Sources returnpage

Indriðason, Indriði

Category: Other spiritually gifted people

Indriði Indriðason (October 12, 1883 - August 31, 1912) was an Icelandic psychic, extremely gifted, and one of the first such gifted people in Iceland to have their abilities documented and researched.  

Indriði was raised on a remote farm and was uneducated.  At 22, he moved to Reykjavík to work at a newspaper as a printer's apprentice. The wife of the relative at whose house he was living was interested in the Experimental Society that Einar Hjörleifsson Kvaran had established to investigate spiritualist claims and she introduced him to the Society members. 

And it was this Society that experimented and documented Indriði’s abilities.

The Experimental Society was formalized in fall 1905 in order to investigate Indriði. It paid him a living allowance and he was required not to give séances without its permission. In 1907, the Society built an Experimental House for him to provide maximally controlled conditions for observing him.  The Society consisted mostly of academics who took all thinkable precautions to prevent the possibility of fraud, which Indridi gladly accepted.

Indriði's gifts

If we use the contents section of Erlendur Haraldsson and Loftur Gissurarson’s book on Indriði as a guide to the sorts of things he could do, we find chapter headings for:

3 Table-Tilting, Automatic Writing and Trance Speech
4 Levitations, and Direct Voice and Light Phenomena
5 The Fire in Copenhagen [remote viewing]
9 Disappearance of Indridi´s Arm
10 Healing, Olfactory Phenomena and Surgical-like Operations
12 Materializations and Apports
13 Violent Disturbances and the Photograph Experiment
14 Destructive Assaults
18 Direct Voice Phenomena – Speaking and Singing
19 The French Singer and “Musica Trascendentale”
31 More Levitations, and Direct Voice and Writing Phenomena

From an interview with Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation of Dr. Erlendur Haraldson

the physical mediumship of Indridi Indridason began accidentally in 1905, and lasted only until 1909. In his tragically short life Indridi produced almost every effect observed with the great of physical mediums, yet for decades following his premature death he was largely forgotten. Particularly outstanding were direct recognizable voices of deceased persons, vivid light phenomena of various forms and colours and massive levitations of the medium, some of them in full light. There were raps, and cracking sounds in the air, levitations of objects, playing of musical instruments as if by invisible hands while they were flying around, gusts of wind, odour phenomena; in short almost any phenomena mentioned in the history of spiritualism.
Whispers were heard, voices spoken, also through trumpets moving in the air, or the voices proved their identity by recounting memories from the time they were living; voices were heard singing, including male and female voices at the same time. A choir was heard in the distance. A fire burning in a factory in Copenhagen was described at a time when there was no telephone or radio contact with Iceland.

Most of these phenomena would be classified as ‘environmental influence’ on the site, as well as remote viewing, and inter composer communication.  Despite their spectacular nature, these are ‘low level’ gifts and there are inherent dangers in using them without understanding what you are doing.  Indridi went into trance and this left his body open to possession.  It appears that later in his mediumship he became possessed by a great number of fairly malevolent spirits.

Some examples

Table tilting

Whilst living in Reykjavík in 1905, the wife of the relative at whose house Indriði was living brought him with her to a session of the Experimental Society and when he participated in a table-tilting experiment, the table moved "violently".

Automatic writing

According to proponents, Indriði had immediate success with automatic writing.

Direct voices

Most remarkable were the frequent phenomena of direct voices. And sometimes there were two voices – a female soprano and male bass voice – singing together.   The male and female voice singing simultaneously in a ‘skillful and trained manner’, was declared an impossible feat for Indriði, who was described as an untrained singer whose only stint at singing had been in the cathedral choir. Furthermore it was pointed out that it was "very improbable that there was in the whole town a singer who could" have sung as well as the voices did.

The direct voice phenomena are rare with mediums but were more common with Indridi Indridason than any other kind of phenomena, and were also observed outside his séances and in full daylight.

Lights and knocking

In the first year of experimentation, knocks were heard on the wall and lights manifested, initially as flashes or spots in the air or on walls, up to 58 at a time, of various sizes, shapes, and colours.

The accounts report that the lights stopped at Christmas but resumed in December 1906.  Indriði meanwhile sat in a trance. Witnesses attested the genuineness of the phenomena, saying that no equipment capable of producing the lights was available in Reykjavík, and the Kvarans attested that Indriði had only a single footlocker with no lock, and they and others searched him and kept him under observation.

