The feminine voice came out of the 1970’s era Reel to Reel player, months
after that fateful day I dumpster dived in front of a derelict mansion on
Lafayette avenue. 16 reel to reel tapes were discovered recorded by George Seib and this was the first time anyone has heard these lost tapes in decades. My arm hairs rose as I heard a
haunting voice speaking with a thick German Accent and a cadence of
unique unforgettable strangeness.
Her name was Carrie Seib according to
the back label of these Reel to Reel tapes and the year was 1951. The
mystery of who she was, and why she was being recorded exploded into an
experience that I called Dumpster Archeology. Months later a local reporter
gave her a title…. The lost Psychic Of Lafayette Square ….in his
wonderfully written digital article.
“The life and spiritual world of CarrieLew Blink
Seib unfolded into the most remarkable story that every came out of a
When I first discovered the Reel to Reels tapes, it was a cool October night
in 2015 when I went digging for haunted treasure in the dumpsters of the
historic Lafayette Square neighborhood. The street lights on that side of
Lafayette avenue are spread out and it gets really dark in the hallow
spaces between houses. At the end of the block is at an old abandoned
High School….that once was an acoustically balanced performance hall
….that was once a German Social club before that.
The alleyways between
this short city block are filled with hundred year old bricks, long slanted
walls and you can look through the ancient fences into the old gardens that
once thrived in the Gilded Age of St Louis. A failed Trans-Atlantic flight was
planned on the top floor of 2329 and they say the ghosts of the pilot sons
still haunt the grounds. That night I was in front of the house at 2323
Lafayette, under a street light, with my arm between two moldy dry wall
pieces, pulling out a discovery that would forever change my life and it
lead me to some very weird psychic places.
house at 2323 Lafayette ave
The story begins with an envelope I found earlier that week in the same
dumpster. “George Seib. MD” was the prominent clue which lead me to discover
online records about the owner of the house. He had been a Professor of
Anthropology at Washington University, a Medical Doctor, Lafayette Square hero,
and Historical Society house preserver. George had just started college when his
family bought the house in 1923. The Seib family had collectively made a fortune
in the Bakery business and bought the notorious mansion that now sat empty
after the tragic deaths of the former owners, the Nasse family. Despite the
ghosts, the 8000 Square feet Romanesque revival mansion was an attractive
offer and the family had a psychic advantage, George’s Mother was able to talk
directly to the ghosts.
Carrie Seib’s photo from her poetry book
Biography: Carrie was born in a small poor German village to Synod Lutherans. At age
18 she headed to America alone, straight to the river-port area called
Soulard in the shadow of a new German Beer fueled Empire. Carrie’s sister
was married to a baker that owned a prime lunchtime location across the
street from Anheuser Busch. Carrie learned English, married a nice young
baker named George Seib Sr, had two smart kids, bought the bakery and
fulfilled the American Dream. Yet always underneath this ordinary life was
growing……certain strange abilities.
The biography in her poetry book
describes a childhood filled with psychic phenomenon. Carrie was be able
to see the future in dreams, experience spirits and speak to ghosts. Slowly
Mrs. Seib developed a unique mystical perspective of reality based on her
own isolated direct psychic experience. Shortly after moving in to her
dream home in 1923, she upped the strangeness a few notches by
channeling poetry, creating a Spiritualist Church and became a local
George Seib Jr was an intelligent man, who excelled at academia, he ended
up working with the greatest Medical Anthropologists in the country. His
family claims he saw the same ghosts as them, even witnessing an older
woman disappearing into a wall. His questioning of the nature of reality put
him at odds with the “accepted science” of 1930s, so he left academia for
his own personal private Medical practice in 1940 and remained a fixture in
Lafayette History as the resident In-house Doctor. George spent the early
1950’s attempting to record his mother’s philosophy and spiritual sessions
with the latest technology, Reel to Reel tape recording.
In the 1970’s he
would spend a lot of money to get his mother’s poetry published and
shipped to academic colleges all over the world. The Reel to Reel’s were
placed in a box for safe keeping, but disappeared one day and thought to
be lost forever until that fateful day they ended up in my gloved hands
after contractors mistook the box for trash.
Come to the table,Carrie Seib
Because nature led you, and it shall be light and clear,
That every man may find the way, and every word is a work, thus light works on earth.
Who would ask, what is truth and God?
Who should still be afraid and whisper in mockery?
The whole and the grandeur is at hand, And the glorious sprouts, the truth. –Carrie Seib–
Psychic ability seems to go back culturally in every part of the world
and is a legacy shrouded in superstition and belief. Carrie Seib did
advertise herself as a Spiritualist Church in 1933, originally calling it the
Lafayette Center but switched to the Independent Church of Truth by 1939.
