Ghosts I Have Seen, and Other Psychic Experiences
Ghosts I Have Seen, and Other Psychic Experiences is a book by Violet Tweedale published in 1919 in which she documented her psychic experiences.
Chapter I, Silk Dress and Rumpus
- Today I heard music which I had known and loved in the happy, careless long ago, and whilst I was lost in a dream of half-forgotten bliss I smelt the fragrance of mimosa flower. I cannot describe the sensations of joy that thrilled through my whole being. An involuntary moving of the spirit, an emergence into a dream world, described by the Greeks as "ecstasy." The music fashioned the invisible link, and I was back again on a hillside where the mimosa grew in native abundance. Now, one thinks of France only as a hideous battle plain, but memory, the true dispensator of time, is never bound by years. She keeps ever fresh, in glowing colors, those ideal moments that gather up the utter joys of life into one divine sheaf of memory.
- I have written in this book of the miracles I have seen. Some of them any one can see, others are reserved for the delectation of the few. I have written of strange visitants from other realms, and of that vivid illumination which at moments lays bare the hidden springs of life, when the spirit emerges beyond the limit of human thought, and familiar things, beyond the horizon of life, and touches a sphere beyond immortality. It is a condition that the grave has nothing to do with, a beholding beyond the frontiers of the soul.
- I have written of the spiritual life, for without this spiritual life a palace would be no wider than a tomb. The vastness of the spirit world defies description. It can choose its own pathways, and any one of these long, long roads leading to the great mysteries.
- It is now almost universally acknowledged that psychic experiences, of a specific nature, occur at certain times to certain people, that are not explicable by any known science. Generally, they are experiences which point to the continuity of the human consciousness with a wider spiritual environment, from which the normal man is shut off.
- I hope that I have never tried to convince others of the truth of these experiences. If I have done so it has been unconsciously done. I am absolutely persuaded that such phenomena can only become convincing when personally experienced. Such matters ought not to be accepted on hearsay. It is mere folly for one woman to attempt to demonstrate to another the existence of the human soul. The most that A can communicate to B, of any part of her own experiences, is so much of it as is common to the experiences of both.
- I have proved conclusively to my own consciousness that I am linked up with a wider consciousness from which, at times, such experiences flow in.
- I know my soul to be in touch with a greater soul, which at moments enters into communication with me, and opens out a vastness which it is impossible to translate into words, and which annihilates space and time.
- I have had my vision, and I know. Therefore I am quite unmoved by criticism or ridicule.
Chapter IV East End Days and Nights
- At that early period some one happened to mention to me that a certain Madame Blavatsky had just arrived in London, bringing with her a new religion. My curiosity was at once fired, and I set off to call upon her. I shall never forget that first interview with a much maligned woman, whom I rapidly came to know intimately and love dearly. She was seated in a great armchair, with a table by her side on which lay tobacco and cigarette paper. Whilst she spoke her exquisite taper fingers automatically rolled cigarettes. She was dressed in a loose black robe, and on her crinkly gray hair she wore a black shawl. Her face was pure Kalmuk, and a network of fine wrinkles covered it. Her eyes, large and pale green, dominated the countenance — wonderful eyes in their arresting, dreamy mysticism.
- I asked her to explain her new religion, and she answered that hers was the very oldest extant, and formed the belief of five hundred million souls. I inquired how it was that this stupendous fact had not yet touched Christendom, and her reply was that there had never been any interference with Christian thought. Though judge of all, Christianity had been judged by none. The rise of Japan was a factor of immense potency, and in time would open out a new era in the comprehension of East by West. Then the meaning would flash upon the churches of the words, "Neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem."
Chapter V The Man in the Marylebone Road
- I explained to her my difficulties, which she proceeded to solve by expounding the doctrines of reincarnation and Karma. They jumped instantly to my reason. I there and then found the Just God, of whom I had been in search. From that day to this I have never had reason to swerve from those beliefs. The older I grow, the more experience I gather, the more I read, the more confirmed do I become in the belief that such provide the only rational explanation of this life, the only natural hope in the world to come. I have offered those beliefs to very many people whom I discovered to be on the same quest as I had been. I have never once had them rejected by any serious truth-seeker, and I have seen them passed on and on by these people to others, forming enormous ramifications which became lost to view in the passage of time and their own magnitude.
