couldn't see it.  They accused her of making the raps but there was nobody in the room who would, there was no way she could have done that, they checked under the table, she wasn't knocking her foot against the table, there was accusations that she cracked her toes, well nobody can crack their toes that many times for two hours, it’s just not physically possible.  They thought she was a ventriloquist, they thought she had somebody else making the raps and oftentimes she was there by herself, among people she didn't even know.  And they would all examine the table and they would all watch her feet.  Sometimes she would be sitting there reading a book while all this was going on.

 

Ann

It's amazing.  What sort of questions would they have asked her?

 

Sharon

Just like today, they would ask things like, who is, who's the spirit?  And then they would rap out the names using the alphabet, their cause of death, when they died.  Typically that was enough information to, for a positive identification, when you've got the name of a person and when they died, or when they were born or whatever, and then most of the communication was the message.  What the spirit person wanted to say to their loved ones.

 

Ann

So she had 130 documented seances.  So what sort of things have you read that happened in those seances?  Does anything stand out from those seances in your mind?

 

Sharon

Oh definitely.  The very first séance, professional seance she gave when she was in England was for Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton who lived and occupied Knebworth House.  Sir Edward was very much interested in the occult and mediums, and so when she came to town somebody had told him that she was in town and so he invited her and her husband to Knebworth House to conduct a séance.  And over the course of the year that she was there, she would also do seances for him in his London home or he would go to her London home for seances.  And they tested the spirits just like we do.  And so he said, here's a decanter of wine, if there are spirits here make the wine move but not the decanter.  And so then the wine would start moving.  Another time he challenged the spirits and said something negative about them.   Both Maria and him were nowhere near the table, they were standing up away from the table, and he said something negative about the spirits and the table lunged at him and practically pinned him against the wall.  And there were witnesses to this.  This wasn't just, you know, him making it up or exaggerating there, there were other people in the room when this happened.  She was able to create some physical phenomena that was just amazing.

 

Ann

That is amazing.  So for her, how did it start?  How did that physical phenomena first begin for her?

 

Sharon

She and her husband William attended a seance in the 1850s, in Boston.  And not long after that, her husband started hearing raps in his office.  He was a journalist and a Botanic Physician and he started hearing raps in his office.  So he and Maria held seances.  Well at the time, it didn't occur to them to ask who the medium was, they just held seances and got information.  But after about the 4th or 5th séance, they decided to ask who's the medium? And so they would call out each person's name, one at a time, and if there were no raps, than that wasn't the medium, if there were raps, that was the medium. And initially the spirits chose William as the medium but he didn't want to give up his career as a journalist and a Botanic Physician, so the spirits indicated okay then, your wife Maria is going to be the medium.  And that's where it started.

 

Ann

So before that, did she have anything happen to her in her life or was she just trolling along as an ordinary person and then the raps began, or?

 

Sharon

Mostly, mostly she was.  She does indicate in an interview she gave for a magazine after she became a medical doctor, she does indicate that as a child she had abilities to sense when people were sick, and she was called to people's sickrooms to give healing.   She didn't know what she was doing, she didn't know anything about it at the time and nobody apparently did.  I haven't been able to find anybody in the family who also had these abilities but she said it made her feel very uncomfortable to be around people who were sick because she was empathic and she could feel this.  So that's really the start of her own abilities, so to speak but not with spirit communication just yet.

 

Ann

Wow, so she recognised the healer within herself at a young age, that's very interesting.  Go back again, you were saying that these raps with her husband, so where were they, just tell me that story again ?

 

Sharon

Sure no problem.   Initially they attended a seance in Boston in 1850 .

 

Ann

Yeah, 

 

Sharon

And William …

 

Ann

… held by somebody else

 

Sharon

… by somebody else, yes.

 

Ann

OK 

 

Sharon

That’s in the book.  I’m not…

 

Ann

Obviously, yes don't tell us too much …

 

Sharon

It's not a tell all interview..

 

Ann

No…

 

Sharon

So when William got home, he started hearing raps in his house, in his study.

 

Ann

Oh I see, so after that séance, those raps followed him home in a way.

 

Sharon

They followed him home in a way.  And then they, William and Maria started holding seances, without knowing who the medium was.

 

Ann

Yes I see, so, were they not frightened at that point that phenomena was happening?

