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

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead

Chapter II. The Evidence of the Psychical Research Society.

_A Visitor from Burmah._

Here is a report of the apparition of a Thought Body, the material original of which was at the time in Burmah. The case is important, because the Thought Body was not recognised at the time, showing that it could not have been a subjective revival of the memory of a face. It is sent me by a gentleman in South Kensington, who wishes to be mentioned only by his initials, R.S.S.

"Towards the close of 1888 my son, who had obtained an appointment in the Indian Civil Service, left England for Burmah.

"A few days after his arrival in Rangoon he was sent up the country to join the District Commissioner of a district still at that period much harassed by Dacoits.

"After this two mails passed by without news of him, and as, up to this period, his letters had reached us with unfailing regularity, we had a natural feeling of anxiety for his safety. As the day for the arrival of the third mail drew near I became quite unreasonably apprehensive of bad news, and in this state of mind I retired one evening to bed, and lay awake till long past the middle of the night, when suddenly, close to my bedside, appeared very distinctly the figure of a young man. The face had a worn and rather sad expression; but in the few seconds during which it was visible the impression was borne in upon me that the vision was intended to be reassuring.

"I cannot explain why I did not at once associate this form with my son, but it was so unlike the hale, fresh-looking youth we had parted from only four or five months previously that I supposed it must be his chief, whom I knew to be his senior by some five years only.

"I retailed this incident to my son by the next mail, and was perplexed when I got his reply to hear that his chief was a man with a beard and moustache, whereas the apparition was devoid of either. A little later came a portrait of himself recently taken. It was the subject of my vision, of which the traits had remained, and still remain, in every detail, perfectly distinct in my recollection."

_Thought Visits Seen and Remembered._

Here is an account of a visit paid at will, which is reported at first hand in the "Proceedings of the Psychical Research Society." The narrator, Mr. John Moule, tells how he determined to make an experiment of the kind now under discussion:--

"I chose for this purpose a young lady, a Miss Drasey, and stated that some day I intended to visit her, wherever the place might be, although the place might be unknown to me; and told her if anything particular should occur to note the time, and when she called at my house again to state if anything had occurred. One day, about two months after (I not having seen her in the interval), I was by myself in my chemical factory, Redman Row, Mile End, London, all alone, and I determined to try the experiment, the lady being in Dalston, about three miles off. I stood, raised my hands, and willed to act on the lady. I soon felt that I had expended energy. I immediately sat down in a chair and went to sleep. I then saw in a dream my friend coming down the kitchen stairs where I dreamt I was. She saw me, and exclaimed suddenly, 'Oh! Mr. Moule,' and fainted away. This I dreamt and then awoke. I thought very little about it, supposing I had had an ordinary dream; but about three weeks after she came to my house and related to my wife the singular occurrence of her seeing me sitting in the kitchen where she then was, and she fainted away and nearly dropped some dishes she had in her hands. All this I saw exactly in my dream, so that I described the kitchen furniture and where I sat as perfectly as if I had been there, though I had never been in the house. I gave many details, and she said, 'It is just as if you had been there.'" (Vol. III. pp. 420, 421.)