Chapter 1 - Personal experiences in the field of spiritual apparitions

- 31 - 1. 3. 4 Incredible - but true! In Whitsuntide of 1924 I was travelling to Graz in Styria. On the stretch between Passau and Vienna I was alone with a young man in a railroad compartment, seated opposite him and reading, when I saw his head suddenly drop forward as though he had fallen asleep. Almost instantly he straightened up again, sat with his eyes closed, took a notebook out of his pocket and covered a page of it with writing. Then he tore out the page and handed it to me saying: “Take this and keep it. What its meaning is, you will be told elsewhere.” I looked at the writing but could not decipher the characters. At that moment the young man recovered consciousness. He did not know that he had written anything or that he had given me the paper, nor did he remember a word of what he had said to me. He, too, was unable to read the characters set down on the paper. After my return from Graz to my parish I carried the paper about in my pocket for two weeks. One Saturday evening I arrived at the home of my speaking medium’s family. The boy was alone in the room. After a few moments he fell into a “trance” and said: “Show me the paper you have with you, which was given you on your journey to Graz.” When I had given it to him, he read it and said: “Tomorrow afternoon a Jew will come to see you. People think he is sick, but as a matter of fact he is being tormented by an evil spirit that has such power over him that he can scarcely utter a word. As soon as he comes, call the boy through whom I am speaking. Leave all the rest to me. You will see mighty things. This note was written by the Jew’s guardian spirit through the medium whom you met on your trip to Graz. It is the spirit of a deceased uncle of his, who lived in Cologne. The evil spirit tormenting the Jew is also that of a deceased relative.” At four o’clock the next afternoon someone rang the rectory doorbell. I opened the door and was startled at seeing a man whose limbs were contorted and whose head was jerking back and forth nervously. He tried to speak but could not utter a word. I took his hand and led him to my room, and at once sent for the boy. He came, fell into a trance before the Jew, rose, stretched out his hand as though exorcising the visitor, and addressed him in a foreign language that I could not understand. The Jew was tossed back and forth several times by an invisible force; then he was freed from the evil influence, wept for joy and began to speak without any difficulty. He told me that he knew quite well what had just taken place. He himself, he said, had the power of clairvoyance and could distinguish the spirits about him, good and evil ones.. His good spirit was that of an uncle of his from Cologne; the evil one was that of a relative whom he had not known in this life. The evil spirit had tried to prevent him from coming to see me and on his way to my house had shouted the vilest epithets and curses at him in Hebrew, some of which he repeated to me. Now he hoped that he was forever rid of the spirit. He knew also what spirit it was that had just set him free. Taking his prayer book out of his pocket, he showed me a Hebrew prayer to one of the high celestial powers. The Jew had not been mistaken: it was the very spirit who was then present. While I was still talking to the Jew, the boy once more went into a trance and turned to me, saying: “What I am telling you now cannot be heard by this man; his senses are being dulled so that he cannot understand me. The things that have just happened were shown as an object lesson to you and to him also. He will be freed from his evil spirit for a short time only, for the spirit will come back and torment him until his death. He has merited this punishment. He will not come to see you again, for he will never again be able to muster the strength to do so.”