 

Sharon

Apparently not. They just accepted it, you know. They had heard about the Fox Sisters and the raps and the start of spiritualism. This is 1850, so it’s 2 years later.  And the Fox Sisters had been demonstrating on the stage.  I don’t know that William and Maria saw the Fox Sisters, but they would have, William was a journalist, he would have read about it or heard about it.  So there was nothing to fear about it because people understood.  These weren’t demons, these weren’t evil spirits, they were people like you and me who just wanted to say hey, I’m okay and I’m still alive.

 

Ann

Gosh that’s incredible, so there was the rappings and there was the spelling out within the séance of the messages that were coming through from spirit.  Were there other ways that spirit communicated within those seances as well?

Sharon

No. No.  That was the primary way that she used the séance.  There might have been other physical phenomena that happened.  Like in one séance, somebody asked that the spirit world give each of them an electrical shock and they did.  There was another séance.  The séance was completely over with and they were having tea and just chatting, they were nowhere near the table, nowhere near anything and one of the hosts children came in and said, can the spirits make raps happen all at once?  And it’s described as knitting needles falling on a marble floor.  And the raps were different.  Every Communicator had a different rap sound.  

 

Ann

Oh my goodness, that would have been wonderful to hear wouldn’t it?  The syncopation of that. Let’s have a look at her healing capacity then because you were saying as a child she had this, she recognised the healer within and then you did say she went on to be a, you had a special word for it, Clariosympathist or Clairvoyant Physician?

 

Sharon

Very good a Clariosympathist,  That was a term she coined.  Just like we think of clairvoyant, seeing in the mind’s eye, clairaudient, hearing in the mind’s ear.  She coined the term clairsympathy, her mind being in sympathy with the patient’s body.  And what she would do as a healing medium or clairvoyant physician or when she came up with the term clairosympathist, is she would hold the recipient’s hand and basically she did psychometry, what we would call psychometry today, on the patient.  And she was able to diagnose what the problem is and where the problem was in the body.  Then she received from the spirit world, the cure or the remedy.

 

Ann

And what sort of remedies would they be?

 

Sharon

Well that’s what I don’t know exactly.  At one point, she advertises, she and her husband advertise the cure, the spirit remedy, which sounds very much like a patent medicine.  I have not been able to find what was in it, but given her husband was a botanic physician, it’s obviously botanicals and herbs and that kind of thing.  He later goes on to become a chemist and to have a line of patent medicines, very closely after Maria received from the spirit world the cure, the remedy, and so I suspect that he used some of those things that the spirit world gave in his patent medicines.  But typically that’s what they used, was patent medicines.

 

Ann

How many people would she have treated? And would people have come to see her as you would go to see a doctor?

 

Sharon

Absolutely, in fact doctors would recommend her.  She was that good that doctors who were at a point where they couldn’t figure out how to help her patients, would send them to Maria.  I can’t say how many patients she had, but the family sent me a brochure that survived in the family, where it had all these testimonials and people would publish testimonials in the newspaper about her healing abilities.  And they would all say how spot on she was, how accurate she was.  So she really developed quite a practise as a healing medium as well.

 

Ann

Wow, and you talk about her family so she still has living descendants ?

 

Sharon

Yes in fact that's how I found her photograph. I searched high and low for a photograph of Maria.  One website has a picture of Queen Victoria and it's about Maria, I was like, what? I searched high and low, contacted all sorts of archives and libraries on this side of the ocean on that side of the ocean, every place I could think of to track down a photograph.  I detailed my search in the book, that is detailed because that's a parallel story to her story and that's why the book is called In Search Of Maria B Hayden, because I started in 2016 and could not find a photograph anywhere.  So I figured the only hope I had, was as a genealogist, I trace ancestors back but I can also trace descendants forward, so I figured that was going to be my only hope of finding a photograph.  And so I brought forward all of her living descendants, contacted as many as I could, and thankfully, someone had a photograph of her.  It's the only known existing photograph of her and that's on the cover of the book and it's also inside the book.

 

Ann

Oh my goodness, so there was a photograph, which is incredible!  And were they delighted that you were able to uncover so much about their family member?

 

Sharon

I don't know if they were delighted, but I hope they were.

 

Ann

I’m sure they were.

 

Sharon

I did all this research for free for them.

 

Ann

Let's say they were.

 

Sharon

Yes.

 

Ann

Gosh, and had they heard of her themselves, because you know, sometimes we have relatives and we don't know who were are related to?

 

Sharon

Right, no, they knew of Maria.  They had her prescription pad, they had this brochure, and they had the photograph, and they were very generous to share them with me . The stories unfortunately, that were handed down in the family, were not completely accurate.  I had to say well here's what the research shows.  They were aware of her, they were aware of the fact that she was a medium and involved in spiritualism and was a medical doctor, but that was about it. So I said, you know I'm writing this book about her, I don't know whether she picked me or I picked her, but we're here. I'm going to write this book and they were very generous with what they had, and so I've reproduced the prescription pad, quotes from the brochure and again the photograph is in there, plus some other interesting photographs and I don't want to give too much away.

 

Ann

No, buy the book and find out everybody!  So her descendants ,are they medics themselves, did they go on to be psychics anything like that?

 

Sharon

No, no they're just normal everyday people.  What's interesting is the family, that everything was handed down in, one of them lives here in Utah where I live.  He didn't live here when I first contacted his wife, who was the keeper of the family archivist, who was the keeper of everything, but he has since moved to Utah. I haven't been able to meet him yet because of the pandemic but he's, just like down the street practically.

 

Ann

Wow that's amazing, so close to you as well.

 

Sharon

Yes.

 

Ann

I read in, as I was reading your book, I picked up on the fact that Charles Dickens would not attend a séance.

 

Sharon

Correct.

 

Ann

Tell me about that, as I do, I've got a thing about Charles Dickens, I love him, I love his writing, obviously, and I found his biography/autobiography, whichever one it is I can never remember, just so fascinating, about his lifestyle and things, so tell me why he wouldn't attend a seance.

 

Sharon

Personally I think he's afraid of ghosts.  For someone who loves a ghost story, and writes ghost stories, he would not attend a seance with Maria, he would not attend a seance with Daniel Dunglas Home, or he would not attend any seances, and his friends… That was the other interesting thing about researching Maria, I wasn't just focused on her, I was taking tangents off into the papers of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who was very much interested in spiritualism, into Charles Dickens, and his journalists, into William Makepeace Thackeray, into other writers whom Maria attracted and friends of Dickens would say, the reason he doesn't want to go attend a séance is because he's afraid he'll be convinced that there are ghosts.

 

Ann

Isn't that interesting? 

 

Sharon

Yes, yes.

 

Ann

I love that story.

 

Sharon

I know.  So here he is, you know, writing all these ghost stories, and I don't, you know and his friends Elizabeth Barrett Browning, says I don't think he believes in ghosts or he's afraid he's going to be convinced.

 

Ann

How funny, how funny, oh thank you for sharing that, I've really enjoyed listening to that. So you also said that Maria went on to do automatic writing.  Can you talk about that aspect?

 

Sharon

Yes, now a lot of people misunderstand what automatic writing is. Automatic writing is when the spirit takes control of your hand and your hand writes.  Now there is also controlled writing, which is, the medium is in a trance and the spirit takes control of their hand and writes. Maria was not in a trance.  She did not believe in any kind of trance mediumship. She wanted to be fully conscious, both in her healing and in her mediumship. She wanted absolutely no accusations, unfair accusations of fraud, and so she was perfectly conscious. And so the spirit would take control of her hand which is automatic writing and write messages.  I have reproduced in the appendix, one of her automatic writing, it's a copy though, it's not her actual writing, I've yet been able to find any of her actual automatic writings where she held the pen and wrote, but this is a copy of one it's handwritten and so that's in the appendix of the book and if I might add, this isn't just a biography, it's also a reference book, because I've reproduced her medical articles, I've included her family history, her husband's family history, this automatic writing copy, as well as analysis of photographs and that kind of thing, so it's not just a biography, it is a reference as well.

 

Ann

Yeah I mean it's so in depth, it's fascinating the amount of detail that you've gone into.  How long did it take you to write?

 

Sharon

Well as I said, I started in 2016, at the time I was just writing a thesis to get my diploma from the Spiritualist’s National Union and that had to be 12,000 words. Now that would scare most people but when I found out how much material there was, I had more than 12,000 words. I had to cut down what I found to 12,000 words for the thesis.  So after the diploma and the thesis and I received a couple of awards for that as well, I decided this has to be a book, her story has to be told and so I had worked on it for four years.

 

Ann

Gosh four years.  You must have felt incredible when you typed the end.  Well you probably didn’t type the endbut you know, when he came to the end.

 

Sharon

A lot of people ask me how did you know when you were done?

 

Ann

Yeah 

 

Sharon

Or a lot of people would say when is the book going to be done, because I was constantly posting on Facebook you know my progress, and I said I'm going to be done when Maria tells me I'm done.  At one point I said to Maria, you know I've looked at everything I can think of, if there's something I missed, speak now or forever hold your peace, and that day I decided oh, you know I never looked into the apartment building she lived in in New York City. I wonder if there are floor plans or architectural plans for those apartments, so I know what her living conditions were like.  So I emailed a very good friend of mine, Joseph Dita at the New York Historical Society, he is the archivist there, and I said, do you have anything like that and he said no, but there are fire insurance maps that tell about the construction of the building, what it was made from, and details about the exterior of the building, and so that was the same day that I said to Maria if I've missed something speak now or forever hold your peace, and there it was, there was something I had missed. And when I was done I just knew I was done. I just knew there's nothing else I can look at, or if there is, it's just telling me the same things over and over again, so I'm done.

 

Ann

Yeah, but you know, on behalf of everyone who's going to read it and benefit from it, I just want to say thank you for your incredible work and dedication to, to the history of this wonderful lady’s life, you know, it's such a wonderful resource that we've all got, and I bet the Spiritualist’s National Union are just so thankful to you for doing such in-depth research.

 

Sharon

Well I hope so.  I hope so.

 

Ann

I'm sure they are.

 

Sharon

They just got their copies a few days ago, I sent copies over there to the President and the Vice President and a few other people, so I don't think they've read it yet, you know, it's not it's not a book you sit down one rainy Saturday afternoon and finish

 

Ann

Yeah there’s a lot, because there's so much to take in, but I think that's the beauty of it isn't it, you can just take your time and just read all these fascinating things and the fact that you've included the photographs, and I know that there's a beautiful photograph in there of the spirit wheel you spoke about earlier on, with all the letters spelled out and stuff, so people can see what it actually looked like, and yeah, it's just an incredible piece of work. What is the most fascinating thing that you found out about her?

 

Sharon

You know I think her whole life is fascinating and I think that's because nobody knew anything about her, so I was uncovering, everything I was uncovering was, except for that year in England, and even a lot of things in that year in England nobody had uncovered, so her whole life is really fascinating to me.  I think one of the things that fascinates me most, was going to medical school in her 40s. The intelligence she had to have to get into medical school, to gain the respect of her male colleagues. She was only, there were I forget, a dozen students in that class, give or take, and she was one of three females, and of those three females, she was the only one to go on and really make a name for herself, and be on committees and give papers and have papers published. So she was so far ahead of her time both as a medium, as a healer and as a medical doctor.  She is just an incredible, incredible woman.

 

Ann

Yeah she, she is incredible, because not only that, she had children.

 

Sharon

Yes, yes, when she went to medical school in her 40s she had three children under the age of 12.  So you know, you can only imagine, obviously they must have had help, but you can only imagine she had to study. It wasn't just a matter of attending lecture, she was in the anatomy lab dissecting bodies, without gloves, because back then they didn't know about the germ theory.  So bare hands, getting her hands into cadavers and dissecting them, and still going home and being a mom.

 

Ann

Yeah, what an incredible, incredible human being she was.  Why were the press so negative towards her?

 

Sharon

Well initially of course, and just like today there are sceptics, and there were people who just felt like she was a fraud, and they set out to prove that she was a fraud.  Right before Maria and William went to England, there was an article in the newspaper written by and in, I forget now whether it was a cousin or an in law of the Fox sisters, claiming they were frauds. And so Maria and William are stepping into England with that in people's minds, so they had to prove themselves, Maria especially had to prove herself and she proved herself to the upper classes, the upper middle classes, to physicians, to writers, novelists, journalists, to Lords and ladies and duchesses and what's the opposite of a Duchess - Duke Dukes and duchesses, so she had to prove herself and she did.  There are a number of negative articles about her in the British press but for every negative one you can find at least one maybe two positive ones of people she convinced that there is life after death.

 

Ann

Yeah I mean negative press follows everybody doesn't it, whether you're, you know a local hairdresser, or a psychic medium.

 

Sharon

Absolutely, well and in fact  what Maria and William found out after they came back in 1853, Maria was pregnant and so they came back to America, she had her baby and was still doing seances here in Boston, and they decided to go back to England in 1855.  They couldn't get any ads placed in the British papers, and as a friend told them, negative press is better than no press, and they got no press and so they were only in England for a month or two and they came back home.  Because they couldn't get any advertisements in the papers to say that she was back.

 

Ann

And therefore they couldn't get anyone to attend the seances and the meetings.

 

Sharon

Right.

 

Ann

Ah what a shame that was, what, what a missed opportunity as well.

 

Sharon

Exactly, well also at that time Daniel Dunglas Home had come to England and everybody was fascinated with him.  Maria was like, hey we've done this before, we've done this alphabet thing before, this guy is, you know floating in and out of windows.  This guy is doing really weird stuff and so he was getting all the attention.

 

Ann

I don’t know much about him tell us about him a little bit.

 

Sharon

Well, that's about how much I know is a little bit.  I focused on Maria. I've read his, one of his biographies but my focus was him in relation to her.

 

Ann

Yes of course.

 

Sharon

They crossed paths and in fact, they were supposed to sail together in 1855 to England, but the Hayden's ended up taking another ship a month later and he went first and he got all the attention.

 

Ann

Yes, I see.  And so what happened to her, so she worked as a medical doctor, she's, she's a mother, she's, she's doing her seances, she's gone back to America, and she's obviously I'm presuming carrying on with all of that sort of work at home in America and then what, how did she die? What happened then?

 

Sharon

She died at the age of about 57 there is a discrepancy on her birth year on her headstone, which I explained in the book and why I arrive at a different birth year, but she was about 57 when she passed, and she died from heart disease. You can see in the photograph of her she's not a thin woman and of course, the more wealthy you are, the more you ate, so she did have some weight on her and I assume she had the typical heart disease symptoms, high blood pressure, that kind of thing, so she did pass from heart disease in 1883.

 

Ann

And it was young wasn't it, 57, or maybe not so young back in that time, but it still feels young to me 57.

 

Sharon

Yeah it is. And in fact while I'm thinking of it February 11th is her transition date, and coming up on February 11th, I'm going to be starting a free monthly reading and discussion group for those who are having trouble disciplining themselves, or just want to talk about Maria, because she is my passion, so February 11th at 6:00 PM UK time, I'll be holding a free discussion group, reading group, and you can go to my Facebook page  and see the information on that, or email me, [email protected] and I’ll be happy to give you information. It will be on Zoom of course.

 

Ann

Okay so I’ve just looked in my diary Sharon and Thursday, 11th February, Episode 29 which will be your episode, that is the release date for this episode, isn't that incredible?

 

Sharon

Yup, and that's the date she transitioned in 1883 to spirit and the date I’ll be starting my reading and discussion group.

 

Ann

It was meant to be.

 

Sharon

 It was, it was.

 

Ann

And Sharon, your book In Search Of Maria B Hayden, where can people buy it, how can they get hold of a copy?

 

Sharon

They can go on any Amazon marketplace, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Netherlands, Australia, wherever your Amazon is the book is there, and you can purchase a copy through there.

 

Ann

Thank you so much Sharon for coming onto this podcast and just, you know, letting us know, I know you can't give us too many details of what's in the book, but you've given us so much to make us very very intrigued to find out more about the life of Maria Hayden, it's just, Maria B Hayden.  Is there a Maria Hayden?

 

Sharon

There is another Maria B Hayden who lives today and she's a children's author.  So if you Google Maria B Hayden, you'll get both my Maria and her.

 

Ann

How funny, how, how brilliant and so and also you mentioned at the very, very beginning of this interview, that you are a certified Genealogist and a professional, very, very good and very experienced at what you do.  So if somebody wanted to come to you, they wanted to trace a relative, how would they find you for that?

 

Sharon

My website is www.sharoncarmack.com  my genealogy, professional genealogy website is www.sharoncarmack.com.  You can reach me through there. I also do research tutorials for people who want to do their own research. I get on Zoom with them and show them how to work ancestry.com and familysearch.org, show them how to do that, if they want to do their own research, at which, that's the fun part, you know, a lot of people would rather do their own research then hire me to do it for them, but anyway www.sharoncarmack.com  for that and I have a website www.mariabhayden.net that has more information about Maria on it.

 

Ann

Gosh that's great, I mean fancy coming to you and you being able to help us how to, to trace our relatives, that would be amazing, what a great, a great coaching service that is for people.

 

Sharon

You know, it's my passion.  Personally I didn't have any experiences growing up with spirit I was about as psychic as a brick. I had no experience whatsoever.  I chose to become a medium at the age of 57 and I'm 64 now, so I developed my mediumship as an older adult but I've always worked with the dead as a genealogist,  I've been a geologist since my early 20s and even though I didn't recognise how they were communicating back to me. I was always talking to them and communicating with them just not realising it was a two way conversation.

 

Ann

Yeah interesting, so so what was the tipping point for you at 57 where you think I'm really going to go and study this now this mediumship.

 

Sharon

Well this sounds really stupid but it's… I was flipping through channels one night, saw the Long Island Medium and I thought, hmmm, I wonder if anyone can become a medium.  Yup,  anyone can.

 

Ann

Right, right, amazing but you've done really well with your mediumship.  You've studied to such a high degree, I mean it must, you know we, we must acknowledge your standing here that you are not only a professional medium but you're a Certificate Holder and a Diploma Holder of the Spiritualist’s National Union and that is not, that is an incredible undertaking, there's a lot of work and research and exams put in there.

 

Sharon

Yes, there was but as I've told my husband if my whole journey to become a medium was to tell Maria’s story with empathy, it was worth it.  Because yeah, I'm biased, I'm a biased biographer.  I try to be objective but I'm also a biased biographer but I needed to tell her story with empathy and to explain, okay this seance went bad, and this is why.  She probably didn't know why certain seances went bad but I can tell, based on the accounts and what was going on in her life, why she had a bad séance.  Just like any medium, sometimes we have bad readings and we have bad demonstrations that don't go as well as we think, but we can look back and say you know, I had a cold or my energy just wasn't where it should be.  We understand what affects mediums, she didn't.  She didn't even know how it worked.  So as a medium myself, I was able to add that level to her story, to explain, this is probably why that seance went so wrong.

 

Ann

Yeah interesting.  And do you offer readings to people yourself as a medium are you working in that way?

 

Sharon

Not at the present moment I'm not.  I've got too much on my plate right now.  I do demonstrations on the Spiritualist’s National Union International, on Fridays they have presentations of mediumship and I'm not on every Friday but I do demonstrations there. They are not open to the public but they are open to all SNUI members which is very inexpensive to join, I forget it's like £25 for the year, and you can attend anything, well not anything, some of the classes are closed, but I teach some circles on Mondays and Tuesdays. I hold circles on Sun.  I'm the US representative and there are just so many things that available that I would encourage people to look at the SNUI website, just Google Spiritualist’s National Union international and they'll find it there.

 

Ann

A fantastic organisation and like you say for a very nominal sum per year, you have got so much at your fingertips and so much tuition available to you, and it is for everybody in the world that's the beauty of it .

 

Sharon

Yes you don't have to be a Spiritualist to join .

 

Ann

Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, thank you so much, really from my heart, thank you for coming on to the podcast and talking to us about your fantastic book, In Search Of Maria B Hayden.

 

Sharon

Thank you Ann, for letting me talk about what I'm so passionate about, I really appreciate it.

 

 

Ann: Well, I really hope you enjoyed that episode and thanks once again to Sharon DeBartolo Carmack for coming on the show and sharing so generously her knowledge on the life of Maria B Hayden. Please do go to Amazon and buy a copy of her book – and don’t forget to leave her an honest review as well, because those really do help new authors and that would be a wonderful way for you to thank her for creating such a wonderful resource for us all.  If you would like to find out more about some of the things Sharon mentioned in this podcast, please head over to the show notes for this episode on my website at www.anntheato.com and you will find a complete transcript of this episode plus all resources and links.

 

A very big thank you to all of you, Psychic Matters Listeners, as ever, I really appreciate you and thank you so much for listening and please make sure to hit the subscribe button, so that you don’t miss out on any of my forthcoming episodes.

 

 

 

 

If you know of anyone who you think might be interested in the subject matter of this podcast, please do share this with them and if you’re enjoying things so far, I’d really appreciate you leaving me a written review on Apple podcasts or Stitcher if you have an Android phone. Many thanks to those listeners who have already done that, I’m so appreciative, but if you haven’t as yet and you are finding this podcast helpful, please do take the time to leave me a review, I would be so very grateful.  

 

Just before I go, I have a couple of  great training courses coming up – one on the Theatre of Mediumship, looking at how we connect with people in the spirit world and how to access their backstory and another training course using the Tarot Wheel – which will help you find out how you can predict your year ahead.  I’m also leading a Group Past Life Regression Session online, where I invite you to allow my voice to take each of you on a beautiful journey, across space and time, to the beauty of the spirit realms and the mystery of your past life experiences.  If any of those sound like just what you need right now- do head over to my website anntheato.com and you will find details under online courses events.

 

For now I wish you all a fantastic couple of weeks.  I hope that everything goes incredibly well for you all this week.

 

Until next time… my name is Ann Théato and thank you for listening to PSYCHIC MATTERS!