THE PARANORMAL PHENOMENA EXPERIENCED BY FRANZ HARTMANN





The writer Franz Hartmann throughout his research in esotericism was witness to numerous paranormal phenomena.

During his foray into spiritualism, he saw objects, flowers, algae and numerous spirits of all types materialize: men, women, children, of different races and of different sizes, and what he said about it I have put here.

And later when Franz Hartmann spent 16 months residing in India at the Central Headquarters of the Theosophical Society in Adyar, he saw materialize letters falling from the air or appearing in drawers that were locked, and he also saw materialized a ribbon of silk in front of his eyes, and had an encounter with Master Morya who was accompanied by two of his disciples.

And what Hartmann said about it, I have put in those four articles:



And Franz Hartmann also had in Adyar several meetings with a black magician (link). [later I will put it]

And throughout his life he experienced several telepathic phenomena (link).

And he also witnessed and performed several "miraculous" cures (link).


And below, there are three phenomena more that he recounted in an article:


« 1) In 1882, while at Georgetown, Colorado, I was well acquainted with a certain Mrs. N. D. Miller, of Denver, one of the most remarkable mediums for spiritistic phenomena, of whose extraordinary faculties for producing visible and tangible “materializations” I shall have occasion to speak further on. One day I went to Denver to visit her. It was a stormy day and we had a sitting together.

Mrs. Miller held a slate, upon which a bit of a pencil was deposited, under the comer of the table, and within a minute I received a written message, supposed to be from my father and signed with his name, in which my father told me that he had something very important to communicate; but that he could not do so on this occasion, as the conditions were unfavorable, on account of the weather. He therefore requested me to call again the next day.

This I did, and almost at once I received upon the slate another communication in the same to me well-known handwriting of my father, saying:

-      “My dear son!  I find that you are not as well as you imagine. You ought to take good care of yourself, as otherwise you will soon join us in the spiritland.”

He then gave me a prescription in Latin, which proved to be one for making black writing ink from extract of logwood with sulphate of iron, and of this I was directed to take one tablespoonful every two hours.

The phenomenon was undoubtedly genuine, but I was not much edified at such nonsense and Mrs. Miller suggested that it might have been produced by some jocular spirit.

I took leave and as I went away I followed again the direction from which I had come, when, by turning the next corner, I found the riddle solved; for there was a big show-window of a stationery shop, in which, besides some other articles, there stood a lot of bottles containing black writing ink.

It was now clear to me, that on coming, when I passed that window, the sight of these ink bottles made an impression upon my mind, although I had paid no attention and had not even noticed them.

During my youth I had often amused myself by making chemical experiments and among other things preparing black ink. The prescription for it was therefore well known to me and although I did not think of it, it existed within my subconscious mind, or perhaps within my aura, and by the mysterious action of mental powers it became impressed upon the subconscious mind of the medium, which by some means unknown to me caused the handwriting upon the slate.

Unsatisfactory and imperfect as this explanation may be, it seems to me far more reasonable than any of those theories of "trickery” or “imposture” which are frequently called to aid by ignorant sceptics, and which seem to me idiotic and usually far more incredible than the presumed action of unknown forces within the subconscious mind.

Mediums and such sensitive persons may be compared to living mirrors, in which the thoughts of other persons, or even thought-currents and ideas existing in the astral light, may be reflected and produce suggestions, which will be carried out by the unconscious action of the will of the medium, as it takes place during dreams; for life on the astral plane seems to be even more of a dreamlife than ours.



2) In the year 1886, after my return from India, I made, accidentally, the acquaintance of the wife of a German laborer. This woman was without any better education that than of her class, but in possession of extraordinary occult powers.

She could cure diseases at a distance, could heal wounds, ulcers, and sores, and could stop bleeding without seeing the patient, merely by “sympathetic” remedies, for instance by putting a blood-stained rag, coming from the patient, into a pot which contained sulphate of iron, after which the bleeding would cease.

This woman had never heard of what is called “psychometry,” so I concluded to try an experiment. I gave her a letter which I had received in a mysterious manner in India. It was a so-called “occult” letter, supposed to come from a Mahatma in Tibet, and was received through H. P. Blavatsky.

I asked the woman to hold the letter to her forehead and tell me what she saw. She did so and gave me a description of a Buddhist temple with a gilded roof, inscriptions, etc., and also of people whose dress she described. All this was afterwards published in the Theo sophist and verified by Blavatsky.

The event seemed very inexplicable to me, especially as I at that time had some cause to doubt the genuineness of at least some of the “occult letters” received by me at Adyar. I remembered afterwards, that, some months before, I had seen myself during a “dream” in a Buddhist temple in Tibet, and this vision was so vivid, that on the moment of awakening I still seemed to hear the voices of the white-robed persons with whom I had spoken in that place.

Now my explanation is that the objects which I saw during that dream, vision, astral visit, or whatever it may be called, had impressed their images upon my mind and become impressed upon the mind of that woman, although I was not thinking of them.

(This time Franz Hartmann was wrong because it is most likely that he has gone with his astral body to this mysterious place where the Masters have that temple, because other members of the Theosophical Society also claimed to have had similar experiences as is the case of C. Ramiah, see link.)



3) The following occurrence may have had a similar origin:

One night before falling asleep I saw a series of figures or letters before my eyes. They were very luminous and written upon the wall, as with some fiery substance. They were so plainly visible and stayed so long that I was able to copy them as they appeared one after another.

They were as follows:


I could not read these figures, but supposing them to be letters of some language unknown to me, I sent the writing to a professor of Oriental languages at Vienna and to a well-known German Egyptologist, Professor Lambert. Both of these persons expressed themselves unable to say what the characters meant.

Perhaps a year afterwards, I had occasion to see some Tibetan writing and I was struck by its similarity to these letters. I therefore made two copies of them and sent them to two Tibetan scholars in India, one of whom was Mr. Dhammapala.

In due time I received answers from both of these gentlemen, saying that it was Tibetan writing and that its translation was:

“You are the witnesses of this work.”

I should be glad, if some reader who knows Tibetan would verify it and send me the Tibetan text. Whether or not any foreign intelligence had anything to do with the production of this phenomenon, I am unable to say. »

(Occult Review, May 1907, p.280-281)






WHAT IS TRUE CHRISTIANITY? By Franz Hartmann





Christianity is a religion, but the word “religion” has evidently three distinct meanings:


1. In the first place it signifies the practice of a certain kind of spiritual training, by which the higher principles in the constitution of man are developed and reunited (bound back) to the divine source to which they belong. In this sense it is the same as yogism (from yog, to bind).

2. In the second aspect it implies the knowledge of the true relation existing between microcosmic man as a part of the All and the macrocosm of the spiritual and material universe. In this sense it is a science.

3. In the third and common acceptation of the term, “religion” means a certain system of forms, ceremonies and usages, by which some supposed eternal deity is worshipped or propitiated and his favor obtained, so that the sinner may escape the deserved punishment and evade the law. In this sense it is a superstition.



To become a “Christian” of the third order, it is merely necessary to submit to a certain ceremony called baptism, whose mode of administration varies in the different sects; but it seems that to become a real Christian some other baptism is necessary, namely, the baptism of the water of Truth, the baptism of Blood, and the baptism of the living Fire of the Spirit.

The first baptism, with the water of Truth, means the attainment of spiritual knowledge, and corresponds to the first of the four noble truths taught by Buddha: “right doctrine.”

The second, or the baptism of blood, is commonly supposed to mean a shedding of blood by martyrdom, in the defense of a belief in a historical Christ. But such a process would be a loss of blood and not a reception of it, and could not properly be called a “baptism.” The best way to obtain information in regard to this “baptism of blood,” will be to ask those who have received it or who are receiving it at present.

There is a certain class of “practical occultists,” whose inner senses are opened to a great extent, and who have been taught by no one but the spirit within themselves and their own experience. They say that the “baptism of blood” means a penetration of the growing spiritual germ in man, through the flesh and blood and 'bones of the physical body, by which even the gross elements of the physical form are attenuated and purified,(1) and that this process produces pains and sufferings, typically represented by the suffering, crucifixion and death of the man Jesus of Nazareth.

They say that no one can be a true follower of Christ, or a “real Christian,” who has not undergone this baptism of blood, and experienced the pains of crucifixion,(2) but that man having passed through that occult process becomes an Adept, when only the highest baptism (or the last initiation) —the baptism of Fire— will be necessary to enter the highest attainable state (Spiritual Power), and to become a Son of Light.


But, it is asked, what has Jesus of Nazareth to do with that process?

How does the latter come to be typified by his suffering, and what is the rationale of it?


