The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1859

Allan Kardec

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A Servant Spirit

We extracted the following passages from a letter of one of our correspondents from Bordeaux:

“Here you have, my dear Mr. Allan Kardec, a new report of extraordinary facts which I submit to your appreciation, requesting your kindness in verifying them, evoking the spirit who produced them.” “A young lady, here called Mrs. Mally, is the person that operates as an intermediary to the manifestations that constitute the subject of this letter. She lives in Bordeaux and is the mother of three children.”

“She has had visions since the age of nine. One night, coming to the house with her family, she sees at the corner of the stairs, the distinct form of her aunt, who died four or five years back. She says in surprise: A! My aunt! And the vision disappears. Two years later she heard a voice calling her, which she assumed was from her aunt. The call was so strong that she said: Come in aunt. As nobody come in she went to get the door. As she saw nobody she went downstairs asking her mother if she had seen anyone going upstairs.”

“A few years later we find this lady under the influence of a guide, or familiar spirit, who seems to be in charge of watching over her and her children, doing a number of small services in the house, among others waking up the sick ones when it is time for their tea, or waking up those who need to go out. He reveals his moral state through other manifestations. His character is not very serious; adding to the signs of frivolity he has however given proof of sensibility and dedication.”

“Mrs. Mally generally sees him under the form of a spark or a great clarity but to the children he appears under a human form. A somnambulist said that she was the one who gave Mrs. Mally that guide, over whom she would have influence. When Mrs. Mally spent some time without worrying about her guide he took care of reminding her through some more or less unpleasant visions. Every time, for example, that she went downstairs, she noticed a shiny cadaver covered by bed sheets. This lady has a strong strength of character, as we will see later. Nevertheless, she could not avoid suffering a painful impression from all that. She would seek refuge in her mother’s room, quickly closing the door behind her. On other occasions she would have the impression that her clothes were pulled or that someone or some animal touched her.

This naughtiness stopped as soon as she addressed one thought to her guide or when the somnambulist warned the spirit, prohibiting him from tormenting the lady.”

“In 1856 the third daughter of Mrs. Mally, a four-year old girl, fell ill. It was in August. The child was permanently in a state of sleepiness, interrupted by convulsions. For eight days I saw the child myself, who seemed to have come out of that state, taking a happy and smiley expression, eyes half closed, not looking around to those who surrounded her; then she would extend her hand in a gracious gesture, as if receiving something; she would take it to her mouth and eat, then appreciate that with a delightful smile. During those eight days the child was fed by that invisible food and her body recovered the usual appearance and freshness. When she was able to speak she seemed to have come out of a profound sleep, describing wonderful visions.”

“During the recovery in the same house, on August 25th, there was the appearance of a non-entity. Around 10:30 pm Mrs. Mally was walking downstairs, holding the child by the hand when she noticed a person walking upstairs. The stairwell was perfectly clear, receiving light from the kitchen, so that Mrs. Mally could distinguish very well the person who had the appearance of a healthy person. They met face to face at the stairway landing.

It was a young man of pleasant expression, well dressed, wearing a hat and having something in his hand that she could not figure out. Surprised by such an unexpected meeting, at that time and using the service stairs, Mrs. Mally stared at him not saying a word, not even asking what he wanted. The unknown person observed her for a moment, then turned back and went downstairs, rubbing the object he had in his hand on the handrail, producing a noise similar to a wooden stick. As soon as he disappeared Mrs. Mally dashed into the living room where I was shouting that there was an intruder in the house. We searched with the help of my dog. Every corner of the house was examined. We noticed that the main door to the street was closed; that nobody could have entered and that it would not have been possible to close it without a noise. It was unlikely then that an intruder had come to a lighted staircase, at the time when there was a good chance of being seen by people from any room of the house. On another hand, how could a stranger have been found walking on the stairs? In any case, had he been there by mistake he would have said so to Mrs. Mally. Instead he turned his back on her and calmly left, like someone who is not in a hurry nor is a stranger to the whereabouts. All those facts left no doubt about the nature of that individual.”

“That spirit manifests itself several times through noises which are similar to the drums; by violent blows on the stove; by stumping feet at the doors which open on their own; or by noises of gravel thrown at the windows. One day Mrs. Mally was in the kitchen when she saw the doors of a cabinet opening and closing several times, as if done so by an invisible hand. Other times, when starting a fire she would feel someone pulling her dress or holding her heel when climbing the stairs. Several times she had the scissors and other working objects hidden from her and after having already looked for them for a long time she would have them deposited on her lap.”

“On a given Sunday she was working in the kitchen, seasoning a knuckle of ham when the garlic clove was taken from her hands. She though it had fallen, she then tried to find it, unsuccessfully. She then turned the ham, finding the garlic buried in a triangular hole, without the skin, as if indicating that someone had intentionally hidden the garlic there.”

“Mrs. Mally was strolling around with her oldest daughter, the four year old, when she noticed that the child was entertained by an invisible being which seemed to be asking for the kid’s candies. The girl would close her hand and say:
• These are mine. If you want you can buy yours.

Surprised, the mother asked who she was talking to.
• It is this boy that wants me to give him my candies.
• Who is this boy? The mother asked.
• This boy here by my side. • But I see nobody.
• Ah! He is gone. He was wearing a white frizzled garment.”

“On another occasion the sick girl that I have already mentioned was entertaining herself, making paper birds.
• Mummy, mummy! Stop this boy. He wants to take my paper.
• Who? The mother asked.
• This boy, he took my paper. And the child was crying.
• But where is he?
• There! He is leaving through the window. Naughty boy.”

“The same girl was one day hopping on her toes to the point of becoming breathless, despite her mother’s urging to stop as the mother was afraid she would hurt herself. She suddenly stopped and said: Ah! It is Mom’s direction. When asked about the meaning of that she said that she had seen an arm holding her, forcing her to stop. She added that she was not afraid and that she immediately thought that it was her mother’s direction. Facts of that nature have repeated constantly, becoming familiar to the children that have no fear since the thought of their mother’s guide immediately comes to mind.”

“The intervention of that guide has manifested in more serious circumstances. Mrs. Mally had rented a house with a garden in the commune of Caudéran. The house was isolated, surrounded by vast prairies. She lived alone with the children and a young woman tutor. The neighborhood was then infested by criminals who used to vandalize properties around and that had naturally set their eyes on her property since they knew that it was inhabited by two women only, thus they used to come every night to try to force the doors and windows. For three years in a row Mrs. Mally lived in that house, constantly alarmed, but every night she would deliver herself to God. After her prayer, her spiritual guide manifested in the form of a spark. Several times, at night, when the outlaws tried to force their way into the house, a sudden flash of light illuminated her room and she heard a voice telling her: ‘Don’t be afraid. They will not come in.’”

“In fact, they had never been successful when trying to enter the house. Despite that, and for precaution, she had acquired firearms. One evening when she saw them coming around the house she fired her gun twice, hitting one of them because she heard the groaning. But they had disappeared the next day. The fact was reported by a Bordeaux newspaper as follows:”

“We have been informed about a fact that demonstrates the courage of a young lady who lives in the commune of Caudéran.”

“A lady that occupies an isolated house in that commune has for companion another young lady who is in charge of educating her children.”

“On the eve of the fact that we will report, the lady was victim of an attempt theft. They have then decided to be on the watch, and if necessary at night.”

“They did what they had planned to do. Then when the thieves showed up to conclude their unfinished business of the previous night they found a reception. They were careful enough not to establish any dialogue with the inhabitants of the surrounded house. When the young lady felt their presence she opened the door and fired a gun shot which may have hit one of the thieves since they found blood stains in the yard.”

“So far the responsible persons for that second attempt have not been found.”

“I will speak about other manifestations that occurred in that same house in Caudéran, while those young ladies were there. Strange noises were frequently heard at night, like balls rolling on the floor or firewood thrown on the ground. However, everything was in perfect order in the morning.”

“In case you think it to be convenient please evoke the guide of Mrs. Mally and question him about the manifestations that I have reported. Kindly ask him in particular if the somnambulist who has supposedly given her that guide has the power of recalling him and if he would leave in case the somnambulist died.”

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