Franek Kluski (1873-1943)
KLUSKI, THE UNIQUE POLISH MEDIUM
To say Franek Kluski was an exceptional medium is an understatement. In séances while entranced he produced phantoms of hands, globes of light, and fully formed people and animals among other phenomena. In everyday life he exhibited startling wonders such as little “fires” seen inside his mouth or around his head.
For his séances he took the name Kluski, which are very ordinary Polish noodles; the medium who called himself Kluski was actually named Teofil Modrzejewski, a very extraordinary Polish gentleman, a banker, journalist and poet—with unique and outstanding capabilities and gifts.
The séance’s organizer tested him and discovered that when Mr. M. held a magnet, violet flashes were seen emanating from both poles (small “p,” no pun intended). “Franek Kluski” was born.
KLUSKI’S PSYCHIC ORIGINS
Psychic phenomena were always part of Kluski’s life. His father was prone to spontaneous phenomena and often felt he was visited by the spirit of his own father who would materialize, scold him for drinking too much, and slap him if he showed any disrespect. His father’s brother, a priest, was mediumistic and had telepathic visions.
With this kind of family, no wonder that little boy who would become Kluski began having precognitive visions and seeing phantoms, which he accepted as living beings, at around five or six years old.
ODD PHENOMENA AROUND KLUSKI
This very respectable businessman and scholar lived a very staid and normal life except for a few strange things. He would absorb odors to which he was exposed. For instance, if he walked down a street where lime trees were blossoming he would not only return home reeking of lime blossoms but would give off that aroma for days. He also seemed to absorb people’s physical conditions when he was near them.
It was well known that when he came to the editorial office from which he worked, lights would flicker or be unreliable. The needles of compasses would deflect or spin if he was near them.
Little lights would be seen dancing about his head and body. While sharing a hotel room with an associate the man saw little “fires” in Kluski’s mouth while he slept. He was also very rattled by electrical storms. He would become very agitated, have tingling in his limbs, and bluish flames could be seen escaping from the ends of his fingers. Storms would exhaust him; just as later he would become exhausted after a séance. He refused to hold séances during storms.
LIGHTS IN THE Séance
These “electrical” or light phenomena were prominent in his séances, which were unique in the variety and number of lights and electrical effects. Most sessions would begin and end with lights of various sizes and colors flying around the darkened room. Many phantoms appeared lit from within or illuminating themselves with light streaming from their hands, often in shades of green.
Lights were not just spherical but formed various shapes and could be in shades of green, yellow, blue or red. Luminous clouds would often form, sometimes morphing into phantoms.
INVESTIGATING KLUSKI’S PHENOMENA
At first Kluski demonstrated his abilities only for friends and acquaintances. Later he sat in many European cities for professors, businessmen, physicians, lawyers etc. as well as psychic investigators such as Geley and Richet in France, Fielding in England, and others.
Even the most skeptical witnesses came away convinced of the reality of his phenomena including a well-known magician, Geo Lange, who observed him on three occasions and was satisfied that the effects could not be produced by tricks.
KLUSKI’S WAX MOLDS
One famous aspect of Kluski’s mediumship was the wax molds, mostly of hands, made during his séances. A tub or basin of hot water with paraffin floating on it would be placed in the center of the table. While the medium lay senseless, head on the table, his hands and legs controlled, splashes would be heard, and sitters would often be spattered with the wax. They would hear a soft thump as something was deposited on the table or on their hands, and they could feel the warm, still-soft wax of the fragile molds.
The molds would cool quickly and once the lights were back on sitters would find hands of different sizes and shapes, some childlike in size. Often the hand would be clenched or in a position from which, if a human would attempt to free his/her hand from the wax, would find it impossible without breaking the mold.
