Henry J Horn.

Strange visitors: a series of original papers, embracing philosophy, science, government .. online

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Online LibraryHenry J HornStrange visitors: a series of original papers, embracing philosophy, science, government .. → online text (page 1 of 15)
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Entered, according to an Act of Congreas, in the year 1869, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of

New York.

Stereotyped at
The Women's Printing House,

Eighth Street and Avenue A,
New York.



Henhy J. Raymond Totlie New York Public 9

Margaret Fuller .Literature in Spirit Life 22 "

Lord Byron To His Accusers 27

Nathaniel Hawthorne. .Apparitions 29 '

Washington Irving Visit to Henry Clay 40

Napoleon Bonaparte To Tlie French Nation 50

W. M. Thackeray His Post Mortem Experience 52

Archbishop Hughes Two Natural Religions 57

Edgab a. Poe The Lost Soul 61

Jean Paul Richter Livisible Influences 63

Charlotte Bronte Agnes Beef. A Tale 65

Elizabeth B. Browning. . To Her Husband 132

Artemus Ward In and Out of Purgatory 134

Lady Blessington Distinguished Womai 142

Professor Olmstead Locality of tlie Spirit World. 149

Adah Isaacs Menken Hold Me Not 152

N. P. Willis Off-Hand Sketches 154

Margaret Fuller City of Spring Garden 166

Gilbert Stuart Art Conversation. 175

Edward Everett. .^ Government 179

Frederika BREiiER Flight to my Starry Home 184





Eev. Lyman Beeciier, . . . Tlie Sabbath — Its Uses 190

Prof. George Bush Life and Mari'iage in Spirit Life, 196

Junius Brutus Booth Acting by Spirit Influence 303

Kev. John Wesley Church of Christ 307

N. P. Willis A Spirit Bevdsiting Earih 311

Allan Ccnningiiam Ahne 213

Baron Von Humboldt . . . Tlie Earthquake 313

Sir David Brewster Naturalness of Spirit Life 310

H. T. Buckle Mormons 333

W. E. Burton Drama in Spirit Life 327

Chas. L. Elliott Painting in Spirit Life 331

Comedian's Poetry RdlicMng Song 335

Lady Hester Stanhope . . PropJiecy 336

Professor Mitchell The Planets 343

Dr. John W. Fkancis... .Causes of Disease and Insanity. . 846
Adelaide Procter T7i,e Spirit Bride. 250



In placing before the public a work witli such novel
and extraordinary demands upon its consideration, a few
explanatory words seem, appropriate.

Its title and contents will doubtless at first sight cause
a smile of incredulity, and will be regarded by many as
one of the devices wliich are sometimes put forward to
entrap an unsuspecting public into the perusal of a sen-
sational hoax.

For a number of years past the community has been
surprised with accounts of most incredible marvels ; and
from time to time the press has reported various phe-
nomena in connection with an unrecognized force and-
intelligence^ as occurring in almost every locality through-
out the habitable globe.

These phenomena are thought by many to be mere
illusions, and by some attributed to peculiar electrical
conditions ; while others seek their solution in an abnonnal
state of the brain ; and others still believe them dependent
on an actual intercourse between mortals and those who
have passed beyond the grave.


Having become interested in this mysterious and ex-
citing siibjecl); Jind finding the means at hand for testing
the various phenomena, I resolved to undertake a series
of experiments, with the hope of exposing a delusion, if
such it were, or perchance, of clearing up a mystery which,
by the magnitude and importance it has already assumed,
is disturbing the foundations of old beliefs and steadily
diffusing its theories and doctrines into the very heart of

Among other expedients to attain this end (assuming the
hypothesis that spirits of the departed were in a condition
to communicate with mortals), I inten*ogated, through the
instrumentality of a clairvoyant gifted'Vith the remai-k-
able power of passing at will into an unconscious or trance
state, the spirits of a number of well-known individuals
concerning their views and sentiments in their present
state of existence.

In response to my questions, an intelligent answer was
received from the Countess Ossoli (Margaret Fuller), with
the assurance that my desire was apprehended and would
receive the hearty co-operation of those to whom it was

The process by which the papers were given was that
of dictation through the clairvoyant while in an abnormal
or trance condition and with her eyes closed. The matter
was written in pencil as it fell from her lips, and subse-
quently transcribed for the press.

Tlie difficulties attending the transmission of ideas
through the medium of another mind, even under ordi-


nary circumstances, must be apparent to all, and the un-
prejudiced reader may readily perceive obstacles to the
literal reproduction of their respective styles and language
by the various contributors.

Yet, notwithstanding the impediments to felicity of ex-
pression, I feel assured that persons at all familiar with
the characteristics of the originals will readily perceive
a marked resemblance in style to that of the authors

In the delivery of the articles, their composers would
usually assume or personate their own individual charac-
teristics; thus, Artemus Ward's conversation and ges-
tures were exceedingly ludicrous. He was the very per-
sonification of mirth, occasionally going to the wall and
humorously "chalking out" his designs. Archbishop
Hughes expressed himself in a quiet, earnest, and elo-
quent manner. Lady Blessington was full of vivacity, and
Margaret FvJler was our Presiding Angel ; while Booth
would become vehement to an intense degree, and at times
wovdd mount some article of furniture in the room, becom-
ing passionately eloquent, as if again upon the "mimic
stage of life,"

An intelligent public will perceive the mental effort
incident upon the production of a series of articles so
tmusually varied; embracing the distiactive qualities of
Philosophy, Science, Religion, Political Economy, Gov-
ernment, Satire, Humor, Poetry, Fiction, Narrative, Art,
Astronomy, etc., etc.; and the query has fitly been ad-
vanced, — what miad, in the exercise of its normal func-


tions, — lias furnished a consecutive number of essays so
surprising in novelty, so diverse in sentiment, so consistent
in treatment, and so forcibly original, as those embraced
in this volume ? What intellect so versatile as to repro-
duce in song and narrative the characteristic styles of so
many, and yet so dissimilar authors ?

In designating the locality of the Second Life, frequent
repetition of certain terms, such as spirit world, etc., were
unavoidable. For weeks and months the unseen visitors
were punctual to their appointments, and this novel mode
of book-making proceeded steadily in interest and variety
until the volume was completed.

The work is now inscribed^ to a discriminating public,
with a lively confidence that the advanced intelligence and
freedom of the age will yield it an ingenuous reception.

Henry J. Horn.
New York, October 1«<, 1869.





I HAVE often thought that if it should ever be my
privilege to become a ghost I would enlighten the
poor, benighted denizens of the earth as to how I did
it, and give a more definite account of what I should
see, and the transformation that would befall me,
than either Benjamin Franklin or George Washing-
ton had been able to do in the jargon that had been
set before me by Spiritualists as coming from those

" Stuff ! " I have exclaimed again and again, after
looking over spirit communications and wondering
why a man should become so stilted because he had
lost his avoirdupoise.

The opportunity which I boasted I would not let
slip has arrived. The public must judge of how I
avail myself of this ghostly power.

Now and then I was troubled with strange mis-
givings about the future life. I had a hope that


man miijht live hereafter, but death was a solemn
fact to me, into whose mystery I did not wish too
closely to pry.

"Presentiments," as the great English novelist
remarks, " are strange thino-s." That connection
with some coming event which one feels like a
shadowy hand softly touching hira, is inexplicable
to most men.

I remember to have felt several times in my life
undefined foreshadowings of some future which was
to befall me; and just previous to my departure from
earth, as has been genei-ally stated in the journals of
the day, I experienced a similar sensation. An
awful blank seemed before me — a great chasm into
which I would soon be hurled. This undefined
terror took no positive shape.

After the death of my son I felt like one who
stood upon a round ball which rolled from under
him and left him nowhere.

The sudden death of James IIaii)er added another
shock to that which I had already felt. I did not
understand then, thougli I have since compre-
hended it, that I was like some great tree, rooted
in the ground, which could not be dragged from the
earth in which it w^as buried until it had received
some sudden blow to loosen its hold and make its
grip less tenacious.

But in the very midst of these feelings I sought
the society of friends, and endeavored around the
social board to exhilarate my senses and drown these
undesirable fancies.

Life seemed more secure among friends, but death


was not to be dodged. It caiiglit me unarmed and
alone at midnight in the veiy doorway of my

I had crossed the threshold, and rememl)er trying
to find the stairs and being seized with a dizziness.
The place seemed to spin around and I felt that I
was falling. Next, a great weight seemed to press
me down like some horrid nightmare. I endeavored
to groan, to cry out and struggle from under it, but
it held me fast. After this I seemed to be falling
backward through a blackness — an inky blackness.
It came close to me, and pressed close upon my lips
and my eyes. It smothered me ; I could not breathe.

Then ensued a struggle within me such as Lazarus
micrht have felt when he endeavored to break tlirouo-h
his grave cerements. It was frightful, that effort for
mastery !

I understand it now. It was the soul fighting its
way into birth as a spiritual being, like a child fight-
ina: its way out of its mother's womb.

I remember feeling faint and confused after that,
like one who has long been deprived of food. An un-
consciousness stole over me for a moment, from which
I was awakened by a sudden burst of light. I seemed
to open my eyes upon some glorious morning. I felt
an arm around me ; I turned and met the smiling
face of my son. I thought myself in a di-eam, and
yet I was filled with awe.

I had a consciousness that some strange trasforma-
tion had taken place. My son's voice murmured in
my ear, " Father, go with me now." As he spoke,
his voice sounded like the vibration of distant bells.


"Wlien he touched me a fire seemed to thrill through
my veins. 1 felt like a boy ; a wild, prankish sen-
sation of freedom possessed me. My body lay upon
the jrround. I laudied at it ; I could have taken it
and tossed it in the air.

" Come, let's go," said I ; " don't stay here."

My chief desire was to get out of the house. Like
a boy who must fly his kite, out I would go. I
feared I might be caught . and taken back if I did
not hasten, and moved toward the door. The seams
of that door, which I had always thought well joined,
seemed now to stand twelve inches or more apart.
Every atom of that wood which had appeared so solid
to me was now more porous than any sponge or
honey-comb. Out we went through the cre\'ice. A
party of men -were standing upon the doorsteps.
One put forth his hand to grasp mine. I laughed
aloud when I recognized the person as James Har-
per ! Another was Richmond ; another, one of niy
associates in tlie editorial corps. I was perfectly
amazed, and set up a hilarious shout, which they
echoed in great glee. We started forth, a convivial
party. The atmosphere hung in heavy masses around
the houses, like the morning mists about the base of
a mountain.

"We did not walk on the ground ; the air was solid
enough to bear us. I felt that we were rising above
the city. My senses seemed magnified. The com-
prehension of all I did was very acute. We kept
along the earth's atmosphere for quite a distance.

" Let us sail out," said I, at last.

""We cannot yet; we must wait till we reach the


current. If we go outside of that, we maybe lost in
the intense cold and the poisonous gases, or we may-
be swallowed up in the vortex of some flaming
comet," answered my wise companions.

The statement looked very reasonable, so I allowed
myself to be guided and we soon fomid ourselves in
a great belt of light of a pale rose-color, in which we
sailed seemingly without any effort, moving the
hands and arms at times and at other times folding
them across our breasts.

As we advanced the channel in which we moved
increased in depth and brilliancy of color, and I grew
more and more exhilarated. Finally we paused and
commenced to descend. The air was very luminous,
radiating and scintillating like the flashing of dia-
monds, and so electric that the concussion of sound
vibrated like the peal from some distant organ.

Looldng down through the glittering atmosphere
that surrounded me, I perceived what appeared to
be the uplifting peak of a mountain. A halo of light
rested upon its summit, and we seemed drawn toward
it with a gentle force.

This mountain, I was informed, was one of a mag-
netic chain which belts the spirit world. In color
and material it was like an opal.

I was told that a peculiar sympathy existed be-
tween it and the human spirit. When individuals
on earth are in juxtaposition with this mountain they
feel a strange yearning for the spirit home.

Now then the mysterious riddle is solved, thought
I ; and this must be the spiritual north pole !

We soon stood upon terra-firma, if these translu-

2 '


cent rocks could be called terra-firiiia, wliicli rose in
glittering and polished peaks all around us. They
were wonderfully iridescent, so that no bed of gor-
geously-colored flowers coidd have filled the eye with
a greater variety of tints.

A few steps around a projecting bluff brought us
within sight of what appeared to nie a niagnilicent
palace of alabaster. This palace 1 soon learned was
a hotel, or place of resort for travellers.

In ascending its polished steps I was met by some
half dcv.en persons whom I had known. You may
be sure a wonderful handshaking ensued. We re-
mained here but a few moments, partook of refresh-
ments, and then proceeded to the court-yard, where I
was told a car awaited to carry us to our destination.

The car seemed to be a frame-work, apparently
of silver wire. We now comfortably seated our-
selves, when two large wings struck out from it like
those of some great condor. We moved rapidly
over the acclivity. This is a new way of crossing
the mountains, thought I ; I will have to introduce
it in the Sierra Nevada and Colorados.

I inquired how the machine was propelled, and
was informed, " Simply by a chemical arrangement
similar to your galvanic battery."

You may conceive my astonishment when we de-
scended into a park of a vast city.

" My God ! " exclaimed I, " it cannot be that I am
in the spirit world ! Why, look at the houses and
churches, and temples! ^Vliat magnificent build-
ings ! " But I must say the material alone struck me
as something sublime and unearthly. So transparent


and rich in color, reflecting liglit as if through a veil
or mist ! " This caps all," said I, as doctors and law-
yers, artists and authors, whom I had known, stepped
up to greet me, smiling and full of life. " Why, how
is this?" "Is this you?" "Where did you come
from?" Questions like these came from all sides.
Francis and Brady, Willis, Morris, and a host of New
Yorkers who had slipped out of sight and almost out
of mind, now gathered around me as if by miracle.
I rubbed my eyes in wonder. Spying Brown, I cried
out, " Why, how is this, Brown ? It can't be that I
am in heaven! Do you have such things here?
Houses, stores, and works of art on every side ? "
" Yes ; people must live," said he, " wherever they


" And are men here the same, with all their facul-
ties ? " I asked.

"Yes; why not? Have you any you'd like to


I shook my head and walked on absorbed in
thought. And are all our paraphernalia for funerals,
our solemn black, and our long prayers but useless
ceremonies ? Wliy, according to this, the behef s of
the Chinese, Hottentot, African, and Indian are
nearer the truth than our civilized creeds !

I find that there are few things in which society
in this world so much differs from that of earth
as in its social and political arrangements.

All the great system of living for appearances, and
the habit of self-deception whereby men hve out-
wardly what their secret lives disavow, are here
entirely done away with.


In tlie iirst place tlio marriage relations differ
materially from those of earth, and no false sentiment
nor custom, nor religious belief, holds together as
companions those who are dissimilar in their nature.
Neither do men crucify their tastes and feelinjrs
fi-om a mistaken idea of duty.

The miseries and disasters which are attendant on
a life on earth they view as a parent would view the
whooping-cough or scarlatina which afflict the body
of his child — as necessary steps toward his growth
and progress from youth to manhood.

A remarkable instance of this came under my
own observation. You remember that the singular
and sudden death of Abraham Lincoln was a matter
of surprise to us. We could not see the purpose of
an all-wise Providence in this sudden closing of an
eventful career. It was discussed in every news-
paper in the land, and the conclusion was that the
Creator had some special purpose in his removal, and
this we all l)clieved.

But here the enigma is solved.

Standing face to face and walking side by side,
as I have done for the last few days with this man,
raised as some suppose for the special purpose of
freeing the slave — a martyr for principle — T find that
he enjoys as a good joke, this martyrdom, and I have
also ascertained the solemn fact that he was removed,
not by God, but by spirit politicians, God's agents.

And the state of the case is this: the Southern
rebels, hot-blooded and revengeful, who were arriv-
ing daily by scores and hundreds, in the S23irit world,
finding their cause discomfited and worsted, became


mntinoiis. Tliev were too raw and new to fall into
the harmony of the spirit life, and they threatened
a second war in Heaven ; a war which those young
Lucifers would have waged with terrific power.

To quell this disturbance and produce a counterac-
tion, it was necessary that one whom they looked upon
as the great leader of the Northern cohorts should
be withdrawn from the post which he occupied.

A man of calm, dispassionate judgment, not
vindictive, who could hold the reins with a firm hand,
yet look with a lenient eye ou the follies vchich he
did not share, was needed in the spirit world, and
that man was Al^raham Lincoln.

AVTien those young Southern bloods had conspired
with their co-patriot to his dovrafall, had instigated
and accomplished his assassination, and when he
appeared in their midst, the simple, unaffected,
uncrafty man that he was, a revulsion of feeling
immediately took place.

The liberal party in the spirit world, friends to
humanity and progress, could have prevented his
removal had they wished ; but not desiring to do
so, they prepared his mind by dreams and visions
for what Vv'as about to take place.

For a short time in the spirit world he held the
position of Pacificator and cliief ruler over that
portion of the American spirit world represented by
the ISTorth and South.

But after averting this peril, which would have
involved the States in anarchy and war such as they
had not yet experienced, he retired to private life.

Another instance, proving that the inhabitants of


the spirit world, like their great prototype, the Crea-
tor, do not look at immediate distress, but at tlie
advantages that may accnie therefrom, presents
itself in my removal from the sphere in -which I
had probably worked out all that would be useful
to humanity.

Like a charge cVaJfaires called back to Washing-
ton because he can fill a better post, so I, through
the solicitations of relatives and fellow-citizens who
have preceded me to this new world, was called
here for the purpose of editing a journal and assist-
ins: in amelioratino: the condition of the inhabitants
of the Southern States, and also to use my influence
in the Congress and Senate at "Washington toward
producing a better comprehension of their needs.

I have one thing to say to my brother journalist,
Horace Greeley, and that is that the Utopian ideas
which have for so many years formed the principal
topic of his radical sheet are here put in operation.

Each one seems desirous of cooperating with his
neighbor, and people of like tastes and feelings asso-
ciate too-ether and live in vast communities or cities.
They do not settle down to one routine, as they do
with you. The cost of travelling depending chiefly
on the will and energy of the individual, the inhabi-
tants are ever in motion, ever ready for a change, if
wisdom or pleasure should dictate it. The condition
of the connnon peo})le is vastly iinproved, and
America has been the chief agent in placing the
lower classes in a condition which adapts them to a
higher spiritualized life. I say lower classes, because
under the system of monai'chical governments, the


peasants and laborers of Europe have been kept in a
state of besotted ignorance, developing chiefly in the
animal propensities, and not fitting themselves for the
higher enjoyments of the spirit life.

Finding that the spirit world was likely to be
overrun by this class of ignorant and superstitious
people, its wise rulers have instigated the legislators
of the United States to provide means for the educa-
tion and development of these lower classes of


It is only by assimilating with those of a higher
intellectual development that the ignorant become
enlightened, and America, in thrcrvring down all bar-
riers to political and social advancement, has been the
chief instrument of lifting the great mass of human-
ity to a position of power in the spirit vv'orld ; still
there are crowds of beings, ignorant and superstitious,
who enter the spirit world, and their intellects can only
be unfolded by the labor and guidance of some mas-
ter mind.

I was surprised to find that physical labor here, as
on earth, was one of the chief means employed to

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Online LibraryHenry J HornStrange visitors: a series of original papers, embracing philosophy, science, government .. → online text (page 1 of 15)