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Savage, Dr Minot Judson - Psychics : facts and theories – 01 Mysterious raps in the house of a non believing doctor and his wife



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Psychics : facts and theories – M J Savage

I know a regular physician living not a thousand miles from Boston. His wife, I should call a psychic, though she does not call herself so. Neither she nor her husband has ever had anything to do with spiritualism, nor are they believers.

Where they formerly lived they were continually troubled by strange and unaccountable happenings ; but though they moved to their present residence, the happenings — with one important exception — have not ceased. No attempt has been made to reproduce these happenings to order, or to find out whether there is any discoverable intelligence connected with them.

The doctor vaguely holds the opinion that they indicate some abnormal nervous condition on the part of his wife. So far the whole matter has been treated from that point of view. But what is it that happens?

Sometimes, for two hours on a stretch, the doctor and his wife are kept wide awake at night by loud rappings on the headboard of their bed. In accordance with his nervous theory, the doctor will hold his wife with one arm, while the hand of the other arm is pressed against the headboard, in the attempt thus to put an end to the disturbance. Said the doctor to me one day, " If anybody thinks these rappings are not genuine, I should like to have him go through some of my experiences."

He and his wife will be sitting by the drawing-room table of an evening. They will be conscious of a stream of cold air passing by them, — an accompaniment of psychic facts well known to investigators, — and then the " trouble " will begin. Sometimes it is only raps. At other times they will hear a noise on the floor of the room above, and will think their boy has fallen out of bed; but on going up to see, they find him quietly asleep. Sometimes there will be a loud crash in the corner of the room over the furnace register, as though a basket of crockery had been thrown down and broken. They occupy the house alone, and have no other way of explaining these unpleasant facts than the one alluded to above.

I give this case because of the undoubted occurrence of these things in the house of one who is not a believer nor even an investigator.

There is no expectancy or invitation of them, or any superstitious attitude of mind towards them. They are, in this case, plain, cold, apparent facts, as real as is breakfast or supper, or the existence of a brick in the sidewalk.

The "one important exception" referred to above is this : In the house they formerly occupied, the doctor's wife sometimes saw the figure of a woman. Others were said to have seen it also. It was never visible to the doctor.

There is the story of a tragic death which connects this woman with this particular house.

Those who believe in haunted houses would thus be able to explain why this figure is never seen in the house at present occupied by the doctor's family.

Here then are raps not to be explained as the conscious, purposed work of any visible person ; nor can they be explained as the result of the shrinking of boards, as the work of rats or mice, or in any ordinary way. Starting with facts like these, many persons have supposed themselves to get into communication with invisible intelligences who had taken these ways of attracting attention. Nothing of this sort has been even attempted here. I simply set forth the facts and the reality of the raps.

The source of the experience

Savage, Dr Minot Judson

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