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Observations placeholder

Bozzano, Professor Ernesto - Psychic phenomena at the moment of death – 41



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 3


A description of the experience

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

Fifth category - Cases in which the dying family members are the only ones to perceive the ghosts of the deceased.

53-rd case. - I extract it from Proceedings of the S.P.R. (Vol VI, page 293). It was communicated to this Society by Miss Walker, cousin of the protagonist. She writes:

My parents had several children, most of them died in childhood. Those who survived are Suzanne, Charlotte and myself. Because of these many deaths, Suzanne was twenty years older than me. My father owned an inalienable estate, which meant that the death of his two sons, William and John, the first in adolescence and the second in childhood, was the greatest misfortune of his life. Suzanne remembered the two boys. William was born and died long before I was born. John died at the age of two when I was only just born. There was no portrait of William, you know the portrait of John. It is about this oil painting in which is represented, of natural size, a child, a little wavering on his little feet, dressed in white, the little blue shoes, next to which we see a squatting greyhound, and in front of him an orange which rolls at his feet...

I had reached the age of 20, Suzanne was 40, Charlotte 30. Our father's health was rapidly declining. We lived happily together in a delightful little house on the outskirts of Harrogate. The day in question, Charlotte had felt uncomfortable, she was suddenly seized by chills and the doctor had advised her to go to bed. In the afternoon, she slept quietly. Suzanne and I were sitting next to the bed. The sun had set and it was getting dark, even though we were not yet in the darkness. I do not know how long we had been sitting there.

On occasion I looked up and saw a golden glow on Charlotte's pillow. In this luminosity two little faces of cherubim appeared to me, staring at the patient. I stayed for a while to watch, as if in ecstasy, the vision did not disappear. Finally, by reaching out to Suzanne over the bed, I'm just saying: "Suzanne, look a little up." She looked, and with an expression of great astonishment she cried out: "Oh! Emmeline, it's William and John!" We continued to look at this vision as if we had been mesmerized, until the moment when everything disappeared like a painting dissolving. A few hours later, Charlotte was suddenly seized of an inflammatory attack and expired within minutes. (Proceedings of the S. P. R., vol. VI, p. 293-294.)


The case we have just read is reported by Mr. Podmore, who notes that, in order to realize the vision, it is not necessary to suppose the spiritual presence of the two little dead brothers, since it can be assumed with greater probability that the appearance was a reflection of the patient's thoughts.

In the absence of precise contrary evidence, it would therefore only remain to confine oneself to the explanation proposed by Mr. Podmore, if in the above narrative one did not encounter a circumstance which could have the value of indirect proof to the contrary. This circumstance is in the paragraph where it is said that Suzanne remembered the two children that Emmeline (the one who tells the story) did not remember either and that there was no portrait of the first child. If you keep this in mind, all this means that the other sister, Charlotte - ten years younger than Suzanne - only had to remember the younger brother, John, otherwise the author of the story would have written that the two sisters - and not just Suzanne - remembered the two boys. As she did not, it is clear that Charlotte was not in the position of her older sister, Suzanne. And not a child in the situation of the younger sister, who did not remember any of the two younger brothers. The deduction I just made seems inevitable. If this were the case, it would result that Emmeline's vision could not be a reflection of her dying sister's thoughts, since she was unaware of the features of the elder of the younger brothers who appeared. The spiritual explanation of this episode becomes inevitable.

The source of the experience

Bozzano, Professor Ernesto

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps





Sensory deprivation