Savage, Dr Minot Judson - Psychics : facts and theories – 05 A medium describes where two drowned boys are using information from their dead father
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Psychics : facts and theories – M J Savage
Of the truth of what I shall here relate, I am as certain as I am of any fact in my own personal history. I select typical specimens out of a large number. Many, and some of them of the most remarkable kind, cannot yet be told, because they are so very personal in their nature; and yet, to those who know these they are naturally the most striking of all.
The first case, which I shall now detail, is so profusely authenticated that it would be accepted as absolutely conclusive evidence, even in a matter of life and death, in any court in Christendom. I shall tell the story in my own words, but I have in my possession eight separate accounts of eio lit living- witnesses. To these accounts are attached the autograph signatures of their authors, and these are witnessed to by others who know them. With two of the principal ones I am personally acquainted, and can vouch for both their intelligence and truthfulness. I shall not give the real names, for all these people are still living, and investigators more zealous than wise might subject them to personal annoyance.
The events now to be narrated occurred in the year 1864, and in a town not forty miles from Boston. The persons chiefly concerned are these : A Mrs. C, who had been three times married ; a son, a young man, child of the first marriage (I shall speak of him by his first name, Charles) ; two sons by the second marriage, William and Joshua, aged respectively sixteen and thirteen ; and Mrs. D., the one who played the principal part, and who tells the principal story. All these, together with the other witnesses, are still living, with the exception of the two boys William and Joshua, around whose fate the story revolves.
On March 25, 1864, Mrs. C. went into Boston for the day. Her son William had been at work in a wholesale drug house in Boston, but for some time preceding this date had been engaged with a similar firm in Portland, Me., during the refitting of the Boston store, which had been burned. On this day, while his mother was absent, he came back from Portland, and was to return to his former position on the following Monday. This day, March 25, was a Friday. He reached home about two o'clock P.M. Not finding his mother, he, with his brother Joshua, started for the station, expecting to meet her as she came out on the five o'clock train. But the mother was delayed, and did not reach home till two hours later. She was met by a friend of the boys, who told her that William had got home from Portland. But when she reached the house the boys were not there. The last trace that was ever found of them alive was the fact that they had started for the station to meet their mother on the arrival of the five o'clock train.
At first the mother consoled herself by thinking that they must have met some friends, and had been detained by them. But when bedtime came and they did not return, she became very anxious, and passed a sleepless night.
At this time her husband, the stepfather to the boys, was in the army, and she had to rely on her own resources.
The next morning she and the elder son, Charles, began to make inquiries. They not only searched the town, but drove to neighboring towns, searching every place to which it seemed at all likely that they might have gone.
Recruiting camps were visited, as it was thought possible that curiosity might have led them on some such expedition. But about five P.M. (this being Saturday) they returned, and reported to the neighbors that no trace had been found. The neighbors then offered their services, and started out in various directions, as their own ideas might guide them. But all efforts proved in vain. Then they came to the mother, and asked if she had anything else to suggest. She replied that, if her husband were at home, she should have the pond searched, for she felt sure they must be somewhere where they could not get home, or they would not have stayed away so long.
But everybody thought it most unlikely that they were in the pond, and this for two reasons. In the first place, they were timid about being on the water ; and in the second place, being in March, it was too cold for them to think of any such thing as swimming or rowing. On Sunday evening, however, to satisfy the mother, and in order that nothing might be left untried, they began to search the pond, and kept on until the darkness compelled them to postpone their labors. On Monday morning early, the engine and church bells were rung, and the citizens were called together to organize a systematic search of the pond.
Grappling irons were used, and cannon were fired over all the places where it seemed possible that the bodies might be. Still no trace was discovered.
Such was the situation of affairs when, at about ten o'clock in the forenoon, Mrs. D., one of the neighbors, called on Mrs. C, the mother of the boys, to show her sympathy and ask if there was anything she could do. By this time every known resource had been exhausted.
So, as a last resort, the mother asked Mrs. D. if she would not go to Boston and consult a medium. It is important here to note that she was not a spiritualist, but was a believer in Evangelical Christianity, and had never had anything to do with spiritualism. She turned to this as a last desperate resource, because in despair of help from any other quarter.
It must also be noted that Mrs. D. had no faith in it, and had never consulted a medium in all her life. So, although she had offered her services as being willing to do anything she could, she tried to beg off from this, as being both a disagreeable and hopeless errand. But as Mrs. C. urged it so strongly, and said she wished her, and no one else, to go, she at last and most reluctantly consented.
She reached Boston at twelve o'clock noon.
Meantime, and with more efficient grappling irons, the search of the pond was continued, but with no results. On arriving in town, and not knowing which way to turn, since she was not acquainted with a single medium, she went (as some one had advised her to do) to the office of the Banner of Lights the spiritualist paper. They directed her to a place near Court Street. The medium here was engaged, and could not see her. But the man who answered the door sent her to another one in Dix Place.
This one also was engaged, and could not see her. But here they told her to go to a Mrs. Y. on Washington Street near Common Street.
By this time it was about three o'clock. A sitter was just leaving, and Mrs. Y. said she was too tired to give any more sittings that day. But when she found that her visitor was from out of town, and that the next day would be too late, she said that if she would wait long enough for her to take a little rest, she would see what she could do. Nothing was said that could give her the slightest clue. Indeed, nothing could be said, for no one had a clue, and it was a clue they all were in search of. It is important here to note another thing. Up to this time Mrs. Y., the medium, had never been in the town where the boys resided.
When the medium came again into the room, she walked directly to the fireplace and stood with her back to Mrs. D. Then, before either of them had spoken a word, by way of preliminary, she said, " They went east before they went west." The railroad station is east from the house in which they lived, and the pond is west. Then she added, " They saw the fire, and so went to the water." It was afterwards found that some men were burning
brush near the lake. So knowing it would be some time before the next train, it is supposed that, boylike, they were attracted by the fire, and went to see what was going on. The medium then went on to speak of a boathouse with a hole in its side. This was not mind reading, because Mrs. D. knew nothing of there being any boathouse or boat. She continued and described a boat, — " a narrow boat, painted black." Then she cried out, ' Oh, dear, it was never intended that more than one person should get into it at a time ! " She told how the boys went through the hole in the side of the boathouse, found the boat, got into it, and pulled out onto the water.
She said they had gone but a very little way before the younger brother fell overboard ; then the older one, in trying to save him, also fell into the water. Then she added, " The place where they are is muddy, and they could not come to the surface. Why," said she, " it is not the main lake where they are, but the shallow part which connects with the main lake, and they are so near the shore that if it were not this time of the year [March], you could almost walk in and pick them up."
She spoke of the citizens' interest in seeking for them, but said, " They will not find them ; they go too far from the shore. They [the bodies] are on the left of the boathouse, a few feet from the land."
Mrs. D. then said, " If they are in the water, they will be found before I can reach home."
The medium replied, " No, they will not be found before you get there ; you will have to go and tell them where I say they are, and then they will be found within five minutes after you reach the lake." Then she made Mrs. D. promise to go with them to the lake, and added, " They are very near together. After finding one, you will quickly find the other."
In spite of all that Mrs. Y. had said, Mrs. D. was still as incredulous as before. But she had undertaken to see it through, and so started for home. She arrived at five o'clock.
By this time it was known on what sort of errand she had gone to Boston, and a crowd of the curious and interested was at the station.
As she stepped on to the platform, a gentleman asked, "What did the medium tell you?" She replied with the question, " Haven't you found them yet ? " When they said they had not, she delivered her message. Immediately they took a carriage and started for the lake. As they came in sight of the place, Mrs. D. recognized the boathouse, with the hole in the side, as the medium had described it. The narrow boat painted black " had also been found drifting in another part of the lake. So by this time, Mrs. D. began to wonder if the rest might not be true. But no one in the crowd seemed to have any confidence in the medium's statements.
They felt that they had thoroughly searched the pond, and that the matter was settled. But they went on, and prepared to follow Mrs. D.'s directions.
She stood on the shore while two boats put off in which were men with their grappling irons. In one boat was the elder brother, or half-brother, of the missing boys. He was holding one of the grappling irons; and after only three or four strokes of the oars, he exclaimed, " I have hold of something! " The boat was stopped, and he at once brought to the surface the body of the older boy, William.
In a few minutes more, and close to the same place, the body of the other boy, Joshua, was found. The place was shallow and muddy, as the medium had said; and, held by the mud, the bodies had not risen to the surface, as otherwise they might have done. The bodies were now placed together in a carriage, and before six o'clock they were in their mother's house
At the close of the Boston interview, Mrs. D. asked the medium from what source she got her claimed information, and she said, " The boys' father told me." The boys' father was the second husband of Mrs. C, and had been " dead " for several years, while the mother was then living with her third husband.
Here, then, is the story. I have in my possession the account as given by Mrs. D., who is still living and is a personal acquaintance.
I have the account of her daughter, who well remembers it all. I have also the account of Mrs. C, the mother ; of Mr. C, the father-in- aw ; of the elder brother, Charles ; of the sister of Mrs. D. ; of the lady who was at that time postmistress of the town ; of a man who came into Boston after grappling irons with which to search the lake ; and also of two or three other persons whose names, if given, would be recognized as connected with one of the distinguished men in American history.
One other item is of sufficient interest to make it worth mentioning. The father-in-law of the boys tells that one day, after his return from the army, the medium, Mrs. Y., visited the town for the first time in her life, and came to his house. She wished to visit the place where the bodies of the boys were found.
When within a short distance of the lake, she asked him to fall back. She then became entranced ; and picking up a stone, she stood with her eyes closed and back to the water.
Then she threw the stone over her head, and landed it in the precise place from which the bodies were taken.
Mr. C, as well as his wife, was an Evangelical in his creed, and had never had anything to do with mediums.
Of the truth of these occurrences, as thus related, there can be no rational doubt. As an explanation, telepathy is excluded, for nobody living was aware of the facts. Clairvoyance seems to be excluded, for Mrs. D. did not tell the medium where she was from nor what she wanted to find out, and clairvoyance requires that the mind should be directed or sent on some definite errand to some particular place.
What, then, is left ? Will the reader decide ?