89. Facts of this nature have often the character of unmistakable persecution.
We knew of six sisters who lived together, and who, for several years, had their dresses
scattered about, every morning, sometimes hidden under the roof of the house,
sometimes torn, or cut into shreds, notwithstanding all the precautions they took in
keeping them under lock and key. Persons in bed, and wide awake, have seen their
curtains shaken, or have had their bed-clothes or their pillows violently snatched away
from them have been lifted up from their mattresses, or even been thrown out of bed.
These facts are more frequent than is imagined; but the vast majority of the victims dare
not talk of them, for fear of ridicule. And, to our certain knowledge, the treatment to
which some persons have been subjected, with a view to curing them of what has been
thought to be a tendency to hallucinations, has sometimes produced madness. Physicians cannot comprehend these things, because they admit only material
causes, and thus make some most terrible mistakes. History will, one day, recount
some of the medical treatments of this nineteenth century, as, now-a-days, we tell of the
horrors of the Middle Ages.
We fully admit that certain occurrences have been the result of trickery or of
malice ; but if, when all the evidence has been examined, it is proved that some of these
things are not the work of men, we must necessarily come to the conclusion that they
are the work of unseen intelligences some will say of ''the devil!," we say, of spirits ;
but the question next arises, of what sort of spirits?