The phenomena of apparitions are now presented in a kind of new aspect, shedding a powerful light
over the mysteries of life beyond the grave. Before moving into the strange facts that we will report,
we find it appropriate to recap the explanations given earlier and complete them.
One should keep in mind that during its life the spirit is united to the body by a semi-material
substance that forms the first covering called perispirit. The spirit thus has two coverings: one
dense, heavy and destructible – the body; the other, ethereal, vaporous, indestructible – the
perispirit. Death is nothing but the destruction of the gross covering; it is like the worn clothes that
we abandon. The semi material covering persists and constitutes, per say, a new body to the spirit.
Such ethereal matter – interesting to point out – is not the soul, absolutely; it is nothing more than
its first covering. The intimate nature of that substance is not yet perfectly known to us but the
observation has led us to understand some of its properties. We know that it represents a
fundamental role in every spiritist phenomena; that after death it is the intermediary agent between
the spirit and matter, as the body is during its life. This allows for the explanation of a large number
of phenomena hitherto inexplicable. We shall see in a following article the role that it plays in the
sensations of the spirits. Besides, the discovery of the perispirit, if we can say so, led the Spiritist
Science into a huge step in an entirely new route.
But the perispirit, some may argue, isn’t that a fantastic creation of imagination? Wouldn’t that be
one of those suppositions made several times to explain certain effects? No. It is not the work of
imagination since it was revealed by the spirits themselves. It is not a fantastic idea since it can be
verified by the senses and can be seen and touched. It does exist; we only gave it a name. We need
new words to describe new things. The spirits also adopted it in the communications that we have
established with them.
By nature and in its normal state the perispirit is invisible to us but it can go through changes to
allow us to see it, both by a kind of condensation as well as by an alteration in its molecular
structure. It is then that it can appear to us in a vaporous state. The condensation (we should not
take this term formally hence we only employ it for the lack of a better one) can be such that the
perispirit acquires the properties of a solid and tangible body. It can, nevertheless, instantly return to
its ethereal and invisible state. We can have an idea of that effect by the vapor that can pass from the
invisible to a foggy state then to liquid and then to solid and vice-versa. Those different states of the
perispirit are the product of the free-will of the spirit and not of an exterior cause. When visible to
us it is because the spirit gives to the perispirit the necessary property to make it visible. That
property can be extended, restricted and ceased, according to their wishes.
Another property of the perispirit is its penetrability. It cannot be blocked by any matter, passing
through them all, like the light passes through the transparent bodies.
The perispirit, separated from the body, takes a determined and limited form which normally is the
human body, but that is not constant. The spirit can give it a variety of forms at will, including that
of an animal or a flame. As a matter of fact, this capability can be easily understood. Don’t we see
people that make the most diverse expressions, imitating the voice and the facial looks of other
people, to the point of deceiving us; pretending to be fat, disabled, etc? Who can recognize around
town those actors that we only see playing a characteristic role on a stage? If man can thus give to
his material and rigid body such contradictory appearances, with even more reason the spirit can do
it with a covering, which is eminently flexible and can yield to all caprices.
The spirits generally appear to us showing a human form. In its normal state such a form does not
have anything very characteristic, anything that markedly separate one from the others. With the
good spirits that shape is, by a rule of thumb, beautiful and regular: long and fluctuating hair over
their shoulders, ample mantles surrounding their bodies. But whenever they want to be identified
they assume all traces by which they were known, including the outfits, if necessary. That is for
example like Aesop who is not disabled as a spirit but if evoked as Aesop, considering that he had
several existences prior to that, he will show up ugly and with a hunchback, as well as traditionally
dressed. It is perhaps the dressing that is most intriguing; if however we consider that the dressing is
also part of the semi material covering, we then understand that the spirit can give to that covering
the appearance of this or that outfit as with this or that facial looks.
The spirits can appear in dreams as well as in the waking state. The apparitions in the waking state
are neither rare nor new; they have happened at all times and history records them in great number.
Without going back to the past, however, they are very frequent nowadays and many people have, at
first, taken such visions as hallucinations.
The apparitions are particularly frequent in cases of death from individuals that come to visit
relatives and friends. They do not often have a determined objective but one can generally say that
the spirits that appear to us are attracted by mutual sympathy.
We know a young lady that appear many times in her house, in her bedroom, with or without light,
men that would come and go, despite the fact that the door would be closed. She would feel so
scared that she showed an almost ridiculous cowardice. One day she distinctly saw her brother who
was alive in California, giving proof that the spirits of the living beings can cover the distances and
show up in a place when the body is in another.
Once that lady was initiated into Spiritism she is no longer be afraid since she is aware of the
visions and she knows that the spirits that come to visit her cannot do her any harm. It is likely that
her brother was asleep when he appeared to hear. If she only knew that she could have established a
conversation with him, of which he could have kept a faint impression when awaken. It is also
likely that he would then have thought to have dreamt of being close to his sister.
We said that the perispirit can become tangible. We spoke of that when describing the
manifestations produced by Mr. Home. It is a known fact that he has made hands appear several
times, hands that could be touched as if they were alive, but that would suddenly disappear as
shadows, although no complete bodies had yet been seen under such a tangible form. Yet, this is
In one of our member’s family, a spirit has been associated to the daughter of this family.
This daughter is a ten to eleven year old child who has befriended a handsome young man of
the same age. He is visible to her and willingly becomes visible or invisible to the other persons. He does all sorts of errands; he brings toys and chocolates to her; cleans the house;
go to the stores for groceries and more expensive items. This is not a legend of the German
mystic neither a medieval story. It is an actual fact that happens at this very moment while we
write, in a French town, in the core of a very respectable family. We have even carried out
interesting studies about this case which provided us with the most original and unexpected
revelations. We will address this subject with our readers in a more thorough article to be