The Life and Times of Estelle Roberts

Estelle Roberts career as a psychic medium would span approximately 50 years. During this time she would provide a number of impressive readings and offer innumerable demonstrations. In this article we’ll take a look at some of the interesting events in her live and some of the more impressive readings she provided. It is important to examine the life and times Estelle Roberts in the context of history. Estelle was born in 1889 and her mediumship would not begin to really flourish until around 1921. This was a time of enormous change. She would see the turn of the century, the great depression and two world wars (both of which would engulf her home country, England). Most of all, Estelle Roberts would be involved in a titanic struggle between emerging spiritualities and science backed by traditional religion.

This is part 2 of a 4 part series of articles on Estella Roberts. To read previous article, go to Estella Roberts: The Early Years

paranormal gathering seanceEstelle Roberts never really embraced her gifts until she was in her thirties, around 1921. Once she connected with her spirit guide, Red Cloud, her journey had really begun. Estelle started to attend or be a guest medium at a number of Spiritualist churches around London such as Richmond, Surbiton, Wimbleton and others. Has she did, often Estelle would provide demonstrations of clairvoyance and clairaudience. There was little to no money in this for Estelle, only the satisfaction she was providing others with the opportunity to discover the possibility of life after death.

Soon, word spread that there was this wonderful new medium circulating around the London churches. Often people would request private ‘sittings’ with Estelle. At one such sitting, a woman wanted to contact her fiancée who’d passed-on before they could be married. Estelle seemed to connect clairaudently with the young man almost immediately. Only, he seemed to be swearing over and over. Estelle asked, "was he a man who used strong language?". "Not especially. Why do you ask?", the woman replied. "Well, he keeps on saying,’Not bloody likely, not bloody likely!’". The woman gave surprised laugh and said that she and her fiancée had agreed that who ever died first should try to come back and give as a password the famous phrase from Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

This would not be the only time when Estelle would receive information either clairaudiently or through her spirit guide Red Cloud which would turn out to be some agreed upon password to confirm survival after death that a loved one or family would know. As Spiritualism became popular in Europe it was not uncommon for couples, families and friends to create such passwords to confirm life beyond death (and such passwords could be used to confirm a true communication was taking place). More often, though, such ‘prove of life’ requests involved the guest being told something that only the guest and a loved one could know.

Estelle was ever working on her skills as a medium. Although she often provided sittings where she would just see and hear spirits, it was not long before Estelle was working in semi-trance and full trance states. It was in a semi-trance state in 1925, at a church in Richmond, that Red Cloud came through and told the crowd that this medium Estelle Roberts would become very well known. People would come from all over the world to see her at mass meetings and many would be turned away. For her efforts she would never want, nor would she ever be rich.

Estelle emerged from the trace state feeling a bit embarrassed by this outburst and, facing a somewhat surprised group of people, meekly said, "What lovely fairy story I have been telling … ". However, by the 1930s Estelle was filling large halls and become known world wide as an exceptional psychic medium. On the one hand Estelle was doing what she felt she needed to do which was working with people to help them understand that survival after death was possible. On the other hand, Estelle did her best to avoid fame and fortune by keeping her relationship with famous persons confidential and shunning large payments for her time.

psychic solves crime It was a difficult time for anyone to practice clairvoyance. Becoming popular, creating too high a profile as a psychic, or appearing to prosper as a psychic, could result in being arrested. In the 1930’s (up until 1951) under the Witchcraft Act of 1735, it was "a crime for a person to claim that any human being had magical powers or was guilty of practising witchcraft". As far as prosecutors (and the Church) were concerned, psychics, clairvoyants and so forth were clearly claiming magical powers. Though the law was rarely enforced, clairvoyant mediums had been arrested and jailed. What seemed to prevent some people who would have Estelle Roberts arrested was her link to many prominent people. Royalty, members of Parliament and celebrities attended her demonstrations on psychic mediumship (not to mention that when Estelle gave a public demonstration of her skills at as a medium, the crowds could reach into the thousands). Many of these prominent individuals also often visited Estelle for private readings and considered her a friend.

When in England King George II of Greece was known to visit Estelle to confer with Estelle’s spirit guide, Red Cloud. King George’s interest in the mystical was well known among his friends and family. On one such visit with Estelle, George related a story of how he was in India visiting Lord Willingdon, Viceroy of India, and asked Lord Willingdon where he might meet a noted mystic to discuss the topic of psychic experiences. Willingdon directed King George to a holy man living some distance away. King George traveled anonymously to see this holy man. After traveling some time across a vast plateau, George came across the holy man. This man, dress in a loincloth and turban help up his hand as if to stop any discussion and said, "Come no further, my son. You have no need of me, for you are under the protection of the great Red Cloud.". That was it, the meeting between King George and the India holy man was conclude.

On rare occasions, Estelle would assist law enforcement. Estelle would comment that she found providing this help emotionally difficult, particular murder cases, because of horrific circumstances involved. Also, she didn’t want to get involved in anything that might be perceived as a stunt to advance herself at the cost of someone’s tragedy. However, one murder case in 1937 which caught the attention of the public was the abduction and murder of a child, Mona Tinsley. Estelle became involved at the request of a close friend.

Estelle offered her services to the Chief Constable of Newark, and if he accepted her services, to mail her some clothing of the child. Again, Estelle requested her involvement be kept confidential. Once Estelle received the clothing and handled it she knew the child was dead and in a clairvoyant image saw the location of the murder. All this information was given to the Chief Constable who in return requested Estelle visit Newark to see if she could be of additional assistance.

Arriving in Newark by train, a driver pick-up Estelle and in route saw a house and knew immediately this was where the crime was committed. She was able to positively point out where the crime was committed and point out areas where the child had been (which turned out to be the same areas police had found evidence that Mona Tinsley had been there). She said the child had been strangled, placed in a sack and carried away.

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Since the body had yet to be found, the Chief Constable pressed Estelle on where the body might be. Estelle asked the Chief Constable to walk with her. They passed a graveyard (where the police had obviously been digging looking for a body) and out to a field. Estelle told the Chief Constable that out passed that field was a river, that is where the suspect had dumped the body. In that direction was the River Idle. Although the river had been dragged, Estelle insisted that is where the body would be found. Weeks later, the body was found in that river (it had become jammed in a drain), in a sack and the cause of death of the child was strangulation. The suspect, Fredrick Nodder, was eventually executed for the abduction and murder of Mona Tinsley. Although most did their best to keep Estelle’s involvement confidential, there was a press leak and some news accounts of Estelle’s assistance became public record.

This article a part of series on Estella Roberts:
Estella Roberts: The Early Years
Life and Times of Estella Roberts
Estella Roberts: Critics and Skeptics, Part 1
Estella Roberts: Critics and Skeptics, Part 2

Should you be interested in talking to a professional psychic, give Psychic Starella a call at 1-800-888-5523. You might also appreciate Ask the Spirits where you can contact psychic mediums … or call 1-866-327-9032 (toll free USA and Canada).

Interesting Resources:

Fifty Years a Medium

Fifty Years a Medium – PDF Download

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Funeral