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every hour strike, and kept thinking of [all the members of the family] but not
of the dear old gentleman [i.e., imagining them in sorrow, but not Lord Z. him-
self]. I got up and wanted to draw him. His features seemed before me. I
had before shown Mr. Catlin a face in the Graphic that was like him, also that
of a dead man. I had the greatest difficulty not to draw his portrait with his
head forward and sunk on his breast, as if he had been sitting in a room with a
window on his right hand and an old man-servant; and then his head just
went forward, and he fell asleep. Weeks ago [i.e., December 25th] I thought
of him some time about Christmas; and ever since I have been feeling [pity,
&c., for members of family]."


On the next day, Thursday, January 28th, 1886, Mr. Grant received
by accident a Scotch paper in which Lord Z.'s death was mentioned, but
apparently without the precise date.

I have received a letter (which I have unfortunately mislaid) from Mr.
Catlin corroborating Mr. Grant's statements as to his having shown him
drawings and spoken of the death of a friend at home.

Lady Z. and Miss Z. gave me in April 1892 the following corrobora-
tion :

Lord Z. died December 24th, 1885, in a dressing-room adjoining his own
larger room. The dressing-room was narrow, with a window at one end, and a
small bed, then occupied by a man-servant who attended on him. Lord Z. had
entered this room to speak to the servant, when he fell forward, the servant
catching him in his arms, and shortly afterwards breathed his last His death
was unexpected, although he had long been ill. I remember that Mr. Cameron
Grant visited our country seat where this occurred for the first time some
months after Lord Z.'s death; and that he said something to me as to his
having known of it, or recognised the scene ; but I cannot now remember the
details. (Signed) [Lady Z.]

I remember that Mr. Cameron Grant, before going upstairs, when he
arrived on the visit referred to, asked whether my father had not fallen for-
wards into the arms of a man in a long room with a window at one end of it.

(Signed) [Miss Z.]

This case should be studied along with Mr. Cameron Grant's other
records of experiences (Phantasms of the Living, vol. ii. pp. 688690).

It would in a certain way explain these intimations if we could suppose
that Lord Z. (who was, and who knew Mr. Grant to be, much interested
in such phenomena) first impressed Mr. Grant at the time of his own
death, and then renewed the impression when he knew, in some incon-
ceivable manner, that Mr. Grant was about to receive, quite casually, a
newspaper announcement of the decease. On that occasion the deceased
person seems to have been able to impress a picture of the scene of
death on Mr. Grant's subliminal mind ; an impression which worked
itself out in the rude drawings, as a motor message, and afterwards re-
turned both as a vision in hypnotic trance, and as a crystal-vision in
the waking state. Here, however, as in all similar cases, we cannot ex-
clude the possibility of a wide clairvoyance on the percipient's own part.

736 C. From the " Report on the Census of Hallucinations," Pro-
ceedings S.P.R., vol. x. p. 373. In the following case the hallucination
occurred shortly after the death, perhaps within twenty-four hours of it,
and the apparition indicated leave-taking. It is an interesting example
(the only one in the Census) of a primd facie veridical hallucination
coinciding with the arrival of a letter bearing on the subject. Another
remarkable feature in the case is the persistent repetition of the percept.
The account was written by Miss E. L. M. in 1889.

On the morning of January i4th, 1876, I was in the B. schoolroom, a small

VOL. II. 2 A


village near to A. in Hants, when I saw what appeared to me to be a favourite
cousin. She was close beside me, and appeared in good health, as I had every
reason to suppose her to be. I should here explain that I held in my hand a
letter which had just been brought to me, and which I had not yet opened,
telling me that my cousin was seriously ill with scarlet fever. The fact was
that at the time she was actually dead, her death having occurred after the
posting of the letter. I was waiting for children to assemble in school,
and was in good health and in no grief or anxiety. I knew immediately that
it was my cousin whom I saw, and believed her to be at the time at her
own home. I could not understand what she meant by saying " Good-bye,"
which I cannot say I heard, but saw by the movement of her lips.

The village children and my sister [were present]. The former I have no
reason to think saw anything, and my sister only laughed at me. I continued
to see her all day, and when indoors my sister would persist in strumming on
the piano, although I remonstrated with her, " How can you keep on with
that noise when Jessie is dead ? " I received a letter the next morning inform-
ing me that she was dead, after which I saw her only at intervals that day and
part of the next, when the appearances ceased.

Miss M. had had previously another veridical experience, described in
the " Report," relating to the death of an aunt.
Miss M.'s sister writes :

November gth, 1889.

I distinctly remember the circumstances respecting my cousin Jessie. All
one day my sister was telling me she saw her, and that she knew she was
dead, and we had a letter next morning with the news, so that we knew
before the letter arrived.

I have asked my mother about it, and she remembers my sister telling her
at the time.

739 A. From the Journal S.P.R., vol. vii. p. 175. The following is
a case which was noted at the time, before it was known to be veridical.
It occurred to the Rev. E. K. Elliott, Rector of Worthing, who was
formerly in the navy, and who made the entry in his diary as quoted
when he was cruising in the Atlantic out of reach of post or telegraph.
The diary was still in his possession when we received the account, in
August 1895.

Extract from diary written out in Atlantic, January i^th, 1847 :

" Dreamt last night I received a letter from my uncle, H. E., dated Janu-
ary 3rd, in which news of my dear brother's death was given. It greatly
struck me." ,

My brother had been ill in Switzerland, but the last news I received on
leaving England was that he was better.

The " January 3rd " was very black, as if intended to catch my eye.

On my return to England I found, as I quite expected, a letter awaiting me
saying my brother had died on the above date. E. K. ELLIOTT.



739 B. In the next case, which I quote from Proceedings S.P.R.,
vol. v. p. 409, the apparition was seen several weeks after the death.
The account came from Mrs. Clark, 8 South View, Forest Hall, Newcastle-


January 6tA, 1885.

I send you a short account, describing what I experienced at the time of the
apparition of my friend, who was a young gentleman much attached to myself,
and who would willingly (had I loved him well enough) have made me his wife.
I became engaged to be married, and did not see my friend (Mr. Akhurst) for
some months, until within a week of my marriage (June 1878), when in the
presence of my husband he wished me every happiness, and regretted he had
not been able to win me.

Time passed on. I had been married about two years and had never seen
Mr. Akhurst, when one day my husband told me he (Mr. Akhurst) was in New-
castle and was coming to supper and was going to stay the night. When my
husband and he were talking, he said my husband had been the more fortunate
of the two, but he added if anything happened to my husband he could leave
his money to whom he liked and his widow to him, and he would be quite
content. I mention this to show he was still interested in me.

Three months passed and baby was born. When she was about a week
old, very early one morning I was feeding her, when I felt a cold waft of air
through the room and a feeling as though some one touched my shoulder ; my
hair seemed to bristle all over my head and I shuddered. Raising my eyes to
the door (which faced me), I saw Akhurst standing in his shirt and trousers
looking at me, when he seemed to pass through the door. In the morning I
mentioned it to my husband. I did not hear of Mr. Akhurst's death for some
weeks after, when I found it corresponded with that of the apparition, and
though my father knew of it before, he thought in my weak state of health it
were better I should not be told.

He was found lying on the bed with his shirt and trousers on, just as he
had thrown himself down after taking a sleeping draught. 1

I myself am quite convinced that Mr. Akhurst's thoughts had been so con-
centrated upon me, before the draught proved fatal, that his spirit visited
me on its way to that glorious land where it shall dwell in the presence of
Him who said, " Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest."

To me the memory of Mr. Akhurst will always be as of a dear brother
greatly esteemed and deeply regretted. EMILY CLARK.

Mrs. Clark adds later :

May I3//4, 1885.

My husband will certify as to my mentioning to him seeing the apparition
before I heard of Mr. Akhurst's death, but I am sorry I cannot tell you where
it happened, nor the exact date of the death, but I remember when we heard
about it my husband and I traced it to about the time of my "vision." . . .

July zyd, 1885.

I never experienced anything of the kind before. I think Mr. Akhurst's
death happened somewhere in Yorkshire. What makes me think the time

1 This, as will be seen, was probably a mistake, and it seems possible that the
reminiscence of the Corsican Brothers may have helped to shape the hallucination.


corresponded with his death, was, my asking how long ago it was from my
hearing of his death, and the actual occurrence ; and then knowing the time of
my little girl's birth, I came to the conclusion it was about the same time. I
think this is all the information I can give you. I shall ask my husband to
send you a few lines to-morrow.

Mr. Edward Clark, solicitor, County Chambers, Newcastle-on-Tyne,

writes :

July ztfh, 1885.

At the request of my wife, Mrs. Clark, of 9 South View, Forest Hall, I beg
to inform you of my knowledge of the supposed apparition of Mr. Akhurst.
Shortly after my wife had been confined of my second daughter, about the end
of September, 1880, my wife one morning informed me she had seen Akhurst
about one o'clock that morning. I of course told her it was nonsense, but she
persisted, and said he appeared to her with only his trousers and a shirt on,
and the remark she made was that he was dressed just as she had seen him
in the Corsican Brothers (he was an actor). She also described her feelings
at the time. I tried to persuade her it was a dream, but she insisted that it
was an apparition.

As near as I can remember, about six months after, I met a mutual friend
of Akhurst's and my own, and in conversation I inquired after Akhurst. He
said, " Don't you know he is dead ? " I said, " No, when did he die ? " He
said, " I don't know the exact date, but it was about six months ago ; " and
further informed me that he died about one o'clock in the morning in the dress
as my wife described him, from an overdose of chloral. I have endeavoured
to see my friend to find out the place (Bradford, I think), but he is now in
America. His name is John Brown, and he is the son of the leader-writer to
the Chronicle here. If I meet him again I will try to get accurate particulars
and forward them to you.

August 21 si, 1885.

. . . My wife has, I find, no reason to think she has been mistaken as to the
time when she supposed she saw W. J. Akhurst, as the date is fixed by the
birth of my second little girl, which took place in September 1880.

In the Era Almanac for 1881, the obituary for 1880, p. 93, gives the
entry, "Akhurst, Walter James, actor, aged twenty-four, July i2th."

The Era newspaper of July i8th, 1880, gives an account of the
inquest. Mr. H. W. Akhurst gave evidence to the effect that he and
his deceased brother went to the chemist's on Saturday (i.e. loth), and
procured a sleeping draught. Deceased complained of pains in his
body and of feeling lonely. The next day (Sunday) he only got up to
have his bed made ; Monday he died. W. H. Cope, surgeon, attributed
death to suffocation caused by heart disease. The verdict returned was
" Death from natural causes."

739 C. The next case, which I quote from Phantasms of the
Living, vol. i. p. 444, was received towards the end of 1882 from Mr. J.
G. Keulemans, who has already been mentioned in 662 A.

In December 1880 Mr. Keulemans was living, he tells us, with his
family in Paris. The outbreak of an epidemic of small-pox caused him to


remove three of his children, including a favourite little boy of five, to
London, whence he received, in the course of the ensuing month, several
letters giving an excellent account of their health.

On the 24th of January 1881, at half-past seven in the morning, I was
suddenly awoke by hearing his voice, as I fancied, very near me. I saw a
bright, opaque, white mass before my eyes, and in the centre of this light I saw
the face of my little darling, his eyes bright, his mouth smiling. The appari-
tion, accompanied by the sound of his voice, was too short and too sudden to
be called a dream : it was too clear, too decided, to be called an effect of
imagination. So distinctly did I hear his voice that I looked round the room
to see whether he was actually there. The sound I heard was that of extreme
delight, such as only a happy child can utter. I thought it was the moment he
woke up in London, happy and thinking of me. I said to myself, " Thank God,
little Isidore is happy as always."

Mr. Keulemans describes the ensuing day as one of peculiar bright-
ness and cheerfulness. He took a long walk with a friend, with whom
he dined ; and was afterwards playing a game of billiards, when he again
saw the apparition of his child. This made him seriously uneasy, and in
spite of having received within three days the assurance of the child's
perfect health, he expressed to his wife a conviction that he was dead.
Next day a letter arrived saying that the child was ill ; but the father
was convinced that this was only an attempt to break the news ; and, in
fact, the child had died, after a few hours' illness, at the exact time of the
first apparition.

Mrs. Keulemans says :

May 29*4, 1885.

