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Thursday, November 19, 2020

When Apparitions Act as News Bulletins

 In the posts below I have described about 200 cases of people who reported seeing an apparition of someone who had died, but whose death was unknown to the person just before they saw the apparition:

25 Who Were "Ghost-Told" of a Death

25 More Who Were "Ghost-Told" of a Death

More Accounts of Veridical Apparitions

Even More Cases of Veridical Apparitions

When Apparitions Serve as Announcements

Still More Cases of Veridical Apparitions

In this post I will give some more cases of this type. 

On pages 155-156 of the book Death and Its Mystery: At the Moment of Death by Camille Flammarion we are told of a Baroness de Boisleve who entertained several distinguished officials for dinner on March 17, 1863.  All of a sudden the Baroness gave out a scream and fainted. Upon awakening, she told her guests she had seen her son, his left eye a hideous bleeding hole. The son was known to be away on a Mexican expedition. The guests assured the Baroness she had merely hallucinated. But it was later found out that her son had died on March 17, 1863, killed by a bullet which had pierced his left eye.  We are told, "When the difference in time was allowed for, the hour of his death corresponded exactly to the moment of his apparition in the drawing-room of the rue Pasquier."

On page 257 of the book Apparitions and Thought Transference by Frank Podmore, we read this account by a Dr. Carat:

"On the night of the l0th June 1877 I had what might be 
called a telepathic hallucination. I cannot state the hour with 
absolute precision, but it was between ten o’clock and mid- 
night. About that time, ‘ between sleeping and waking,’ I saw 
the end of my room lighted up, the darkness was illuminated by a silvery light (it is the only word I can think of), and I saw my mother gazing fixedly at me, with a sort of troubled expression. After a few seconds it all disappeared....Next day I received notice of my mother's death."

On page 266 of the same book, we read this account of an apparition sighting with a very unusual auditory aspect:

"Suddenly I saw against the background of the door, which was opposite me, my father’s face. He wore as usual a black surtout, and was deadly pale. At that moment I heard quite close to my ear a voice which said to me, ‘A telegram is coming to say your father is dead.’ All this only took a few seconds.... On the evening of the same day, about eleven o’clock, we were taking tea in the company of several other people, among whom were Madame Y., her daughter E. Y., formerly an actress at the Court Theatre, and 
Mademoiselle M., who is now living in Florence. All at once 
there was a knock at the door, and the concierge presented a 
telegram. Pale with emotion I immediately exclaimed, ‘I know 
my father is dead ; I have seen. . . .’ The telegram contained 
these words, ‘ Papa dead suddenly. — Olga.’ It was a telegram 
from my sister living at St. Petersburg. I learned later that my 
father had committed suicide on the morning of the same day."

A very early case of a veridical apparition is to be found in the 1825 book Signs before death, and authenticated apparitions: in one hundred narratives by John TimbsOn page 44, we are told that in 1678 a Dr. Farrar made a pact with his daughter that whoever died first should appear to the other one.  The daughter died near Salisbury, 79 miles from London. We read the following:

"Her father lived in London, and the night on which she died, she opened his curtains and gazed upon him. He had before heard nothing of her illness ; but upon this apparition confidently told his maid that his daughter was dead, and two days after he received the news."

On page 157 of Louis Rhine's book Hidden Channels of the Mind, we have the following account of a young girl who learned of her father's death by seeing an apparition:

"I was sent next door to stay overnight with my girl friend. I woke up and at the foot of the bed was the most beautiful light I had ever seen. There was my father with his arms open to me and as I watched he was rising up. I called to my girlfriend, telling her my father was dead. We got up and lit the light. It was just ten after four in the morning; soon my uncle came from the hospital to tell us my father had passed away, and that he called to me as he was dying. He passed away at exactly ten after four."

The long book "The Debatable Land Between this World and the Next, with Illustrative  Narrations" by Robert Dale Owen is a fascinating exploration of paranormal phenomena, written by the author of the equally long and equally fascinating book "Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World."  On page 457 we read the following account by Frederick Steins:

"It was on the thirteenth of December, 1847, as I was 
walking, with my two eldest sons, in Grand street, New York. 
It was in the forenoon, before twelve o'clock, and the side- 
walk was full of people. There the whole figure of my father 
suddenly appeared to me. He was in his usual dress, his well- 
remembered cap on his head, his pipe in his hand, and he 
gazed on me with an earnest look ; then, as suddenly, disap- 
peared. I was very much terrified, and immediately wrote home, relating what had happened. Some time afterward I received a letter from one of my brothers, written from Neukirchen, Rhenish Prussia, the family residence, informing me that on the morning of the thirteenth of December, our father had died there. At breakfast on that day he was in his usual health, and had been speaking of me with great anxiety. After breakfast he passed out into the yard ; and, in returning, he dropped dead, overtaken by a sudden fit of apoplexy." 

In the very interesting 1866 book The Night Side of Nature by Catherine Crowe, we have numerous accounts of people seeing someone that they did not know was dead, only to learn that the person had died on the same day, typically at the same time.  Below are some examples:

(1) A Mrs. K. saw her brother through the window, and looked around, expecting him to soon appear; but he did not.  We are told, "The intelligence shortly arrived from St. Andrews, that at that precise time, as nearly as they could compare circumstances, he had died quite suddenly at his own place of residence."

(2) Lord M. had gone out hunting, and Lady M. seemed to see him, as if he had returned. But then she and someone else were unable to find him.  We are told, "Before they had recovered their surprise at his sudden disappearance, he was brought home dead; having been killed by his own gun."

(3) Page 151: 

"Lord B. was in confinement in the castle of Edinburgh, under suspicion of Jacobitism, when one morning, whilst lying in bed, the curtains were drawn aside by his friend, Viscount Dundee, who looked upon him steadfastly, leaned for some time on the mantel- piece, and then walked out of the room. Lord B. not supposing that what he saw was a spectre, called to Dundee to come back and speak to him. but he was gone; and shortly afterwards the news came that he had fallen about that same hour at Killicranky." 

(4) Page 151: 

"Mrs. J. wakes her husband in the night, and tells him she has just seen her father pass through the room — she being in the West Indies and her father in England. He died that night."

"A lady, with whose family I am acquainted, had a son abroad. One night she was lying in bed, with a door open which led into an adjoining room, where there was a fire. She had not been to sleep, when she saw her son cross this adjoining room and approach the fire, over which he leant, as if very cold. She saw that he was shivering and dripping wet. She immediately exclaimed, 'That's my G. !'  The figure turned its face round, looked at her sadly, and disappeared. That same night the young man was drowned."

(6 Page 154: 

"Mr. S. C, a gentleman of fortune, had a son in 
India. One fine calm summer's morning, in the year 
1780, he and his wife were sitting at breakfast, when 
she rose and went to the window; upon which, turning 
his eyes in the same direction, he started up and followed 
her, saying. 'My dear, do you see that?' 'Surely,' 
she replied, 'it is our son. Let us go to him !'  As she 
was very much agitated, however, he begged her to sit 
down and recover herself; and when they looked again, 
the figure was gone. The appearance was that of their 
son, precisely as they had last seen him. They took 
note of the hour, and afterwards learnt that he had 
died in India at that period." 

"A lady, with whom I am acquainted, was on her way to India; when near the end of her voyage she was one night awakened by a rustling in her cabin, and a consciousness that there was something hovering about her. She sat up, and saw a bluish cloudy form moving away; but persuading herself it must be fancy, she addressed herself again to sleep; but as soon as she lay down, she both heard and felt the same thing: it seemed to her as if this cloudy form hung over and enveloped her. Overcome with, horror, she screamed. The cloud then moved away, assuming distinctly a human shape. The people about her naturally persuaded her that she had been dreaming; and she wished to think so; but when she arrived in India, the first thing she heard was that a very particular friend had come down to Calcutta to be ready to receive her on her landing, but that he had been taken ill and died, saying, he only wished to live to see his old friend once more. He had expired on the night she saw the shadowy form in her room." 

