Helene Schoulgine of Grodno, Russia and the three loud raps
Type of spiritual experience
I will admit I assumed from this that the poor man had got up from his death bed and in fury at the inconsiderate nature simply hammered on the floor, but Flammarion was of the opinion that he wasn't near enough the guests for any anger to have been heard this way and that it was the 'intense transmission sent towards his indifferent friends' that produced the 'sonorous blows' heard by everyone.
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery, At the Moment of Death; Manifestations and Apparitions of the Dying – Camille Flammarion
Letter 930 from Helene Schoulgine, Grodno, Russia July 24th 1900
It was in the month of October; our house was filled with friends; they gave themselves up to amusement, they played roulette during whole nights; it was as though youth were abandoned to a frenzy of pleasure.
Among all these people was one of our relatives, Monsieur Michel S--- He was subject to frequent stomach and liver attacks, which endangered his life. Nevertheless, he greatly loved society and had come to amuse himself like the others, not thinking that he would grow worse, when he had a terrible recurrence of his malady, which obliged him to go to bed that very evening.
The young people continued to laugh and to amuse themselves and gambling absorbed them until dawn. But when laughter and jesting were at their height; three violent blows, sounding as though they had come from under the ground, made the whole assembly start; every one stopped short.
Some ran to the entrance door, believing at first that a late visitor was knocking. The servants, who had also heard the blows, had the same idea and went as far as the gateway. But they found no one, and every one, silent, asked himself whence this sinister and inexplicable noise might have come.
The next day my cousin died in the midst of this carnival, to the despair of his mother, who was obliged to take him to their home in a coffin.
By a strange coincidence, there was in our house a fine new coffin; it had been our intention to transport my father’s ashes in it. This made a wit say that my brother pushed hospitality to the point of furnishing coffins to those of his guests who might have the misfortune to die in his home.
This sudden death froze every heart and it was then understood that the three blows were a warning which announced the misfortune.