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Observations placeholder

Professor Alexander Erskine - A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Out of body reporting the movements of his father



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Professor Alexander Erskine

Quite definitely, it is possible for the subconscious mind to leave the body of a man in an hypnotic sleep and wander through space, observing what it meets, and at the same time report, through the voice of the sleeper, the experiences encountered.

It is to be noted that the things observed and reported are not in the consciousness of the hypnotist, and that they can be things of which neither the hypnotist nor the person asleep has any knowledge whatsoever. Moreover, these reports are of ordinary events on our own material earth. They do not concern the spirit world…………

One evening a youth of about sixteen - the son of a very old friend of mine - Mr. Jack Mardell, an official in the Portuguese Legation in London - came to see me, and in the course of conversation I happened to ask where his father was.

"I don't know," replied the boy, and by one of those unaccountable flashes which most of us have every now and again, I wondered what his answer would have been had he been asleep.

"Will you let me put you to sleep ?" I asked him.

He was soon off, and I asked the identical question I had put to him a few minutes previously.

He answered me at once, giving me the minutest details in reply to my questionings.

So amazed was I that I wrote down what he said, then and there, noting the time on the margin of the paper.  His father, it seemed, had gone out. For three hours I made the boy, by suggestion, follow his father through the streets of London; into various houses and out again ; asking questions at five-minute intervals, noting them down, and the exact answer given, and entering by them the exact time of the report.

Without hesitation the boy told me all I asked – where his father was ; what he was doing ; to whom he was talking, man or woman ; what houses he entered and their addresses, and a host of other details, all of which I noted.

The boy did not leave the chair in my room from the time he went to sleep till his father returned home. He did not know of his father's plans that evening when he came to my rooms. Neither the father nor the boy knew of my intention to conduct the experiment. Indeed, it was, as I have explained, only a stray thought which came into my mind, after the boy had come into my room, which had prompted it. The boy, when awakened, had no knowledge of the experiment, of the questions I had asked, or of the answers he had given.

I at once got into touch with his father, and asked him to come round to see me. I saw him privately, and he had rather a shock when, at my first question, I asked him if he had felt the invisible eye of his son following him.

He had not.

I showed him what I had written down. He was staggered. For a few moments he did not speak. Then he asked for an explanation. I gave it to him. He could not believe it. Then he admitted that his son's account of his movements, of the people he had spoken to, and of the scenes described, was accurate. Every note I had made was correct in the minutest detail.

Two promises he asked-and these I readily gave - one that I would never divulge what I had written, the other that I would "never send his son's spirit floating after him again".

"Try it with someone else," he laughed.

It is impossible to account for this phenomenon by the ordinary manifestations of telepathy. In telepathy both agents are normally conscious, and themselves will the power by which the results are produced. But in this case one subject, the boy, was in a hypnotic sleep, while the father was ignorant that the experiment was being conducted. As for me, I had asked questions, but I had done nothing else, and I knew nothing except what I was told.

The source of the experience

Erskine, Professor Alexander

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Activities and commonsteps