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Observations placeholder




Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 1


If the communication is in words and sentences it is a bodied or disembodied soul.  If the communication is symbolic, or uses words as puns, or is simply a ‘thought’ without words – an impression conveyed, communication is with a Spirit being , Spirit helper or Intelligence.

A description of the experience

Marchioness Townshend & Maude Ffoulkes True Ghost Stories
Contributed by Mr Aslett Baldwin, narrated by Gwladys Townshend of Raynham

The first day I came to live here, I went to the path. This time the footsteps and the voices were insistent, and words - afterwards sentences - detached themselves from the confusion of little tongues. Somebody said: 'We want to hear about your sister.'

I took no notice.

'Yes,' chorused the voices, 'do tell us where she is; we would like her to come and play with us.'

I said sharply (conscious that I was making a perfect fool of myself), 'I haven't a sister.'

The path echoed with derisive laughter 'Of course you have - you know you have. You mustn't tell lies . . . it's wicked. Liars go to hell.'

'You know more than I do,' I retorted.  ‘If I had a sister, tell me her name.'

"And all the unseen children shouted: 'It's Jasmin, we'll spell it for you – J A S M I N.'

'Jasmine, without the E,' said a voice – ‘such a pretty flower - it smells so sweet.'

I didn't want to hear any more - I wasn't frightened, but I was more or less annoyed and puzzled.  Evidently that particular path belonged to the ghosts of the children who had died here in childhood and I remembered having noticed many wall tablets in the old church commemorating the names of those who 'died in their infancy'.

The former owners of the Hall had been prolific parents, but the majority of their large families did not reach maturity - an old decadent stock, so I was informed, which finally flickered out more than fifty years ago.

Still, I couldn't forget the name Jasmin. I had supposed myself to be an only son, born at a period of her life when my mother had never expected to bear a child. I had not heard of the existence of any other. My mother is now a very old lady, living with her memories. Hitherto I had never ruffled the serene surface of her thoughts. Now I decided to do so.

I went to see her. There's a nurse always in attendance, but Mother's not senile, only remote and self-absorbed. Outwardly, her life is bounded by the Bible (parts of which she knows by heart) and the satisfaction of seeing a few selected friends. She thinks 'back' a great deal when she lies awake at night, and gets frightened by age and death. She doesn't want to die when it's dark. Nurse declares she won't.

‘I’m pleased to see you,' she said; 'and how is your house progressing? It is a pity I am not able to help you in your arrangements - at my age the journey would kill me.'

I drew a bow at a venture. 'If only had a sister, how useful she would be.'

' A sister-did you say a sister ? . . . Let me think. . . .'

Submerged memories were evidently rising from the sea of the past. . . . 'But, John, you had a baby sister. I never talk about her . . . I never have . . . it was a great sorrow. . . .'

Two difficult tears trailed their slow course through the furrows of old age. . . . 'Yes, a pretty little thing . . . hair like spun silk . . . I called her Jasmin after the jasmine growing round our bedroom window. . but I spelt her name differently. She did not live . . . it's many years ago. . .'

There's not much more to tell, but that little is curious.

A week later, when I was sitting outside in the twilight, a child's hand crept slowly into mine - a little hand, with the helpless clinging fingers which appeal so much to women, and a sweet far-off voice said, 'I am Jasmin. You must not let the children trouble you. The next time they ask about me, please say, I have nothing for you and then they will go away.' Afterwards the little hand was quietly withdrawn.

I could not wait . . . I went to the path. No sooner had I done so, than I was surrounded by the unseen children . . . pressing hard on one another's heels.

'Now you know that you had a sister, but why does she not come here?' said the leader.

I answered: 'You were quite right. I had a sister: her name was Jasmin. I've been talking to her - she has sent you a message.'

'What is it?' clamoured a score of voices.

'Just this - I have nothing for you.'

The effect was electrical. A long tense silence. Afterwards a general stampede. Children taking cover, scampering away in all directions like frightened rabbits. The yew walk was deserted.

As Jasmin had promised, they never came back, at any rate when I was anywhere near. I've thought it over, time after time, and it always becomes more and more fantastic.

Although everything is true. You can't get away from the name, and the fact that I had a sister called Jasmin.

‘I don't expect you to believe such an impossible story," said S., apologetically, "but” evidently trying to excuse himself for having unburdened his mind "hang it all, old fellow, - you heard a child laugh, didn't you?’

Source: Mr C. to whom Mr S. (house owner) related the above story, and friend of contributor Mr Aslett Baldwin

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps




Townshend, G. & FFoulkes, M., (1936) True Ghost Stories, London:Senate