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The Ash-tree
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Apparitions At Or After Death






It has been said by a very eminent literary man that the accounts of the
appearance of people at or shortly after the moment of death make very
dull reading as a general rule. This may be; they are certainly not so
lengthy, or full of detail, as the accounts of haunted houses--nor could
such be expected. In our humble opinion, however, they are full of
interest, and open up problems of telepathy and thought-transference to
which the solutions may not be found for years to come. That people have
seen the image of a friend or relative at the moment of dissolution,
sometimes in the ordinary garb of life, sometimes with symbolical
accompaniments, or that they have been made acquainted in some abnormal
manner with the fact that such a one has passed away, seems to be
demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt. But we would hasten to add that
such appearances are not a proof of existence after death, nor can they
be regarded in the light of special interventions of a merciful
Providence. Were they either they would surely occur far oftener. The
question is, Why do they occur at all? As it is, the majority of them
seem to happen for no particular reason, and are often seen by persons
who have little or no connection with the deceased, not by their nearest
and dearest, as one might expect. It is supposed they are _veridical_
hallucinations, _i.e._ ones which correspond with objective events at a
distance, and are caused by a telepathic impact conveyed from the mind of
an absent agent to the mind of the percipient.

From their nature they fall under different heads. The majority of them
occur at what may most conveniently be described as the time of death,
though how closely they approximate in reality to the instant of the
Great Change it is impossible to say. So we have divided this chapter
into three groups:

(1) Appearances at the time of death (as explained above).

(2) Appearances clearly _after_ the time of death.

(3) In this third group we hope to give three curious tales of
appearances some time _before_ death.





Next: Group I

Previous: Haunted Places



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