When an Apparition Is Seen by Not Just One

In five previous posts I discussed cases in which multiple witnesses reported seeing the same apparition. The five posts are below:

When an Apparition Is Seen by Multiple Observers: 17 More Cases
More Apparitions Seen by Multiple Observers
Many an Apparition Is Seen by More Than One
Still More Apparitions Seen by Multiple Observers

Let us look at some more cases in which multiple witnesses reported seeing the same apparition.  In the seances of Eusapia Palladino, which were witnessed by a host of distinguished observers,  there would very often appear an apparition reported by multiple witnesses. The most common occurrence were "spirit hands" reported being seen by very many observers. Palladino would ususally be under what was called "control" during such appearances, meaning that her arms and legs were held by observers determined to prevent such limbs from performing any trickery.  Such "control" was almost irrelevant when apparitions were seen, because no one has a credible theory of how someone at that time (around 1900) surrounded by close observers could have produced hard-to-explain "spirit hands" or other apparitions, even if their limbs were free. 

On page 185 of  Volume 7 of the Annals of Psychical Science (1908), we read a statement by a V. Chartier who held Eusapia's right hand while an M.P. Drubay held her left hand: 

"I am able to affirm, in the most formal and absolute manner, that at the moment when the phenomena of apparition of materialised hands occurred, I held Eusapia 's right hand in my left, and that I did not cease the control for a single instant . .While continuing to watch the apparition, I instinctively grasped more firmly the right hand of Eusapia, which I held in my left hand, resting on the medium's right knee. . . .My neighbour on the right, M. Ebel, also asserted that he saw the materialised hand."

Beside such "spirit hands," sometimes full-body apparitions were seen by multiple observers during sessions with Eusapia Palladino. On page 175 of Volume 7 of the Annals of Psychical Science (1908), we read the following about an apparition seen by multiple witnesses: "A woman of great beauty appeared, who had died two years before...The apparition was perceived by two others present. and returned several times." This could not have been Eusapia herself, who was not beautiful at the time, and apparently could not have been anyone else living, given precautions against fraud taken during such observation sessions. 

On page 440 of volume 5 of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research,  we have an account of a daughter who saw an apparition of her mother seven days after her mother died.  The apparition was also seen by a nurse, and by the daughter's father. A few pages later in the same volume, we have accounts of an apparition apparently seen by four people at different times. The first person recognized the apparition (a figure in a white dressing gown) as a particular Mrs. X. The other three persons (in the home of Mrs. X) saw the apparition as a woman in white attire or a figure enveloped in white (pages 442-445). 

A 20th century case of an apparition seen by multiple witnesses is reported on page 254 of the book The Gift by Sally Rhine Feather and Michael Schmicke. We read the following (as quoted on page 2 of this paper):


"A woman and her fifteen-year-old daughter had recently moved to California from their previous home in Washington D.C., where they had left the woman’s father very ill. One day not long after moving, they entered the dining room, and to the woman’s great surprise, there stood her father. 'Why Dad, when did you get here?' she exclaimed. At that point, her daughter turned around to look, and she, too, saw the figure of her grandfather, his hand upraised in a gesture of greeting or perhaps blessing, but he slowly faded away, and they both suddenly realized that he was not really in California in their house. Shortly afterward, they received the news that he had died."

Let us now look at some cases when an apparition is seen by many people. One such case is the sighting reported on pages 213-224 of Volume 7 of the Annals of Psychical Science (1908). On page 213 we read this summary of the case:

"Hardly ever before has an apparition been watched by so many witnesses. Among them were several thoughtful and scientificallv-educated men, who carried out the investigation with the greatest exactness and circumspection; and they unanimously came to the conclusion that fraud and deceit must be excluded, the fact of the apparition having been proved undeniably." 

The story begins like this:

"Elisabetha Eslinger, a widow of thirty-nine years of age, from Baurenlautern, was imprisoned in Weinsherg, because of a small offence which was never quite cleared up. Soon afterwards, on Sept. I2th, Diener Mayer reported that the prisoner Eslinger complained of being tormented by a ghost every night."

Soon other people reported seeing the apparition:

"In the night of I7th-I8th Sept., Oberamtsrichter Heyd was with Referendar Burger in Eslinger's prison cell, and they convinced themselves of the reality of the ghostly occurrences. The following night similar manifestations took place at the house of Oheramtsrichter Eckhardt, who had previously asked Eslinger to send the phantom to him. Again, in the course of December, six female and five newly-arrived male prisoners became witnesses of the apparition....Dr. Kerner's son passed the night of Dec. 26th-27th in a cell of the prison, and he, too, perceived the strange phenomena." 

This Dr. Kerner pleaded for an investigation into the phenomenon. As a result, even more witnesses were involved:

"In consequence of this decision, the strange manifestations came under the observation of the following people: Professor Kapff, Kupferstecher Dullenhofer, Maler Wagner, Pfarrer Stookmayer, Rechtsanwalt Frass, Dr. Med. Sicherer, Baron Hugel von Eschenau, Pfarrer Meguin, Dr. Med. Kerner, Dr. Med. Seyffer, Oberamtsrichter Hevd-all of whom found themselves obliged to admit the truth of the occurrences. Besides this most valuable evidence, there is also that of Diener Mayer, of the soldier Krust and of three male prisoners, all of whom during the night of Jan. 13th-14th, 1836 (at a time, therefore, when Eslinger was no longer in the prison), witnessed these ghost-phenomena and bore testimony to them." 

The apparition was apparently not only seen in a prison cell, but also in the houses of multiple people. We read the following:

"On several nights, between Dec. I9th, 1835, and Jan. 28th, 1836, the phantom appeared, invited and uninvited, in far-off houses, even in Heilbronn, which is three-quarters of a German mile distant, and made itself perceptible in the same way as in the prison."

We are given the exact names and dates relating to those who received these "phantom visitations."  We read the following:

"The following are the names of the receivers of these ghost visits : Oberamtsgerichts-Beisitzer Theurer (30-I2-I835). 
Lehrer Neuffer (30-I2-I835), to whom the phantom came by chance; that is to say, on the occasion of another visit it paid in the same house. 
Referendar Burger (30-12-1835 and I3-I-1836), to whom the phantom showed himself twice by request. 
Burger Kumel and his son. Landschaftsmaler Dorr, at Heilbronn (29-I2-I835)·
 Professor Kapff, at Heilbronn, to whom the phantom came four times uninvited. 
Baron Hugel von Eschenau. Dr. Kerner, at whose house it often appeared in order to convince Kerner's wife and sister-in-law (Dec. 19, 21, 26, 1835; Jan. 20, 21, 24, 27, 1836)." 

Here is how the apparition appeared to Elisabetha Eslinger: "The phantom, which had first shown itself as a misty column, appeared now to her in the form of a man, wrapped in long drapery held together with a belt, and on his head he wore a four-cornered cap" (page 217). On page 218 we read this description of the apparition by witness Christine Wurmer: "I saw during the prayer that a luminous figure moved towards her, in appearance like a man, which was soon followed by two other luminous forms, small, like little clouds." On page 220 we read this description of the apparition by witness Elisabrtha  Neidhardt: "a luminous form of a man in white garments." On page 221 a Professor Kapff reports that he "saw a luminous appearance of indistinct shape, three to four feet wide, and about the height of the door." These are only some of many witness reports involving such an apparition that appear on these pages and surrounding pages. Multiple witnesses report gusts of cold air in connection with the apparition. 

On  page 149 of the long fascinating 1866 book The Night Side of Nature by Catherine Crowe we have this account: "Two young ladies staying at the Queen's Ferry arose one morning early to bathe; as they descended the stairs, they each exclaimed, 'There's my uncle !' They had seen him standing by the clock. He died at that time." 

On page 150 of the same book, we are told that in New Orleans a man heard another man report seeing the man's brother.  Looking around, the man stated that he had also seen his brother, who was believed to be in England.  We are told "the young man died at that time in England." 

On page 152 of the same book, we have this account:

"Three young ladies, two of them her daughters, assembled in their bedroom to talk over the evening's amusement. Suddenly, one of them cried, 'O God ! my mother.' They all saw her pass across the room towards a chest of drawers, where she vanished. They immediately told their friends what' they had seen; and afterwards learned that the lady died that night."

On page 222 of the same book, we have this account:

"A remarkable circumstance occurred, about forty 
years ago, in the family of Dr. Paulus at Stuttgard. 
The wife of the head of the family having died, they, 
with some of their connexions, were sitting at table 
a few days afterwards, in the room adjoining that in 
which the corpse lay, when suddenly the door of the 
latter apartment opened, and the figure of the mother, 
clad in white robes, entered, and saluting them as she 
passed, walked slowly and noiselessly through the room, 
and then disappeared again through the door by which 
she had entered. The whole company saw the appa- 
rition ; but the father, who was at that time quite in 
health, died eight days afterwards."

On page 346 of the same book, we have this account of four people seeing an apparition at a house that had the reputation of being a haunted house:

"The following more recent case of an apparition, 
seen in the window of the same house from the outside, 
by four credible witnesses who had the opportunity of 
scrutinizing it for more than ten minutes, is given on 
most unquestionable authority. One of these witnesses 
is a young lady, a near connexion of the family, who, 
for obvious reasons, did not sleep in the house ; another, 
a respectable man, who has been many years employed 
in, and is foreman of, the manufactory; his daughter, 
aged about seventeen ; and his wife, who first saw the 
object, and called out the others to view it. The ap- 
pearance presented was that of a bareheaded man, in a 
flowing robe like a surplice, who glided backwards and 
forwards about three feet from the floor, or level with 
the bottom of the second story window, seeming to 
enter the wall on each side, and thus present a side 
view in passing. It then stood still in the window, 
and a part of the figure came through both the blind, 
which was close down, and the window, as its luminous 
body intercepted the view of the framework of the 
window. It was semi-transparent, and as bright as a 
star, diffusing a radiance all around. As it grew more 
dim, it assumed a blue tinge, and gradually faded away 
from the head downwards. The foreman passed twice 
close to the house under the window, and also went to 
inform the family, but found the house locked up. 
There was no moonlight, nor a ray of light visible any- 
where about, and no person near."

On page 358 of the same book, we have this account of an apparition seen by two observers:

"Dr. Kerner mentions a very similar fact, wherein an advocate and his wife were awakened by a noise and a light, and saw a beautiful child enveloped by the sort of glory that is seen surround- 
ing the heads of saints. It disappeared, and they never 
had a repetition of the phenomenon, which they after- 
wards heard was helieved to recur eveiy seven years in 
that house and to be connected with the cruel murder 
of a child by his mother."

On pages 14-15 of the very interesting book Noted Witnesses for Psychic Occurrences by Walter Franklin Prince, we have an account by James Ludovic Lindsay, a scientist, Parliament member and President of an astronomical society:

"That evening I missed the last train at the Crystal Palace, and had to stay at Norwood, and I got a shakedown on a sofa in Home’s room. ...Then I saw at the foot of my sofa a female figure, standing en profile to me. I asked Home if he saw anything, and he answered, 'a woman, looking at me.'...I saw the features perfectly, and impressed them upon my memory. She seemed to be dressed in a long wrap, going down from the shoulders, and not gathered in at the waist. Home then said, 'It is my wife ; she often comes to me.' And then she seemed to fade away.  . . The next morning, before I went to London, I was looking at some photographs, and I recognized the face I had seen in the room up-stairs overnight. I asked Mrs. Jencken who it was, and she said it was Home’s wife."

death is a passage
Artwork by William Blake