GELEY AND RICHET’S EXPERIMENTS WITH KLUSKI
Gustave Geley and Charles Richet of the Institut Metapsychique International (IMI) in Paris invited Kluski to participate in a series of séances where they hoped to provide evidence for the reality of his phenomena but also to try to find a “permanent paranormal object,” that is, one that could not be created by normal means.
Kluski, in controlled experiments, produced the wax molds, which then were carefully filled with plaster, by the investigators, to preserve the fragile shapes. (They may still be seen at the IMI in Paris.)
To counter any accusations that wax molds were sneaked into the séance room Geley tinted the paraffin blue at the last minute. The molds produced that day were of the same blue-tinted wax. They repeated this procedure another day with cholesterol, with similar positive results.
The scientists asked Kluski to produce hands whose fingers were spread wide. He complied and the molds show hands with fingers splayed far apart. One looks a little like Mr. Spock’s greeting with the middle finger separated from the ring finger a little wider than the others.
KLUSKI’S SIMILARITIES TO D.D.HOME AND INDRIDI INDRIDASON
Kluski never took payment for his séance work and like D.D. Home and Indridason was never found to be fraudulent. He also produced a great variety of large-scale, indisputably distinct phenomena, which often took place spontaneously, and beyond his reach or at a distance from his person.
Like those other extraordinary mediums, too, he was of delicate health and developed tuberculosis. He was ill as a child and both his brother and sister died at an early age.
All three men produced phantom figures and lights. Kluski’s phantoms often, like Cook’s Katie King, resembled himself, especially at the beginning of his mediumistic work. Later on they would at times resemble him and then change into a different distinct entity, e.g., soldiers in complete, accurately accessorized uniforms.
However Kluski also produced animals including a large bird of prey and a kind of “ape man” the reports called a “Pithecantropus” or primitive man. This creature was covered with light brown hair and smacked its lips loudly. There were also mongoose-like animals that ran around the table and scrambled up sitters’ arms.
SPONTANEOUS PK AROUND KLUSKI
Like Indridason he caused poltergeist-like occurrences with furniture piling up in precariously balanced stacks. Kluski’s typewriter typed rapidly without anyone near it, both in and out of séances. When it typed passages they were done as perfectly as though a good secretary had typed them.
A FINAL WORD AND THANK YOU TO KLUSKI EXPERT DR. ZOFIA WEAVER
I will give Dr. Weaver the final word. Here is part of her perceptive conclusion to her entry on Klusky in the Psi Encyclopedia:
The phenomena that took place around Kluski are on a spectacular scale but they are not unique. Like much physical mediumship, they have their echoes in poltergeist reports of raps, levitations, movements of objects, lights and apparitions. What makes Kluski unique is the development of his mediumship and the way it reflects his mental life. It is usual for the medium to be controlled and guided by ‘spirits’, or experimenters, thus becoming instruments, experimental objects. By contrast, Kluski’s attitude was from the beginning that of a detached observer of his own phenomena, and the participants and investigators were his friends and equals, as well as contributors to the formation of the phenomena. In a sense the chief experimenter was Kluski himself, whether he was conscious or not, since the phenomena related in a number of ways directly to his imagination and his creative powers.-Psi Encyclopedia
Here is an interview by Jeffery Mishlove about Franek Kluski with the foremost expert on him, Dr. Zofia Weaver.
Dr. Weaver is British but was born in Poland, is fluent in both languages, and has translated many materials into English that were not available to us prior to her work.
I have only given a meager outline of the man and his astonishing powers. I highly recommend Zofia Weaver’s book on Kluski: Other Realities? The enigma of Franek Kluski’s mediumship. White Crow Books, (2015), and her article for the Psi Encyclopedia of the SPR.
There is also a chapter on Franek Kluski in Pilkington, R. The Spirit of Dr. Bindelof: The Enigma of Séance Phenomena.
Read about other “inside the séance” people:
D.D. Home • Eusapia Palladino • Fox Sisters • Franek Kluski • Helen Duncan
Indridi Indridason • Katie King