Mrs. Stoddard Gray (medium)

From Kook Science

Mrs. Stoddard Gray
Born Jane A. Wheeler
c. 1832[1]
Died 3 August 1904
Burial Greenridge Cemetery, Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Co., New York
Spouse(s) Dewitt C. Hough (m. 1850);[2] Rollin K. Stoddard (m. 1866);[3][4] Oscar B. Gray; James A. Snyder

Jane A. Wheeler Hough Stoddard Gray Snyder (c. 1832 - August 3, 1904), more commonly known as Mrs. Stoddard Gray, was an American Spiritualist medium, who performed séances with her son, Dewitt C. Hough, Jr. The pair toured the United States through the 1880s and 1890s before settling into New York where they conducted the Spiritual Science Institute at their home, No. 331 West 57th St., during the early 1900s until Stoddard Gray's death.

Press Coverage

  • "MEDIUM'S DEATH SUDDEN. Mrs. Gray Was to Give Seance for Detectives.", New-York Daily Tribune: 6, 4 Aug. 1904, 

    Mrs. Stoddard Gray, a spiritualist medium, who was also known as Mrs. Jennie A. Snyder, died at her home, No. 331 West Fifty-seventh-st., early yesterday. She was seventy-five years old.

    In the Sunday newspapers for a long time there has been appearing under the head of "religious notices" the following advertisement:

    Spiritual Science Institute, No. 331 West Fifty-seventh-st. — Usual services Sundays, Wednesdays, 8; Saturdays, 2; materializations and communications. Mrs. Stoddard Gray, Mr. Hough.

    Dewitt C. Hough, her son, assisted her in her spiritual seances at the Fifty-seventh-st. house and elsewhere. Hough said that two weeks ago, when she was conversing with departed spirits, she was stricken with heart trouble and for a time was in a state of suspended animation, but he had restored her to her senses and health. Tuesday night he said she retired in good health, but early yesterday morning she became ill again and died at 5 o'clock. He called in Dr. Margaret A. N. Mount, a woman physician, of No. 572 Lexington-ave.

    When the police of the West Forty-seventh-st. station, who had been told nothing of the case by the woman's relatives, learned of her death through the coroner's office and reporters, they began an investigation. Detective Connolly and Policeman Kelly went to the house, and after a parley at the door with Hough and with a man who said he was Mrs. Gray's lawyer, they gained admittance. The lawyer said his name was J. Knapton and that he was a barrister of Middle Temple, London.

    In the room where the woman's body was the police found, before her bed, a curious screen of white linen, on which was painted an angel.

    According to Connolly, a man who said he was her lawyer gave the name of Knapton Thompson when he was arrested with her and Hough in June of last year, when the police forced an entrance into the house. The story of the arrest as told in the Tribune at the time. Complaint was made by a man who paid for admission to the seance. While the medium, who was said to be Mrs. Gray, was communicating with some departed spirits, the detectives turned on a searchlight they carried on a screen from behind which supposed spirit voices were coming and revealed Mrs. Gray talking with another woman of anything but spiritual form.

    Dr. Mount said Mrs. Gray had been married four times. Her last husband, she said, was James A. Snyder, proprietor of the Marvin Hotel, in Saratoga, who died in 1877. He as well as two other husbands were buried at Saratoga. Mrs. Snyder will be buried there.

    The man who said he was "J. Knapton," gave out a statement in which he said Mrs. Gray was dead before Dr. Mount arrived. Mr. Hough, who was present, seemed to want to say something, but the other silenced him every time he opened his mouth. In the midst of his description of Mrs. Snyder's virtues and a lecture on spiritualism, a faint, spirit-like knock was heard at the door, and a woman of frail appearance entered the room.

    "Mr. Thompson," said she, "is there any mail for the new woman?"

    Mr. "Knapton" seemed annoyed. A reporter asked him if he was not the Thompson arrested, already referred to.

    "I am known as James Knapton Thompson, but my real name is Thompson J. Knapton," he said.

    Detectives Quinn and Fitzpatrick, of the West Forty-seventh-st. station, reported to the captain yesterday, after hearing of the death of Mrs. Stoddard Gray, that they had made an appointment for the woman a few days ago for a seance tonight, and they thought perhaps the woman had committed suicide because of worry over their threat to arrest her if they caught her in a fraud. An examination of the woman's body by the police last evening was not of a character to decide the cause of her death, but there will be an autopsy to-day.

    Quinn and Fitzpatrick had a letter which had been sent to the police, declaring that the woman was swindling people by pretending to talk with spirits in their presence. They went to see the woman some days ago, told her about the complaint, showed their badges to satisfy her that they were police detectives, and said they would give her an opportunity to show whether she was a real medium or a swindler. She agreed to give a seance for the benefit of the detectives this evening, the understanding that they might arrest her as a swindler if they caught her in any trick.

  • "MYSTERY IN DEATH OF SPIRITUALIST MEDIUM; Friends Say "Mrs. Gray" Died of Heart Failure. POLICE HAVE THEIR DOUBTS Coroner Scholer Finds No Evidence of Foul Play, but Holds Up Burial Permit.", New York Times (New York, NY), 4 Aug. 1904, 


  4. "Gone Home.", Banner of Light 40 (23): 4, 3 Mar. 1877,, "Rollin K. Stoddard (husband of the lady of that name who, as agent for the 'Hough Boy' medium, is well known to our readers) passed from Philadelphia, Pa., on Friday, Feb. 9th, at the age of fifty-nine years. His deceased was occasioned by consumption."