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.

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