Leifchild, Reverend John – The death of her son is anticipated by Leifchild’s aunt in an hallucination
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
This extract comes from the Memoirs of the Rev. J. Leifchild
‘I give an account of an occurrence which soon after befell my aunt, for the truth of which as an event I can vouch, but of which I can offer no solution.
She was standing in a little shop fronting the street, while a customer was being served. On a sudden her absent son passed in the street before her, and as he passed gave her a look of recognition, which so surprised and overjoyed her, that, forgetting everything else, she rushed into the street after him.
When there she could not see him, and concluded that he had gone to the alley which led to the Abbey (my father pointed this out to me, and the place of apparition), and meant to hide himself awhile.
We all went in search of him, as soon as we could assemble, but could not discover any trace of her son.
My aunt then concluded that she had seen his spirit and fell seriously ill.
I noted the circumstances in writing at the time and pondered over them. A few weeks afterwards my father came to see us, and my aunt truly divined his errand. He had received a letter from the captain of the ship in which her son was sailing, stating that the unfortunate lad had fallen from the mast and fractured his skull. While lying on his deathbed he directed the captain to write to my father, whose address he named.
The dates of this misfortune and of her hallucination corresponded precisely. The deceased was a clever, amiable, and handsome youth, and his mother never completely recovered her animation after his death.'