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Observations placeholder

Hack Tuke, Daniel – Sickness - Birthmarks induced by powerful emotions – Fear, repulsion and shock



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,


A few cases recorded by medical observers may here be briefly alluded to, for the purpose of illustrating the point at issue. They are fair examples of a class of facts frequently reported in the medical journals.

1. Madame B — , the mother of four well-formed children, experienced, early in her fifth pregnancy, various nervous sensations to which she was a stranger ; such as spasms, and tonic contractions of the muscles. Towards the third month, Madame B — had a strong desire to eat mussels — a longing not gratified until the end of a week. When, however, she saw them, disgust took the place of desire, and ever afterwards she felt a great repugnance to them. Her accouchement was easy ; the child, however, had a mark upon its left leg, of violet colour, and of the size and appearance of the mussel-shell.  …Given on the authority of Dr. Bayard, who published this in the " Annales Medico-psychologiques " (1851, p. 478).

2. A woman, when enceinte, witnessed a fire in the direction of her father's home, and was much alarmed ; as the event proved, not without reason. As the place was many miles distant, a long time passed without any definite tidings. This uncertainty acted powerfully upon her imagination, and she constantly saw a flame before her eyes. Three months afterwards she gave birth to a child, which had on the forehead a mark, red, pointed, and undulated like a flame. This mark was not effaced until she was seven years of age. Baer, in reporting this circumstance, says that he does so because he has the best means of knowing all the details, seeing that the lady was his own sister, and that he had heard her complain before her accouchement of having a flame continually before her eyes. Given on the authority of Dr. Bayard, who published this in the " Annales Medico-psychologiques " (1851, p. 478).

3. In the "Lancet" of August 17th, 1867, Mr. T. Smith, Assistant-Surgeon to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, in a paper on " Mother's Marks," observes that " one cannot doubt that these marks occasionally appear on children in connection with mental impressions received by the mother during pregnancy." He then adds : " I will show you a striking case that came under Mr. Paget's observation. This child was admitted into St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1865. She was at that time twelve years old. The left upper extremity and the greater part of the corresponding side of the trunk and neck were deeply stained with dark brown pigment, from which grew an abundant crop of brown, harsh, lank hair, varying in length from one to two inches. The skin was rough and harsh ; the arm was long, thin and withered ; the scapula was unnaturally prominent. In fact, the upper limb, shoulder and back, bore a very strong resemblance to the corresponding part of a monkey. The mother stated that when three months pregnant with the child, she was much terrified by a monkey attached to a street-organ, which jumped on her back as she was passing by." Mr. Smith concludes his report by the remark, " I need scarcely say that such a case does not stand alone. There are many well-authenticated cases where marks and even bodily deformities in the foetus, can be fairly attributed to strong and persistent mental impressions in the mother."

The source of the experience

Hack Tuke, Daniel

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Types of hurt and organs

Activities and commonsteps