Society, Paris, November 25th, 1859
The Journal de la Nievre reports: “A dismal accident occurred last
Saturday at the train station. A sixty two year old man named Mr.
Jardin was hit by the shafts of a carriage in the courtyard, as he was leaving
the station. He exhaled his last breath a few hours later. That man’s
death revealed one of the most extraordinary stories to which we would
not have given any credit if were not supported by the trustworthy testimony
of witnesses who attested to its authenticity. Here is what we were
Before his employment with the tobacco market in Nevers, Jardin
lived in Cher, village of Saint-Germain-des-Bois, where he was a tailor.
His wife had died in that village five years earlier, victimized by pneumonia.
He then left the village of Saint-Germain and moved to Nevers
eight years ago. A hard working and righteous man, Jardin was a devout
Christian, strongly dedicated to religious practices; he had a kneeling
bench in his bedroom that he used for his prayers. Friday night, alone with his daughter, he suddenly announced a secret premonition that his
end was near.
• Listen, he told her, these are my last wishes: when I am dead you
shall send the key to my kneeling bench to Mr. B… so that he
can come and pick up whatever is inside and take to my coffin.
Surprised by this sudden recommendation, the daughter asked what
could be found in the kneeling bench because she couldn’t tell if he was
serious or not. He refused to respond in the beginning but as she insisted,
he made the strange revelation that what was inside the kneeling bench
was the remains of her late mother!
He told her that before leaving Saint-Germain-des-Bois he went to
the cemetery at night. Everybody was asleep in the village; he was feeling
really alone; he then went to the grave of his wife and with a shovel he
excavated it until he found the remains of what had once been his companion.
He would never be separated from her precious remains, thus he
collected the bones and stored them in his kneeling bench.
The daughter, a little bit scared by the strange disclosure, but still
suspicious that he could not be serious, she eventually promised to attend
to his last wishes convinced that he wanted to make fun of her and that
on the very next day he would give a logical explanation to his fantastic
enigma. The following Saturday arrived and Jardin went to his office as
usual. One hour later he was sent to the train station to pick up some bags
of tobacco, destined to supply the market. He had just left the station
when he was then hit straight in the chest, by the unnoticed shafts of a
carriage that was parked among the heaps of other vehicles at the station
parking area. He was knocked down by the violence of the impact and
taken home unconscious. He recovered his senses after the application of
some emergency care. The first responders wanted to remove his clothes
to thoroughly examine the wounds but he strongly opposed; they insisted
and he refused once again. Despite his refusal the responders decided to
undress him when all at once, he suddenly subsided: he was dead.
The body was placed on a bed. What a surprise when those present
removed his clothes to find a leather bag tied up around his chest, sitting
on his heart. A doctor who was called in to attest the death cut the bag in
two pieces, from which a dry hand fell!
Keeping in mind what her father had told her the day before, the
daughter of Mr. Jardin advised Mr. B… and Mr. J… who were carpenters.
The kneeling bench was opened and a schako (French military hat,
round and tall) of the National Guard was found. On the bottom of the
schako there was a dead person’s head, still with the hair in place; then
they noticed the bones of a skeleton; it was the remains of Mrs. Jardin.
Last Sunday Jardin’s body was taken to the grave. In order to attend the
sexagenarian’s wishes, the remains of his wife were placed in his coffin
and on top of his heart, the dry hand which had felt his heart beat for
eight years, if we can say so.”
1. Evocation – A. I am here.
2. Who has warned you that we wanted to talk to you? – A. I know
nothing; I was attracted here.
3. Where were you when we called you? – A. Near a man that I like,
accompanied by my wife.
4. How could you have had the premonition of your death? – A.
I was warned by the one I missed so much. God had allowed it
from her prayers.
5. Was your wife then was always near you? – A. She had never left.
6. Was the cause of her presence the remains preserved by you? – A.
Not at all but I believed so.
7. Thus, had you not preserved her remains she would still be by
your side? – A. Isn’t thought more powerful to attract the spirit
than the remains which have no importance?
8. Have you immediately met your wife, at the time of your death? – A.
It was her who came to receive me and to enlighten me.
9. Were you immediately aware of yourself? – A. In a short time, I
had an intuitive faith in the immortality of the soul.
10. Your wife must have had other existences, prior to the last one.
How could she have forgotten them to be entirely dedicated to
you? – A. She stayed by my side as a guide in my corporeal existence,
without the need to renounce her former affections. When
we say that we never abandon an incarnated spirit you must understand
that what we mean, is that we shall be closer to that
spirit more frequently than the others. The speed of our movement
allows for that as easily as a conversation that you may hold
with several speakers.
11. Do you remember your previous existences? – A. Yes. In my last
one I was a poor peasant, without education; prior to that, however,
I was a sincere and devoted religious person.
12. Wouldn’t the extraordinary affection dedicated to your wife have
its cause in former relationships of prior existences? – A. No.
13. Are you happy as a spirit? – A. One cannot be more, you must
14. Can you define your current happiness and tell us about its
cause? – A. I should not have the need to tell you this: I loved
and missed a dear spirit; I loved God; I was honest; I found what
I missed. These are the elements of happiness to the spirit.
15. What do you do as a spirit? – A. When I was called here I told you
that I was near a man that I liked. I was trying to inspire in him
the desire for the good, as always do the spirits that God deems
worthy. We also have other occupations that cannot be revealed
16. We thank you for your kindness in attending our call. – A. I also
Following circumstances that gave us contact with the daughter
of one of the main convulsionaries of Saint-Médard, it was possible
to collect some particulars information about that sect. Thus,
there is no exaggeration regarding the reports of torture that these
fanatics voluntarily submitted themselves to. It is well known that
one of the mortifications consisted of the person’s submission to
the crucifixion and all sufferings of the passion of Christ. The
person, who we are speaking about and who had died in 1830,
still had holes in her hands caused by the nails that were used to
suspend her on the cross and on her side, the marks of wounds
left by spears. She carefully hid those stigmas of fanaticism, always
avoiding having to explain them to her children. In the history
of the Convulsionaries, she is known by a pseudo name that
shall not be mentioned by reasons that will be revealed in due
course. The following conversation took place in the presence of
her daughter, who requested the evocation. Private details that
bear no interest to strangers were removed, details which gave the
daughter an incontestable proof of identity.
1. Evocation. – A. I wanted to speak with you for a long time.
2. What were the reasons that led you to wish to speak with
me? – A. I can appreciate your work, despite what you may
think of my beliefs.
3. Do you see your daughter here? It was she, above all, who wanted
to speak with you and we will be delighted to take the opportunity
for our own instruction. – A. Yes, a mother always sees her
4. Are you happy as a spirit? A. – Yes and no, since I could have done
better. But God takes my ignorance into account.
5. Do you remember perfectly well your latest existence? – A. I
would have a lot to tell you but pray for me so that I am allowed
to do that.
6. Have the tortures that you inflicted on yourself elevated you and
made you happier as a spirit? – A. They did not do me harm but
did not help me to advance in intelligence.
7. I kindly ask you to be accurate. My question refers to the fact, if
that was taken into account in terms of your merit? – A. I would
say that you have an item in The Spirits’ Book which provides the
general answer. As for myself, I was a poor fanatic.
Note: Reference to question 726 in The Spirits’ Book, related to
8. That item states that the merit of the voluntary sufferings is in
proportion to the resulting utility to others. The suffering of the
Convulsionaries, I believe, did not have another objective other
than a purely personal one. – A. It was generally personal, and if
I had never mentioned it to my children it was because I vaguely
understood that it was not the true path.
Observation: Here the spirit of the mother responds in anticipation
to her daughter’s thoughts who wanted to ask why, when
alive, she avoided to speak about it with her children.
9. What was the cause of the state of crisis in the Convulsionaries? – A.
Natural disposition and overly excited fanaticism. I would never have
wanted to have my children dragged towards that fatal cliff, which I
recognize as such better still today.
She then added, spontaneously responding to her daughter’s reflections
who had not, however, formulated the question: I did
not have an education but the intuition of many prior existences.
10. Among the phenomena produced by the convulsionaries did
some of them have similar somnambulistic effects, like, for example,
mind reading, far vision, and intuition of languages? Did
magnetism represent any role on that? – A. Many do, and several
priests have been magnetized, without people’s consent.
11. Where did the scars that you had in the hands and other parts
of the body come from? – A. Poor trophies to our victories, that
served nobody and that sometimes excited passions. You must
Observation: It seems that, in the practice of the Convulsionaries,
there were things of great immorality that had revolted the honest
heart of this lady, and later when the fanatical fever was over, they
led her to disgust everything that brought those memories back
to her. It is no doubt one of the reasons that made her not want to
talk about it with her children.
12. Were there real cures over Deacon Pâris’ grave? – A. Oh! What a
question! You know well that no, or very little, particularly to you.
13. Have you seen Pâris, after your death? – A. I don’t occupy my
time thinking about him since I have come to the world of the
spirits. I blame him for my mistake.
14. How did you see him when you were alive? – A. As an envoy of
God’s and that is why I criticize him for the bad things he did in
the name of God.
15. However, isn’t he innocent of the foolish things done in his name
after his death? – A. No because he himself did not believe his
teachings. I did not understand that when alive as I understand
16. Is it true that, as a spirit, he was indifferent to the manifestations
which took place on his grave, as he said? – A. He deceived you.
17. Therefore, he excited fanaticism? – A. Yes, and he still does.
18. What do you do as a spirit? – A. I endeavor to enlighten myself
and that is why I said I wanted to come to you.
19. Where are you here? – A. Near the medium, with a hand on his
arm or shoulder.
20. If we could see you how would you be seen? – A. My daughter
would see her mom, like when she was alive. As for you, you
would see me in spirit; in words, I don’t know how to say.
21. Kindly explain yourself. What do you mean when you say that I
would see you in spirit? – A. A transparent human form, according
to the depuration of the spirit.
22. You said that you had other existences. Do you remember them? – A.
Yes, I told you so and from my answers you can see that I had many.
23. Could you tell us which one preceded the one we know about? – A.
Not tonight and not through this medium. Through the gentleman
if you like.
Note: She designates one of the assistants that had started to write
as a medium, explaining her sympathy towards him, saying that
she knew him from a preceding existence.
24. Would you be upset if I publish this conversation in the
Review? – A. No. It is necessary that evil be known; but don’t
call me… (Her nickname). I hate that name. Call me the great
master, if you like.
Observation: We don’t mention the name that she was known
by out of respect for her and because it brings her painful
25. We thank you for coming and for the explanations given to us. – A.
I am the one to thank you for having provided my daughter with
the occasion of meeting her mother, and me with the opportunity of
doing some good.