(8) Page 158

"One day the young baron was sitting alone on a seat, in the Bois de Boulogne, and had fallen somewhat into a reverie, when, on raising his eyes, he saw his father's form above him. Believing it to be a mere spectral illusion, he struck at the shadow with his riding- whip, upon which it disappeared. The next day brought him a letter, urging his return home instantly, if he wished to see his parent alive. He went, but found the old man already in his grave. The persons who had been about him said, that he had been quite conscious, and had a great longing to see his son; he had indeed, exhibited one symptom of delirium, which was, that after expressing this desire, he had suddenly exclaimed, 'My God ! he is striking at me with his riding-whip !' and immediately expired."

(9) Page 248: we have an account of a woman who saw an appartition of her mother, and heard from the appartition that she would die by midnight on that very day.  She did die unexpectedly near the stroke of midnight, despite being examined by a doctor earlier that day, one who could find nothing very wrong with her.  

In the book More Glimpses of the World Unseen by Frederick George Lee, the author quotes a reviewer of Lee's previous book who told of seeing an apparition that acted as a news bulletin informing him of the death of a friend. Referring to himself in the third person, the reviewer states this on pages 131-134

"The day was rather foggy, but there was no density of vapour, yet the door at the end of the passage seemed obscured by mist. As he advanced, the mist, so to call it, gathered into one spot, deepened, and formed itself into the outline of a human figure, the head and shoulders becoming more and more distinct, while the rest of the body seemed enveloped in a gauzy cloaklike vestment of many folds, reaching down so as to hide the feet, and, from its width, as it rested on the flagged passage, giving a pyramidal outline. The full light of the window fell on this object, which was so thin and tenuous in its consistency that the light on the panels of a highly varnished door was visible through the lower part of the dress. It was altogether colourless, a statue carved in mist. The writer was so startled, that he is uncertain whether he moved forward, or stood still. He was rather astonished than terrified, for his first notion was that he was witnessing some hitherto unnoticed effect of light and shade. He had no thought of anything supernatural, till, as he gazed, the head was turned towards him, and he at once recognised the features of a very dear friend. The expression of his countenance was that of holy, peaceful repose, and the gentle kindly aspect which it wore in daily life was intensified (so the writer, in recalling the sight. has ever since felt), into a parting glance of deep affection ; and then, in an instant, all passed away. The writer can only compare the manner of the evanescence to the way in which a jet of steam is dissipated on exposure to cold air. Hardly, till then, did he realize that he had been brought into close communion with the Supernatural. The result was great awe, but no terror ; so that instead of retreating to his study, he went forward and opened the door, close to which the apparition had stood.  Of course he could not doubt the import of what he had seen, and the morrow's or the next day's post brought the tidings that his friend had tranquilly passed out of this world, at the time when he was seen by the writer. It must be stated that it was a sudden summons : that the writer had heard nothing of him for some weeks previously, and that nothing had brought him to his thoughts on the day of his decease."

On pages 134-136 of the same book, we are told of a son who left his family to become a sailor.  The son's mother was suprised to see him,  at half-past 10 on March 16, 1850, until he "seemed to fade away." A few weeks later word arrived that the son had died by drowning "on the very day, and at the very time, at which he had appeared to his mother." 

David Belasco was the founder of the Belasco Theater which has operated in New York City for more than a hundred years.  On page 151 of the very interesting book Noted Witnesses for Psychical Occurrences, we read an account by David Belasco:

"I went to bed, worn out, in my Newport home, and fell at once into a deep sleep. Almost immediately, however, I was awakened and attempted to rise, but could not, and was then greatly startled to see my dear mother (whom I knew to be in San Francisco) standing close by me. As I strove to speak and to sit up she smiled at me a loving, reassuring smile, spoke my name — the name she called me in my boyhood — 'Davy, Davy, Davy,' then, leaning down, seemed to kiss me ; then drew away a little and said : 'Do not grieve. All is well and I am happy;' then moved toward the door and vanished...I went to luncheon during a recess, with a member of my staff, who handed me some letters and telegrams which he had brought from the box-office of the theatre. Among them was a telegram telling me that my darling mother had died the night before, at about the time I had seen her in my room."

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