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Observations placeholder

Bozzano, Professor Ernesto - Psychic phenomena at the moment of death – 15



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Ernesto Bozzano - Psychic phenomena at the moment of death [110 cases suggesting survival after death]

First category - Cases in which the apparitions of the deceased are perceived solely by the dying person, and relate to persons whose death he knew.

17-th case. - It was communicated to me by the editor-in-chief of the Annales des Sciences Psychiques, M.C. de Vesme, and relates to the death of Mrs. Lena Botrel, who occurred on July 11, 1916, in Pont-Aven, in Brittany. The husband of the deceased, who is the famous Breton bard Theodore Botrel, writes the following to M. de Vesme, dated November 1-st, 1919:

My dear Brother,

I have read carefully and emotionally Mr. Bozzano's study. ... and I understand why you are asking me for a copy of the In Memoriam published on the occasion of Mrs. Botrel's death. It seems obvious that, being in full consciousness, my dear departed saw an angel, glimpsed a radiant corner of the Other World and, at the moment of her death, suddenly saw her Mother.

I can only send you a simplified edition of the Requested Memento; but I am transcribing it to you, for M. Bozzano, the testimonies of two brave Bretonnes - her maid and seamstress - who, while I was at the front, hardly left the bedside of the dying person, who died of peritonitis, over five days, without losing a moment of lucidity of mind.

(Testimony of Mrs. Josephine Mainguy.)

"She raised her eyes to the ceiling and said: "How beautiful, what's waiting for me! May it be good for me to let him see you a little! My friends, my friends, here is an angel, there on my left; it was your prayers that made him come. But it's strange, he has no wings! ..."
And ever since, each time we went to her screen, to the left of her bed, she stopped in her conversation to say: "Do not go this way, see, you will disturb my angel!"

(Testimony of Mrs. Josephine Allanie.)

"Her face became radiant at times, and she stayed in ecstasy, staring up at the ceiling: "Oh! Heaven, she said, how beautiful! Here are the Angels! Oh! mother! mother! We did not dare move then, so it was touching to see her in such moments of joy in the midst of her suffering."

(Testimony of M. Theodore Botrel.)

And I copy into my notebook these lines:
 "I did not arrive at Pont-Aven until ten o'clock on Tuesday. She had not been able to speak since 5 am, but she was in full consciousness. At two o'clock precisely, she said suddenly and in a voice so clear and so joyful: "Mother!" And that was all: she had uttered this last word in her last breath."

Signed: Theodore Botrel.


Mr. Botrel, concerning the surprise expressed by his dying wife on seeing an angel without wings, observes precisely in a note:

“This sentence proves that she herself was not the toy of her imagination, since she expected to see wings on the back of the Angels! She is surprised that they do not have them!”

I have already quoted a case in which the dying man, on perceiving similar apparitions, exclaims: "What! but they are people like us!" Concerning this, the rapporteur observes: "Most likely, his head was filled with the usual images of winged angels and angelic harps. Therefore, there is nothing strange that, at the last moment, he expressed his surprise by seeing that the deceased who came to welcome him had the appearance of "people like us".

Now, these incidents present a real probative value, since hallucinatory ghosts, as we know, take on the forms corresponding to the ideas that were formed beforehand in the mentality of the patient (it could not be otherwise).

As a consequence, if the idea of "winged angels" (of which we have all heard from our mother, during our childhood, and whose description we later read in the Bible and have hundred times seen as representations in the paintings of religious subjects), were engraved in the cerebral pathways of the patient, she should have seen "winged angels".

But, ….we see that the dying person, while being dominated by this preconceived idea, has perceived ghosts whose appearance was contrary to the idea in question.  We must conclude that in the circumstances reported above there were "true appearances of ghosts of the deceased" and not "pathological hallucinations".

The source of the experience

Bozzano, Professor Ernesto

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps