The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

Back to the menu
Spending a few weeks in Worcester I casually found a lady at the house of a local banker, from whom I heard such an impressive story that I needed more than one witness to give her credit. I questioned the banker about that lady that he knew for more than thirty years. “She is so truthful, he added, and her righteousness is so very broadly known that I have no doubt about the authenticity of her story. This lady enjoys a spotless reputation, of irreproachable behavior, having a strong and intelligent personality, highly educated.” He then thinks that it is impossible that she would try to deceive others or that she would be mistaken. He had heard her telling the story multiple times, always in a precise and clear way, so much so that he felt embarrassed. He refused to admit such facts but, on the other hand, he dared not to doubt her good faith.

My own observations led me to confirm everything that I learned about that lady. There was in her manners, her air, even the sound of her voice, something that seemed incapable of deceiving, carrying the conviction of truth. Thus, it was impossible to me to consider her dishonest, even more so when she spoke about these things with an evident distress. The banker had warned me that it would be very difficult to make her talk about the subject since, in general, she was used to the fact that people would laugh rather than believe in her. It must be said in addition, that neither her nor the banker knew about Spiritism or had heard about it.

Here are the facts reported by the lady:

“Around 1820 we left our Suffolk house and moved to …, a sea port in France. Our family consisted of my parents, a sister, a twelve-year-old brother and an English butler. The house was located in an isolated region, far from the city, in the middle of the beach. There was no other house or construction nearby. One night my father saw a man wrapped in a large overcoat, sitting on a fragment of rock, a few yards from the door. My father approached to greet him but since he received no answer back, he then returned. Before coming inside he had the idea of looking back again but to his amazement there was nobody there. He got even more surprised when he went back and carefully examined the surroundings, near the rock, finding no vestige of the stranger who was sitting there a moment earlier, and there was no shelter where he could have hidden. When my father came to the house he said: - “My children, I have just seen an apparition”. We of course laughed our heads off, as one can easily understand.

Nevertheless, that very night and in several others which followed, we heard strange noises at several places of the house: sometimes it was a moaning coming from below our windows, on other occasions it seemed that someone was scratching the windows, or even that several persons were climbing on the roof. Several times we opened the windows, asking out loud: Who is that? But we never got an answer. A few days later we heard noises in the bedroom where my sister and I were sleeping. She was twenty years old and I was eighteen then. We woke everybody up in the house but nobody listened to us. We were censored and called crazy. The noises ordinarily sounded like knocks; they would sometimes last twenty or thirty minutes; sometimes one per minute. In the end, our parents, who were forced to admit that it was not our imagination, also heard the noises outside as well as inside. They then remembered the apparition. In any case we were not that scared and ended up getting used to all the noise.

One evening when there was the usual knocking, I had the idea of asking: - if that is a spirit then knock six times. I immediately heard six raps, one by one. The noises became so familiar with time that we not only were no longer afraid but they also became more pleasant.

I will now tell you the more curious part of the story, and I would hardly do that if all members of my family had not witnessed that thing. My brother who was then a boy and is now a renowned professional can attest it to you if necessary, in all its details.

Besides the raps in our bedroom we began hearing something like a human voice, mainly in the living room. The first time we heard it my sister was playing the piano; we were singing a love song when the voice started following us. You can imagine our surprise. We could not doubt the reality because shortly later the voice started to talk to us, clearly and intelligibly, meddling into our conversation from time to time. It was a low voice, with a slow, very solemn and distinct tone. The spirit always spoke in French. He said his name was Gaspard but never responded when we wanted to question him about his personal story; he never explained why he had established communication with us either. We thought he was Spanish but I cannot remember where we got such an idea. He used to call every member of the family by their given name; he sometimes recited poems and constantly tried to get feelings of Christian morality across to us, never going into issues of dogmas though. He seemed to want to make us understand the grandiosity of virtue, the beauty of harmony among the members of a family.

One time, my sister and I had a slight argument, we then heard the voice saying: M… is wrong; S… is right. Since we knew him he always gave us advice. On one occasion my father was very distressed because he thought that he had lost certain documents that he needed to find. Gaspard told him where the documents were placed, in our old house in Suffolk. The papers were sought and found exactly where he had indicated.

Things continued to be like that for another three years. Every member of the family, including the servants, had heard the voice. The presence of the spirit, since we had no doubt about it, was always a reason for great joy among us; he was simultaneously considered a companion and a protector. One day he said: I will not be with you for a few months. In fact his visits stopped for several months. One evening we heard that dear voice saying: I am here with you. It would be difficult to describe our happiness.

Up until that point we had heard but never seen him. One evening my brother said: Gaspard, I would like very much to see you. And the voice responded: I will satisfy you. You shall see me if you please, go to the other side of the square. My brother left but soon returned saying: I saw Gaspard; he wore a large overcoat and a wide brim hat; I looked underneath the hat and he smiled. – Yes, said the voice entering the conversation, it was me.

He suddenly left us but in a very kind way. We returned to Suffolk and there, like in France, Gaspard continued to talk to us for several weeks after our arrival. One evening he said: I will leave for good; a disgrace would come upon you if I stayed by your side in this land where our communications would be badly understood and misinterpreted.

Since then, the lady added with a sad tone, like from someone speaking of a loved one who had departed by death, since then we have no longer heard Gaspard’s voice.”

There you have the facts as we were told. All those things make me think and perhaps they do to your readers too. I don’t intend to give any explanation, any opinion. I will only say that I thoroughly trust the good faith of the person from whom we heard it, and I subscribe with my name below it, as a warrantor of the accuracy of the report.
S.C. Hall

Related articles

Show related items
Wait, loading...