Report of death by SPR
Type of Spiritual Experience
A complex example showing that disembodied souls can linger over 'unfinished business' and that grief is a powerful opener of the spiritual door
A description of the experience
From Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research volume viii
[from Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death – F W H Myers]
On February 2nd, Michael Conley, a farmer living near Ionia, Chicksaw County, was found dead in an outhouse at the Jefferson house. He was carried to Coroner Hoffman’s morgue, where after the inquest, his body was prepared for shipment to his late home. The old clothes which he wore were covered with filth from the place where he was found, and they were thrown outside the morgue on the ground.
His son came from Ionia, and took the corpse home. When he reached there and one of his daughters was told that her father was dead she fell into a swoon, in which she remained for several hours. When at last she was brought from the swoon, she said ‘Where are father’s old clothes? He has just appeared to me dressed in a white shirt, black clothes and felt slippers and told me that after leaving home he sewed a large roll of bills inside his grey shirt with a piece of my red dress, and the money is still there’. In a short time she fell into another swoon and when out of it demanded that somebody go to Dubuque and get the clothes. She was deathly sick.
The entire family considered it a hallucination, but the physician advised them to get the clothes, as it might set her mind at rest. The son telephoned Coroner Hoffman asking if the clothes were still in his possession. He looked and found them in the backyard, although he had supposed they were thrown in the vault, as he had intended. He answered that he still had them and on being told that the son would come to get them they were wrapped in a bundle.
The young man arrived last Monday afternoon, and told Coroner Hoffman what his sister had said. Mr Hoffman admitted that the lady had described the identical burial garb in which her father was clad, even to the slippers, although she never saw him after death, and none of the family had seen more than his face through the coffin lid.
Curiosity being fully aroused, they took the grey shirt from the bundle, and within the bosom found a large roll of bills sewed with a piece of red cloth. The young man said his sister had a red dress exactly like it. The stitches were large and irregular, and looked to be those of a man. The son wrapped up the garments and took them home with him yesterday morning, filled with wonder at the revelation made to his sister…..
There are few cases where the communication between the percipient and the deceased seems to have been more direct than here