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to Captain Norton, " Did you see it ? " There was some little joking about it at
the time, and on asking my brother-in-law after dinner what he really had seen,
he told me that he had seen a lady in a white dress and dark hair cross the
window on the outside. HUGH P. WILLIAMS.

Mrs. Atkinson, the widow of Surgeon-Major Atkinson, in answer to a
letter asking if her late husband had ever spoken to her on the sub-
ject of the apparition at the mess- table of the 5th Lancers at Aldershot,
writes :

ERCHFONT MANOR, DEVIZES, March \\th [1897].

It is quite true that my husband saw the appearance at Aldershot in 1877 ;
he often told me about it. They were in the North Cavalry Barracks [Captain
Norton states that there were no North Cavalry Barracks at Aldershot, but
that it was in the West Cavalry Barracks] at Aldershot, and were at mess in
the mess-room, which is on the first floor, a great distance from the ground.
There is no balcony outside or even a ledge (I believe). My husband and
Captain Norton were the only two sitting facing the window, when they saw
the figure of a woman go slowly by. They were much astonished and told the
others, and there was much excitement about it. Shortly after the veterinary
surgeon died, and on going through his papers either my husband or Captain
Norton found the photograph of the woman they had seen from the mess-room
window. I think they both recognised it. It was not known that the veterinary
surgeon was married. The appearance was never in any way explained.


A tablet in All Saints' Church, Aldershot, gives the date of death of
Mr. E., veterinary surgeon, 5th Lancers, as January 3rd, 1876. This
shows that the date when the apparition was seen was probably about
Christmas time, 1875, as both Lieutenant Beaumont and Mrs. Atkinson


confirm Captain Norton's impression that the incident occurred shortly
before Mr. E. died.

718 A. From Proceedings S.P.R., vol. iii. p. 92. The writer of the

following account is Colonel , a well-known Irish gentleman, but

we are not allowed to publish his name. He writes from Arthur's on
March ist, 1885 :

Some sixteen years since Mrs. said to me, " We have some people staying

here all next week. Do you know any person I could get to sing with the
girls ? " I suggested that my gunmaker, Mr. X., had a daughter with a fine

voice, who was training as a public singer, and that if she, Mrs. , liked I

would write to X. and ask if he would allow her to come down and spend a
week with us. On my wife's approval I wrote, and Miss X. came down for a

week, and then left. As far as I know, Mrs. never saw her again. Shortly

after I called on X. , thanked him for allowing his daughter to come to us, and
said we were all much pleased with her. X. replied : " I fear you have spoilt
her, for she says she never passed so happy a week in her life." Miss X. did
not come out as a singer, but shortly after married Mr. Z., and none of us ever
saw her again.

Six or seven years passed away, and Mrs. , who had been long ill, was

dying, in fact she did die the following day. I was sitting at the foot of her
bed talking over some business matters that she was anxious to arrange, being
perfectly composed and in thorough possession of her senses ; in fact she was
right, and my solicitor, who advised that the step she wanted to be taken was
not necessary, was wrong. She changed the subject, and said, " Do you hear
those voices singing? " I replied that I did not; and she said, " I have heard
them several times to-day, and I am sure they are the angels welcoming me to
Heaven ; but," she added, " it is strange, there is one voice amongst them I am
sure I know, and cannot remember whose voice it is." Suddenly she stopped
and said, pointing straight over my head, " Why, there she is in the corner of
the room ; it is Julia X. ; she is coming on; she is leaning over you ; she has
her hands up; she is praying; do look; she is going." I turned but could see

nothing. Mrs. then said, " She is gone." All these things I imagined to

be the phantasies of a dying person.

Two days afterwards, taking up the Times newspaper, I saw recorded the
death of Julia Z., wife of Mr. Z. I was so astounded that in a day or so after

the funeral I went up to and asked Mr. X. if Mrs. Z., his daughter, was

dead. He said, " Yes, poor thing, she died of puerperal fever. On the day she
died she began singing in the morning, and sang and sang until she died."

Last year I saw mentioned that some person or persons were collecting
remarkable ghost stories, and I wrote to Mr. Z. telling him shortly what I
have now written at length. Mr. Z.'s answer was that I had described . . .
accurately the scene of his wife's death. . . .

Colonel adds later :

Mrs. Z. died on February 2nd at six or thereabout in the morning, 1874.

Mrs. died, February 13th, 1874, at about four in the evening. I saw

notice of Mrs. Z.'s death on February i4th. Mrs. never was subject to

hallucinations of any sort.


We received later the following letter from Mr. Webley, called above

"Mr. Z.":


In reply to your letter, I shall be happy to give you the information asked
for. My wife died on 2nd February 1884 [1874], about 5.30 A.M. The last
hours of her life were spent in singing. I may say notes came from her within
ten minutes of her decease ; and beautiful as her voice was, it never appeared
so exquisitely beautiful as this. HENRY WEBLEY.


718 B. In the next case (quoted from Proceedings S.P.R., vol. xiv.
p. 288) a dying mother had an apparently telepathic vision of an absent
son who happened to be dying at the same time. The account comes
from Colonel C. F. Hicks.

46 VALPLAISANT, ST. HELIERS, JERSEY, December zyd, 1889.

Agreeably to my promise I now give you a statement of my late wife's
last moments. Some days beforehand I was informed she would not last long ;
and it was in the evening about 5 or 6 o'clock P.M., on 3rd October 1887, I
went into her bedroom. There was the nurse, my second and third daughters
in the room with me. The door was a little ajar. She was looking at it very
earnestly when she said to my second daughter, Flo, " There is some one out-
side, let him in." Flo answered and said, " Oh no, mamma ; there is no one
look," and she opened the door wider. We then talked to her gently for
some little time. After a pause she said, " Poor Eddie (my second son who
had gone out to Australia) ; oh, he is looking very ill he has had a fall broken
his leg poor Eddie." When we all assured her such was not the case that
the last news we had heard from him was that he was quite well she became
more pacified, although restless^and doubtful, as she continued to say now and
then, " Poor Eddie ! " She died at about twenty minutes to 2 A.M., early on
the 4th October. We little thought that her words would be verified, with the
exception of the broken leg.

Some time afterwards I received a letter from Mr. Thomas Williams
announcing my poor son's death. For he left a place called Wyndham on the
Cambridge Gulf, N.W. of Australia, on the 4th [evidently meaning 3rd, see
below] October 1887, with a young man of the name of Russell. He suddenly
felt ill, and called for some water. The latter went off to a spring to get it, but
coming back he found that he had fallen from his horse and was lying quite
dead. So his poor mother's vision turned out to be quite true, excepting his
leg being broken.

Now, the only question is about the time. Did the son die before the
mother or after the mother? as, taking the longitude of Wyndham N.W. of
Australia, so far to the east of us, there must be a good eight or ten hours'
difference, and a ship going round the world making east all the way would
gain a day, and by westing would lose one.

I give you a few extracts from letters I have received. The one from Mr.
Thomas Williams, with whom my son left a letter to be sent on to me. Mr.
T. W.'s letter is dated the fth October 1887 : " Your son left Wyndham to go
to Durack station on the 3rd October, in company with Louis Smith and John
Russell. They had to go over a very rough country, and your poor boy
succumbed to the pangs of thirst, suffering at the same time with fever. I am


glad to inform you that his sufferings were short, and that the great God was
pleased to take him away quickly. He spoke very affectionately of his mother,
and what he would do if he could only got back to Jersey, for he was heartsick
when he was here."

I give you another extract from his employer, a Mr. Durack, a gentleman
who dealt largely in horses, and had a great number of horse stations in
Australia :

" When I left your son at Wyndham on 27th September last, 1887, he was
to start back to the station, as he had a horse, bridle, and saddle to ride."

In conclusion, I have now given you as succinctly as I can the death of the
mother and son, the one having taken place here and the other at our Anti-
podes, both on the same day and date, and as far as I know about the same
time. It is more than a coincidence it is very mysterious.

(Signed) C F. HICKS.

Colonel Hicks writes later :

February 22nd, 1890.

. . . The witnesses in my wife's late case are none of them present here.
My second daughter, whom I was expecting from Bombay when I , received
your letter, has arrived here. Her statement I enclose. My third daughter,
another witness, is at present at Brisbane, in Australia. . . .

Discrepancy in dates: my late wife died at about forty minutes to 2 A.M.
on 4th October 1887 that is, taking the time from 12 A.M. on the 3rd to
12 P.M., after which it becomes the 4th. So all the conversation that took
place with the above-named witnesses, viz., the nurse, Miss E. Fenn, two
daughters and self, took place in the evening of the 3rd, about 5 or 6 P.M.,
as she died the same night, or more correctly speaking, being after 12 P.M.,
it was early in the morning of the 4th.

Now for my son's death. Mr. Thomas Williams' letter is dated the 5th
October 1887. He says my son left Wyndham, on the Gulf of Cambridge, on
the 4th [the date given in Mr. Williams' letter is 3rd, see below] October 1887,
but he does not mention at what time. But being within the tropics, where
people generally travel as early as they can to escape the heat of the sun, it is
presumed that he and his friend, Mr. Russell, must have started early, and it
is certain that they could not have gone far before he met his end, and most
probably Mr. T. Williams must have heard of it the same day, as his letter is
dated the fth October 1887. . . . (Signed) C. F. HICKS.

The following letter from Miss Hicks was enclosed :

February zith, 1890.

I was in my late mother's bedroom between the hours of five and six in the
evening, on the 3rd of October 1887, when she asked me to open the door, as
some one was outside and wanted to come in. I answered and said, " Oh,
mother, the door is open, and there is no one outside," and then I opened the
door wider. Then I shut the door. She then said, " Poor Eddie, he looks
very ill; he has had a fall." I said to her, " Oh, mother, how you go on; he
is all right the last time we heard." She said, " Oh, he is looking very ill."
The next morning, at about forty minutes to 2 A.M., she died. I heard from
letters received that my poor brother Eddie died in Australia on the same day
and about the same time. F. HICKS.


Colonel Hicks also sent us the letter from Mr. Williams giving an
account of his son's death. The exact time is, as Colonel Hicks says, not
stated, but the letter is dated October 5th, 1887, and states that Mr. E.
Hicks started on his journey on October jrd. It seems probable that the
death took place on the same day.

For some other cases of this type see Proceedings S.P.R., vol. v. p. 459,

719 A. From Proceedings S.P.R., vol. x. p. 214. The account is
written by Mrs. J. P. Smith.

AMBLE, NORTHUMBERLAND, January i-jth, 1891.

In June 1879, I was a teacher in Macclesfield. A friend, Mrs. , was

near her confinement. She told me she was afraid she would die. I went into
the county of Durham for a holiday. While there I was roused from sleep by

Mrs. as I supposed. She was shaking me, and saying, " I have passed

away, but the baby will live." Then the figure left the room by the door. I
got out of bed and went to my sister and related the incident. We agreed to
make a note of it. Next day I received a letter from a friend in Macclesfield
saying that Mrs. was dead but the baby was alive.

[I was] in the best of health and about twenty-nine years of age.

No other persons were present.

Mrs. Smith, who is the mistress of the Infants' School at Amble, in-
forms us that this is the only experience of the kind she has ever had, and
that to the best of her recollection the apparition was seen about an hotlr
or two after the death.

Unfortunately, neither the note made at the time nor the letter
announcing the death has been preserved, but we have received the follow-
ing letter of corroboration from Mrs. Smith's sister :


November 2nd, 1891.

I distinctly remember my sister coming into my room and waking me up to
tell me of her dream, which was as follows :

That she had dreamt that a lady friend of hers some miles away had
appeared to her and said she was dead ; but that her baby would live. The
dream had evidently impressed my sister very much, as she seemed quite
agitated, and we said we would note it down, and to our utter astonishment
the next morning my sister received a letter to say that her friend had passed
away that same night. ANNIE BROWN.

It will be observed that Mrs. Smith's experience is here referred to as
a dream. That this is not her own view of it appears from the following
account given by Professor and Mrs. Sidgwick of an interview which they
had with her on September i6th, 1891. The account was written within
two hours of their seeing Mrs. Smith, from notes made at the time.

The figure appeared twice on the same night. The first time was in the
breaking dawn of a June morning, before there was any sun. It woke her, and


she heard the words she mentions, but she did not get out of bed, and was pro-
bably only half awake. The second time the same thing happened, but she is
quite sure she was awake. It appeared at the left-hand side of her bed, and,
after speaking, it moved very quickly round the bed and apparently through
the door, which was at the right-hand side of the bed parallel to the head and
hidden by the curtains, so that she did not see it go out. The figure went as
if in a great hurry. It seemed to be dressed in drab; the face was seen it
seemed exactly as in life. She felt no fear, nor sense of the supernatural only
anxiety to question further and regarded it as real until, running after the
figure downstairs, she became convinced that it was a vision. She felt as she
ran as though she would have caught it up, had 'she not had to open the door.
It was about five o'clock when she went to her sister, which she did at once after

the second vision. Mrs. had told her she thought she should not live, but

Mrs. Smith had thought little of this, and it had quite passed out of her mind.

She was in no anxiety. Mrs. was no special friend of hers. Her children

came to Mrs. Smith's school, and she was interested in them. She did not

know why Mrs. should have told her of her expectation of dying ; but she

said at the same time, " If I go, you will be very kind to my children."

The friend who wrote telling her of the death mentioned it casually
as especially sad because of the young children. She mentioned the time as
in the early hours of the morning, and it struck Mrs. Smith when she got the
letter that the vision had been coincident with the death, but she did not verify
this by ascertaining the exact time of the death.

Mrs. Smith told us that when she communicated what she had seen to her
sister, the latter said it must have been just a very vivid dream, to which she
replied, " Well, it was a very vivid one, then," or words to that effect.

719 B. The following case, taken from Phantasms of the Living,
vol. i. p. 449, was received through the Rev. J. Barmby, of Pittington
Vicarage, Durham, who obtained it from the Rev. J. T. Fowler, Librarian
and Hebrew Lecturer in the University of Durham, in October 1872.
The events related had occurred about four years earlier. I omit Mr.
Barmby's account (given in Phantasms of the Living) which is practically a
repetition of Mr. Clarke's, given below.

The Rev. J. T. Fowler, of Bishop Hatfield's Hall, Durham, writes :

November zdth, 1884.

I know nothing about the case I mentioned to Mr. Barmby beyond what
I gave him in writing. Mr. Clarke, a tradesman in Hull, told me of the case
of Mrs. Palliser, and got her to come to his office, in Queen Street, Hull, for
me to take down from her own lips the notes I gave to Mr. Barmby. I took
great pains to get the whole of the story correctly. J. T. FOWLER.

Mr. Clarke writes :

WINTERTON HALL, DONCASTER, January zotk, 1885.

Widow Palliser was a woman who had seen better days, and worked for
my firm, Clarke & Son, Cothiers, Queen Street, Hull. She had an only
son, Matthew. I assisted her in getting him to sea. One morning she came
to me with tears rolling down her cheeks, and said, " Mat's dead ; I saw him
drowned ! Poor Mat, the last words he said were, ' Oh ! my dear mother.'


He threw up his hands and sank to rise no more." I asked how she knew.
She said, " I saw him going on board his ship, and the plank that he walked
upon slipped on one side, and he fell overboard between the quay and the ship
and was drowned. My own mother, who had been dead many years, came to
the foot of my bed and said, ' Poor Mat's gone ; he's drowned.' " I then said,
" Why, Mat's in New York " (I always felt interested in this woman and her
son). " Yes," she said, " he was drowned last night at New York ; I saw him."

Mrs. P.'s object in coming to me was to ask if I would write to the agent
in New York to ascertain the facts. I said I would, and wrote stating that a
poor widow had an only son on board such a ship, and she had a vision that
an accident (I said nothing about drowning) had happened to her son, and I
would take it as a great favour if he would ascertain and tell me all particulars.
In about three to five weeks (she came day by day to ask if we had received a
reply, always saying that she knew what the answer would be), at length, the
letter arrived. We sent for Mrs. P., and before the letter was opened by my
son, I said to her, " What will be its contents ? " She at once and decidedly
said that " Mat was drowned on the very night that she saw him, and in going
on board the ship the plank slipped, and he fell overboard between the quay
and the ship." So it was. Mrs. P. was then wearing mourning for Mat.

My son and half-a-dozen young men can verify this if needful.

Mrs. P. died soon after. M. W. CLARKE.

Reproduction of the letter received from the agent of the ship, as nearly
as I and my son can remember :

" NEW YORK, date unknown.

" I have made inquiries of Matthew Palliser, age about twenty, and learn
that he fell off a plank in going on board his ship, and got drowned on . . ."
The date was the same as Mrs. Palliser said. . . .

In answer to inquiries, Mr. Clarke adds :

April 6tA, 1885.

We have no copy of the agent's letter, but both my son and myself and
others are certain that Mrs. P.'s vision and the agent's account of the accident
were the same, both as to the time and cause, viz., that Mrs. P. saw her son
slip off the plank in going on board his ship, and that he was drowned between
the quay and the ship ; agent's account that he fell off the plank and was
drowned, at the time mentioned, between the ship and the quay. Mrs. P. died
soon after the event, which in my opinion shortened her life.

[In the absence of a written note, we cannot of course be perfectly certain
that Mrs. Palliser did not read back the details of the plank and the quay into
her vision after the arrival of the news, and that Mr. Clarke is right in his
recollection of having heard these details from the first. But there can hardly
be a doubt that the vision was described as a very impressive one before the
arrival of the news ; and Mr. Clarke's interest in the matter may fairly be sup-
posed to have made him careful in his scrutiny of the dates.]

719 C. The following case of an apparition coinciding with a death,
but representing a near relative of the dying person, instead of the dying
person herself, is taken from the " Report on the Census of Halluci-
nations," Proceedings S.P.R., vol. x. p. 261. There were four cases of


this type in the Census, of which one had already been published in
Phantasms of the Living, vol. i. p. 35 7 (No. 1 24), and two others are given
in the " Report." I quote the preliminary comments of the writers of the
" Report " on these cases.

"Such cases need present no difficulty on the telepathic theory.
Indeed, it may be rather said that the absence of any cases of the kind
would render the theory improbable. They raise the question, however,
who the ' agent ' the person, that is, from whom the telepathic com-
munication comes is, in hallucinations coinciding with a death. Usually
it seems natural to assume that it is the dying person, and in some cases
as we have seen in Chapter XII. this view is supported by evidence
that the dying person's thoughts were specially directed to the percipient.
The mere fact, however, that the apparition represents a particular person
does not prove that that person was the agent. It is possible for an agent
to transfer to a percipient an image of some third person, and it is possible
for a percipient to embody an impression telepathically received in a form
suggested by his own mind and not by the agent's. As an instance
where it seems improbable that the person whose figure was seen was the
agent, see Mrs. McAlpine's vision of her baby nephew at the time of its
death (printed at p. 281). It seems more likely in this case that the
agent was some one with the child, than the child itself, aged six months.
In one of the death coincidences quoted in Chapter XII. (No. 579.24,
p. 223), there is some reason for thinking that the agent was the sister
who telegraphed the news rather than the decedent; because (i) the
hallucination nearly coincided in time with the despatch of the telegram,
while it occurred some hours after the death, and (2) it foretold the arrival
of the telegram. These cases, of course, differ from those we are about to
quote, in that the apparition is of the dying person, but they should be
kept in view in interpreting them."

[In the first case, omitted here, the apparition represented a man who
was at the time at the deathbed of his mother.]

" In the next case the fact that the person whose figure was seen can
hardly by any normal means have known of his mother's death at the
time of the hallucination makes it difficult to suppose that he was the
agent, without a telepathic hypothesis so complicated as to be extremely

The account came from Miss C. L. Hawkins-Dempster, having been
written in 1890.


I ran downstairs and entered the drawing-room at 7.30 P.M., believing I had
kept my two sisters waiting for dinner. They had gone to dinner, the room
was empty. Behind a long sofa I saw Mr. H. standing. He moved three steps
nearer. I heard nothing. I was not at all afraid or surprised, only felt concern
as [to] what he wanted, as he was in South America. I learnt next morning
that at that moment his mother was breathing her last. I went and arranged


her for burial, my picture still hanging above the bed, between the portraits of
her two absent sons.

I was in the habit of hearing often from [Mr. H.], and was not at that
moment anxious about Mrs. H.'s health, though she was aged.

I had had twenty-five days before the grief of losing an only brother. No
[other persons were present at the time]. C. L. H. DEMPSTER.

In answer to further inquiries, we learnt from Miss Hawkins- Dempster
that the above incident occurred on New Year's Eve, 1876-77 ; the room
was lighted by " one bright lamp and a fire," and the figure did not seem
to go away, she merely "ceased to see it." She used to see Mrs. H.
often, and was in no anxiety as to her health at the time. Mrs. H. was

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