Ethel Post-Parrish

Ethel Post-Parrish (died 1960) was an American Spiritualist medium.

The spirit guide Silver Belle was made from cardboard. Both Parrish and the lady standing outside the curtain were in on the hoax.


In 1932 Parrish founded Camp Silver Belle a Spiritualist summer camp situated at Mountain Springs Hotel in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.[1] In her séances Parrish claimed to materialize her spirit guide an Indian girl known as Silver Belle.[2]

In a séance at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, in 1953, Parrish materialized her spirit guide Silver Belle whilst sitting in her curtained cabinet. The pictures claimed to be taken at 50 second intervals in infra-red light by photographer Jack Edwards, show Silver Belle growing from a cloud of "ectoplasm".[3]


A related spiritualist camp known as Camp Chesterfield in Anderson, Indiana was managed by Mabel Riffle the cousin of Parrish. The camp was exposed in 1960 as infra red film had revealed that the materialized figures were all human and had entered the séance room through a side door.[4][5]

Camp Silver Belle was also practicing fraudulent mediumship, and had been exposed in various newspapers. Before exposures the camp took in up to a million dollars a year.[6]

The photographs taken by Jack Edwards of Silver Belle materializing were discovered to be a hoax. A photograph was taken of smoke and by a double exposure a cardboard figure was superimposed onto it. The woman standing outside the cabinet curtain was also an accomplice involved in the deception.[7]


  1. ^ Roy Stemman. (1976). The Supernatural. Danbury Press. p. 82
  2. ^ Victoria Barnes. (1948). Centennial Book of Modern Spiritualism in America. National Spiritualist Association. p. 218
  3. ^ John Fairley, Simon Welfare. (1984). Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers. Putnam. p. 192. ISBN 978-0002166799
  4. ^ Joe Nickell. 2002. Undercover Among the Spirits. Skeptical Inquirer. 26:2 (March/April). pp. 22-25
  5. ^ Terence Hines. (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 53. ISBN 978-1573929790
  6. ^ Raymond Buckland. (1993). Doors to Other Worlds: A Practical Guide to Communicating With Spirits. Llewellyn. p. 227. ISBN 978-0875420615
  7. ^ M. Lamar Keene. (1997). The Psychic Mafia. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1573921619