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Observations placeholder

Bozzano, Professor Ernesto - Psychic phenomena at the moment of death – 42



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 1


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.

55-th case. - I finally report a rigorously controlled and very interesting case, although it is not clear to what hypothesis to devote to explain the ghosts manifested to the percipient. They are probably symbolic. I'm extracting this case from Journal of the S. P. R. (1908, p. 308-311). Dr. O. Burgess sends Dr. Hodgson the following episode, which happened in the presence of Dr. Renz, a nerve disease specialist. M. G., protagonist of the episode, writes:

What happened before me during the last five hours of my poor wife's life raised the following very debated question, which I would never be able to solve: was I mentally hallucinated, or, on the contrary, had the gift of clairvoyant vision been granted to me?

Before describing the events, and for the benefit of those who read these pages, I would like to state that I do not use alcoholic beverages, cocaine or morphine. I am and always have been moderate in everything. I am not of a nervous temperament, my mentality is not the slightest imaginative mind, and I have always been considered as a moderate, calm and determined man.

I would add that, not only did I never believe in what is called "spiritualism", with the relative phenomena of "mediumistic materializations" and "the visible astral body", and that I have always been hostile to these theories.

My wife died at 11:45 p. m. on Friday, May 23, 1902. It was only around 4:00 p. m. that day that I convinced myself that all hope was lost.

Gathered around the bed, waiting for the fatal hour, there were several friends, the doctor and two nurses. I was sitting at the bedside of the dying woman, shaking her right hand in mine. The friends were in the room, some of them sitting, others standing. No one was speaking, each person monitoring the breathing of the patient who was getting weaker and weaker. Two hours passed without any changes being observed. The servants announced that dinner was being served, but no one seemed ready to take the opportunity. At 6:30 a. m., I urged friends, the doctor and nurses to go to dinner without delay, as the waiting could continue. All of them, but for two people, took my advice.

Fifteen minutes later, at 6:45 a. m. (I am sure of the time, because a clock was placed in front of me on a piece of furniture), I looked at the front door. On the threshold, suspended in the air, I saw three small, very distinct clouds arranged horizontally, each about four feet long, with six to eight inches of volume.

The closest to the ground was separated by about two feet. The others followed at intervals of about six inches. My first thought was that the friends (and I apologize for this unjustified judgment) had started smoking beyond the threshold, so that the smoke from their cigars would enter the room. I jumped to my feet to go and reproach them. On the door sill, in the hallway and in the bedroom, there was no one there. Surprised, I turned around to look at the small clouds, which slowly but positively approached the bed, as long as they completely wrapped it.

Looking through this nebula, I noticed that next to the dying woman stood a figure of a woman no higher than three feet, transparent, but at the same time shining with a light with golden reflections. Its appearance was so glorious that there are no words to describe it. She was dressed in a Greek costume, with long sleeves, broad and drooping. On her head she had a crown. This figure remained motionless like a statue in the splendor of its beauty. Her hands stretched out over my wife's head and in the attitude of someone who receives a guest joyfully, but with serenity. Two figures dressed in white were standing on their knees on the sides of the bed, tenderly watching my wife, while other more or less distinct shapes were floating around.

Over my wife , in a horizontal position, a white naked figure was suspended which was attached to the body of the dying woman by a cord touching over her left eye, as if it had been her "astral" body. At times, the hanging figure remained perfectly motionless; then it shrank and shrank to tiny proportions, not more than eighteen inches long, but always keeping its very exact female form; its perfect head, perfect body, perfect arms and legs. When the "astral body" contracted and diminished, it began a violent struggle, with agitation and movement of the limbs, with the obvious aim of freeing itself from the body. And the struggle persisted so much that it looked exhausted. Then came a period of calm, then the "astral body" started to grow again, but only to diminish again, and resume the struggle.

For the last five hours of my wife's life, I was constantly watching this amazing vision. There was no way to make it pass out of my eyes. If I was distracted by chatting with friends, if I closed my eyelids, if I was on the other side, when I started looking at the deathbed again, I would see the same vision over and over again. During those five hours, I had a strange feeling of tightness in my head and limbs. I felt my eyelids heavy like when I was asleep, and the sensations I felt, together with the fact that my vision persisted, made me worried about my sanity. I used to talk to the doctor and say: "Doctor, I'm going crazy".

At last the hour of death arrived. After one last spasm, the dying woman stopped breathing and, at the same time, I saw the "astral form" redoubling its efforts to free itself. Apparently my wife seemed to be dead, but a few seconds later she started to breathe again, and so it was two or three times, and then it was all over. With the last sigh and the last spasm, the cord that attached her to the "astral body" broke, and I saw the "astral body" vanishing. The other spiritual figures, as well as  the cloudiness of the room, suddenly vanished. It is strange to say, even the oppression I suffered disappeared as if by magic, I felt again as I had always been, calm, measured, determined, so that I was able to issue orders and conduct the sad preparations required by the circumstances.

I leave the readers free to judge whether I really found myself in the grip of a hallucinatory access caused by anxiety, suffering and fatigue, or whether, by chance, I had been given a glimpse of a piece of spiritual existence, with its peace, happiness and beauty.


Dr. Renz, witness to the facts, writes a long letter of confirmation, from which I take this passage:

As soon as the patient died, M. G., who for six hours was standing still at her bedside, stood up and gave orders for the occasion with such a calm businessman's expression that the assistants were surprised. If he had been subjected to a hallucination for five hours, his mind would not have become clear and normal again at any moment. Seventeen days have passed since his wife's death and vision. M. G. continues to be perfectly healthy and normal in body and mind...

Signed: Dr. C. Renz.


This case is as interesting as it is embarrassing. Indeed, in the description of the "astral body" suspended on the moribund, we find details impossible to explain by the hallucinatory hypothesis. It is consistent with other descriptions of the same kind given by percipients of which one did not know the other. At the same time, they are curious enough not to be explained by the hypothesis of coincidence. This is the incident of the alternatives of growth and decrease suffered by the "astral" body, before being definitively externalized, according to the flow and reflux of the vitality of the moribund. The description of an analogous case observed in a child's deathbed was cited above (35-th case). In my book on Bilocation Phenomena, I reported an analogous case including Rev. Stainton Moses was the percipient. I repeat, therefore, that since each of the named percipients ignored the experiences of others, and since these concordances cannot be attributed to coincidences of chance, we are led to admit that they attest to the objectivity of perceived phenomena.

It follows that, in this case, the vision of the flowing division of the dying woman should be seen as objective. Admittedly, how can one explain the appearance of a female figure dressed in a Greek costume with a crown on its head? This set of details leads us to assume that the figure had a symbolic character; in this case, what did it entail? Was it a hallucinatory creation of the mentality of the percipient, or was it a telepathic-symbolic projection originating in the mentality of a spiritual entity? In meta-psychic casuistic we find a certain number of these telepathic-symbolic projections having probably a transcendental origin, especially in the class of premonitions. Therefore, this example would fit into a sequence of known facts. It is better to conclude by admitting that, in this case, there has been promiscuity of manifestations, in part really paranormal, and partly hallucinatory.

The source of the experience

Bozzano, Professor Ernesto

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps