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Observations placeholder

Deaf-mute hears music from Paradise, which he called wonderful, and recovers from serious illness



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Journal of the S.P.R. (vol. IV, page 181).

The case was examined by Podmore, it is rigorously documented. This is only the main report. Mr. Septimus Allen recounts:

In 1872, I lived in Leeds with my wife and her brother. My brother-in-law, whose name was John, was a painter-decorator and a deaf mute. One day, he fell seriously ill with rheumatic fever. You can imagine the conditions of a patient who, in the throes of a general rheumatic disease, cannot be understood in any way, because the painfully swollen arms and hands make it impossible for him to use his fingers, the only way for him to transmit his thoughts. He could not say what his sufferings, his needs, what he wanted; nothing!

The illness worsened rapidly, and the doctor advised us to tell the other members of the family, so that they could see him before his death.

In that afternoon, my wife and I were on the ground floor of the house having tea; our children were out. Suddenly, we both heard wonderful music from John's room. As he was alone upstairs, we were deeply surprised and immediately went up to his room. We found him lying on his back, his eyes fixed towards the ceiling, his face illuminated by an ecstatic smile. We did not dare disturb him; but I had a neighbour come so that he could testify to the event, which seemed strange and extraordinary to us. After some time (I could not determine it exactly), John seemed to wake up from this ecstatic state, and through lip movements and other signs, he expressed the words: "Heaven" and "Beautiful".

Some time later, he made us understand through signs that his brother Tom and sister Harriett were travelling to see him and that they were about to arrive. A quarter of an hour later, a car stopped at the door of the house, and the two people in question got out. They had not announced their departure and they were not expected.

When the patient convalesced and was able to express himself freely with his fingers, he told us that he had been allowed to contemplate the beauties of Paradise and to listen to angelic music, which he called wonderful.

I wonder: Where did the musical chords we heard come from? And how could the patient know that his brother and sister had set out on a journey and that their arrival was about to take place?

Signed: Septimus Allen


The source of the experience

Other ill or disabled person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Celestial music



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Rheumatic fever


Deafness and tinnitus