Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue – Sees the ghost of her maid
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Death and its Mystery: After Death – Camille Flammarion
Related by a well-known sculptress, Mademoiselle Hosmer:
A young Italian woman named Rosa who had been in my service for some time, was obliged to go back to her sister's home because of chronic ill health. When I took my usual horseback rides I often went to see her. On one of these visits, which I made at six in the evening, I found her gayer than she was ordinarily. I had long since given up hope that she would get well, but nothing in her appearance led me to believe that there was any immediate danger.
When I left her I was counting on seeing her often in the future. She expressed a wish for a bottle of wine of a special sort, and I promised to bring it to her myself the next morning. I do not remember thinking of her for the rest of the evening. I went to bed, my mind calm. But I awakened from a deep sleep with the feeling that there was someone in the room. I reflected that no one could have come in. My bed was in the middle of the room; a screen was at the foot of it. Thinking that there might be some one behind it, I cried out, “Who is there?" But there was no answer.
The clock in the next room struck five. At the same instant I saw Rosa's form standing before my bed, and in some way (I cannot state definitely that it was through speech) I gained an impression that the following words came from her: “Adesso son felice, son contenta."( “Now I am happy and content.”)
Then the shade vanished.
At breakfast I said to the woman friend who shared my apartment, "Rosa is dead."
"What are you thinking of!” she replied. ''You told me yesterday that you'd found her better.”
Then I told her what had happened to me that morning. She laughed and said that I had been dreaming. She continued to make a jest of the matter, and even annoyed me a little by her persistence, since I was absolutely sure of having been fully awake. In order to settle the question, I sent a messenger for news of Rosa's condition. He came back with the report that she had died that morning at five o'clock.