Phantasms of the Living - Present in spirit in the front bedroom on the second floor of a house situated at 22 Hogarth Road, Kensington
Type of Spiritual Experience
This is a complex shared hallucination resulting from inter composer communication between all three of them, with the sending party Mr S H B and the receiving parties as the two sisters. This cannot be described as out of body or any form of migration of the body or soul, as Mr S H B does not actually describe what happened when he got to the address only that he willed his ‘spirit’ to be there. In fact, he didn’t know what had happened. He only knew when the first sister told him.
A description of the experience
Phantasms of the Living, Vol. I, p. 104 edited by Messrs. Gurney, Myers and Podmore.
The experimenter; Mr. S. H. B., narrates his experience as follows:
"On a certain Sunday evening in November, 1881 having been reading of the great power which the human will is capable of exercising, I determined with the whole force of my being that I would be present in spirit in the front bedroom on the second floor of a house situated at 22 Hogarth Road, Kensington, in which room slept two ladies of my acquaintance, viz, Miss L. S. V. and Miss E. C. V., aged respectively 25 and 11 years.
I was living at this time at 23 Kildare Gardens, a distance of about three miles from Hogarth Road, and I had not mentioned in any way my intention of trying this experiment to either of the above ladies for the simple reason that it was only on retiring to rest upon this Sunday night that I made up my mind to do so.
The time at which I determined I would be there was one o'clock in the morning and I also had a strong intention of making my presence perceptible. On the following Thursday I went to see the ladies in question and, in the course of conversation (without any allusion to the subject on my part), the elder one told me that on the previous Sunday night she had been much terrified by perceiving me standing by her bedside and that she screamed when the apparition advanced towards her and awoke her little sister, who saw me also.
I asked her if she was awake at the time and she answered most decidedly in the affirmative and upon my inquiring the time of the occurrence she replied about one o'clock in the morning."
Miss Verity (the elder lady's) confirmation of the incident reads as follows:
Jan. 18th, 1883
"On a certain Sunday about twelve months since, at our house in Hogarth Road, Kensington, I distinctly saw Mr. B. in my room, about one o'cIock. I was perfectly awake and was much terrified. I awoke my sister by screaming, and she saw the apparition herself. Three days after, when I saw Mr. B., I told him what had happened: but it was some time before I could recover from the shock I had received and the remembrance is too vivid to be ever erased from my memory."
Miss E. C. Verity, the younger sister, also confirmed this statement, saying that like her sister she saw the apparition of Mr. B. and corroborating all particulars.
When I was editing The Occult Review I received a considerable correspondence on this subject and it appeared that quite a number of my readers were in the habit of visiting their friends in some psychical manner.