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Observations placeholder

Professor Alexander Erskine - A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Out of body into an unknown sphere



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Professor Alexander Erskine

This experiment, I felt, was not unattended by some risk, for though, normally, I worked with the subconscious mind in effecting control over the body, it was an entirely different proposition to send that mind into a spirit world where it might encounter I knew not what. Would the mind encounter spirits, and would they be hostile or friendly ?

Could they influence it and take the control out of my hands ? And if they did, what would be the result ?

These, and many more questions, were raised in my mind, and I was still pondering the advisability of conducting the experiment, when Mr. Mardell, of the Portuguese Legation in London, called on me.

I have already told the story of his young son, how he followed his father through London and reported accurately to me in my consulting-room precisely what his father was doing.

Mr. Mardell and I discussed the matter of spiritualism, and so interested did he become in my projected experiment that he suggested then and there that we should call round his son and use him as a subject.

I could ask for no better subject. Young Mardell was the perfect subject. He was a deep trance subject, and I knew him well.  We sent for him at once, and without telling him what I intended to do, I put him into a deep trance.

"Go” I said, "into the next scene, where the spirits are, and tell me all you see."

There was complete silence for about three minutes, and then he burst out in a terrific argument with someone, speaking so quickly that we could scarcely catch the sense of what he was saying.

Apparently he was disputing with someone who objected to his presence, for I caught one sentence.

"I have as much right here as you," he said, and then the argument continued. Naturally we could only hear the boy's voice, but there was no doubt of the trend of the discussion.

As for the boy, he worked himself up into a terrific pitch of anger. Perspiration was on his forehead. He gesticulated wildly, thumping the arm of the chair in which he was sitting, and going red and white by turns in his excitement.

At length, for his sake, I thought it advisable to call him back, but for once I had the greatest difficulty. He was so engrossed in his argument that mere suggestion was useless, and it required a direct command, sternly and repeatedly given, to bring back his attention to me.

"Come back now," I ordered.

"Wait a minute," he replied.

"Whom are you talking to?"

“A man.”

"Where are you ?"

"I don't know."

"What does it look like? "

"Nothing. What you would call the atmosphere, I suppose."

"What is that man like you are talking to ?"

"A man."

"How is he dressed ?"

"No clothes on at all."

He hesitated a moment ; then : "He has a message for you, UncIe" (a name by which he used to know me).

"He says: 'Tell the man that if he sends people into this sphere that he knows nothing about, and they realize that they are not in the body, it is quite possible that they will not return.' "

The boy stopped, and then, after a moment, he went on : "He says, ''Warn him three times.'"

Those were the last words he spoke to me in that trance.

I let him sleep for a time to recover his calm, and then woke him up.

He was none the worse for his adventure, and he remembered nothing of what had happened.

The source of the experience

Erskine, Professor Alexander

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps