16. The House Where She Died Was the Site of Many Seances
The Victorian Era witnessed a surge of interest in spiritualism, particularly regarding the occult and the attempt to communicate with the dead through psychics, mediums, and seances. People from all strata of society, from the poorest of the poor up to the royal household, were caught up in the fervor. In fact, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were party to many seances and even held some at their private residence, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. They were particularly fond of an older clairvoyant named Georgiana Eagle and a young one named Robert Lees.
The story goes that the 13-year-old Robert Lees participated in one of the family’s seances shortly after the death of Prince Albert. He began to channel Albert’s spirit and recalled information known only between him and the queen, including a pet name that he used to call her. Victoria knew that many mediums were frauds, but when she had Lees thoroughly investigated, he came out clean. He was invited to the palace nine times and was even asked to become the palace’s resident medium. He declined the request.
The queen died at Osborne House, the place where her late husband’s spirit had supposedly been conjured.