Spiritualist history is intertwined with the massive growth of St Louis
into an economic super power and the Seib family was living deep in the
heart of the city in the former epicenter of the wealthy elite, Lafayette
Square. Yet, this Lutheran Family with it’s meager simple beginnings found
a way to reach out to a growing public, and provided spiritual guidance to
all who arrived at the energetic vortex called 2323 Lafayette Ave.
back in the day 2323 Lafayette
St Louis has always had a underground psychic history, from Pearl Curran
writing novels with a Ouija board to the Voodoo practiced up and down the
Mississippi River. We have our Masons, Odd Fellows, secret societies, creole
magic, Indian mounds, human sacrifices, superstitions and more ghosts
than buildings. In 1923, at the same time Carrie Seib begins to channel her
poetry from an entity she called the “Eastern Star” , Edgar Cayce the
world famous healing psychic finds himself moving towards more esoteric
subjects with the help of the Theosophy Society started by a female
psychic named Helena Blavasky. Dozens of Spiritualist churches operated
throughout the city of St Louis and some even exist to this day. During the
years between the first World War and the second, America was finding
itself at the tail-end of a psychic spiritual revolution.
Pearl Curran, the “Channeler”
Pearl Curran or Patience Worth?
St Louis famous Channeler
The Reel to Reel tapes themselves are a rare glance into the methods of
these forgotten American Citizens. If we analyse the unusual patterns and
consult the historic memory of those who participated, a typical meeting is
uncovered. The public would enter the house at 2323 on the Sunday
evenings and make their way up the back stairs to the 3rd floor ballroom.
Carrie on stage on the 3rd floor
Carrie sat on stage in a large chair and after her children did a musical
number, she would begin with an inspirational speech about finding the
inner power and discovering personal freedom. After another musical
interlude she began to use her clairvoyance and mental skills to help
anyone in attendance. Her voice would get mechanical and she would
address people directly, often asking about upcoming trips and relaying
troubles, or directly contacting a loved one.
A story is often just a story and can only allude to an actual history. One
doesn’t need believe in “psychics” but there they are, in history, doing
psychic stuff with their own personal brands of public outreach. At it’s
height, the Spiritualist Movement had five million members, and contrary
to “the story”, the Fox sister were not the beginning. It’s history goes
deep into old Europe and the rise of feminism in Upstate New
“If they would absolutely leave fear out, no longer worry aboutCarrie Seib
any other outside connections, but know that the inner power,
the inner light, the inner force, it never died. It is ever-present in
the dear ones that are absent physically, who are present
The criticism often thrown at psychics is that they often exploit the public,
but the Seib family was already independently wealthy and after the death
of George senior, George Jr, took on the financial security of the household
as a successful medical doctor. Indeed it seems Church was simply an outlet
for Carrie to use her natural born “gifts” to help the community in which
her family lived. Before they moved to the house, it was said that she used
to help people while making them a sandwich at the Seib Brothers Bakery.
speeches are full of wisdom and insight, but spoken for the audience at
hand, it is her poetry that her deep philosophy comes through.
Carrie in the 1960s.
The Lost Psychic of Lafayette Square would slow down towards the late
1950s, and suffer some health issues in the early 1960s. The church
meetings continued until at least 1964, making it a constant regional
presence for over 30 years. Carrie would pass on in 1969, and her son George and daughter Edna
took on her legacy, publishing her poetry in 1976. 5000 copies were
created and sent to Academic institutions across the world. The basement
still had left-over copies stacked in corners up until the rehab began in 2016.
To this day, this unknown mystic and psychic has her poetry book in
some the world’s greatest libraries, with few having any clue as to it’s
contents. What mysterious ideas could lie between those pages in the
common tongue of the German.
Unfortunately for us non-German speakers, Carrie seemed to channel
mostly in her native language. She wrote daily for 40 years filling several
filing cabinets with linen pads of poetry. An effort to uncover and translate
their secrets has been slow, but what pearls discovered are quite
interesting. Her poem Reincarnation seems to illustrate a remembrance of
a past-life, and Eastern Star speaks of one of the souls she contacts. For
the general public of the modern age, a strong independent female mystic
leaving us her wisdom for all too see and learn from is perhaps a
neglected but needed perspective. In an age where science has given us
deeper understandings of the truly strange world of the human mind,
evidence of alternative ancient wisdom is still ours to integrate.
Through the left-over pieces of the Seib family lies an unknown story that
pulls us behind the Veil of human history to discover the “odd pieces” that
don’t quite fit, and see if our direct experience with the unknown can
reshape our notions of words like “psychic” or “channeler”. If the Reel to
Reels are our focus, they only reveal the tip of the iceberg called Carrie
Seib. These puzzle pieces, like the 1936 Alaska trip of George Seib@1, Edna
Seib and her scrap books@2, the history of 2323@3, the ghost of the Nasse
boy and the View from 2323@4 are huge parts of an epic tale, a true story
that is just a story, only this story is a rabbit hole, and unlike Alice in
wonderland, we have actual proof.