The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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We found the following report in a remarkable collection of authentic stories of apparitions and other spiritist phenomena, published in 1682, in London by Reverend J. Granville and by Dr. H. More. The title reads: “Apparition of Major Georges Sydenham’s Spirit to Captain V. Dyke”, extracted from a letter by Mr. Jacques Douche, from Monkton, to Mr. J. Granville.

“... soon after the death of major Georges, Dr. Th. Dyke who was a close relative to the captain, he was called to treat a sick child. The doctor and the captain lay down on the same bed. After a brief nap the captain asked the maid to bring him two lit candles, the biggest and thickest that could be found. The doctor asked him about the meaning of all that. The captain responded:

“You know about my discussions with the major, relatively to the ex- istence of God and the immortality of the soul. It was not possible for us to elucidate those points, although it has always been our wishes.”

“We agreed that the first to die would come back on the third evening after the funerals, between midnight and 1 am, to the gardens of this small house, clarifying the one that outlived about the subject.”

“Today is the very day when the captain should keep his promise.”

“Therefore he set the alarm clock by his bed and woke up at 11:30 pm; he then took a candle in each hand and left through the back door, spending the next two and a half hours in the garden. When he came back he declared to the doctor that he had not seen nor heard anything that was not very natural. However, he added, I know that the major would have come if he could.”

“Six weeks later the captain went to Eaton to take his son to college, and the doctor accompanied him again. They stayed for about two or three days in a lodge called San Christopher, but did not sleep together like in Dulverton. They occupied two different rooms.”

“One morning the captain remained in his room longer than usual, before calling the doctor. At last he came to the doctor’s room showing altered faces, bristly hair, eyes popped and his body shaken.”

“What happened, cousin captain? The doctor asked.”
“-I saw the major, responded the captain.”
“The doctor seemed to smile.”
“I am positive that I saw him today or I have never seen him in all

my life.”
“He then told me the following story:”
“At day break this morning someone came by my bed, removed the

sheets and screamed: Cap!”
“Cap was the word that the major normally used to call the captain.” “I responded: - Hi there, my major!”
“He continued: - I could not come the other day. Now however, I am here and will tell you this: There is a very just and terrible God! If you don’t change your skin you will see it when you arrive here.”

“A sword that the major had given me was resting on the table. He walked around the room a couple of times then he took the sword from the scabbard; since he did not find it as polished as it should be he said: - Cap, cap, when this sword was mine it was better conserved.”

“He then suddenly disappear ed after those words.”

The captain was not only persuaded about the reality of what he had seen and heard but since then he had become much more serious. His character, jovial and lighthearted, was remarkably modified. When he had his friends over, he treated them prodigally but always controlled. Those who knew him ensured that he believed to have heard the major’s words several times in his ears, during the two years that he outlived that adventure.


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