Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

in Mattie's departure. But little notice was taken of the matter, the rest of the folks supposing of course she would return as she had always done. Imagine the surprise and horror of the old gentleman when he arose the next morning and found Mattie lying on the piazza of the house, dead. A post mortem examination revealed the fact that she had taken arsenic sufficient to cause death, or in other words, she had committed suicide by poison. Of course it created a great sensation in our village, and for a time nothing else was talked of but the tragic death of the young and beautiful Mattie Lind.

. Even great excitements cannot always last, and so ere long, the people believing that Mattie's death had closed the scene, ceased to give the subject thought. But it seems there was an afterpiece to come, which was not laid down in the programme. To be sure, Mattie Lind's body lay over in the burying ground, but it soon appeared that she was not there.

“ On the same street, and near Mr. Lind's house, is an eating saloon, kept by one Thomas Capwell, who had in his employ a young man by the name of James Philips. I would here state that I am personally acquainted with Philips, and I am willing to vouch for his truthfulness and honesty. He was not a Spiritualist, and up to this time had not seen any of the phenomena; in fact, knew nothing whatever about the subject. Some little time after the afore-mentioned facts took place, Mr. Capwell went away, leaving the saloon in charge of Philips. One day during Mr. Capwell's absence, it was noticed by Mrs. Capwell and others that Philips' appeared very strange, He had a peculiarly wild look, and when spoken to would respond only in monosyllables, if at all

. His appearance and actions were such as to lead the people to suppose that he was suffering from a temporary attack of insanity. “ Mrs. Capwell

, knowing that there was two hundred dollars in the money drawer, thought she would secure that, and went to get it, but to her consternation found it gone. She inquired of Philips what had become of it? He affirmed that he did not know; and although his person and the premises were thoroughly searched, no trace of the money could be found. He continued in that peculiar state of mind all day, and at nine o'clock locked up the shop and started for home, as usual. But instead of going home, he went directly to Mr. Lind's, and entering the kitchen where the old gentleman and his wife were sitting, took a lamp and went up to the room formerly occupied by Mark and his wife. The old people, supposing that Mark had sent him on some errand, said nothing.

“ About ten o'clock Mark came home, and before entering the house he was surprised to see a light in his room. He

inquired who was there. His father replied that Mr. Philips was, asking if he did not send him. Mark passed up stairs and opened the door into his room, and beheld, to his utter astonishment, James Philips dressed in his wife'sMattie'sclothes. I will here state that Philips is a man somewhat below the medium size.

6 When Mark had sufficiently mastered his surprise to speak, he inquired of Philips what he was there for? The reply was, 'I should like to know who has a better right in Mattie Lind's bedroom than herself? Why didn't you come home before? It's time we were in bed. Come, get ready, and let us go to bed.' But Mark being completely confounded, not understanding the case, having seen little or nothing of the trance before, did not readily assent to the proposed arrangement. This aroused the amiable disposition of his late spouse, and she insisted upon his immediate compliance, in terms precisely similar to those employed in former days. The old folks, hearing the familiar sounds, rushed up stairs. The sight of the old lady did not serve to allay the wrath of the already enraged Mattie (for it was she in full control of the medium Philips), and she expressed herself in strong language, much of which is not found in polite literature stating that she was not dead, as they had supposed, that they had not got rid of her so easily, and she had come back to have her revenge both on Mark and the old woman; it was her determination to kill Mark Lind if she could; and as if to verify the statement, she hurled a penknife at his head, which barely missed him, and struck half the length of it in the door panel. This demonstration had the effect to make the whole party beat a hasty retreat. Mark brought up the rear, and shutting the door after him attempted to hold it; but although he had the handle of the latch and the medium the “catch,” he was unable to do so. Mark is a man weighing nearly two hundred pounds. He called his father to bring a rope, which he did, and by passing it through the handle of the door and winding it round the banister of the stairs, he succeeded in keeping the door fast.

“The senior Lind then called in a Mr. Lucian, who is a Justice of the Peace, and when people get into trouble they always send for him, no matter what it is. He also called in Mrs. Capwell. Happily, Mr. Lucian is a Spiritualist. He describes the scene as being somewhat ludicrous when he arrived. He asked the old lady what the trouble was? She replied, 'I do not know; Jim Philips is upstairs, and he acts just like Mat. Lind for all the world.' There stood Mark by the stair banister, as white as a sheet, holding on to the rope with all his might.

"What is the matter, Mark ?' said Lucian. Jim Philips is in my room, and he acts like possessed.' "Why don't you let go the rope and go in and see what is wanted I have been in there once, and I would not go again for a thousand dollars.' * Unfasten the door, and I will go in.' So Mr. L. opened the door and went in. There lay the medium in bed." Mattie's clothes were taken off and laid exactly as she used to lay them. All her little keepsakes were taken from the drawers where they were carefully put away, and lain upon the table. The album was open at her picture, and many other tests given to prove her identity. She addressed Mr. Lucian,, What are you here for? This is no place for you, in a lady's bedroom ! He, understanding the case, said in substance, I thought, Mattie, you would like to see me. How do you do?' This pleased her much;

her desire was to be recognized, and he had done so. He continued to converse with her in a pleasant manner, and finally prevailed upon her to yield to the control of the medium.

“About midnight Philips put on his own clothes and went home, and there were no more demonstrations that night. The next morning, when the bed was examined, there was found among the clothes a dirk knife that Mark had when in the army, and which had been lost for more than a year.

“The next morning Philips was oblivious of the night's and most of the day's proceedings. When he went to the shop, Mrs. Capwell asked him about the missing money. With much sur

What money ?? The money that was in the drawer.' I suppose it is in my pocket-book, where I always put it at nights,' taking it out; and there, sure enough, it was, all done up in a nice package, with a string tied round it, ' Ah!' said he, who has fixed it up like this? I certainly did not do it.' He was evidently unconscious that the money had been missing. No one knows where it went to this day, only Mattie says that it was one of her tricks.'

“ After this Mattie often took control of Philips, and whenever she did she was always for going to Lind's. She said she was determined to have her revenge on them some way. They had caused her to suffer, and she was going to return the compliment. I had considerable talk with her and endeavoured to shew her how wrong it was for her to entertain such feelings, but all in vain; she was inexorable. I conversed with Philips about her. He told me that he could always see her before she controlled him, just as distinctly as he could any one.

She looked the same as she did in the earth-life, only there was a dark shadow across her forehead, indicating her unhappy condition. He suffered a good deal from fear that while under her control he might be made to do some bad thing. The

6

This spirit

prospect was certainly not pleasant, and I did not blame him for being disturbed.

« But he was not destined to continue in this uncertain state long. One day he saw approaching him a spirit whom he describes as a large, noble and very pleasant-looking man. spoke very kindly to him, saying. You are very much annoyed by this bad spirit that seeks to use you for an evil purpose.

I have come to take charge of you, and to prevent her using you to any injury.

You need fear her no more. Trust me, and I will guide you free of danger.'

"Since that time, whenever Mattie has come and expressed herself vindictively, she is immediately made to retire by this benign and good spirit. He gave his name as Moses Figenbaum, a German by birth, lived in New York when he entered spiritlife, and did business on such a street, giving the number; told all about his family, &c. We of course knew nothing of such a person. One day an old German pedlar came to our place, who lived in New York. He stopped at Mr. Capwell's and Mrs. C. asked him if he ever knew Moses Figenbaum ? He said he did, and was well aquainted with him. On being questioned, he corroborated every statement that had been made through Philips. This to us was a very satisfactory test.

Philips tells me a very remarkable circumstance, the truth of which is testified to by Mr. Capwell and Mr. Lind, which took place about this time. He says, “I was waked up one night about two o'clock, and saw my bedroom door opened, and Mattie Lind entered with a pencil and paper in her hand. She approached the bedside and spoke to me, saying, “ Mark Lind agreed to meeť me to-night. He bas not done so.

I am going to write him a letter.' She sat down at the stand and wrote. I noticed that the pencil and paper were unlike any that was in the house. After writing for a time she arose and went out.

“ The next day Mark Lind came into the shop, and while there Philips was entranced by Mattie, and she said to him ‘I wrote

you

à letter last night, and carried it and put it on my grave in the cemetery. You will find it there, under the evergreen wreath. I tore the wreath to pieces—I am sorry I did so. Under the remnants you will find the letter.' Mr. Capwell proposed to go with him to verify the truth of the statement, so they both went over to the cemetery, which is a mile from the village, and coming to Mattie's grave they found the evergreen wreath torn to pieces and under the remnants they found a letter directed to Mark Lind, in the handwriting of Mattie Lind.

“ Since the good spirit has controlled Philips, Mattie has been powerless to use him as an instrument to wreak her vengeance on the objects of her hatred. But it seems that her wrath is still unquenched, and it is more than whispered that she has commenced business on her own responsibility, and strange sounds are heard and sights seen at Lind's. True it is that Mark Lind is an unhappy if not a haunted man.

“ Such is the substance of the story, as near as I am able to express it.

All the parties mentioned still live in Putnam, and can be consulted in reference to the truthfulness of the account. I presume that I have left out many important items, but enough is mentioned to prove this one of the most remarkable manifestations on record. It is interesting because the facts throw much light upon the condition of spirit existence, and are thus made very instructive.

66 It should be borne in mind that these manifestations came spontaneously, wholly unsought, into a family who were not Spiritualists, and through a medium who was neither a Spiritualist nor at all acquainted with the phenomena. The dark and unhappy condition of Mattie is a warning to all those who raise their hands against their own life, thinking to escape misery by so doing. Her persistent attempts to be revenged upon those whom she conceived to be the cause of her sufferings, shews that death does not make us saints, but that for a time at least we may retain the same feelings that governed us here. On the other hand a beautiful lesson is taught us by the mild yet firm interposition of the good spirit in answer to Philips' desire to be freed from the dangerous influence of Mattie. But I will leave people to draw their own inferences.

A. E. CARPENTER. “ Putnam, Conn., June, 1868.”

VERA VINCENT;
OR THE TESTIMONY OF T. M. SIMKISS, OF WOLVERHAMPTON,

TO THE TRUTH OF SPIRITUALISM.

[ocr errors]

" To the London Dialectical Society. “ Gentlemen,-In accordance with the expressed wish of your Committee, I herewith furnish, in writing, the substance of my testimony to the truth of Spiritualism, as given by me at your meeting at the residence of Dr. Edmonds, Fitzroy Square, London, on the evening of Tuesday, the 13th of April, 1869. “ Wolverhampton,

" T. M. ŠIMKISS. “ May 1st, 1869."

“ I have been a Spiritualist for nearly sixteen years, and have examined the various phases of mediumship with all the critical research of which I am capable.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »