Professor Alexander Erskine - A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Possessed by her dead 12 year old sister
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
A Hypnotist’s Case Book – Professor Alexander Erskine
A third case is that of a London woman who was shell-shocked during an air raid.
She came to me and readily consented to go to sleep, but hardly had I begun to try to get her into a sleep state before she began to splutter and spit in an apparent attempt to speak.
I sat back in my chair, and in a few minutes she got up, and, coming to where I was sitting, stood by my chair and spoke to me in a small childish treble-not at all like her usual rather deep contralto voice.
It was obvious at once that for some reason or other she thought that she was a little child, and I humoured the suggestion.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Alice," she replied. "I went over - what you call died - when I was only twelve years old, but I've come back now."
"What have you come for ?"
"I don't know, but I'm here."
Suddenly she turned and, looking at the chair she had left a few minutes before - she was still by my side – pointed behind it and, in a terrible fright, shouted, "Oh, look !" and buried her face in her arms.
Quite naturally I-could see nothing, but I had my previous experience to help me, and, determined to get to the bottom of it, I continued to humour her.
When she had recovered a little I asked her what it was.
"Look," she said, "there's an enemy behind that chair. Do all your patients sit in that chair ? He hates you, and tries to upset your work."
"What is he, a devil ?"
"What you call a devil-yes."
"Tell him to go to hell, then," I replied with some feeling.
That seemed to break the spell, for she left my side and, walking over to the door, beckoned to me. Then, pointing to the ceiling in the far corner of the room, she said, "Do you see that light- there ? Keep in that and you will prosper in your work."
I had great difficulty in waking her, and then I asked her, "'Who is Alice ?" The question seemed to take her entirely by surprise.
Alice, it seems, was her little sister. She had died when she was twelve years old. That was the only time this patient ever mentioned her. I knew nothing of her family history when this incident occurred. Nor had my patient, when she woke up, any knowledge of what she had said or done in her sleep.
Personally, I do not think it was a hypnotic trance she was in at the time. The difficulty I found in awakening her was too great, nor had I made any hypnotic suggestion to her when she left her chair and came over to me. She was not reacting to my suggestion at all, for throughout I gave none. On the other hand, this case gives a positive illustration of antipathy on the part of something to an hypnotic influence. " . an enemy . he hates you ; he is trying to upset your work."