I remember that, the day when little Isidore died, my husband said that he
felt strongly impressed that there was something wrong with the little boy in
London. It was in the evening that he asked me whether I had received any
news from my mother about Isidore. I replied that no letter had come, and
asked him why he wanted to know. He made the same remark as before, but
would not further explain himself. I tried to dispel his gloomy forebodings by
referring to a letter we had from my mother, stating that Isidore was very
happy, and was singing all day long. My husband did not seem pacified.
When the letter mentioning his illness came, my husband was very much
dejected, and told me that it was no use trying to make a secret of it, as he
knew the worst had happened. He said afterwards that he had seen a
vision. A. KEULEMANS.

740 A. The following case is printed in full in the Journal S.P.R.,
vol. iv. p. 68 (May 1889). I give an abstract only of it here. The
narrative comes from a lady known to me. Miss W. begins by describing
the death of her father on November i6th, 1862, at about midnight, in
the presence of his family. She says :

The fire (which faced the foot of the bed) gave a steady and subdued light,
and there was only one lighted candle in the room. [A few minutes after


he died,] while we were looking on, scarcely realising what had occurred,
suddenly I and my youngest brother simultaneously whispered, " Look ! " and
we both beheld distinctly a vaporous luminosity quivering in a circle over my
father's head. It was as if the breath itself had become radiant and hovered
over the prostrate form. . . . None of the others saw it. ... A night or two
after I was lying awake, when all at once I saw above me a light, similar to the
one just described, only larger and brighter. [It] did not last more than a
brief minute, and then vanished as suddenly as it appeared. I sat up in bed
and tried to discover some rational cause for it, but could not. [Details are
given, showing that the light was almost certainly hallucinatory.]

Miss W.'s brother and sister signed a corroboratory note, stating that
they well remembered the mention of the incidents at the time of their

This impression has a certain analogy with that of Dr. VViltse in 713 A.
It cannot, of course, be maintained that an experience occurring under
such circumstances, in spite of its collective nature, has any evidential
force ; but though not evidential, it may yet represent a reality, clothed
in a symbolism which is obviously derived from tradition.

741 A. From the Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical
Research, vol. i. p. 446. This is a case of two apparently synchronous
"visions of consolation " representing the same deceased person. The
percipients were the mother and husband of a lady who had been dead
five months. She died in December, 1879, and the incidents occurred
about the end of April 1880. Mrs. Crans, the mother, was then residing
in New York, and her son-in-law, Mr. C. A. Kernochan, in Central City,
Dakota. Mrs. Crans writes to Dr. Hodgson as follows :

345 WEST 34TH STREET, NEW YoRK,//y i^tk, 1888.

... After lying down to rest, I remember feeling a drifting sensation, of
seeming almost as if I was going out of the body. My eyes were closed ; soon
I realised that I was, or seemed to be, going fast somewhere. All seemed dark
to me ; suddenly I realised that I was in a room ; then I saw Charley lying in
a bed asleep; then I took a look at the furniture of the room, and distinctly saw
every article even to a chair at the head of the bed, which had one of the
pieces broken in the back. ... In a moment the door opened and my spirit-
daughter Allie came into the room and stepped up to the bed and stooped
down and kissed Charley. He seemed to at once realise her presence, and
tried to hold her, but she passed right out of the room about like a feather blown
by the wind ; and then, after a moment, she came back again [several further
incidents are here described]. Then I thought I would open my eyes, and with
difficulty I got my eyes open. They seemed so heavy to me, but when I suc-
ceeded in opening them I received a sudden shock, such as if I had fallen from
the ceiling to the floor. It frightened and woke up both Mrs. B. and my
daughter [but Mrs. B. has been lost sight of, and the daughter was a child at
the time], who asked what was the matter. Of course I told them my experi-
ence, and the following Sunday I wrote, as was always my custom, to my son-in-
law, Charley, telling him of all my experience, describing the room as I saw it


It took a letter six days to go from here to Dakota, and the same length
of time, of course, to come from there here ; and at the end of six days judge of
my surprise to receive a letter from Charley telling me thus : " Oh, my darling
mamma Crans ! My God ! I dreamed I saw Allie last Friday night 1" He then
described just as I saw her; how she came into the room and he cried and
tried to hold her, but she vanished [with other details, similar to those of Mrs.
Crans' dream]. Then at the end of six days, when my letter reached him, and
he read of my similar experience, he at once wrote me that all I had seen was
correct, even to every article of furniture in the room, also as his dream had
appeared to him. . . . MRS. N. J. CRANS.

The letters referred to, which were written at the time of the ex-
periences, had unfortunately not been preserved ; but Mr. Kernochan

wrote to Dr. Hodgson as follows :

NEW YORK,//X 4//4, 1888.

The facts written you this day by Mrs. N. J. Crans in regard to a letter
written to me one Sunday morning in the year 1880, and one written by me on
the same date to her, are correct in every particular. I was then living in
Central City, Dakota, boarding at the American house. It is impossible to
give the exact date, as I have destroyed the letter, for which I regret. I
think it was about the last of April 1880. ... C. A. KERNOCHAN.

742 A. From Proceedings S.P.R., vol. v. p. 437. The account is
given by Mrs. Judd.

August 6th, 1885.

My grandmother was a tall, stately, and handsome woman, even at an
advanced age. She was one of the Gastrells, an old and aristocratic family.
Her latter years were spent with my mother (her daughter), and in her eighty-
fourth year she died. She had suffered long ; she had attained a great age ;
therefore, though we missed her, our grief was not of that poignant and
excessive kind which produces hallucination.

My sister and myself had always slept in a room adjoining hers, and for
want of space in her apartment there stood by our bedside a large old-
fashioned clock, which had been presented to our grandmother on her wedding-
day. More precious than gold was this old clock to her heart; "by it," she
often said, " have I hundreds of times watched the slow hours pass in my
early married days when my husband had to leave me ; by it have I timed the
children's return from school " ; and she begged us, her grandchildren, to
leave our bedroom door unlocked at night that she might consult the old clock
when she rose each morning. We have often opened our sleepy eyes at four
on a summer morning and smiled to see the stately figure already there. For
up to the last illness she retained the habits of her youth, and rose at what we
deemed fearfully primitive hours.

About three weeks after her death I awoke one morning in October, and
saw distinctly the well-known tall figure, the calm old face, the large dark
eyes uplifted as usual to the face of the old clock. I closed my eyes for some
seconds, and then slowly reopened them. She stood there still. A second
time I closed my eyes, a second time opened them. She was gone.

I was looked upon by my family in those days, and particularly by the
sister who shared my room, as romantic. Therefore I carefully kept to myself
the vision of the morning and pondered over it alone.

37 6 APPENDICES [743 A

At night, however, when we were once more preparing for rest, my sister
my eminently practical and unromantic sister spoke to me. " I cannot go to
bed without telling you something, only don't laugh, for I am really frightened ;
I saw grandmamma this morning!" I was amazed. I inquired of her the
hour, what the vision was like, where it stood, what it was doing, &c., and I
found that in every respect her experience was similar to mine. She had
preserved silence all day for fear of ridicule.

I may add that we even now speak of this incident with awe, though twenty
long years have since passed over our heads, and we invariably end by saying,
each of us, " It was very strange; it is impossible to understand it."


In reply to our request for an account of the incident from the other
percipient, Mrs. Judd wrote :


I send you herewith all that my sister, Mrs. Dear, recalls of the vision,
doubly seen, of our late grandmother. She objects to the weariness of com-
position, therefore I took down her reminiscences, and she signed it as true.


Some years ago, a few months after the death of my grandmother, I awoke
in the dim light just before dawn, to see an appearance exactly like her standing
in the old accustomed place from whence, when alive, she was wont to consult
an old clock, her own property, at very early hours. I said nothing to any one
till we retired again for the night, when I found to my surprise, my sister, who
slept with me, had seen the same appearance at the same time.


Mrs. Judd's sister, Miss Harris, confirms the above account as
follows :


Both sisters mentioned seeing my grandmother the day of the apparition
before father and mother, then alive, and myself. I think she must have died
about 1866, but I was then very young, and can't remember exactly. I will find
out if it is important, but my sisters have often mentioned it since.

Online LibraryFrederic William Henry MyersHuman personality : and its survival of bodily death (Volume 2) → online text (page 50 of 89)