Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This case will also illustrate an evidential point. It occasionally happens that a

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

This case will also illustrate an evidential point. It occasionally happens that a number of occurrences, perhaps trivial in character, and each of them likely enough to be dismissed as merely a very odd coincidence, fall to the experience of one person; and if he is observant of his impressions, he may gradually become conscious of a certain similarity between them, which leads him to regard them as telepathic, or at any rate as something more than accidental. Before it can be worth while to consider such evidence, we must have reason to believe that the witness is a good observer, and alive to the very general mistake of noting hits and not misses in these matters. Such an observer we believe that we have found in Mr. Keulemans, of 34, Matilda Street, Barnsbury, N., a well-known scientific draughtsman, of whose care and accuracy we have had several examples. He has experienced so many of these coincidences that, even before our inquiries quickened his interest in the matter, he had been accustomed to keep a record of his impressions — which, according to his own account, were invariably justified by fact. Some more of his cases will be given in the sequel. The one here quoted is trivial enough (except perhaps to the baby who fell out of bed), and of little force if it were a single experience. Yet it will be seen that the impression was precise in character, was at once written down, and proved to be completely correct. We may perhaps assume Mrs. Keulemans to have been the agent.

"October 16th, 1883.

"My wife went to reside at the seaside on September 30th last, taking with her our youngest child, a little boy 13 months old.

"On Wednesday, October 3rd, I felt a strong impression that the little fellow was worse (he was in weak health on his departure). The idea then prevailed on my mind that he had met with a slight accident; and immediately the picture of the bedroom in which he sleeps appeared in my mind's eye. It was not the strong sensation of awe or sorrow, as I had often experienced before on such occasions; but, anyhow, I fancied he had fallen out of the bed, upon chairs, and then rolled down upon the floor. This was about 11 a.m., and I at once wrote to my wife, asking her to let me know how the little fellow was getting on. I thought it rather bold to tell my wife that the baby had, to my conviction, really met with an accident, without being able to produce any confirmatory evidence. Also I considered that she would take it as an insinuation of carelessness on her
part; therefore I purposely wrote it as a post scriptum.

"I heard no more about it, and even fancied that this time my impression was merely the consequence of anxiety. But on Saturday last I went to see my wife and child, and asked whether she had taken notice of my advice to protect the baby against such an accident. She smiled at first, and then informed me that he had tumbled out of bed upon the chairs placed at the side, and then found his way upon the floor, without being hurt. She further remarked, 'You must have been thinking of that when it was just too late, because it happened the same day your letter came, some hours previously,' I asked her what time of the day it happened. Answer: 'About 11 a.m.' She told me that she heard the baby fall, and at once ran upstairs to pick him up.