Thursday, January 14, 2010

I am a gardener in employment at Sawston. I always go through Hinxton churchyard on

From Phantasms of the Living by Edmund Gurney, Frederic Myers, and Frank Podmore, Chapter V "Specimens of the Various Types of Spontaneous Telepathy."

"I am a gardener in employment at Sawston. I always go through Hinxton churchyard on my return home from work. On Friday, May 8th, 1885, I was walking back as usual. On entering the churchyard, I looked rather carefully at the ground, in order to see a cow and donkey which used to lie just inside the gate. In so doing, I looked straight at the square stone vault in which the late Mr. de Freville was at one time buried. I then saw Mrs. de Freville leaning on the rails, dressed much as I had usually seen her, in a coal-scuttle bonnet, black jacket with deep crape, and black dress. She was looking full at me. Her face was very white, much whiter than usual. I knew her well, having at one time been in her employ. I at once supposed that she had come, as she some- times did, to the mausoleum in her own park, in order to have it opened and go in. I supposed that Mr. Wiles, the mason from Cambridge, was in the tomb doing something. I walked round the tomb looking carefully at it, in order to see if the gate was open, keeping my eye on her and never more than five or six yards from her. Her face turned and followed me. I passed between the church and the tomb (there are about four yards between the two), and peered forward to see whether the tomb was open, as she hid the part of the tomb which opened. I slightly stumbled on a hassock of grass, and looked at my feet for a moment only. When I looked up she was gone. She could not possibly have got out of the churchyard, as in order to reach any of the exits she must have passed me. So I took for granted that she had quickly gone into the tomb. I went up to the door, which I expected to find open, but to my surprise it was shut and had not been opened, as there was no key in the lock. I rather hoped to have a look into the tomb myself, so I went back again and shook the gate to make sure, but there was no sign of any one's having been there. I was then much startled and looked at the clock, which marked 9:20. When I got home I half thought it must have been my fancy, but I told my wife that I had seen Mrs. de Freville.

"Next day, when my little boy told me that she was dead, I gave a start, which my companion noticed, I was so much taken aback.