Published by The Blavatsky Archives Online. Online Edition copyright 2000.
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First S.P.R. Report on H.P.B.
Extract from Mr. B.s Diary.
On a Sunday evening, in November, 1881, I determined with the whole force of my will, I would project my spirit, by some means or other, into a house at Kensington, in which resided two ladies of my acquaintance, Miss ----- and Miss E. -----.
I resolved to make my presence perceptible in the room which I knew to be occupied by these ladies at night, and I determined that the time of my appearance should be at 1 oclock on the morning of Monday.
At the time of my experiment I was at Bayswater, and I arrived at the above-mentioned determination before going to sleep, at 11.30 p.m.
On the following Thursday I went to see the ladies in question, and, in the course of conversation (without any allusion to the subject on my part), the elder one told me, that, on the previous Sunday night, she had been much terrified by perceiving me (when awake) standing by her bedside, that she screamed as the apparition advanced towards her, and that she awoke her sister, who saw me also.
I asked her if she was sure she was awake at the time, and she replied most decidedly in the affirmative. Upon my asking her the time of the occurrence, she replied, 1 oclock in the morning.
This was the first occurrence upon which I tried an experiment of this kind, and its complete success startled me very much.
[In answer to an inquiry, he says: The entry in my diary is not dated, but I recollect having made it within a week or so of the occurrence of the experiment, and whilst it was perfectly fresh in my memory.]
Statement by Miss-----.
On a certain Sunday evening, about 12 months since, at our house in Kensington, I distinctly saw Mr. B. in my room, about 1 oclock. I was perfectly awake, and was much terrified. I awoke my sister by screaming, and she saw the apparition herself. Three days after, when I saw Mr. B., I told him what had happened; but it was some time before I could recover from the shock I had received, and the remembrance is even now too vivid to be erased from my memory.
January 18th, 1883.
From Mr. B.
On Friday, December 1st, 1882, at 9.30 p.m., I went into a room alone, and determined that I would project my spirit (or astral body) into a house at Kew, situate in ------- Road, and occupied by Miss -----.
Whilst making this experiment, I fell into a mesmeric sleep, and seemed actually to be in the above-mentioned house, and saw the interior of the sitting-room, which appeared to me to be empty. At 10 p.m. I awoke, and wrote down a brief account of my experiment.
Upon going to bed on this same night, I determined that I would visit the same house at 12 p.m., and that I would make my presence perceptible in the large front bedroom.
On the following day, I went to ------ Road to spend the evening, and met there a married sister of Miss-----, a Mrs. L.
I had not seen this lady for two years, and my interview with her then was of the briefest description, consisting only of the interchange of a few commonplace words following a ballroom introduction.
In the course of conversation (although I did not dream of asking her any questions on such a subject) she told me, that on the previous evening she had seen me distinctly upon two occasions. At about 9.30, she had seen me in the passage, and had followed me into a room, upon entering which she found it vacant. At 12 p.m., when wide awake, she had seen me enter the front bedroom, walk round to the bedside where she was lying, and take her hand in my own, gazing intently at it the while. She recognised me at once, and awoke her sister, and told her about the matter.
Directly Mrs. L. had told me this, I took the paper from my pocket, which I had written on the previous evening, and showed it to those present, thereby causing much astonishment and incredulity.
I asked her if she was not dreaming at the time of the latter experience, but she stoutly denied this.
Mrs. L. is a lady of highly imaginative temperament, and told me that she had been subject, since childhood, to psychological fancies, &c., thus causing me to be very cautious about her testimony; but when I realised the exact coincidence of the date and time, I was convinced that it was more than a flight of the imagination which she had experienced, and I therefore induced her to write a brief statement of her impressions and sign it.
At the time of the experiment I was five miles away.
On Friday, December 1st, 1882, I was on a visit to my sister at Kew, and about 9.30 p.m. I was going from the bedroom to get some water from the bathroom, when I distinctly saw Mr. B., whom I had only seen once before, about two years ago, walk before me past the bath-room towards a bedroom at the end of the landing. About 11 oclock we retired for the night, and about 12 oclock I was still awake, and the door opened and Mr. B. came into the room and walked round to the bedside, and there stood with one foot on the ground and the other knee resting on a chair. He then took my hair, which is long, into his hand, after which he took my hand in his, and looked very intently into the palm. Ah, I said (speaking to him), you need not look at the lines, for I never had any trouble. I then awoke my sister; I was not nervous, but excited, and began to fear some serious illness would befall her, she being delicate at the time, but she is progressing more favourably now.
From Mr. B.
March 22nd, 1884.
Dear Mr. Gurney --- I am going to try the experiment to-night of making my presence perceptible at (address given), at 12 p.m. I will let you know the result in a few days. --- Yours very sincerely,
April 3rd, 1884.
Dear Mr. Gurney, --- I have a strange statement to show you, respecting my experiment, which was tried at your suggestion, and under the test conditions which you imposed.
Having quite forgotten which night it was on which I attempted the projection, I cannot say whether the result is a brilliant success, or only a slight one, until I see the letter which I posted you on the evening of the experiment.
Having sent you that letter, I did not deem it necessary to make a note in my diary, and consequently have left the exact date slip my memory.
If the dates correspond, the success is complete in every detail, and I have an account signed and witnessed to show you.
I saw the lady (who was the subject), for the first time last night, since the experiment, and she made a voluntary statement to me, which I wrote down at her dictation, and to which she has attached her signature. The date and time of the apparition are specified in this statement, and it will be for you to decide whether they are identical with those given in my letter to you. I have completely forgotten, but yet I fancy that they are the same.
On Saturday night, March 22nd, 1884, at about midnight, I had a distinct impression that Mr. B. was present in my room, and I distinctly saw him whilst I was quite widely awake. He came towards me, and stroked my hair, in the same way in which he did when he appeared to me at Kensington. I voluntarily gave him this information, when he called to see me on Wednesday, April 2nd, telling him the time and the circumstances of the apparition, without any suggestion on his part. The appearance in my room was most vivid, and quite unmistakable.
(Witness) A. ----- (Full signatures given).
(Mr. B.s account. Copied, April 7th, 1884. --- E.G.)
On Saturday, March 22nd, I determined to make my presence perceptible to Miss -----, at 12 midnight, and as I had previously arranged with Mr. Gurney that I should post him a letter on the evening on which I tried my next experiment (stating the time and other particulars), I sent a note to acquaint him with the above facts.
About 10 days afterwards I called upon Miss -----, and she voluntarily told me, that on March 22nd, at 12 oclock midnight, she had seen me so vividly in her room (whilst widely awake) that her nerves had been much shaken, and she had been obliged to send for a doctor in the morning.
I asked her to sign a statement of these facts (which I drew up at her dictation), and she did so.