Jul 10, 2007

Secretary To The Spirits

Stella Horrocks sits on a chair in her small terraced house with a notepad in front of her. Suddenly the pen begins to move; soon it is storming through pages in a blind flurry.

Stella is only one of a number of people who have the ability to take dictations from the dead. Skeptics have only been able to account for secondary personality- nothing concrete.

Horrocks claims that the world’s greatest Late literary figures have dictated to her novels, books, diaries, memoirs, each in a different handwriting. Her transcribers include President John F. Kennedy, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen. Movie star David Niven and Lord Mountbatten are others.

However, she still has not found a publisher for these, she finds their attitude discouraging, “I’m not in it for the money,” she says, “I would just like to see these works reach a wider public.”

Stella can also describe the individual characteristics of the authors she writes for, “Jane Austen has a much lighter touch than Charles Dickens though he is full of life,” she says, “and Noel Coward digs into the paper as if he were gardening. Another one is Thomas Hardy, he is completely different: more of a businessman.”

But taking a dictation from the dead can be an overwhelming task. “They can go on writing for 3 hours,” she says, “when Dickens wrote about the Battle of Waterloo, I got through about 200 pages in a couple of days.

Others seem to dictate more slowly. Stella’s technique to ‘tune in’ to dead authors is simple she says, “You can’t contact them, they have to contact you when they are ready. You have to keep your mind a complete blank to receive. I don’t know what they are going to do before they start: they tell me each word as they go.”

A stockpile of plays by Noel Coward and ‘new’ collection of war stories from W. Somerset Maughan are all kept by Stella Horrocks.

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