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of the other children, especially this brother, who was then five years old. He
had married in April 1885, and she had not seen him since, though she had
heard of the birth of his first child, a little girl, in January 1886; and she had
never seen his wife nor heard of the birth of the second child.

She is as sure as she can be that she was awake at the time of the expe-
rience. She knew the time by a clock in the room and also a clock outside.
She heard this latter strike twelve afterwards, and the apparition must have
occurred after eleven, because lights were out in front of the public-house.
The children seemed to be with her a long time ; indeed, they seemed to be
still with her when the clock struck twelve. The room was usually light enough
to see things in e.g. to get a glass of water, &c. owing to the lamp in the
street, but the distinctness with which the vision was seen is not explicable by
the real light. The children were of ages corresponding to those of her sister-
in-law's children, i.e. they seemed to be a little girl and a baby newly born ;
the sex was not distinguished. She was not at all alarmed.

She heard from Mrs. Grange by letter, and afterwards orally from her
brother, that her sister-in-law died between eight and nine the same night.

She never had any experience of the kind, or any hallucination at all before :
but since she has occasionally felt a hand on her head in trouble.

Mrs. Grange told me that she was with the sister-in-law about an hour and a
half before her death. She left her about seven o'clock, without any particular
alarm about her ; though she was suffering from inflammation after childbirth,
and Mrs. Grange did not quite like her look ; still her state was not considered
alarming by those who were attending on her. Then about 8.30 news came
to Mrs. Grange in her own house that something had happened at the sister-
in-law's. As it was only in the next street, Mrs. Grange put on her bonnet and
went round to the house, and found she was dead. She then wrote and told
Miss Dodson.

I quote further cases more or less analogous to this in the Appendices
to this section. In the first (719 A) the apparition of a dying mother
brings the news of her own death and that her baby is living. In the
second (719 B) a mother sees a vision of her son being drowned and
also an apparition of her own dead mother, who tells her of the drowning.



In this case, the question may be raised as to whether the second figure
seen may not have been, so to say, substitutive a symbol in which the
percipient's own mind clothed a telepathic impression of the actual
decedent's passage from earth. Such a view might perhaps be supported
by some anomalous cases where news of the death is brought by the
apparition of a person still living, who, nevertheless, is not by any normal
means aware of the death. (See the case of Mrs. T., already given in
Chapter IV., 428 ; and that of Miss Hawkins- Dempster in 719 C.)

720. I will quote here one case, at any rate, where such an explanation
would be impossible, since both the deceased person and the phantasmal
figure were previously unknown to the percipient. This case the last
which Edmund Gurney published comes from an excellent witness.
The psychical incident which it seems to imply, while very remote from
popular notions, would be quite in accordance with the rest of our present
series. A lady dies ; her husband in the spirit-world is moved by her
arrival ; and the direction thus given to his thought projects a picture of
him, clothed as in the days when he lived with her, into visibility in the
house where her body is lying. We have thus a dream-like recurrence to
earthly memories, prompted by a revival of those memories which had
taken place in the spiritual world. The case is midway between a case of
welcome and a case of haunting.

From Proceedings S.P.R., vol. v. pp. 422-26. The account is given by
Mrs. Bacchus, of Sherbourne Villa, Leamington.

August 1886.

On Saturday, October i8th [really 24th], 1868, we left some friends (the
Marquis and Madame de Lys) with whom we had been staying at Malvern
Wells, and went to Cheltenham. The reason for going to Cheltenham was
that a brother-in-law of my husband, Mr. George Copeland, was living there.
He was a great invalid, suffering from paralysis and quite unable to move, but
in full mental vigour, so his friends were anxious to see him as often as possible
to relieve the dreariness of his long illness, and we did not like to be so near
without paying him a visit. We knew that he had friends staying in the house
at the time, so determined to go to Cheltenham without letting him know, to
take lodgings near, and then tell him we had done so, that he might not feel he
ought to invite us to his house. We soon found some rooms in York Terrace,
close to Bay's Hill, Mr. Copeland's house. After we had taken the rooms
the usual lodging-house kind drawing-room and bedroom at the back, and
were going out, we noticed some medicine bottles on the hall table, asked if
any one were ill in the house, and were told that an old lady, a Mrs. R., and
her daughter were in the dining-room, that Mrs. R. had been ill for some time,
that her illness was not serious and that there was no immediate danger of her
dying ; in fact, it was made quite light of, and we thought no more about it.
We just mentioned in the course of the evening the name of the people lodging
in the same house, and Mr. Copeland said he knew who Mrs. R. was ; she was
the widow of a physician who formerly practised in Cheltenham, that one of
her daughters was married to a master of the College, a Mr. N. Then I
remembered having seen Mrs. N. at a garden-party at Dr. Barry's the year
before, and had noticed her talking to Mrs. Barry, and thought her very pretty.
This was all I knew or ever heard of the people. On Sunday morning, when


I came into the drawing-room for breakfast, I thought my husband looked a
little uncomfortable ; however, he said nothing till I had finished breakfast,
then asked, " Did you hear a noise of a chair in the hall a little while ago ?
The old lady downstairs died in her chair last night, and they were wheeling
her into the bedroom at the back." I was very uncomfortable and frightened ;
I had never been in a house with any one dead before, and wanted to go, and
several friends who heard of it asked me to stay with them, but my husband
did not wish to move. He said it was a great deal of trouble, was really foolish
of me to wish it, that he did not like moving on Sunday, also that he did not
think it right or kind to go away because some one had died, that we should
think it unkind if the case had been our own, and other people had rushed
off in a hurry ; so we decided to stay. I spent the day with my brother-in-law
and nieces, and only returned to the lodgings in time to go to bed. I went to
sleep quickly as usual, but woke, I suppose, in the middle of the night, not
frightened by any noise, and for no reason, and saw distinctly at the foot of the
bed an old gentleman with a round rosy face, smiling, his hat in his hand,
dressed in an old-fashioned coat (blue) with brass buttons, light waistcoat, and
trousers. The longer I looked at him the more distinctly I saw every feature
and particular of his dress, &c. I did not feel much frightened, and after a
time shut my eyes for a minute or two, and when I looked again the old gentle-
man was gone. After a time I went to sleep, and in the morning, while
dressing, made up my mind that I would say nothing of what I had seen till I
saw one of my nieces, and would then describe the old gentleman, and ask if
Dr. R. could be like him, although the idea seemed absurd. I met my niece,
Mary Copeland (now Mrs. Brandling), coming out of church, and said, "Was
Dr. R. like an old gentleman with a round rosy face," &c., &c., describing what
I had seen. She stopped at once on the pavement, looking astonished. " Who
could have told you, aunt? We always said he looked more like a country
farmer than a doctor, and how odd it was that such a common-looking man
should have had such pretty daughters."

This is an exact account of what I saw. I am quite sure I should know
the old gentleman again, his face is clearly before me when I think of it now,
as at the time Miss de Lys had a letter from me with the story, and sent it to
a relation in France; she heard me tell it again some years after, and said
there was no variation whatever in it. My two nieces are still living, and can
remember exactly everything that happened as I told it to them. Of course
I cannot explain it in any way ; the old lady who was dead was in the room
directly under the one I was sleeping in. The part of the whole thing that
surprised me the most was, that I was so very little frightened as to be able
to sleep afterwards, and did not wish to disturb any one else.

Mr. Bacchus writes :

LEAMINGTON, September rjth, 1886.

I have read my wife's account of what happened at Cheltenham when we
were staying there in October 1868; it is exactly what she told me at the
time, and I remember it all perfectly, also her telling my niece about it in the

In answer to further questions, Mrs. Bacchus replied as follows :

September #h, 1886.

(1) I have never seen anything of the kind before or since.

(2) I gave the date from memory. The day was Saturday, and it was Sun-
day night, or early on Monday morning, that I saw Dr. R.


(3) I do not remember the number in York Terrace; probably the Times
of October 1868 would give Mrs. R.'s death and where it took place. [The
Times gives the death at 7 York Terrace, Sunday, October 25th, 1868.]

(4) The letter to Miss de Lys cannot be found; all my letters to her were
burnt after she died in 1883.

(5) Mr. Bacchus and Mrs. Henry Berkeley have given their account. Mrs.
Brandling has not yet written.

(6) I am quite sure I never saw any picture of any kind of Dr. R.

(7) I do not know when he died ; probably three or four years before I saw
him. His death was spoken of in that way. I can find out if necessary from
an old servant of Mr. Copeland's who lives at Cheltenham, and who would
remember him, and be able to inquire.

(8) I do not remember anything about the light, if there was a night-light
in the room or not; I think not. When I say, "do not remember," I mean
that being asked puzzles me ; my impression of the whole thing is that it was
like a magic lantern, all dark round, and the figure, colour, and clothes quite
light and bright. I always see the whole thing when I speak of it.


Statements were also obtained from Mrs. Berkeley and Mrs. Brand-
ling, nieces of Mrs. Bacchus, confirming her recollection that she had
described the details of the apparition to them the next morning, and
that it closely resembled Dr. R., as they remembered him. These
statements are printed in full in the Proceedings.

Mr. R. died (as Mrs. Bacchus ascertained us), August 3oth, 1865.

721. I now come to a considerable group of cases where the departed
spirit shows a definite knowledge of some fact connected with his own
earth-life, his death, or subsequent events connected with that death.
The knowledge of subsequent events, as of the spread of the news of his
death, or as to the place of his burial, is, of course, a greater achievement
(so to term it) than a mere recollection of facts known to him in life, and
ought strictly, on the plan of this series, to be first illustrated. But it
will be seen that all these stages of knowledge cohere together ; and their
connection can better be shown if I begin at the lower stage, of mere
earth-memory. Now here again, as so often already, we shall have to
wait for automatic script and the like to illustrate the full extent of the
deceased person's possible memory. Readers of the utterances, for
instance, of "George Pelham" (see Chapter IX.), will know how full and
accurate may be these recollections from beyond the grave. Mere appari-
tions, such as those with which we are now dealing, can rarely give more
than one brief message, probably felt by the deceased to be of urgent

I will quote at length a well-attested case where the information com-
municated in a vision proved to be definite, accurate, and important to
the survivors. (From Proceedings S.P.R., vol. viii. pp. 200-205.) x

1 Some of the correspondence about the case given in the Proceedings is omitted here
for want of space.


The first report of the case appeared in The Herald (Dubuque, Iowa),
February nth, 1891, as follows:

It will be remembered that on February 2nd, Michael Conley, a farmer
living near Ionia, Chickasaw County, was found dead in an outhouse at the
Jefferson house. He was carried to Coroner Hoffmann's morgue, where, after
the inquest, his body was prepared for shipment to his late home. The old
clothes which he wore were covered with filth from the place where he was
found, and they were thrown outside the morgue on the ground.

His son came from Ionia, and took the corpse home. When he reached
there, and one of the daughters was told that her father was dead, she fell into
a swoon, in which she remained for several hours. When at last she was
brought from the swoon, she said, "Where are father's old clothes? He has
just appeared to me dressed in a white shirt, black clothes, and felt [mis-reported
for satin~\ slippers, and told me that after leaving home he sewed a large roll of
bills inside his grey shirt with a piece of my red dress, and the money is still
there." In a short time she fell into another swoon, and when out of it
demanded that somebody go to Dubuque and get the clothes. She was deathly
sick, and is so yet.

The entire family considered it only a hallucination, but the physician
advised them to get the clothes, as it might set her mind at rest. The son
telephoned Coroner Hoffmann, asking if the clothes were still in his posses-
sion. He looked and found them in the backyard, although he had supposed
they were thrown in the vault, as he had intended. He answered that he still
had them, and on being told that the son would come to get them, they
were wrapped in a bundle.

The young man arrived last Monday afternoon, and told Coroner Hoffmann
what his sister had said. Mr. Hoffmann admitted that the lady had described
the identical burial garb in which her father was clad, even to the slippers,
although she never saw him after death, and none of the family had seen more
than his face through the coffin lid. Curiosity being fully aroused, they took
the grey shirt from the bundle, and within the bosom found a large roll of bills
sewed with a piece of red cloth. The young man said his sister had a red dress
exactly like it. The stitches were large and irregular, and looked to be those
of a man. The son wrapped up the garments and took them home with him
yesterday morning, filled with wonder at the supernatural revelation made to
his sister, who is at present lingering between life and death.

Dr. Hodgson communicated with the proprietors of The Herald, and
both they and their reporter who had written the account stated that it
was strictly accurate. The coroner, Mr. Hoffmann, wrote to Dr. Hodgson
on March i8th, 1891, as follows :

In regard to the statement in the Dubuque Herald, about February
about the Conley matter is more than true by my investigation. I laughed
and did not believe in the matter when I first heard of it, until I satisfied
myself by investigating and seeing what I did.

M. M. HOFFMANN, County Coroner.

Further evidence was obtained through Mr. Amos Crum, pastor of a
church at Dubuque. The following statement was made by Mr. Brown,


whom Mr. Crum described as " an intelligent and reliable farmer, residing
about one mile from the Conleys."

IONIA, July 2oth, 1891.

Elizabeth Conley, the subject of so much comment in the various papers,
was born in Chickasaw township, Chickasaw County, Iowa, in March 1863.
Her mother died the same year. Is of Irish parentage ; brought up, and is, a
Roman Catholic; has been keeping house for her father for ten years.

On the ist day of February 1891 her father went to Dubuque, Iowa, for
medical treatment, and died on the 3rd of the same month very suddenly.
His son was notified by telegraph the same day, and he and I started
the next morning after the remains, which we found in charge of Coroner

He had 9 dollars 75 cents, which he had taken from his pocket-book. I
think it was about two days after our return she had the dream or vision. She
claimed her father had appeared to her, and told her there was a sum of money
in an inside pocket of his undershirt. Her brother started for Dubuque a few
days afterwards, and found the clothes as we had left them, and in the pocket
referred to found 30 dollars in currency. These are the facts of the matter as
near as I can give them. GEORGE BROWN.

Mr. Crum wrote later :

DUBUQUE, IOWA, August i$th, 1891.

DEAR MR. HODGSON, I send you in another cover a detailed account of
interview with the Conleys. I could not get the doctor.

I have had a long talk with Mr. Hoffmann about the Conley incident, and
think you have all the facts and they are facts,

The girl Lizzie Conley swooned. She saw her dead father ; she heard from
him of the money left in his old shirt ; she returned to bodily consciousness ;
she described her father's burial dress, robe, shirt, and slippers exactly, though
she had never seen them. She described the pocket in the shirt that had been
left for days in the shed at the undertaker's. It was a ragged-edged piece of
red cloth clumsily sewn, and in this pocket was found a roll of bills 35 dollars
in amount as taken out by Mr. Hoffmann in presence of Pat Conley, son of
the deceased, and brother of the Lizzie Conley whose remarkable dream or
vision is the subject of inquiry. AMOS CRUM, Past. Univ. Ch.

... I herewith transcribe my questions addressed to Miss Elizabeth
Conley and her replies to the same concerning her alleged dream or vision ....

On July 1 7th, about noon, I called at the Conley home near Ionia, Chicka-
saw County, Iowa, and inquired for Elizabeth Conley. She was present and
engaged in her domestic labours. When I stated the object of my call, she
seemed quite reluctant for a moment to engage in conversation. Then she
directed a lad who was present to leave the room. She said she would converse
with me upon the matter pertaining to her father.

Q. What is your age ? A. Twenty-eight.

Q. What is the state of your health ? A. Not good since my father's death.

Q. What was the state of your health previous to his death ? A. It was
good. I was a healthy girl.

Q. Did you have dreams, visions, or swoons previous to your father's death ?
A. Why, I had dreams. Everybody has dreams.


Q. Have you ever made discoveries or received other information during
your dreams or visions previous to your father's death? A. No.

Q. Had there been anything unusual in your dreams or visions previous to
your father's death ? A. No, not that I know of.

Q. Was your father in the habit of carrying considerable sums of money
about his person ? A. Not that I knew of.

Q. Did you know before his death of the pocket in the breast of the shirt
worn by him to Dubuque ? A. No.

Q. Did you wash or prepare that shirt for him to wear on his trip to
Dubuque ? A. No. It was a heavy woollen undershirt, and the pocket was
stitched inside of the breast of it.

Q. Will you recite the circumstances connected with the recovery of
money from clothing worn by your father at the time of his death? A.
(after some hesitation) When they told me that father was dead I felt very
sick and bad ; I did not know anything. Then father came to me. He
had on a white shirt and black clothes and slippers. When I came to, I
told Pat [her brother] I had seen father. I asked him (Pat) if he had
brought back father's old clothes. He said, " No," and asked me why I
wanted them. I told him father said to me he had sewed a roll of bills inside
of his grey shirt, in a pocket made of a piece of my old red dress. I went
to sleep, and father came to me again. When I awoke I told Pat he must go
and get the clothes.

Q. While in these swoons did you hear the ordinary conversations or noises
in the house about you ? A. No.

Q. Did you see your father's body after it was placed in its coffin ? A. No ;
I did not see him after he left the house to go to Dubuque.

Q. Have you an education? A. No.

Q. Can you read and write ? A. Oh yes, I can read and write ; but I've
not been to school much.

Q. Are you willing to write out what you hare told me of this strange
affair? A. Why, I've told you all I know about it.

She was averse to writing or to signing a written statement. During the
conversation she was quite emotional, and manifested much effort to
suppress her feelings. She is a little more than medium size, of Irish parent-
age, of Catholic faith, and shows by her conversation that her education is

Her brother, Pat Conley, corroborates all that she has recited. He is a
sincere and substantial man, and has no theory upon which to account for the
strange facts that have come to his knowledge. In his presence Coroner
Hoffmann, in Dubuque, found the shirt with its pocket of red cloth stitched on
the inside with long, straggling, and awkward stitches, just as a dim-sighted old
man or an awkward boy might sew it there. The pocket was about 7 [seven]
inches deep, and in the pocket of that dirty old shirt that had lain in Hoff-
mann's back room was a roll of bills amounting to 35 dollars. When the shirt
was found with the pocket, as described by his sister after her swoon, and the
money as told her by the old man after his death, Pat Conley seemed dazed
and overcome by the mystery. Hoffmann says the girl, after her swoon, de-
scribed exactly the burial suit, shirt, coat or robe, and satin slippers in which
the body was prepared for burial. She even described minutely the slippers,
which were of a new pattern that had not been in the market here, and which
the girl could never have seen a sample of ; and she had not seen, and never


saw, the body of her father after it was placed in the coffin, and if she had seen
it she could not have seen his feet "in the nice black satin slippers " which she
described. . . . AMOS CRUM, Pastor Univ. Church.

If we may accept the details of this narrative, which seems to have
been carefully and promptly investigated, we find that the phantasm com-
municates two sets of facts : one of them known only to strangers (the
dress in which he was buried), and one of them known only to himself
(the existence of the inside pocket and the money therein). In discussing
from what mind these images orignate it is, of course, important to note
whether any living minds, known or unknown to the percipient, were
aware of the facts thus conveyed.

There are few cases where the communication between the percipient
and the deceased seems to have been more direct than here. The hard,
prosaic reality of the details of the message need not, of course, surprise
us. On the contrary, the father's sudden death in the midst of earthly
business would at once retain his attention on money matters and facilitate
his impressing them on the daughter's mind. One wishes that more
could be learned of the daughter's condition when receiving the message.
It seems to have resembled trance rather than dream.

722. A dream in which a message of somewhat the same kind is given
is here added in 722 A, after which will also be found (in 722 B) one of
the few old cases whose lineage is sufficiently respectable to allow its
entrance here. The preoccupation in each case turns on the fulfilment of
a small duty. One other case in this group I must quote at length. It
illustrates the fact that the cases of deepest interest are often the hardest
for the inquirer to get hold of.

From the Proceedings S.P.R., vol. x. pp. 385-86.

The account of the percipient, Baron B. von Driesen, was written in
November 1890, and has been translated from the Russian by Mr. M.
Petrovo-Solovovo, who sent us the case.

[Baron von Driesen begins by saying that he has never believed and does
not believe in the supernatural, and that he is more inclined to attribute the
apparition he saw to his " excited fancy " than to anything else. After these
preliminary remarks he proceeds as follows : ]

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