- It is thirty years ago since I became a convert to Spiritualism. At that time I made up my mind that I would attend fifty séances, and if, out of that number, I did not come across one that I could be absolutely certain was genuine I would attend no more. Spiritualism, in itself, never interested me, but I was determined to see for myself if there was really anything in it. I attended twenty-nine séances before I happened on one that was absolutely convincing. Several had been almost convincing, but a loophole for fraud had remained, and so long as that was the case I persevered.
- I went one summer morning to see an old man who lived in the Marylebone Road. I was shown up into a sunny little room on the first floor. It had neither carpet, curtains nor window blind, and it looked on the street. The furniture consisted of a plain, uncovered deal table in the middle of a clean planked floor, and eight plain uncovered deal chairs were ranged round the walls... "Please make those four chairs opposite to us cross the floor and mount on to the table," I said. The old man drew his chair quite close to mine, "Then give me your hand." I removed my glove and did as he asked... "I am not a hypnotist, but I see you have power. You may as well lend me some. You are young, and I am old.".. At that second my attention was distracted by a grating sound... I saw the four chairs leave the wall and advance towards the table... There appeared to be four invisible hands at the work. Then, one by one, they were neatly balanced, one on the top of the other, on the table... "Good boys! good boys," I heard him murmur. "How is it done?" I asked him. He shrugged. "The Petris (spirits) do it..." "Then ask 'the Petris' to put the chairs neatly back again." "The Petris" performed this feat very expeditiously...There was no loophole here for fraud, not a wire, or string, or any human manipulation...
Chapter IX Pompey and the Duchess
- I remember Lilian, Countess of Cromartie, telling me of a strange incident that once happened to her. She was walking alone one bright summer morning in Windsor Great Park. Suddenly she saw an amazing looking creature loping slowly towards her. It resembled an enormous hare. That is to say, its legs and head were those of a hare, but its size was that of a goat, and its horned head was half-goat, half-hare. This creature, loping without any fear, and with a hare's movement straight towards her, caused her to pause. She stood still and breathlessly waited its approach. It passed quite close to her, and as it did so she struck at it with her parasol. Instantly it disappeared. Chapter IX
- This couple were traveling in the wilds of Greece, and one night they wandered out together on to a bare mountain side. Sitting down to rest they were enjoying the beauty and utter loneliness of the moonlit scene, when they suddenly heard the galloping of many horses' hoofs approaching them. This astonished them greatly, as they were in so wild and unfrequented a part of the country. There was no road near them, and it seemed strange to hear horses galloping so fast on such rough ground at night, even though there was a moon. Husband and wife stood up immediately in order to show themselves. The sound suggested a headlong rush, and they feared that in another second a whole regiment might ride over them.
They had not long to wait. A troop of creatures, half-men, half-horses, tore past them, helter-skelter. Fleet and sure-footed they thundered by, and they brought with them the most wonderful sense of joy and exhilaration. Neither the Grand Duchess nor her husband felt the smallest fear; on the contrary, both were seized by a wild elation, a desire to be one of that splendid legion. The thundering of their hoofs spread over the hills, and died away into the distance.
- I happened to hear the Grand Duchess tell of her weird experience... There were several people in the room whilst the Grand Duchess was unfolding, in the most impressive manner, this strange event... She told us that when a child of seven years old, she had passed through some minutes of such absolute terror, that as long as she lived she would never forget... With another child... she was playing one summer morning out of doors. After a little while the nurse rose from her seat amongst the heather, and wandered away a short distance, out of sight but not out of hearing... the two little girls heard some bushes behind them rustling, and a huge creature, half-goat, half-man, emerged and leisurely crossing the road in front of them plunged into the woods beyond and was lost to sight. Both children... screamed loudly. The nurse ran back to them, and... scolded them... No such animal existed, such as they described, an animal much bigger than a goat, that walked upright, and had but two legs, and two hoofs, that was covered with shaggy brown hair from the waist downward... the smooth skin of a man from the waist upward! The nurse bade them come home at once, and as they gained the road Miss Wemyss pointed down into the dust. Clearly defined was the track of a two-hoofed creature that had crossed at that spot. The nurse stared for a moment... then... they all ran. She never took her charges near that spot again.
- In after years, when grown up, she realized from pictures that what she had seen was a Faun or Satyr. Such pictures or statues always sent a thrill of horror through her. She attributed this apparition to the fact that she and her companion were playing close to the site of a Roman camp, and the road was an old Roman road. She went on to say that the Grand Duchess had given her courage to tell this incredible story. It was as absolutely real to her as was the passing of the Centaurs to the Grand Duchess... She never mentioned it to any one, as she felt that no one would believe her. She could always smell again the scent of summer, and the odor of pine trees, and hear the trickling of water from a tiny stream. She could always see a wide, white road, ribbon-like stretching away to the horizon.
- She believed that there was a real world beyond the glamour and vision of our ordinary senses, and sometimes this veil was lifted for a few seconds. She believed that much of the tradition of mythical creatures represented solid fact, and that it was possible there were failures of creation still extant. Again, might there not be races fallen out of evolution, but retaining as a survival certain powers that to us appear miraculous.
Chapter XXIII Auras
- I was born with the power to see auras, and I had attained to quite a grown-up age before I discovered that every one could not see them.
- What is an aura? You will see them glittering round the heads of saints, and of The Christ in church windows. You will see them painted round the head of the Blessed Virgin, round the head of the Infant she holds, but, indeed, auras are the property of all, however humble and lowly. Nothing that has life, be the spark ever so faint, is without its astral counterpart, its tenuous surrounding atmosphere.
- Habitual seeing of human auras has made me no more or less observant of them than I am of the human face.
- If I am asked by any one to say what her aura looks like, I do so to the best of my ability, but at that complacent moment it is a very tame affair, much like the aura that any one may see surrounding a lighted candle. A medley of prismatic hues, no color predominating.
- Where auras become really interesting is in a room full of people. I look down to the far end of the room where a group is seated talking. I cannot hear what they are saying, but I can tell at once whether the conversation is harmonious or otherwise. Often there will be one member of the group whose aura is very disturbed. It will emit flashes of brilliant red as he talks vehemently.
- Many people seem to think that the power to see auras must be very useful in helping one to distinguish between friends and foes, but such is not really the case. Auras exemplify individual character, not individual predilections, and some of my friends being very bad characters, indeed, have shocking auras. I had one great friend who, at the beginning of our acquaintance, spent much of his time in prison, which was really a blessing for his ill-used wife. His aura was literally in tatters, just a little irregular circle of rags and patches. I had just succeeded in making him sober, by insisting constantly and most seriously that he was "a cut above the public-house," and much too superior a man to mix with such degraded companions, when the war broke out. He went to the front, and on his first return to Blighty, badly gassed, he came at once to see me. I really felt a sort of personal pride in him, and an actual sense of personal possession in his enormously grown aura... Here, indeed, was an infant soul that had begun to develop on the right road, and the tattered aura of rags and patches had become a neatly trimmed little halo round his poor tired head.
- I am sorry that I have had no opportunity of seeing President Wilson's aura, the man who has turned his face towards a heavenly ideal, and is scattering the seed amongst all the nations. When a man sets out on such a long radiant path, he will carry visibly in the daylight an illuminated brow. He has brought to us the vision without which the people perish.
- I suppose I must have enemies. They say every one has, but they have never made me aware of their enmity, perhaps because there is no room in a very full heart to receive aught but love. If I were to single apart one outstanding feature in my life, it would be the wonderful kindness and friendship that has been given to me. Ah! how easy that makes it to write lovingly of others.
- Behind all this lies the master passion of the born mystic for liberation. The constant ache and urge for real freedom, and power to be victorious over all circumstances. At home in all scenes, restful in all fortunes. There is the urge of the soul for universality of contact with all humanity, independent of race, color or creed. The urge of the spirit to smash the confines which pinion it down to earth.