Captain Towns's ghostly image was reflected on the polished surface of the cupboard
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery – After Death – Camille Flammarian
Mr. Charles A. W. Lett, a member of the London Military and Royal Naval Club, wrote on December 3, 1885:
On April 5, 1873, my wife's father, Captain Towns, died at his home in Cranbrook Rosebay, near Sydney, New South Wales.
About six weeks after his death my wife went into one of the bedrooms of the house at about nine o’clock in the evening. She was accompanied by a young woman, a Miss Berthon. As they entered the room (the gas was lighted) they were surprised to see Captain Towns's image reflected on the polished surface of the cupboard. They could see half his body: his head, his shoulders, and his arms. It was not unlike a life-sized portrait. His face was pale and thin, as it had been before his death, and he had on a gray flannel jacket in which he had been in the habit of going to bed.
Surprised and half afraid, they thought at first that they were looking at the reflection of a portrait in the room; but there was nothing of the sort there. While they were gazing at it, my wife's sister, Miss Towns, came in.
Before the others had spoken to her, she cried, “Good Heavens! Look at Papa!"
One of the chambermaids was passing on the stairs at that moment. She was called, and they asked her if she saw anything; her reply was, ”Oh, Miss!-the master!”
They sent for Graham, the captain’s orderly, and he cried at once, “God preserve us, Mrs. Lett! it's the captain!" The steward was called, then Mrs. Crane, my wife's nurse, and both of them said they saw him. At length they asked Mrs. Towns to come.
When she saw the apparition she went forward, her arms outstretched as though to touch it, but as she advanced, holding out her hand toward the panel in the cupboard, the likeness gradually disappeared. It was never seen afterward, though the room was often occupied. Such were the actual circumstances; it is impossible to doubt them.
The undersigned, after having read the above account, guarantee its authenticity. Both of us witnessed the apparition.
SIBBIE SMITH (nee Towns).