STRANGER THAN FICTION
“It’s a gentleman. He is wearing a blue suit and a red tie. He has white hair and glasses with gold rims. He has a white flower in his buttonhole and in his hand is a rolled-up newspaper…”
As the ten year-old girl gave this description of a man standing nearby, the packed audience in London’s Seymour Hall was stunned into silence. And with good reason. For Ellen McGarry was claimed to be totally blind.
In the autumn of l949, Ellen McGarry, a Canadian orphan said to have supernatural powers, was making a five-week tour of Britain which, not surprisingly, made headline news where ever she went.
Her supporters said she was a psychical phenomenon, while her detractors, and there were many, regarded her as little more than a human conjuring trick. What made them even angrier was that no one could prove she was a fake.
Hugh Morrison, of the London Daily Herald newspaper, was one of the few journalists allowed to interview Ellen McGarry. He later wrote of the encounter: “I saw her at London’s Imperial Hotel in a suite thronged by admirers, managers and curious disbelievers.”
According to Hugh Morrison, Ellen was a small dark-haired child wearing a simple blue dress and sitting near the window. “She didn’t turn to look at me as I was introduced but continued to turn her head towards the far corner of the room. “How kind of you to come,” she said with quaint formality. “I do hope your arm is nothing serious.”
“I was wearing a sling to support my arm injured in a minor car accident. No one in the room knew of it before I arrived and nobody had had time to mention it to her.”