Appearance of sick friend
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
A description of the experience
Flammarion, C., Carroll, L,
Death and its mystery: before death, proofs of the existence of the soul
Toward the middle of June, in 1863, I was walking in the main street of Huddersfield, in broad daylight, when I saw approaching me at a distance of several yards, a very dear friend, who I had reason to believe was seriously ill at his home in Staffordshire. I had Iearned of his illness a few days before from his friends.
As the figure came toward me it was easy to examine it, and, while I commented to myself on his rapid recovery, I never suspected that it was really not my friend. At the moment of our meeting the figure looked at me with a sad and penetrating expression and, to my great astonishment, neither seemed to notice that I was offering him my hand nor answered my affectionate greeting, but tranquilly continued on his way. I was transfixed with astonishment and for several seconds incapable of speaking or walking. I have never been quite certain that he made any sound; but nevertheless, this very clear impression remained in my mind: “I had so much need of you and you would not come.”
'When I had recovered from my astonishment, I turned to look once more after the retreating figure, but everything had disappeared.
My first impulse was to telegraph, then the idea came to me, and was at once put into execution, to go and see if my friend were really alive or dead, though, for that matter, I felt almost certain that the latter hypothesis was the correct one. When I arrived the following day I found him alive but only half-conscious. He had often asked for me, his mind was apparently fixed in the idea that I would not come to see him.
As far as I could discover, he must have been asleep at the hour when I saw him appear the day before. He told me later that he imagined he had seen me, without knowing exactly how or where. I cannot explain how my friend appeared to me dressed and not as he must have been at that very moment. My mind at the time was absorbed with other matters and I was not thinking of him. I may add that he lived several months longer.
W. E. Dutton
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
References and further reading
Observation contributed by: Monica Van Rossem