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vol. 3, p. 127
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 3 (1875-1878)


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Spirit of a Father Comes to Comfort his Child

Astory of a protecting spirit, of a loving character, was related by the late Swedish authoress, Frederica Bremer, to her friends.

A Swedish gentlemen, on his death-bed, requested his wife to be careful that their little daughter might never be left alone at night without a light burning in her chamber. The child had a nervous horror of darkness. The wife willingly promised that this simple request should be complied with. It became usual to have, therefore, regularly, a light burning when the child was laid in bed for the night. Upon one occasion, however, it so happened that the little girl was left in her bed in the dark, a candle unlighted standing on a table near. In a little while, the mother, recollecting the omission, hastensd to the child’s room, where she found the candle upon the table burning, and the little girl smiling and sitting up in bed. “Dear papa,” said the child, “has been here and lighted the candle for me, I saw his hand do it.”

Iron Chest Omen in Ireland

In 1654, Mr. John Bourne, chief trustee of the estate of John Mallet, Esq. of Enmore, fell sick at his house at Durley, when his life was pronounced by a physician to be in imminent danger. Within twenty-four hours, while the doctor and Mrs. Carlisle, a relation of Mr. Bourne, were sitting by his bedside, the doctor opened the curtains at the bed-foot, to give him air; and suddenly a great iron chest by the window, with three locks (in which chest were all the writings and title-deeds of Mr. Mallet’s estate), began to open, lock by lock. The lid of the iron chest then lifted up itself, and stood wide open. Mr. Bourne, who had not spoken for twenty-four hours, raised himself up in the bed, and looking at the chest, cried out, “You say true, you say true, you are in the right, I’ll be with you by and by.” The patient then lay down, and spoke no more. The chest lid fell again, and locked itself, lock by lock, and Mr. Bourne died within an hour afterwards.

Sir Charles Lee and his Daughter

Beaumont, in his World of Spirits, relates the following event, which took place in 1662, and the narrative of which was drawn up by the Bishop of Gloucester, from the recital of Sir Charles Lee, the father of the young lady who was the heroine of the story.

Sir Charles Lee, by his first wife, had only one daughter, of which she died in childbirth; and when she was dead, her sister, the Lady Everard, desired to have the education of the child, and the was by her very well educated till she was marriageable, and a match was concluded for her with Sir William Perkins, but was then prevented in an extraordinary manner. Upon a Thursday night, she, thinking she saw a light in her chamber after she was in bed, knocked for her maid, who presently came to her; and she asked, why she left a candle burning in her chamber. The maid said she left none, and there was none but what she had brought with her at that time. Then she said it was the fire; but that, her maid told her, was quite out, and said she believed it was only a dream; whereupon, she said it might be so, and composed herself again to sleep. But about two of the clock she was awakened again, and saw the apparition of a little woman, between her curtain and her pillow, who told her she was her mother, that she was happy, and that by twelve of the clock that day she should be with her. Whereupon she knocked again for her maid, called for her clothes, and when she was dressed, went into her closet, and came not out again until nine, and then brought out with her a letter sealed to her father, brought H to her aunt, the Lady Everard, told Her what had happened, and declared that as soon as she was dead it might be sent to him. The lady thought she was suddenly fallen mad, and, thereupon, sent presently away to Chelmsford for a physician and surgeon, who both came immediately: but the physician could discern no indication of what the lady imagined, or of any indisposition of her body notwithstanding, the lady would needs have her let blood which was done accordingly. And when the young woman had patiently let them do what they would with her, she desired that the chaplain might be called to read prayers: and when prayers were ended, she took her guitar and psalm-book, and sitting down in a chair without arms, she played and sang so melodiously as to delight her music-master. And, near the stroke of twelve, she rose, and seated herself in a great chair with arms, and presently, fetching a strong breath or two, she expired, and became so suddenly cold as to be much wondered at by the physician and surgeon.

She died at Waltham, in Essex, three miles from Chelmsford, and the letter was sent to Sir Charles at his house in Warwickshire; but he was so afflicted with the death of his daughter that he came not till she was buried; but when he came, he caused her remains to be taken up and to be buried with her mother at Edmonton, as she desired in her letter.

A Ghost Protects a Traveler

A gentleman in Wales had occasion to visit his lawyer at a neighboring town, to fetch from thence a considerable sum of money. On his way to the town he had to pass a very desolate piece of road. At one particular spot on his journey it occured to him how bad a piece of road that would be upon which to encounter robbers. At the same moment the idea of an old friend, dead thirty years previously, suddenly and with a most unusual vividness presented itself to his mind. He drove on to the town, and, having obtained his money returned homewards. Approaching in the gathering twilight the same piece of road, his surprise was great, to see at this place—as clearly as ever he had beheld him during life—the old friend of whom he had thought when passing the same spot in the morning. But he soon disappeared. At this moment, however, two men jumped out of a ditch, and were rushing upon him, when they stopped suddenly, and the gentleman heard one of the men say to the other, “It’s no go, Bill! There’s two of’ em.” and the men went off, whilst the gentleman, astounded, drove on in safety—with possibly the spirit of his long-deceased friend sitting quietly beside him in the gig.

Experience of an Investigator

After arriving at my home in the country, I was all impatience to try the table myself; so, when night came, after my arrival, I got a small table with a pedestal and three small claws, around which my wife, daughter, two sons and myself, sat for nearly an hour, but got no response. We went to bed rather dispirited. The next night we tried again, but with no better success. The following night we tried again, but my wife being naturally quick in temper, got impatient, rose from the table, bade us good night, saying she would go to bed, and left us. The children sat still along with me, and in about an hour afterwards we were rewarded for our waiting by the table moving from one side to another, and when I called out, “ Are there any spirits here ? ” the table rapped out on one of its claws, three distinct raps or tips on the floor, which meant yes; and then a number of questions put by me and answered, either by three knocks for yes, or one knock for no; and then, by calling out the letters of the alphabet, after which, from that time, we held family seances continually. Sometimes we obtained communications by spelling through the alphabet; sometimes by knocking, or rather tipping—yes or no; but that was always a very unsatisfactory way. Sometimes my daughter would fall into a trance, just as one dead, her body and limbs heavy like lead, and then in a short time would commence, speaking in a tongue unknown to any of us, at a most fearful rate, slapping her lips and manipulating what a phrenologist would call her organs of intellectuality; then she would be herself again, and would know nothing of what had transpired. At other times she would fall' into a trance state and, without any difficulty, would speak to us in our own tongue, and describe visions which she was then seeing— oftentimes of a most heavenly nature, of which she could remember nothing when in her normal state. At other times she would take up a pen and answer every question put to her about the spiritual world, sometimes calling herself by one name and then another, which afterwards we knew to be spirits speaking through her; and either owning those names while in the form, or assuming them for their own purposes— at all events, we have had wonderful seances through her as a medium, all of which she was quite ignorant of afterwards.

Editor's notes

  1. Spirit of a Father Comes to Comfort his Child by unknown author, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254
  2. Iron Chest Omen in Ireland by unknown author, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254
  3. Sir Charles Lee and his Daughter by unknown author, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254
  4. A Ghost Protects a Traveler by unknown author, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254
  5. Experience of an Investigator by unknown author, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254, v. 1, No. 22, February 4, 1875, p. 254