It is claimed that at the beginning of certain historical periods, when old religious truths are about to be forgotten, and the idolatry of form assumes the place of true religion, some great spirit (planetary) appears upon the Earth, incarnated into a human form, and by his word and example impresses the old truths forcibly upon a number of receptive minds, to communicate them to others, and thus lay the foundation of a new religious system, embodying old truths in a new form.

It is believed that the man Jesus of Nazareth was the mortal form in which such a Spirit was embodied; the latter being no le.-s than what I believe every planetary spirit to be — an emanation of the Universal Logos or the Word. (John i, 1) (3)


But what is the Logos?

Or, to express it better, how can we form a conception of it?


We can conceive of no other God (or Supreme Good) but the one which lives within ourselves, and which is said to be the image of the Universal God reflected in the purified human soul, where it (He) may attain self-consciousness and the knowledge of self.

The Universal God may be described as the incomprehensible centre from which proceed the elements of Love, Life and Light in the various modes of manifestation on the different planes. The whole of Nature is a product of the Spirit of God, being poured out throughout the All by the power of The Word, which is the Life — or thought rendered active by will.

The same process which took place in the eternal Macrocosm of the Universe, takes place in the inner world belonging to the microcosm of man.

No one can come to the Father, but through the Son.

That is to say: No God will take his seat in the interior temple of Man, except through the power of the Word — in other words; by the concentration of thought and good will upon the divine germ which rests in the innermost centre of every human being. If we concentrate our Love upon that centre of Good, the divine germ will begin its active Life, and the interior world will gradually become illuminated by the Light of the spirit.

As this principle grows, it will penetrate the soul and through the soul all the lower principles, even the physical body, throwing off the impurities of soul and body, and the more such impurities are present, the greater will be the suffering, typically represented by Jesus, until finally the baptism of blood is completed, the soul purified, the animal ego controlled and the man has become a “Christ’’ or an Adept, — that is to say one in whom the (6th) Christ principle has taken form.


It will readily be seen that this process is much more difficult to accomplish, than merely to go to church, pay the dues to the priests, attend to prayer-meetings and perform the prescribed ceremonies.

To accomplish this process requires a constant meditation of the highest kind, and a continual employment of will power to keep away the disturbing elements of evil, which in a person who strives for light are still more boisterous than in one who is indifferent, for as soon as the spiritual light kindled in the centre begins to radiate its life-giving rays throughout our interior world, the “dwellers of the threshold” — the evil egos, created by evil thoughts and selfish desires, floating at the periphery of the soul-sphere like clouds sailing through the atmosphere of our earth, begin to feel the destroying influence of the central sun and battle for their existence.

Still this atmosphere of evil must be penetrated before we can reach the luminous centre and the tranquil heaven within, and this is done by clinging to the principle of Good and virtue whose rays radiate from the centre. This principle will at first only be felt intuitionally but as we feed it with good thoughts, it grows and the interior spiritual senses become opened, so that we may see and hear its voice distinctly and without any fear of misunderstanding its meaning.

The “below” is always in exact correspondence to and related with the “above.” We are immersed in an all surrounding but invisible ocean of life, whose waves pervade our psychic organization, in the same sense as volumes of air enter our lungs, and as the latter stimulates the life of the body, likewise the former stimulates the growth of the elements of the spirit; which draw their substance from the lower animal principles. In the same way the caloric rays of the sun enter the bodies of plants and stimulate the assimilation of the elements which are drawn from earth, water and air.

Those who have gone through that occult process, will require no proof of the truth of these assertions: because they know it to be true by experience; but the “exoteric Christian” and sceptic, having no such experience to assist his faith, may arrive at a certain degree of conviction by using his reasoning powers and logic in conjunction with the teachings of the Bible.


Christ is reported in the New Testament to have said:

-      “Except Ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, ye have no life in You.” (John vi, 53)

And again:

-      “I am the living bread, which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever” (John vi, 51)


Now this seems plain enough to every student of occultism, and if translated into the scientific language of modern occultists, it would mean:

« Unless you absorb and assimilate within your psychic organization the sixth principle (The Christ), which is the only permanent and immortal principle in the constitution of Man, you will have no sixth principle developed within you, and consequently possess no immortal life — at least as far as Your personality is concerned (for the divine and now unconscious germ within you cannot die, but will reincarnate again).

