The Sudden Appearance of a Loved One May Not Be a Ghost
There is a long history of the phenomenon of loved ones appearing to relatives at the time of death or crisis. Thus, they have been termed, Crisis Apparitions. However, these kinds of apparitions are not ghosts in the usual sense. The specters are visions of individuals who, at the time of their manifestation, are undergoing some form of trauma, for example, a severe illness or injury. In the majority of incidents, the apparition is someone who has just died. This can also hold true for individuals that have been murdered.
The spirit is usually only seen once as if to announce their death. They usually don’t speak but rather, wear an expression that conveys a deeply emotional message. Their facial countenance may be one of be trying to say something.
Curiously, Crisis Apparitions seem to occur when someone, in a split second of time, believes they will certainly die in that instant. The urgency and sadness of their impending death may project an image of themselves to someone close– like a mother or significant other. In other cases, a severe accident that has literally blown an individual out of existence, accounts for many reports of the spirit of the deceased, seen at that exact same moment.
How They Manifest
Crisis apparitions usually appear full-sized, solid looking, and are often surrounded by a surreal glow. The theory behind this phenomenon is that the victim, who is either ill or dying, sends out a telepathic image of themselves to their loved one or friend. In some cases, it has been reported the victim has a serene smile on their face as if to say, “I’m okay. Don’t worry about me.” They are visible for several seconds and then disappear leaving the witness in shock.
Crisis apparitions are common in wartime. There have been many reported accounts of dead soldiers appearing to a loved one. The “receiver” of the apparition may recall that they saw the apparition the same day the telegram says they died. This is a truly sad occurrence as the “receiver,” a mother, brother, father, etc., often realizes their relation has died and prepares themselves for the bad news even before it arrives.
*The Day Mrs. Church saw the “Ghost” of Her Brother
In 1960-61 Mr. and Mrs. John Church were stationed in Asia on a US government assignment. They decided to spend some vacation time in India, and it was there while in New Delhi, staying at the old Imperial Hotel that Mrs. Church related the following experience:
“One night I awoke from a sound sleep on hearing my brother, David, call my name. At the time he was living in Goshen, New York, where he operated a charter air service. Opening my eyes, I found him standing a few feet away, near the coffee table. There was enough light so that I could see him quite distinctly, and I noted that I could see he was wearing his pilot’s uniform. His face was blank, lacking any features.
Checking to make sure I was awake and not dreaming, I pinched myself, identified my surroundings, and touched my husband at my side. All the time I stared at my brother; there was no doubt about it – he was there in the room. I was shaken but not frightened, and I wondered whether to speak. After a moment or two his figure wavered, and then it slowly dissolved into vapor, from the head downward, until it finally vanished.
For the next several weeks we waited uneasily for mail from my family; happily, there was no bad news. Upon my return to the States a year later, I related my experience to my brother. He recalled a terrifying flight the previous year when he thought he was going to die; both engines of his twin-engine aircraft had failed, but as the plane plunged, one engine miraculously started up again. Although we were unable to synchronize the two experiences directly, we found they had occurred very close in time.”
Source: Reader’s Digest “Mysteries of the Unexplained.”
Delayed Crisis Apparitions
Delayed Crisis Apparitions are sudden appearances of a loved one or friend seen hours after death. Some psychical researchers suggest that the sender, or “agent”, unconsciously transmits the picture while still alive even if they are at the actual point of death.
A Brother Drowns
In his book Apparitions, author G.N.M. Tyrell discusses a classic delayed crisis apparition. The story goes that a lady called Mrs. Paquet whose brother worked on a tugboat in Chicago’s harbor, awoke one morning in a very depressed mood. She could not seem to shake the feeling. Having gone into the kitchen for some tea, she turned around to see her brother Edmund standing a few feet away from her with his back turned. She reported:
‘“The apparition stood with his back toward me and was in the act of falling forward — away from me — seemingly impelled by two loops or a loop of rope drawing against his legs. The vision lasted but a moment, disappearing over a low railing but was very distinct. I dropped the tea, clasped my hands to my face, and exclaimed. “my god! Ed is drowned.”’
Soon after this Mrs. Paquet received the tragic news that her brother had indeed fallen overboard and drowned, exactly as she had seen it happen. Yet, the event had actually occurred about six hours before her vision.
Source: Mysteries of the Afterlife, Frank Smyth & Roy Stemman, Aldus Books London 1975