When Apparitions Are Seen of Those Who Died Long Ago (Part 2)


Apparitions of the dead seem to occur most commonly close to the death of the person corresponding to the apparition. But it is not all that rare for someone to see an apparition of someone who died long ago. I discussed some cases of this type in my previous post.  In this post I will cite some more cases of this type. 

On page 234 of Volume 10 of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, we have this account:

"My mother died in February, 1882, and for three months after her death she used to come to me almost nightly, after I had retired to my bed-room. Sometimes she would come up to the bed and bend over me; at other times she would stand at the door and beckon to me."


ghost repetition

On page 285 of Volume 19 of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, we have this account of an apparition of a mother who died 16 years ago:

" On June 5th, 1887, a Sunday evening between 11 and 12 at night, being awake, my name was called three times. I answered twice, thinking it was my uncle, ' Come in, Uncle George, I am awake,' but the third time I recognised the voice as that of my mother, who had been dead 16 years. I said, 'Mamma!' She then came round a screen near my bedside with two children in her arms, and placed them in my arms and put the bedclothes over them and said, ' Lucy, promise me to take care of them, for their mother is just dead.' I said, 'Yes, Mamma.' She repeated, ' Promise me to take care of them.' I replied, ' Yes, I promise you,' and I added, 'Oh, Mamma, stay and speak to me, I am so wretched.' She replied, 'Not yet, my child,' then she seemed to go round the screen again, and I remained, feeling the children to be still in my arms, and fell asleep. When I awoke there was nothing. Tuesday morning, June 7th, I received the news of my sister-in-law's death. She had given birth to a child three weeks before, which I did not know till after her death."

On the next page we are told this about the children in the vision or apparition: "The children were of ages corresponding to those of her sister-in-law's children : i.e., they seemed to be a little girl and a baby newly born." 

On page 213 of Volume 16 of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, we read of a mother who saw an apparition of her child long after the child died:

"It was almost the first anniversary of my beloved daughter’s going from us, and my heart was very sad because a deep sense of my loss seemed to weigh upon me. I awoke, rather indolently, this April morning, about six o’clock, with my faculties particularly clear and acute. On looking up, my beloved child was looking down on me, and smiling. Her face was perfectly distinct, and radiant with life and love, and so beautiful! The word that always applied to her was vivid, and so she was as she looked down on me. Such perfect beauty and happiness I had never seen, and it was her dear self without a doubt. On her face was transcendent joy, and I knew she was alive and well and happy."

On page 390-391 of Volume 15 of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, we have an account of someone seeing an apparition of someone who died long ago:

"As she sat there at work looking down, she saw a shadow of some thing that attracted her attention, and she thought someone had come in. She looked up and there, at a distance of about four feet, stood Mary Willard, her former classmate and friend. She was about four feet distant from Miss -----; was dressed in a cream white or light salmon-colored, soft, beautiful dress. She was dressed just as she was when Miss ----- knew her, as to style and general appearance, her hair combed low on her forehead as the custom was.... She remained about ten minutes, and Miss ----- said she smiled and looked exceedingly pleasant; that they communicated, but not by thought,....So she watched carefully and Mary 'dimmed out' while she looked — faded from sight without moving from where she stood."

We are then told the following about this account:

"Curiously, Miss Frances E. Willard did not think to set down the fact that Mary, whose apparition was seen by Miss Milner, was dead. She had in fact died in 1862, about nineteen years before."

On page 274-275 of Volume 14 of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, we have an account of Annie Halderman, who wrote repeatedly to a wounded soldier in Europe she had never seen. On the night she learned of the soldier's death, a month after it had occurred, she tried sending out "thought waves" to contact the soldier. She reported that on the same night she saw an apparition of a face, one that lasted for several minutes.  She then states this:

"Unsolicited by me, came a month later a letter from his widow, saying she knew her husband would like for me to have a photograph of himself, might she send one ? Another month elapsed before my eager answer in the affirmative brought the much wished-for post-card photo. It was the face of the man I had seen!"

On page 47 of Volume 1 of the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, we have an account of a dying boy who reported seeing the apparitions of his sister (who had died four years before his birth), his grandmother (who he had never seen), a Mrs. C. (who had died two years before), and someone named Roy who had died a year earlier.  On page 168-169 of Death and Its Mystery: After Death by the astronomer Camille Flammarion we have an account of a very young child who reported seeing his dead grandfather eight months after his death.  

On pages 429-430 of Volume XI of the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, we have an account by a mother who had two sons, one a baby and the the other a toddler of two years and seven months.  The baby died. The mother said that the toddler kept saying for months after the baby's death that he could see the baby, and that the baby was calling him, and that the baby wanted him to join him.  The toddler died two months after the baby. The diligent Society for Psychical Research obtained statements from witnesses corroborating the mother's claims. 

On page 238 of Death and Its Mystery: After Death by the astronomer Camille Flammarion we have this account of a wife who saw an apparition of her husband who had died a month ago: 

"It was sixteen years ago, one month after my husband's death, which occurred in August, 1883. One night, when I had awakened, I heard the door of my room open; then I heard steps and saw my dead husband draw near my bed. He pressed my right side to him, very hard, without saying a single word. Astounded, I did not speak. Then he went away, and I leaned out of my bed to watch him go (this proves, absolutely that I was awake). I heard steps again, and heard the door close once more. Long afterward, I still felt pain in my side."

On page 247 of Death and Its Mystery: After Death by the famous astronomer Camille Flammarion, we have an account of an apparition of someone that appeared three months after his death. 

"Three months after my husband's death I had returned from the country, where I had spent a day; there I had hardly thought of my husband at all. I went to bed; it was dark in the room. With my eyes open, I saw my husband before me, in a suit of clothes which he had worn out a long time before. His expression was mild and calm; it was as though his face were lighted up. His features were not bright, but were clear and distinct and seemed unsubstantial. I asked myself if it were really he. He bent over and kissed me. 'This is an illusion,' I told myself. I also perceived an odor of menthol (when he was alive, he always had a stick of it with him, because he suffered from headaches). Again I thought that this could not be possible. Mechanically I passed my tongue over my lips and tasted something slightly bitter; I did not know whether or not it was the taste of the menthol. 'Is that really you?' I asked. Slowly he vanished."

On pages 239-240 of Death and Its Mystery: At the Moment of Death by the astronomer Camille Flammarion we have an account of a Fernand who saw an apparition of his wife, about a month after her death:

"I saw my wife enter, pass rapidly between the bed and the mattress, cross the room, and kneel down before a little altar in a comer. She rose almost immediately and retraced her steps, going in the direction of the stairway. As she was passing near me I stretched out my arms toward her instinctively, as if to catch her dress, and cried out, 'Louloute!' the given name by which I usually called her. But, passing me rapidly, she avoided me. 'Peace, Fernand!' she said, in imperative tones, and at once she reached the stairs, where she disappeared."

In pages on pages 358-359 of  Volume 1, Number 4 of the Psychical Review (May 1893), we have an account by Martha T. Hamilton who saw an apparition of her mother who died twelve years earlier:

"I saw standing beside my bed, near the foot, a shadowy form so like my mother, who had died about twelve years before, that I recognized it immediately, and yet with a young, beautiful, spiritualized face fairly beatific in expression — a remarkable contrast to the sad, worn, suffering look I had last seen her wear in life. The figure was clothed in flowing, filmy draperies, the neck and arms uncovered. The angelic beauty of the vision was beyond anything my imagination had ever been able to picture. While I perceived this form near me, I also noticed that it was transparent, that I could see directly through it articles of furniture just behind it, and the peculiarity of the matter excited my wonder even then. I called out, 'Mother, mother!' and extended my arms. The nurse answered, 'Your mother is not here; why do you call her? I am the only woman here.' I replied, 'No, no! my mother is here.' Then it seemed that I communicated with the vision without spoken words, and that it replied in the same mysterious way. I felt that I asked, though I did not speak the words, 'Mother, why are you here?' It replied: 'You have been very near death. I am your guardian, and have been watching over you, so that in case you passed on to the new life I would be here to guide you on the journey.' I said, “I want to go with you now.' It answered, 'No, you are still to live on earth for a time.' Then the figure raised itself from the floor and floated towards the room door, which was closed. I felt it was leaving me, and cried out in agonizing tones, this time aloud,  'Mother, mother! take me with you!' Then the form turned its head over its shoulder, and, looking back at me with a gaze of intense longing and love, answered, 'Not yet, my child, not yet,' and, gently floating out and away through the door, disappeared from view, with the head still turned over the shoulder, and the same longing, loving expression on the face."