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Observations placeholder

Andrew Lang's niece and her dog Turk together see a ghost



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 2


NOTES from Professor Ernesto Bozzano relating to this case

From the point of view of which we are interested, I note that the apparition was seen simultaneously by the animal and its mistress. The dog's behaviour, which rumbled and barked at the person who had occurred, but did not dare to move away from his mistress' protective skirts, shows that he clearly realized that he was in the presence of a ghostly manifestation, while his mistress absolutely believed she was in front of her flesh and blood friend. This is one more reason to contradict the hypothesis of the transmission of thoughts from man to animal.

A description of the experience

as reported in Professor Ernesto Bozzano - The parapsychological manifestations of animals - 130 cases proving animal mediumistic abilities

Case 29. - (Collective visual.) - I find it in the Journal of the S. P. R. (vol. XIII, p. 28). The eminent mythologist and sociologist Andrew Lang communicates the following fact, observed by his niece. She writes to him about it:

Skelfhill, Kawick, August 8, 1906.

... I arrived in this country on August 4. On Monday the 6th, I went to Mount Pen, where, for the first time, I saw a ghost. I was accompanied by my old dog Turk and climbed the hill very slowly, stopping often, due to my companion's short legs and even shorter breathing. This was particularly so as the sprouts and ferns were thick and resistant. We made a last stop at the place where Le Pen abruptly erected its imposing peak. I sat with my back to the dike, facing the rocky coast, while Turk was sitting, panting, at my feet...

Suddenly, I saw my friend Dr. H..., with whom I had made the trip back from America in 1905, coming towards me. She wore a rather short skirt, blue, with a white cotton corsage. She was without a hat, a cane with a butt; when she was very close to me, I noticed a strand of hair falling on her forehead. I had known two weeks before that she had returned from America to England, from where she had to leave on September 12, and that she was planning to go to Cornwall to see her parents again.

I didn't know when she would come. I was so surprised to meet her in this place that, for a moment, I didn't move and couldn't breathe a word; but Turk reminded me of myself by scolding against the newcomer. So I jumped up and cried out.

"You here, Dr. H.?" - At these words, the doctor turned around and looked at me. Then she quietly continued down the path I had just climbed.

Surprised by her behaviour, because I was sure she had seen me, I followed her with the intention of stopping her.

Meanwhile, Turk had not stopped scolding and barking, but without moving away from me, whereas he usually starts barking at people and dogs he doesn't know. I noticed that the hair on his back had spiked and his tail was arched with a hook. When I caught up with the doctor and as I was about to reach out and put a hand on her shoulder, a big buzzing insect came between us, flying through her body! So I saw the doctor disappear!

Naturally, I was surprised and dismayed. Until then, I hadn't had the slightest idea that it wasn't my real friend. Without Turk I would have doubted my senses; but under these conditions, no doubt was possible, since the dog had undoubtedly shown itself irritated and growling against someone. I swear to you that I am in good health, that I have never felt better and that for the past year I have only been drinking water. I cannot specify the minute in which I saw the apparition. Since, when I sat down, it was 6:05 p. m. in the evening, I deduce that it must have been 6:15 a. m. - maybe one or two minutes later - when I saw it disappear. I immediately grabbed my pencil and took a note of the strange fact on an envelope I had in my pocket. As soon as I got home, I dictated the detailed story.

Naturally, I wrote to Dr. H. yesterday asking her what she was doing on the day and at the time she appeared to me. As soon as she answers me, I will inform you.

A later letter from Professor Lang's niece to her uncle contained the following passage:

...I met with Dr. H.. She told me that on the day and at the time indicated, she was walking down Tintagel hill, dressed exactly as I described her with a bathing suit on her arm, which I didn't see at all....

Doctor H...'s sister writes in turn:

On August 6, around 6 p.m., Dr. H. went down Tintagel Hill after swimming. She was wearing a blue skirt, no hat. She had the bathing suit on her arm.

(Signed in full: Miss M. H.)


The source of the experience

Lang, Andrew

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Science Items

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Being an animal