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Ralph Shirley - The Mystery of the Human Double – A curious case of apparently suspended animation



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Mystery of the Human Double – Ralph Shirley

A curious case of apparently suspended animation was recorded in the Press some thirty-two years ago.

In this case the boy, Wallis Allsop, of Nottingham, did not finally recover, but there are singular circumstances in connection with his death which make the incident of unusual interest. When the undertaker was about to screw down the coffin he thought he detected signs of life.

In the upshot three doctors were called in, and a decision was arrived at to post-pone the funeral.

At that time the child's ears and lips, which previously had been of a deathly pallor, were rosy pink.

Two persons in the house declared that while the boy was in his coffin they heard his familiar laugh on two separate occasions. It is to be noted that the coffin was laid in a cold room for four days, and the doctors suspected a case of suspended animation.

The boy had evidently a psychic propensity, as he had informed his parents at the preceding Christmas that by next Christmas he would be in heaven, and he had been saving coppers to buy a cross for his grave. When his uncle took him a bunch of daffodils during his last illness, he remarked:

"How nice! They will do to put on my coffin"

The body was kept till mortification had begun to set in, but it would seem that life was not actually extinct at the time the child was put into the coffin.

The source of the experience

Shirley, Ralph

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps