Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue – Sees the ghost of her maid
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery: After Death – Camille Flammarion
Related by a well-known sculptress, Mademoiselle Hosmer:
A young Italian woman named Rosa who had been in my service for some time, was obliged to go back to her sister's home because of chronic ill health. When I took my usual horseback rides I often went to see her. On one of these visits, which I made at six in the evening, I found her gayer than she was ordinarily. I had long since given up hope that she would get well, but nothing in her appearance led me to believe that there was any immediate danger.
When I left her I was counting on seeing her often in the future. She expressed a wish for a bottle of wine of a special sort, and I promised to bring it to her myself the next morning. I do not remember thinking of her for the rest of the evening. I went to bed, my mind calm. But I awakened from a deep sleep with the feeling that there was someone in the room. I reflected that no one could have come in. My bed was in the middle of the room; a screen was at the foot of it. Thinking that there might be some one behind it, I cried out, “Who is there?" But there was no answer.
The clock in the next room struck five. At the same instant I saw Rosa's form standing before my bed, and in some way (I cannot state definitely that it was through speech) I gained an impression that the following words came from her: “Adesso son felice, son contenta."( “Now I am happy and content.”)
Then the shade vanished.
At breakfast I said to the woman friend who shared my apartment, "Rosa is dead."
"What are you thinking of!” she replied. ''You told me yesterday that you'd found her better.”
Then I told her what had happened to me that morning. She laughed and said that I had been dreaming. She continued to make a jest of the matter, and even annoyed me a little by her persistence, since I was absolutely sure of having been fully awake. In order to settle the question, I sent a messenger for news of Rosa's condition. He came back with the report that she had died that morning at five o'clock.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans