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REAL GHOST STORIES (Collected and Edited by William T. Stead) online

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead

Chapter II. Louis V. and His Two Souls.

M. Janet simply ordered the entranced girl to write answers to all questions of his after her waking. The command thus given had a persistent effect, and while the awakened Lucie continued to chatter as usual with other persons, her Unconscious Self wrote brief and scrawling responses to M. Janet's questions. This was the moment at which, in many cases, a new and invading separate personality is assumed.

A singular conversation gave to this limited creation, this statutory intelligence, an identity sufficient for practical convenience. "Do you hear me?" asked Professor Janet. Answer (by writing), "No." "But in order to answer one must hear." "Certainly." "Then how do you manage?" "I don't know." "There must be somebody that hears me." "Yes." "Who is it?" "Not Lucie." "Oh, some one else? Shall we call her Blanche?" "Yes, Blanche." Blanche, however, had to be changed. Another name had to be chosen. "What name will you have?" "No name." "You must, it will be more convenient." "Well, then, Adrienne." Never, perhaps, has a personality had less spontaneity about it.

Yet Adrienne was in some respects deeper down than Lucie. She could get at the genesis of certain psychical manifestations of which Lucie experienced only the results. A striking instance of this was afforded by the phenomena of the hystero-epileptic attacks to which this patient was subject.

Lucie's special terror, which recurred in wild exclamation in her hysterical fits, was in some way connected with hidden men. She could not, however, recollect the incident to which her cries referred; she only knew that she had had a severe fright at seven years old, and an illness in consequence. Now, during these "crises" Lucie (except, presumably, in the periods of unconsciousness which form a pretty constant element in such attacks) could hear what Prof. Janet said to her. Adrienne, on the contrary, was hard to get at; could no longer obey orders, and if she wrote, wrote only "J'ai peur, j'ai peur."

M. Janet, however, waited until the attack was over, and then questioned Adrienne as to the true meaning of the agitated scene. Adrienne was able to describe to him the terrifying incident in her childish life which had originated the confused hallucinations which recurred during the attack. She could not explain the recrudescence of the hallucinations; but she knew what Lucie saw, and why she saw it; nay, indeed, it was Adrienne, rather than Lucie, to whom the hallucination was directly visible.

Lucie, it will be remembered, was a hysterical patient very seriously amiss. One conspicuous symptom was an almost absolute defect of sensibility, whether to pain, to heat, or to contact, which persisted both when she was awake and entranced. There was, as already mentioned, an entire defect of the muscular sense also, so that when her eyes were shut she did not know the position of her limbs. Nevertheless it was remarked as an anomaly that when she was thrown into a cataleptic state, not only did the movements impressed upon her continue to be made, but the corresponding or complimentary movements, the corresponding facial expression, followed just as they usually follow in such experiments. Thus, if M. Janet clenched her fist in the cataleptic state, her arm began to deal blows, and her face assumed a look of anger. The suggestion which was given through the so-called muscular sense had operated in a subject to whom the muscular sense, as tested in other ways, seemed to be wholly lacking. As soon as Adrienne could be communicated with, it was possible to get somewhat nearer to a solution of this puzzle. Lucie was thrown into catalepsy; then M. Janet clenched her left hand (she began at once to strike out), put a pencil in her right, and said, "Adrienne, what are you doing?" The left hand continued to strike, and the face to bear the look of rage, while the right hand wrote, "I am furious." "With whom?" "With F." "Why?" "I don't know, but I am very angry." M. Janet then unclenched the subject's left hand, and put it gently to her lips. It began to "blow kisses," and the face smiled. "Adrienne, are you still angry?" "No, that's over." "And now?" "Oh, I am happy!" "And Lucie?" "She knows nothing; she is asleep."