But if you absorb the principle or spiritual life and develop the spirit within you, so that it grows through your flesh and blood, then will you have drunk from the Elixir of Life and received the Baptism of Blood and become a Christian (an Adept); for "Christ" will have taken form in your body, and being himself immortal you will be immortal through him. »


These views are corroborated by the great Christian mystic Jacob Boehme, by Jane Leade, Paracelsus, the Rosicrucians, and I can find nothing in them which would in any way conflict with the Esoteric Doctrine, as taught by the Eastern Adepts. If any difference in opinion could arise, it could be only, in regard to the person of Jesus o f Nazareth or Jehoshua, and whether he lived exactly at the time claimed by modern Christians.

This question I must leave to some one wiser than myself to settle; but it seems of no great importance to me; for the existence of the Christ-principle is disputed by none, and the man, Jesus —having died— can only be a Savior to us at present, if we study his character and imitate his example.




Notes

  1. Compare the article “The Elixir of Life” in The Theosophist.
  2. This has nothing whatever to do with so-called “stigmatization”, the latter being merely the result of u string imagination upon a weak body.
  3. That which was from the beginning,” etc.


(Path, March 1887, p.355-359; reprinted in Theosophical Siftings, 1888, v.1, p.12)






PHANTOM ANIMALS by Ralph Shirley




An article appearing in the April issue of the National Review from the pen of Capt. Humphries, once more draws attention to the subject of the apparition in visible form of deceased animals. Capt. Humphries has various stories to relate which have come within his own personal knowledge, and they are stories in several instances which can be paralleled by the records already given in earlier numbers of the Occult Review. Take, for instance, the following story of the apparition to a child of its pet cat:

« The following authenticated case (says Capt. Humphries) happened in the Midland counties of England at a house where the writer was frequently present, and from personal observation can confirm every detail, and which can also be vouched for by the mother and father of the boy.

The boy was four years old, and spent much of his time in the company of a large white cat who shared his joys and pleasures. The cat died, but its death was carefully guarded from the child, when some weeks after the boy asked why it was that his old cat only came to see him at night, and that immediately after going to bed. Upon being questioned, he said “It looks much the same, only thinner. I expect, as he goes away all the day time, he has not been properly fed.” »

This, says the writer, went on at intervals for about four months.


A close parallel to the above story will be found in the issue of the Occult Review for July 1905, the narrator being the late Mrs. Nora Chesson, and the experience her own. I make no apology for reproducing it here in full. She wrote:

« Perhaps the next time that the Other World touched me, being older I was more ready to be touched, for your ordinary school-girl is a healthy happy animal, pagan to the tips of her fingers, selfish to the last cell of her brain.

I had rolled my hair up to the crown of my head, and my skirts were on visiting terms with my ankles, when the home circle was suddenly narrowed by the loss of a pet cat, a little loving creature who did not need the gift of speech, her eloquent emerald eyes were such homes of thought, the touches of her caressing head and pleading paw so naturally tender and persuasive.

Sickness of some kind had kept me to my room for a week, and I had wondered why my cat Minnie had not courted my company as usual, but accounted for her sudden indifference by a possible reflux of motherly devotion to her kittens, now about six weeks old.

The first morning of my convalescence the bedroom door, which stood ajar, opened a little further and Minnie came in. She rubbed her pretty tortoise-shell tabby coat against me in affectionate greeting; she clasped my hand with ecstatic paws in a pretty fondling gesture that was all her own; she licked my fingers, and I felt her white throat throbbing with her loud purring, and then she turned and trotted away.

"Minnie has been to see me at last," said I to the maid who brought in my lunch. "I wonder why she kept away from me so long!”

“Minnie has been dead and buried these two days, and her kitten’s fretting itself to skin and bone for her,” said Louisa looking scared. “Your mamma would not tell you while you weren’t well. Miss, for she knew you’d take on, being that fond of the little cat.”

Minnie was undoubtedly dead and buried, and a stone from our garden rockery was piled upon her place of burial, yet as undoubtedly Minnie came to welcome my return to health. Is this explicable? I know that it is true»


Other records of cat apparitions have appeared from time to time in these pages, one well-authenticated one hailing from Blackheath. Although, however, the cat has a reputation of being a specially psychic animal, the stories of posthumous appearances from the animal world are by no means confined to the feline tribe. Dogs, in fact, figure more largely than cats, both in ancient and modem ghost lore. William of Deloraine, it may be remembered, in The Lay of the Last Minstrel, after the apparition of Michael Scott at Branksome Hall, is described as having been found

. . . speechless, ghastly, wan.
Like him of whom the story ran.
Who spoke the spectre hound in Man.

This reference is to the apparition of a black spaniel (the Mauthe Doeg—pronounced Moddy Doo) who used to appear in the soldiers' guard-room at Peel town in the Isle of Man, and remained unmolesting and unmolested, a recognized visitor for some time, until on one occasion a drunken soldier pursued him out of the door, vowing that he would discover whether he were dog or devil.

What happened at the encounter history does not relate, as the soldier after his return was never able to speak again, and died in agony at the expiration of the third day—so runs the story.


A double instance of a canine ghost is cited by Capt. Humphries from Ireland:

« A woman (he says) living in Co. Roscommon constantly saw the footmarks of, as she described it, “a good sized dog” in one of the rooms of her house.  She never saw the animal itself in either material or spirit form, but her mother did, who said it was brown in colour with two white paws; it walked to a chair near the open fireplace, looked round, smelling the ground, walked slightly lame with one hind leg, and then passed out of the room by a side window in the large old-fashioned bay.

The occupants of the house had only been there some two years: the apparition was not seen for the first six months, but this may be accounted for by the fact that it was summer time and the family who lived in the old mansion for generations were never there in the Summer. Upon mentioning the apparition to an old female inhabitant of the neighbouring village, she said that the late Sir A had a dog of that colour and markings as described, which was accidentally shot, and limped ever afterwards.

The animal was devoted to his master, who sat much in a chair near to the hearth referred to. The present owners did not possess a dog. At the Same place a black dog was frequently seen in the avenue close to a tree beside the main drive, and the horses in the carriage nearly always shied, particularly about dusk, and on more than one occasion refused to pass the spot»


Perhaps the most dramatic story on record of a phantom dog is that which is told in Mrs. Catherine Crowe’s Ghosts and Family Legends, and was reprinted in the Occult Review of May 1908 under the title of “The Dutch General's Story.” This was the record of a phantom dog, Mungo by name, a large Newfoundland, black with a white streak on its side, which had been the pet dog in a Dutch regiment, and after death made it its business to wake up any sentinels asleep at their posts.

A sceptical major in the army made up his mind to have a shot at the dog if he ever got a chance of doing so. Eventually he availed himself of a favourable opportunity, with the result that his son, whom the dog was about to warn by a friendly bark, was found sleeping at his post and in consequence tried by court-martial and condemned to be shot.

This story is sufficiently thrilling and gruesome, but a greater tax on our credulity is demanded by one reproduced for the benefit of the public interested in the occult by Mr. Andrew Lang in his book entitled Dreams and Ghosts (Publishers, Longmans).

In this case the interest is heightened by the fact that there were very numerous witnesses to the occurrences, and the original record is in the handwriting of Bishop Rattray, who had full knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Perhaps the Bishop found it more easy to be convinced from the fact that he had so frequently read in church the evidence appertaining to the conversational powers of Balaam's ass. In any case the remarkable point of this story is that it is an account of an animal that, like its predecessor in Israelitish history, carried on a conversation in intelligible form with a human being.

I do not ask my readers to accept the bona fides of this story, but I follow in the footsteps of Mr. Andrew Lang in citing a record, the amazing character of which can almost be overlooked, owing to the apparent air of bona fides of the narrator, and the circumstantiality of the narrative.

« I have sent you (says the Bishop, addressing his correspondent) an account of an apparition as remarkable, perhaps, as anything you ever heard of, and which, considering all its circumstances, leaves, I think, no ground of doubt to any man of common sense.

The person to whom it appeared is one William Soutar, a tenant of Balgowan’s, who lives in Middle Mause, within about half a mile from this place on the other side of the river, and in view from our windows of Craighall House. He is about 37 years of age, as he says, and has a wife and bairns.

The following is an account from his own mouth; and because there are some circumstances fit to be taken in as you go along, I have given them with reference at the end, that I may not interrupt the sense of the account, or add anything to it.  Therefore, it begins:

“In the month of December in the year 1728, about sky-setting, I and my servant, with several others living in the town (farmsteading) heard a screeching (screeching, crying) and I followed the noise, with my servant, a little way from the town.  We both thought we saw what had the appearance to be a fox, and hounded the dogs at it, but they would not pursue it." »


William Soutar goes on to state that he met the animal again at intervals on various occasions.  The fourth of these was on the second Monday of December 1730, and on this occasion he states that it was in the same place as he had previously seen it, just about sun-setting.

