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vol. 3, p. 95
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 3 (1875-1878)
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< The Royal Irish Constabulary Defied by Spirits (continued from page 3-94) >

falling on the floor above have frequently been heard when all the inmates of the house were positively known to be down stairs ; and when the place was examined, with the view of discovering the cause, no signs of anything unusual could be seen. Stones, varying in size from a small paving-stone to one weighing twelve pounds, came downstairs at intervals, and at various times of the day, without apparently any greater impetus than what would be acquired by their own weight ; and sometimes several have been found on the topmost step, piled up one on top of the other, so delicately balanced that the slightest touch would cause them to topple over. Where these came from is the mystery. About the stones themselves there is nothing remarkable. They are invariably such as might be found at any time convenient to the house, or in any old ditch in the fields adjoining. Eleven potatoes are counted into a pot, the lid tied down, and intently watched ; but, behold, when the contents are examined, a few minutes after, only six are to be found. A crock of cream of its own free will and accord splits open without being handled, and the contents run out.


It is said a spirit-charmer, when on the premises a few days ago, had a very important part of his pants cut away, and the back part of one of his boots lopped off in a twinkling. For some time the shop was free from the intrusion of this troublesome visitor, but now no corner is free from some disaster. Only a few days ago, a churn filled with milk was, for safety, locked up in the shop, and the keys taken by one of the members of the family to her bedroom. In the morning, however, the churn was found standing bottom upwards, and the floor covered with its contents. About the same time, a quantity of new cloth was cut up, so as to completely destroy it. The cuts had the appearance of having been done by a keen, long-bladed knife, forming clean, wavy lines, passing through several folds at the same time. Scores of transactions of this kind might be enumerated, but the outline just given will afford some idea of the perplexing nature of the proceedings, and, so far, the perfect impossibility of elucidating them.

I need not say that these astonishing things are regarded with the utmost concern by the people of Cookstown, or that the universal feeling abroad is one of sincere sympathy with Mr. Allen and his family ; for, however one may be inclined to dispute the cause, the results are the same, and these undeniably point to an agency of some kind as malignant in design and execution as the parties concerned are powerless to understand or prevent its operations. One thing is certain. If these proceedings are being inflicted on a man who has the respect and esteem of all who know him, by human agency, it is a reproach on the town that the perpetrators have not been unmasked ; and if by supernatural means, who will undertake to explain it ? And now that the matter is fairly made public, it is possible some person may be able to advise us how to exorcise the Cookstown ghost, as we are heartily tired of its pranks, and would willingly make a present of it to Moneymore or any other neighboring town which feels inclined for the attentions of such a visitor.

<Untitled> (Masonry of Adoption)

– Masonry of Adoption (now more properly termed the Adoptive Rite) is the title given to a series of degrees for women, arranged in France somewhere about the year 1765, and which were administered regularly, under the patronage of the Grand Orient of France, for many years. The system especially flourished under the empire, the Empress Josephine being at the head of the Order, and many noble and illustrious women being members. It was so called, it is said in the ritual, because the Freemasons adopted in their special labors, in these degrees, certain ladies, to whom they made known the mysteries that are the basis of this system.

<Untitled> (The editor of the Spiritual Scientist)

The editor of the Spiritual Scientist, not having passed the middle age in life, is desirous of making the acquaintance of “ Katie King,” discovered by the correspondent of the Philadelphia Bulletin, provided she answers in every particular the following description given by R. D. O. in his wonderful letter of July 6, 1874. Intentions honorable.

The face of our “ Katie ” is classic in its regularity. Earnestness, with a passing touch of weariness, is its habitual expression ; and even its smile, though bright, has an occasional dash of sadness in it. One thinks of it as strikingly handsome, as full of character, as intellectual, and, withal, as singularly attractive ; but one would never term it pretty. The nose is straight, not aquiline, as in the London photograph, and the large eyes are rather dark, and bluish gray in color. The face is perhaps a trifle wider in proportion than that of the Venus of Milo, but both features and expression more nearly resemble those of some ancient statue than they do the lineaments and looks of Florence Cook, or the spirit materialized through her mediumship, so far as, from the photographs, one can judge of either.

A glass case, and this young lady in it, would be a most attractive feature in the Philadelphia centennial.


[The following verses are excerpts from an inspirational poem, delivered by Mrs. Cora L. V. Tappan.]

O Sleep, whom the God hath made known,
That mortals may dream what is death,
So the joy that shall finally come
Shall not quite take away their full breath.

O Sleep, thou subduer of care,
Thou touchest the brow that is sad,
And behold in the visions of air,
The spirit grows young and grows glad.

O Sleep, thou art golden and glad,
And thy feet are the softest and best,
Uplifting the world that is sad,
And bidding the weary to rest.

And when thy sweet sister called Death
Shall fold all the bodies to sleep,
Thy spirit with its living breath,
That for ever its vigils doth keep,

Will show that the world men call dreams
Is the world of a subtle delight ;
That the earth is the dream-life that seems,
While above is the real world of light.

Very neat... pity, only, that the ideas are now for word from one of the early poems of Hugo... and he not dead yet.

The Soul, – Its Composition in a Scientific Sense

Liverpool, No. 29 Erskine St., Dec. 3, 1874.

My dear Editor,—

Amidst incessant public labors, of various kinds, I take the opportunity, at once, to state that I thank you very much for your kind and courteous letter, in which, inter alia, you ask the question, “ How ” I arrive at the conclusion that the soul of man is naturally composed of C48, H36, N6, and O14, in a scientific sense, and I answer, in terms of Baconian induction, from many and long-continued experiments, in regard to the physical relations of mental faculties—especially concerning the development of Germ, Life, and the creation or evolution of plants and animals—de novo, by way of molecular generation—and the certain production of protoplasm, scientifically, by the requisite combination of inorganic materials—from small ciliated infusoria found in fluids, when atmospheric air has been deprived of its life, up to naϊdes, nereides, &c., which latter animals perpetuate their souls, or mental phenomena, by spontaneous division of their own bodies—in fact, the psychical principle is divided, again and again, from generation to generation—thus showing that the separate and independent mind, with special will and special desires, is in nowise necessarily associated with cerebral hemispheres. As to Life from Death, I have an abundance of “ evidence ” incontrovertible, as I think, in the sight of those physical or spiritual scientists, who have long been familiar with the recent controversy on heterogenesis, and allied subjects, in the German Congress of Naturalists. For example, if the albumen of a newly laid egg be mixed with pure distilled water, absolutely free from life, and the “ death ” be exposed to the atmosphere for half an hour, merely, “ life ” will be observed very distinctly, and in the course of 90 minutes, mycrozyma and vibrios will be present, in considerable vitalized quantities. On this planet, the third in order from the chief star, we are everywhere surrounded by a mass of gaseous matter, retained at its surface by the force, called gravity, and revolving together with it round a luminary of fiery meteors, and element for element : you may obtain the same materials from other planetary bodies, as are to be derived from eggs, or corn, nay, out of a piece of granite of our own rocks,—lifeless molecules of matter and force, as they seem, are to be evolved those assemblages of atoms, which eventuate in the constitution of brain, or mind, but up the whole ascent from monad to man—there is nosoul,” or aggregate psychical phenomena to be found, without the proportional per cent of those four elements, to which I have elsewhere adverted (and which are also similarly combined in proteine) and, of course, in albumen, fibrine caseine, as carbon 55, hydrogen 7, nitrogen 16, oxygen 22, in short, organic intelligence is molecularly associated, in physical science, with the demonstrative logical presence of such elementary substances, their symbols, and equivalent numbers, everywhere.

Spiritual life is a higher, more ethereal form of “ material ” existence, philosophically in conformity to the law of continuity, it may be better or worse, as man wills to determine.

Ever yours,

William Hitchman.

Editor's notes

  1. Masonry of Adoption by unknown author
  2. The editor of the Spiritual Scientist by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, The
  3. Sleep by Tappan, Cora L. V.
  4. The Soul, – Its Composition in a Scientific Sense by Hitchman, William