The Skeptic Who Kept Hearing Glorious Celestial Music
I will now discuss a case described on pages 207-210 of Volume 1, Number 3 of the Psychical Review (February 1893). It involves a man of some prestige and achievement who is not named but merely described as follows:
"I shall first relate some of the experiences of a gentleman eminent for his attainments in mechanical science, so eminent that in this regard he has now a national reputation among those in the same line of work. A friend and student of Herbert Spencer, on the further side of the middle milestone of life, sceptical by nature and training, a successful inventor, with his mind engrossed in the management of a large manufactory, he is the last person in the world to become the victim of imagination. "
We are told that this accomplished figure heard glorious mysterious music from no known source:
"These subjective harmonies exceeded by far anything he had ever conceived. They were heralded by long, soft, sweet chords like those which a number of bugles might produce. Other instruments joined, weaving in their sinuous, heart-piercing melodies until the volume of sweet concerted sound flooded the overpowered senses almost to the point of producing unconsciousness. The rapt listener instinctively feels that, were the ecstasy too much prolonged, on its wings the soul would float away from the senseless body. This music is not precisely like anything he has ever heard from visible orchestras. It sounds more like the violoncello and the organ than anything else. Beyond description grand, noble, majestic, like so-styled sacred music, it is never heard gay or trivial, save that sometimes it is a little like the richer, loftier tones of a heavy opera. Following the first few strains of the orchestra are voices, forming a full chorus and taking all the parts, male and female. Sometimes there are duets, sometimes solos, again responsive services from one side and then another. At times there is a tenor of remarkable sweetness and clarity ' like nothing I ever heard or dreamed,' said he, ' a voice to be recognized among a thousand.' The music comes to his inner ear, though apparently, like external music, unannounced and unexpected. It is of short duration — a few moments, at the longest."
The same accomplished figure experienced strange visions:
"Gazing into limitless space, he sees a shining golden vista peopled with angelic forms and glorious faces luminous with 'the light that never was on sea and land.' They are the singers draped in flowing robes of grace and beauty. Love on earth and in heaven, and peace, good-will, and joy are the themes which are felt, but are untranslatable into mortal language."
The Woman Who Saw a Very Distant Death
The account below is told on pages 159-160 of Volume 2 of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, and in the account a woman relates what was told her by an Elizabeth Broughton:
A Man Who Seemed to Know of a Very Distant Death
The account below is found on pages 64-65 of the very interesting 1866 book The Night Side of Nature by Catherine Crowe, which has many accounts equally interesting: