Photograph of D D Home, circa 1870

The inaugural meeting of the Spiritual Athenæum in Sloane Street, London took place on a bitter and snowy Friday evening on January 4th 1867

Prominent spiritualist, Samuel Carter Hall, F.S.A., opened the meeting ‘by an excellent introductory address’ and Daniel Dunglas Home, the famous medium, began his lantern lecture on ‘Spiritual Drawings’, a number of which, by various persons including Houghton, were laid on the tables.

Houghton recalls the occasion clearly in her biographical book Evenings at Home in Spiritual Seance, Series One, published in 1881 stating: “Of course I was to go, and Mr Home asked me to take some of my drawings, and was borrowing from other friends, for he intended to lecture on that subject in the course of the evening, so I agreed to take the Royal Monograms, as they were the only ones I had framed. There was a very fair gathering, and one or two speeches were made. Mr. Home then began his projected lecture upon spirit-drawing, but after the first few words, he said I could explain the matter better than he could (for in fact he knew nothing at all about it), so that I became really the spokeswoman on the occasion.

According to newspaper reports such as the Spiritual Magazine “The remainder of the evening was occupied by conversation concerning the prospects and progress of spiritualism. The meeting was well attended, and highly gratifying to all who took part in it.”

It was an important evening for Houghton as she was displaying her work publicly for the first time and demonstrating her knowledge on the subject in front of her peers and some of the most respected names in the spiritualist movement.