I'm honestly stunned at the amount of people, Metaphysical and otherwise, who have NO CLUE what physical mediumship is. If you don't know what mediumship in general is, well I was going to link you to a Wikipedia page but I forgot that modern day science has not yet caught up with Metaphysics and the generally renowned stance is that most mediums are "Frauds." Ouch, that one stings.
Here is why I know Mediumship is the real deal. First of all, physical mediums exist TODAY, right now, you can sit with one and observe a seance for yourself. Their whole objective is to PROVE that mediumship is legit. Sit with a medium like Scott Milligan or David Thompson and you'll see they both have a rigorous process to insure everyone in the room is satisfied with the conditions. They both allow guests to tie them to a chair with zip ties for the duration of their seance. Guests are allowed to check the ties to make sure they're real and not a trick. Scott will allow anyone to inspect the room, each corner and crevice until they are satisfied that no one is hiding in a closet or a piece of strategically placed furniture. Then as the seance begins they produce physical phenomena in the room. That's right, things move around, people from other worlds will speak to you, they'll even bring through loved ones of guests to speak with us, validating their existence. That's a whole lot of trouble to go through for not a lot of money, and the process to become a physical medium is even more rigorous. It can take years of dedication to building the energy needed and can in some cases be harmful to the health of the medium.
Secondly, being a medium myself, and having friends across the globe who are also mediums I have to tell you, we come by it honestly. Boy what sick and twisted people we'd have to be to choose a life of not only conning people, but also somehow tricking people into believing we are talking to your deceased relatives. I know there are cruel people out there but I gotta say there must be easier ways to make money, and I promise you we are not that hard up for cash. Most of the mediums I have met are genuinely loving people driven by a great sense of purpose to deliver these messages and to be the bridge between the spirit realm and our own. A lot of them are in health care or social work because they genuinely care about people! If you knew them, truly knew them, you'd know they wouldn't have it in their hearts to con anyone. Many mediums were either gifted (and possibly terrified) children, or they stumbled upon their mediumship through the tragic loss of a loved one and then spent countless hours practicing and honing their abilities. Personally, I lost my father to illness and begin to realize that I was receiving messages and signs that he was still around. I find similar stories reported to me by the countless mediums I have encountered in my studies and travels. Upon further investigation I unveiled a world of countless others like me and was relieved to know I wasn't going mad as I'd first assumed. I worked on developing these "abilities" (I say that in quotes because I and many others believe ANYONE can be a medium if they were to teach themselves) and sought out to PROVE the existence of life beyond death, which for myself is no longer a question. I invite you to investigate as well.
Now that we've got that squared away because that Wikipedia page HURT MY FEELINGS, let's assume you're on board and we'll get back to talking about physical Mediumship. To my knowledge (which is ever expanding and woefully incomplete) physical Mediumship started to truly surface sometime around 1855. According to "Communicating with the Beyond - A Practical Handbook of Spiritualism" by Eric G. Post published in 1946, "In 1855 there were two million spiritualists in the United States alone and twelve magazines were published ... devoted exclusively to spiritualistic affairs." By 1887 the number of magazines printed in English had risen to one hundred, forty in Spanish, a dozen in French and seventy plus in German. "By 1900 the total number of Spiritualists throughout the world was estimated by competent observers as close to twenty million." If you don't know what a Spiritualist is you can read about that in one of my future articles, but in short it is a religion, still existent today, and among their core beliefs is that life after death is a fact and can be proven. Being an eternal skeptic this is one of the only religions, aside from aspects of Buddhism, that naturally appealed to me.
Sadly, as is often the case in human history, people in "power" are afraid of things they don't understand and in a panic of self defense often their first response is to snuff it out. To my understanding the sensitive souls have never been much for violence or retaliation so as usual instead of an uproarious uprising of truth, mediums and mystics are historically forced into the shadows to practice in secret for fear or retribution or judgement, even today. I believe that's why Spiritualism never really got its legs under it. But you all don't know anything about governments gas-lighting their citizens... do you?
There are many different types of physical phenomena that may occur from a medium, but be careful who you ask, as with any religion there is disharmony among opinion even in the mediumistic community. For the sense of general purpose I will list some things that could be considered mediumistic while some may report these as "psychic" phenomena i.e. matter influenced by the mind rather than the spirit world itself - an important distinction declared by many Spiritualists. Some possible phenomena produced by physical mediums can include, levitation, materialization, dematerialization, lights, breezes, scents, rapping or tapping, movement of objects, apports, deports, transportations, Ectoplasm, Teleplasm, fingerprints, spirit writing, spirit artistry, spirit photography and more. Phenomena such as table tipping, automatic writing, Xenography, Ouija boards, and Trance Speaking might be considered more psychic phenomena but are remarkable nonetheless. For me personally the distinctions are less important than the results, as is the case with much spiritual work.You as the reader are of course free to make your own distinctions.
Having sat in a physical circle with intent to produce phenomena, I can report that after months of sitting our circle was able to induce the ringing of chimes in the room, breezes, lights, and sometimes physical sensations. In a separate group we meet regularly for table tipping sessions where we enjoy communing with our past loved ones, much like a casual phone call. Other mediums some may call "more developed," like Scott Milligan and David Thompson, produce ectoplasm which allows a member of the spirit world to form momentarily in our physical world. The spirit person can sometimes touch, talk, or walk around the room depending on the level of materialization that is possible. Having sat in seances with both Scott and David I can assure you I am convinced the phenomena they produce is authentic. I could go on about this topic for days, but for now I'll just say Physical mediumship is an amazing tool, sadly under utilized today, which in the right hands could be used to transform the world into a new way of thinking about life after death. If you're curious I invite you to research for yourself. If you've read this all the way through and you still think this is all a load of poppycock, C'est la vie!