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Spiritualist Pastor Promised Congregation He Would Return after Death

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R everend Joseph Alfred Frey died at age 79 but he promised the members of the First Spiritualist Church of Allegheny - which he founded in 1893 - that he would return as definitive proof of the great beyond.

Members of the Spiritualist Church took Reverend Frey at his word - particularly his assistant Dr. George J. Lingenhoel and his nurse/secretary Miss Elizabeth Graff. When Frey died on August 17, 1938 they waited for his return in the small church chapel on Federal Street in Pittsburgh's North Side. [NOTE: the building no longer stands.]

Seeking further confirmation on the exact time of Frey's reappearance, Lingenhoel and Graff traveled to Lily Dale, New York, to meet with famed medium Maude Kline. Though the details of the conversation were not reported, Lingenhoel and Graff assured church members and reporters that Frey would return soon.

During Frey's funeral on August 19th a spiritualist photographer stood at the ready to capture emanations or ectoplasm. Lingenhoel explained that the photographer's success would depend on how "sensitive" he was. (No pressure there, right?)

Lingenhoel also explained that the photographer's film would not be developed until the most opportune time (although that was not defined) and that as many as six of Frey's friends might also appear in the images.

Nurse/secretary Graff believed Frey would first reappear in voice only via one of two medium's trumpets in the chapel - although only an "accredited listener" would possess the ability to hear the reverend.

Lingenhoel and Graff, upon learning from Frey the exact time of his physical return, would then call the rest of the congregation together to see his re-manifestation.

If Frey did indeed return, however, the event was kept a secret from both his followers and the press of the day. Perhaps he is still waiting for that opportune time. 💀


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