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Spirit foretells boy's death

Identifier

010098

Type of spiritual experience

Hallucination

A description of the experience

Flammarion, C., Carroll, L,
Death and its mystery: before death, proofs of the existence of the soul

In a certain quarter of New York there lived a young man who had just finished his studies abroad at the University of Heidelberg. By nature he was anything but imaginative. Tall and robust, he had the reputation of an athlete. His favourite studies were mathematics, the physical sciences, and electricity. He had just come back from abroad and, so far as could be known, his health was excellent. He was at the time with his mother in her house in the country. It was his custom to go every day, after dinner, into the public squares for a little stroll while he smoked his pipe. One evening he came in quietly and went to bed without speaking to any one.

The next morning he went into his mother's room, before she had risen, and passed his hand over her face so as to wake her gently; then he said:

"Mother, I have something very sad to tell you. You must arm yourself with courage so as to be strong enough to bear the news."

His mother was, naturally, astounded and asked him what he meant.

"Mother, I know what I am saying; I shall die soon."

Troubled and full of anguish, as may be imagined, she asked him to explain himself.

"Last evening" he answered, "as I was walking in the square, a spirit appeared to me and began to walk beside me. I have received the warning; I must die."

Very much impressed, the mother sent for a doctor and told him of the incident. The doctor, after having carefully examined the young man, found nothing abnormal in his condition and assured them that it was only a bad dream, a pure hallucination, that they must not think of it again, and that in a few days the mother and son would laugh at their fears.

The next day, the young man was not quite so well as usual and the doctor was called a second time: again he laughed at their fears.

The third day the condition of the sick man had grown worse, and then he was obliged to admit a case of appendicitis. The young man was operated upon and died two days later. Only five days had passed between the vision and the death.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

References and further reading

Flammarion, C., Carroll, L, (1922) Death and its mystery: before death, proofs of the existence of the soul, London T.Fisher Unwin, Ltd

Observation contributed by: Monica Van Rossem