After it had passed him on this occasion, as it was going out of sight, he declares it spoke with a low voice, “so that I distinctly heard it say these words: Within eight or ten days do or die“ and he continues, “Thereupon it disappeared.”

« On the Saturday after, as I was at my own sheep cots putting in my sheep, it appeared to me again just after daylight, betwixt day and skylight, and upon saying these words:

“Come to the Spot of ground within half an hour,” it just disappeared.

Whereupon I came home to my own house, and took up a staff and also a sword off the head of the bed, and went straight to the place where it used formerly to appear to me; and after I had been there some minutes and had drawn a circle about me with my staff, it appeared to me.

And I spoke to it saying, “In the name of God and Jesus Christ, what are you that troubles me?”

And it answered me, “I am David Soutar, George Soutar’s brother. I killed a man more than five and thirty years ago, when you was new born, at a bush be-east the road as you go into the isle.”

And as I was going away I stood again and said, “David Soutar was a man, and you appear like a dog.”

Whereupon it spoke to me again, saying, “I killed him with a dog, and therefore I am made to speak out of the mouth of a dog, and tell you you must go and bury these bones.”

Upon this I went straight to my brother to his house, and told him what had happened to me. My brother having told the minister of Blair, he and I came to the minister on the Monday thereafter, as he was examining in a neighbour’s house in the same town where I lived.

And the minister, with my brother and me and two or three more, went to the place where the apparition said the bones were buried, when Rychalzie met us accidentally; and the minister told Rychalzie the story in the presence of all that were there assembled, and desired the liberty from him to break up the ground to search for the bones.

Rychalzie made some scruples to allow us to break up the ground, but said he would go along with us to Glasclune; and if he were advised he would allow search to be made.

Accordingly he went straight along with my brother and me and James Chalmers, a neighbour who lives in the hill town of Mause, to Glasclune, and told Glasclune the story as above narrated; and he advised Rychalzie to allow the search to be made, whereupon he gave his consent to it.

The day after, being Friday, we convened about thirty or forty men and went to the isle, and broke up the ground in many places, searching for the bones, but we found nothing.

On Wednesday, December 23, about 12 o'clock, when I was in my bed, I heard a voice but saw nothing; the voice said, “Come away.”

Upon this I arose out of my bed, cast on my coat and went to the door, but did not see it. And I said, “In the name of God what do you demand of me now?”

It answered, “Go, take up these bones.”

I said, “How shall I get these bones?”

It answered again, “At the side of a withered bush, and there are but seven or eight of them remaining.”

I asked, “Was there any more guilty of that action but you?”

It answered, “No.”

I asked again, “What is the reason you trouble me?”

It answered, “Because you are the youngest.”

Then I said to it, “Depart from me, and give me a sign that I may know the particular spot, and give me time.”

On the morrow, being Thursday, I went alone to the isle to see if I could find any sign, and immediately I saw both the bush, which was a small bush, the greatest stick in it being about the thickness of a staff, and it was withered about half way down; and also the sign, which was about a foot from the bush.

The sign was an exact cross, thus X; each of the two lines was about a foot and a half in length and near three inches broad, and more than an inch deeper than the rest of the ground, as if it had been pressed down, for the ground was not cut. On the morrow, being Friday, I went and told my brother of the voice that had spoken to me, and that I had gone and seen the bush that it had directed me to and the above mentioned sign at it.

The next day, being Saturday, my brother and I went, together with seven or eight men with us, to the isle. About sunrising we all saw the bush and the sign at it; and upon breaking up the ground just at the bush, we found the bones, viz., the chaft-teeth (jaw teeth, molars) in it, one of the thigh bones, one of the shoulder blades, and a small bone which we supposed to be a collar bone, which was mare consumed than any of the rest, and two other small bones, which we thought to be bones of the sword arm. By the time we had digged up these bones, there convened about forty men who also saw them. The minister and Rychalzie came to the place and saw them»


To make a long story short, the bones were collected together and duly buried, and William Soutar relates that there were nearly a hundred persons at the burial, and it was a little after sunset that they were buried. The Bishop appends his comment at the end of this narrative, saying that he had written it down as stated by William Soutar in the presence of Robert Graham, brother to the laird of Balgowan, and "of my two sons, James and John Rattray at Craighall.”

Apparently the tradition is that the man was murdered for his money, and that he was a Highland drover on his return journey from the South; that he arrived late at night at the Mains of Mause, that he spent the night here, but left early the next morning accompanied by David Soutar with his dog, who offered to show him the road, but that with the assistance of the dog he murdered the drover and took his money at the place mentioned. Evidently the William Soutar to whom the phantom dog appeared was a member of the same family as the murderer.



