Allan Kardec

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88. Manifestations of this description are neither rare nor novel; there are few places without some stories of the kind. Fear has doubtless frequently exaggerated facts, which have thus been made to assume gigantic and ridiculous proportions, through passing from mouth to mouth superstition aiding, the houses where such disturbances have occurred have come to be reputed as haunted, and hence have arisen many wondrous and frightful legends of beasts and devils. Knavery, on the other hand, has not failed to make use of the opportunity of trading on credulity afforded by these stories. It is, moreover, easy to imagine the impression which events of the nature referred to, even when shorn of exaggerations, may produce on weak minds, predisposed by education to superstitious ideas. The surest method of avoiding any such disagreeable impressions (since there is no preventing the occurrence of the facts which give rise to them,) is to learn the truth about them. The simplest things may become appalling when their cause is not understood. When the world becomes familiarised with spirits, and when those who are subject to their manifestations no longer fancy that they have a legion of devils at their heels, the prevalent fear of spirits will vanish.

Many authentic facts of the above nature are recorded in the Revue Spirite; among others, the history of the Rapping Spirit of Bergzabern, whose unpleasant tricks continued more than eight years (Nos. of May, June, and July 1858); that of Dibbelsdorf (August 1858); that of the Baker of Grandes Ventes, near Dieppe (March 1860); that of the disturbances which occurred in the rue des Noyers, in Paris (August 1860); that of the Spirit of Castelnaudary (February 1860); that of the Manufactory in Saint-Petersbourg (April 1860), and many others.

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