Observations placeholder

Tyrrell, G N M - Psychical Research and Religion – An undiscovered book is found by a medium describing the process of death and dying



Type of Spiritual Experience


I have had difficulty deciding who the source on this extraordinary observation is – Mrs Leonard or the dead Mr Talbot or Mrs Talbot via her sub-conscious, so I have placed it under Tyrrell as being the intermediary.  There is clearly a spirit helper involved here, but despite the nature of the information it isn’t necessarily the spirit of Mr Talbot.  But the observation covers a host of intriguing possibilities

A description of the experience

Psychical Research and Religion - G. N. M. Tyrrell

The Dark Note-book Case.

On the 17th and 19th December, 1917, a lady, Mrs. Hugh Talbot, arranged for two sittings with the medium, Mrs. Osborne Leonard. She says:

 "Mrs. Leonard at this time knew neither my name nor address, nor had I ever been to her or any other medium before in my life."

 Through the control, Feda, a very accurate description was given of the personal appearance of Mrs. Talbot's deceased husband.

"All that he said, or rather Feda for him, was clear and lucid. Incidents of the past, known only to him and to me, were spoken of: belongings, trivial in themselves, but possessing for him a particular personal interest of which I was aware, were minutely and correctly described and I was asked if I still had them. All this," says Mrs. Talbot, “was very interesting and seemed very natural. Suddenly Feda began a tiresome description of a book, she said it was leather and dark, and tried to show me its size (about 8 to 10 inches long and 4 or 5 inches wide).

Feda said: 'It is not exactly a book, it is not printed, Feda wouldn't call it a book, it had writing in.' It was long before I could connect, this description with anything at all, but at last I remembered a red leather note-book of my husband's, which I think he called a log-book: and I asked: 'It is a log-book?' Feda seemed puzzled at this and not to know what a log-book was and repeated the word once or twice, then said: 'Yes, yes, he says it might be a log-book.'

I then said: 'Is it a red book?'

On this point there was hesitation. They thought possibly it was, though he thought it was darker.

The answer was undecided, and Feda began a wearisome description all over again, adding that I was to look on page twelve, for something written (I am not sure of this word) there, that it would be so interesting after this conversation. Then she said: 'He is not sure it is page twelve, it might be thirteen, it is so long, but he does want you to look and to try to find it. It would interest him to know if this extract is there."'

Mrs. Talbot was not very enthusiastic about the book, which she remembered having looked through at one time, wondering whether it was worth keeping. There were things in it about ships and her husband's work, but she also remembered a few notes and verses. She was not sure whether she had thrown it away or whether it was stacked among some luggage, and she replied rather indefinitely that she would see if she could find it. .

This would not do for Feda, who started in about it again, saying:

"There are two books, you will know the one he means by a diagram of languages in the front-Indo-European, Aryan, Semitic languages and others."

Mrs. Talbot rather reluctantly searched for the book, and right at the back of a top bookshelf found two old note-books of her husband's, one in shabby black leather of the size that had been, indicated.

Inside she was astonished to read: "Table of Semitic or Syro-Arabian languages." And on the other side: "General table of the Aryan and Indo-European languages." On page 13 was written the following: "

" I discovered by certain whispers which it was supposed I was unable to hear and from certain glances of curiosity or commiseration which it was supposed I was unable to see that I was near death. . . . Presently my mind began to dwell not only on happiness which was to come, but upon happiness that I was actually enjoying. I saw long-forgotten forms, playmates, schoolfellows, companions of my youth and of my old age, who one and all smiled upon me. They did not smile with any compassion, that I no longer felt that I needed, but with that sort of kindness which is exchanged by people who are equally happy. I saw my mother, father and sisters, all of whom I had survived. They did not speak, yet they communicated to me their unaltered and unalterable affection. At about the time when they appeared, I made an effort to realise my bodily situation . . .'that is, I endeavoured to connect my soul with the body which lay on the bed in my house . . . The endeavour failed. I was dead. . . ."

 Corroboration from members of Mrs. Talbot's family about the incident is appended to the account. This then, was the "something written" which would be "so interesting after this conversation." And Mrs. Talbot would have been very unlikely to have found it but for the description of the note-book given by Feda.

The source of the experience

Tyrrell, G N M

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps