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Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Jenny Saunders 01

Identifier

026359

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

Thursday, April 10, 1980, should have been another routine day for social worker Jenny Saunders. Aiming to be at her desk by nine, she got up shortly before seven-thirty, flung on a housecoat, and padded out of the bedroom in search of a cup of coffee. She didn’t get very far. Her bare feet were just about to cross the living room carpet when they paused in mid-stride; her still-sleepy eyes widened in amazement. Jenny's attention was drawn to the nearest wall where, at about head height, four or five blotches of a deep red substance were splattered directly above the baby's room of the doll's house she had treasured since childhood.

She craned forward for a closer inspection. The blotches looked exactly like blood.  Quickly, she scanned her hands and body for tell-tale cuts. No, she wasn't bleeding. Her next thought was that she had somehow spilled some tomato ketchup the night before. But this idea, too, was dismissed because she remembered she hadn't been near the ketchup bottle. Besides, the stains looked more like blood than ketchup. It was all very disconcerting.

When Jenny finally made her cup of coffee, she was hardly aware of what she was doing. Sipping absent-mindedly, she puzzled in vain.

The day at work was a busy one. There were always heavy demands on Jenny's time and expertise as she researched case studies for an agency dedicated to the welfare of mentally retarded children. For as long as she could remember, Jenny, twenty-eight, had wanted to work with the mentally handicapped. She didn't mind the long hours and modest salary because she was in love with her job, applying her considerable energies with a selflessness her colleagues found almost daunting. On this particular day, as on many others, the case studies kept Jenny at her desk until well past seven o'clock in the evening. So it was hardly surprising that, long before returning home, she had quite forgotten about the marks on her wall. Only after she turned the key in the front door of her apartment, flicked on the light, and entered the living-room was she forcibly reminded of what had been left behind.

Jenny quailed at the sight of fresh 'blood' on the wall over the doll's house. New splashes had appeared close to where the marks seen that morning had dried in ragged drips. She hesitated momentarily before walking over to examine the coagulation, stretching out an inquiring finger to encounter the consistency, as well as the appearance, of blood. The stains were somehow materializing on the surface of the white-painted wall; they weren't seeping through from the other side.

Over the next few days more spots and splatters appeared. On separate occasions three of Jenny's close friends verified the bizarre phenomenon. These friends entered the apartment, witnessed the marks, left with Jenny for an hour or more, and returned to find that fresh stains had appeared during their absence. Said one witness, Michelle Ouellette, 'l thought that, maybe, Jenny was somehow creating this stuff while sleepwalking. But that explanation was rejected when we got back to her apartment to find new markings that simply weren't there before we left to see a movie. I could hardly believe my eyes!'

Although this extraordinary situation left Jenny feeling more apprehensive than alarmed, she could no longer work without a nagging preoccupation with the gory goings-on at home. Curiously, she had no desire to wipe away the marks which dominated her thoughts. They covered more and more of the wall and even spread to the side of the television set.

Not that she was enjoying this expanding abstract mural. She continually fretted over why this was happening and what she could do about it. But indecision claimed her until she awoke one morning to find that a bloody trickle had appeared on the peaked roof of the doll's house. That was the day Jenny telephoned her parents for advice.

The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Commonsteps

References