Bozzano, Professor Ernesto - Psychic phenomena at the moment of death – 28
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Ernesto Bozzano - Psychic phenomena at the moment of death [110 cases suggesting survival after death]
Third category Cases in which other people, collectively with the dying person, perceive the same ghost of the deceased.
33-rd case. - This case was reported to the "Society for P.R." by Professor W. C. Crosby, one of its members:
Mrs. Caroline Rogers, 72, widow of two husbands, the first of whom, Mr. Tisdale, died thirty-five years before, lived the last twenty-five years of her life in Roslindale (United States). After the death of her last son, which took place several years before, she lived constantly alone. In the first days of March of this year, she was paralyzed, and after an illness of about six weeks she expired in the afternoon of Tuesday, April 15th.
Mrs. Mary Wilson, a 45-year-old nurse, assisted Mrs. Rogers during all her illness, and remained almost without interruption at her bedside until her death. She had never seen Mrs. Rogers before that time, and she did not know anything about her previous life. The patient frequently talked to her, as well as to others, about her second husband, Mr. Rogers, and her sons, expressing the hope of seeing them again one day.
In the afternoon of April 14, Mrs. Rogers fell into a state of unconsciousness, in which she remained until death, which took place twenty-four hours later. Wilson was exhausted by prolonged watches. As she expected to attend the patient's death at any moment, she was naturally nervous and anxious, especially since Mrs. Rogers had often told her that she had seen around her the ghosts of her dear departed ones. At the same time she felt a strange feeling, as if she were waiting for a visit from beyond the grave.
Between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning, while her daughter was present and she lay awake on a couch - she approached Mrs. Rogers and accidentally turned her gaze to the other room's door.
She saw on the threshold the real figure of a man of average size, of a prosperous look, with broad shoulders that he carried a little overturned backwards. His head was uncovered: the hair and beard were of a deep red color. He wore a dark, unbuttoned overcoat. The expression on his face was serious, neither too harsh nor too kind. He seemed to be staring sometimes at Mrs. Wilson, sometimes at Mrs. Rogers, staying in absolute immobility.
Mrs. Wilson naturally thought of being in the presence of a living person, however she could not understand how the man had been able to enter the house. Then, seeing that he continued to remain motionless like a statue, she began to suspect that this was something abnormal. Worried, she turned her head to another side, calling her daughter aloud to wake her up.
A few moments later, she looked again in that direction, but everything had disappeared. The appearance of the ghost as well as its disappearance, all had happened without noise.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Rogers had been absolutely quiet, probably in the same state of unconsciousness she'd been in for hours. The room, to which the door was leading, was not lit. Mrs. Wilson was not able to see if the apparition was transparent. She went a few moments later to this room and to the other room of the apartment. As soon as the day came, she went down to the lower floor, and found all the doors locked; everything was in its place.
On the same morning, Mrs. Hildreth, the niece of the patient, who lived not far from there, and who had lived for many years in great familiarity with her aunt, went to visit her. Mrs. Wilson took the opportunity to tell her what had happened, asking her if the apparition she had seen was not a ghost of the deceased Mr. Rogers. Mrs. Hildreth answered negatively (others who knew Mr. Rogers made the same statement). Their conversation was interrupted at this moment; but a few hours later, Mrs. Hildreth reported to Mrs. Wilson that her description of the apparition corresponded perfectly with how Mr. Tisdale looked, Mrs. Rogers's first husband.
Now, we must observe that Mrs. Rogers had settled in Roslindale after her second marriage; that Mrs. Hildreth was the only person in the country who knew Mr. Tisdale; Mrs. Rogers did not have any portraits of him or any other object capable of making his features known.
Signed: Mary Wilson
The above is a complete account of what happened to Mrs. Wilson, as she told me by herself, on the morning of April 15-th.
Signed: MRS. R. E. Hildreth. Proceedings of the S.P.R., vol. VIII, pp. 229-231.
In the case just described, it should be noted that, although the patient has repeatedly stated that she saw around her the ghosts of her dead, it is not likely that she participated to the hallucinatory perception of Mrs. Wilson, because of the comatose state in which she had been for long hours, and where she remained till death. All this leads us to suppose that the hallucination was not collective and simultaneous, and that the vision of Mrs. Wilson was completely independent.
There is no point in going further in these suppositions, the degree of unconsciousness in which the patient was at that moment not being proved. We cannot, indeed, completely dismiss the doubt that it retained a remnant of consciousness sufficient to determine a phenomenon of subjective hallucination, transmissible telepathically to a third person.