It is curious how often apparitions of animals are associated with deaths of human beings. A lady of my acquaintance narrates how at her grandfather’s death a black dog appeared in the house and on her father (his son's) attempting to pat it, it snapped at the boy and disappeared, and in spite of every attempt to discover it, and the fact that all doors were shut, no trace of it could afterwards be met with. The appearance of the dog synchronized with the time of the grandfather’s death, who, it may be added, had lived a wild and reckless life and enjoyed a very evil reputation.

A number of stories of this character are narrated in a book just brought out by the publishers of the Occult Review, entitled Stranger than Fiction. One of these is as follows:

« A few years ago, a certain Mrs. Hudson went to live near the small town in South Wales. One day, not long after her arrival, she and a friend went for a walk along the high road near the town. On their way they had to pass a quarry, which was reached by a gate and path leading off the road. Just after the two ladies had passed this gate Mrs. Hudson heard a sound of loud panting behind her. She stopped, and looking back, saw a large black dog come running out of the quarry down the path towards the gate.

Whereupon she said, “I wonder whose dog that is, and why it was in the quarry.”

"What dog?” asked the friend, looking in the same direction, “I don’t see any dog.”

"But there is a dog,” said Mrs. Hudson impatiently, “can’t you see it standing there looking at us?”

However, the friend could see nothing, so Mrs. Hudson somewhat impatiently tinned and walked on, feeling convinced the dog was there, and marveling that her friend neither saw it nor heard its panting breaths.

Soon after this, happening to meet her brother-in-law, who was an old resident in the neighborhood, she asked him who was the owner of a particularly large black dog, describing where she had seen it. The brother-in-law, listening with a rather queer expression, answered:

”So you have seen that dog! Then, according to tradition, either you or your friend will die before six months are past. That was a ghost-dog you saw; it has appeared to several other people before now, and always forebodes death.”

Mrs. Hudson did not pay much attention to what she considered a very superstitious explanation of a trivial occurrence, feeling perfectly certain that what she had seen was a real animal. But it was an explanation she recalled with a feeling of horror, when within six months of the date of that walk, her friend most unexpectedly died.

The curious point in this experience is, of course, that the phantom dog was visible to only one of the two friends, and that not the one for whom the warning was intended»


Some of these stories of phantom dogs are very suggestive of the ancient theory of metempsychosis, and in some of them the animal in the records given is observed on looking up to possess the features of the human face.

One or two of Capt. Humphries’ records have reference to a more uncommon type of spectral visitant, the phantom horse.

One of these stories comes from India. “A lady,” says the writer, “well known to myself, was present on this occasion together with her sister.” These two, with their uncle and aunt, the former a high Government official, were travelling on duty in India with a number of retainers.  For several nights they had to sleep in tents. Halting one evening near a ruined temple with various small chapels adjoining it, it was decided to make these the sleeping apartments, the servants retiring some distance away under canvas. The natives took a strong objection to this proceeding, as they regarded the precincts of the temple as haunted, but their warnings were disregarded.

« When darkness commenced to fall three dogs that were with the party fled to a hill near and refused to return, where they stayed the night. Very shortly after “lights were out” one of the nieces felt a strange suffocating sensation as if a net was being drawn over her face; the sister also felt the same, which extended to the others.  Then the tramp, tramp of horses’ hoofs could be distinctly heard round the centre part and the ground being pawed as if by a horse's hoofs.

The general got up, thinking some stray horse must have wandered in, and taking a light went to drive it out, but there was nothing to be seen. His wife also heard it, and one of the girls offered to come out and help her uncle. This was repeated several times. The female element were now so wide awake that further sleep seemed impossible, and it was decided to sit up till dawn in one of the small] chapels. In the morning the hoof marks round and round the tomb could be plainly seen, also where the scratching had taken place.

Upon questioning the natives they expressed no surprise, and knew what had taken place. Their story was that a black horse was seen each night to enter the temple. The tomb was over the remains of a well-known local native, who was buried there long after the place had become a ruin. He was much attached to the animal, and had ordered that immediately after his own death the horse should be killed and buried upon a hill near within sight of his own resting place.ww


Another horse record has reference to a chestnut mare which died after a protracted illness, leaving behind a colt about five months old. The occurrence took place at the author’s own home, and has therefore every claim to serious consideration on the ground of authenticity.

« An old retainer of the family who at long intervals used to visit the scenes of his earlier labours, and who had not heard of the mare’s death, said to the writer one day when round the stables, “The mare,” calling her by her name, “is not dead yet?”

On being told that she was dead and buried he expressed profound surprise and would not believe it.

-      “Why,” he said, “I saw her not ten minutes ago go into her old box to her colt, and heard the latter neigh.”

This accounted for much before and afterwards. The colt was often heard to give the sound of welcome when apparently alone, and would be subjected to intense fits of depression. We used to remark how it never seemed to forget its mother. The colt was removed to another box, and the old one was painted, etc., but a favourite hunter of the writer's refused to enter the box for a long time afterwards.ww



Very curious are the stories narrated in connexion with phantom hounds and phantom foxes. The tradition of Doneraile Park and the apparition of old Lord Doneraile with his pack of hounds in full cry has already been narrated in this magazine.

Another record of similar character appears in Miss Lewes’ book above alluded to. It relates to the experience of a Welsh lady who is called Miss Johnson, and who was staying during the winter of 1874 with some relations at a house in the West of England.

« One Sunday evening about six o'clock, when Miss Johnson and the family were sitting quietly in the drawing-room, a great noise was suddenly heard exactly like hounds in full cry. It seemed as if the pack swept past the drawing-room windows, turned the corner of the house, and entered the yard behind.

The kennels of the local hunt were only four miles away, and on hunting days the hounds often met or ran in the direction of the house. But to be disturbed by the cry of hounds on a Sunday evening was such an unheard-of thing that Miss Johnson and her friends were, for the moment, petrified with amazement.

Almost immediately the butler came running to the room, exclaiming, “The hounds must have got loose! I hear them all in the back yard.”

-      “But how could they get in?” asked some one; “the gates cannot be open at this hour on Sunday.”

The butler went off looking rather disconcerted, and not a little scared; and Miss Johnson went into the hall, where she found her collie-dog —usually a very quiet, gentle animal— barking and rushing about in a state of frenzy.

She opened the front door, and the collie ran out, barking and growling savagely, made a great jump in the air as if springing at somebody or something, then suddenly sank down cowering to the ground, and crept back whimpering to his mistress' side.

An exhaustive search revealed not a sign of a hound or stray dog about the place, and Miss Johnson and her relations went to bed that night feeling much puzzled by the strange incident. Next day came the news that a near relative of Miss Johnson had died suddenly the evening before at Six o’clock! »


These apparitions appear generally to be associated with deaths in the family. A similar tradition is current with regard to one of the oldest families in Ireland, the Gormanstons. When the head of this house dies, it is said that for some days before the foxes leave all the neighbouring coverts and collect at the door of the castle.

« This Strange phenomenon (says Capt. Humphries) occurred when the twelfth Viscount Garmanston died in 1860, and again in 1876 when the thirteenth Viscount shook off this mortal coil. The fourteenth holder of the title died in 1907; inquiry was then made to test the truth or otherwise of the weird legend. Lady Gormanston states that no record was kept until Jenico, the twelfth Viscount died.

She stated in a paper published at that time that particular notice was taken all during his illness and at his death that foxes came round the house barking and making many “uncanny and creepy noises.” Visitors to the chapel also testify to these facts.

When the fourteenth of his line died, the son, in another letter which was published in the same paper (The New Irish Review), stated that when in the chapel watching his father’s remains prior to burial, he heard noises outside as of a dog sniffing at the door. Upon opening it, there was a full-grown fox close to the steps and several more round the church. The coachman confirms the presence of the foxes, also another family retainer.

The daughter of the thirteenth successor wrote saying that upon the illness of her father the foxes sat in pairs under the bedroom windows howling and barking all night, and if driven away returned. The family crest is a running fox; a similar animal is one of the supporters of the family arms»


This very curious story suggests that there is more in the Totem superstition than would appear at first sight, and bears out the belief that underlies the whole philosophy of Occultism, that Nature, in whatever guise, whether in waking or in sleeping, in life or in death, repeats, illustrates, and interprets herself in symbolic form throughout the endless range of her varied phenomena.



(Occult Review, May 1911, p.241-250)




OBSERVATION

Many of these phenomena are explained by the fact that animals, like humans, when they are disembodied (i.e. their physical body has already died) in some circumstances they still manage to materialize their astral body, and this subtle body becoming visible to people who are in the physical world.