Remote viewing/out of body

“The case of the fire in Copenhagen in 1905, described by the medium Indridi Indridason (1883-1912) and the Danish communicator Emil Jensen, is especially interesting as at this time there was no telephone or radio communication across the wide Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and the rest of Europe. News arrived only by ship. Over a century after it occurred Haraldson was able to trace Emil Jensen (1848-1898) by searching census records and archives in Copenhagen. Everything that Emil Jensen had said about his life in 1905, seven years after he had passed away, was proved correct. Jensen had lived in the Great King Street most of his life and there the fire had broken out, namely close to his home.

Levitation

By November 1905, he was allegedly able to levitate. According to Spiritualist accounts, Indriði himself sometimes bumped his head on the ceiling and complained about hurting his head, and on at least two occasions the neighbors' complaints about noise when he crashed back to the floor, required relocating the experiments to someone else's apartment.

Apporting

In winter 1906-07, the Society held "apport séances" in Kvaran's home during which Indriði allegedly materialized objects from all over Reykjavík. He himself was also reportedly teleported from one locked room to another on one occasion.

Witnesses state that Indriði's left arm "dematerialized" several times in December 1906 and that up to seven witnesses at a time swore that they could not find it, even striking matches and shining lights on his body.

Possession and control

After a while, a control personality emerged who claimed to be Konráð Gíslason, Indriði's grandfather's brother, who had been a professor of Icelandic language at the University of Copenhagen.

In early December 1905, a man appeared in the light and again in December 1906, the same man  appeared in the light and claimed to be a discarnate Dane named Mr. Jensen. The man supposedly appeared several times in a pillar of light that observers described as very beautiful, while Indriði meanwhile sat in a trance. Witnesses said that on his first appearance, Jensen spoke audibly, asking "in a typical Copenhagen accent" whether people could see him and that he was also palpable: he attempted to touch people and let them touch him.

In January 1908, a being named Sigmundur manifested, audible at some distance from Indriði.  Witnesses report that after that there were occasions when several voices were heard around Indriði while he was visiting his fiancée on a farm, including one outdoors in broad daylight when multiple different voices spoke to him and each other, in immediate succession and even simultaneously.

The spirits were moving in.

Things start to go wrong

One of the problems encountered by very gifted people unless they receive help from fellow psychics, is that the forces they can unleash become uncontrollable.  They attract spirits they did not want, and do not know how to control.  Shamans of old – the truly gifted - were coached from childhood in what to do, but Indriði had no one to help him. He was plagued, for example, by visions of ‘shadowy beings’, of whom he was afraid.

And he suffered during the experiments.  The accounts report that " all his major phenomena seemed to cause [Indriði] much pain, so that he would shriek and scream" .  He would complain after the séances that he "felt as if he had been beaten up."

After Indriði's visit to the Westman Islands in September 1907, he was plagued by poltergeist and levitation phenomena that he and his controls attributed to a man named Jón.  According to Haraldur Níelsson's account to the Second International Congress for Psychical Research, Jón was thought to be a recent suicide.

Members of the Society had to spend the night in Indriði's room, he was so frightened.  Indriði and the wicker chair he was sitting in were carried over two rows of people; the harmonium moved while the organist was playing it; and at night, Indriði's bed and Indriði himself were levitated. On one occasion, observers were unable to hold his legs down or prevent his being dragged into another room. Objects were thrown around the bedroom of the Experimental House and to a lesser extent at Kvaran's house, breaking lamps and wash-basins and causing the observers to grab Indriði and flee.

Death

Starting in spring 1905, Indriði complained that he did not like the experiments,

"and in fact never had, as he felt drained and tired as a result of them. He started to sleep badly, complained about headaches, and became  depressed. He planned to go to 'America' and leave the circle for good".   "America" meant New Iceland in Canada.

He then fell ill, and experienced a sudden serious illness in February the next year. In summer 1909 he visited his parents and he and his fiancée, Jóna Guðnadóttir, caught typhoid fever.

She died; Indriði never fully recovered and did not participate in any further research. He married someone else, but their daughter died before her second birthday, and Indriði himself died of tuberculosis in the Vífilsstaðir sanatorium on August 31, 1912 – he was just 28 years old.

References

Indridi Indridason: The Icelandic Physical Medium, by Erlendur Haraldsson and Loftur Gissurarson – this book is based on the protocol books meticulously written after each sitting by Prof. Haraldur Nielsson and Bjorn Jonsson [who later became the Prime Minister of Iceland]. These protocols are comparable to those written by Sir William Crookes and the Earl of Dunraven on their sittings with D. D. Home.

The extraordinary precautions taken against the possibility of fraud by the skeptical Gudmundur Hannesson (Professor of Medicine and twice President of the University of Iceland) were such that we could only exceed them today through infrared and light-enhancing equipment. Dr. Hannesson´s research lasted a whole winter until he had exhausted all possibilities he could think of to find a natural explanation

 

 

 

Observations

For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.