By Jim Miles
I swear sometimes I am guided to Weird Georgia stories. This one I gleamed from a book titled The Phenomenon of Astral Projection by Sylvan Muldoon and Hereward Carrington, initially published in 1951 and most recently reprinted in 1981. It is found in a chapter titled “Projections at the Time of Death, Witnessed Projection of Dying Person.” The case was first published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1915. This astral projection case is recorded as “The Sargent Case” for the narrator and “principal percipient” Mrs. Margaret Sargent, a certified nurse. Sargent worked in Augusta and the date was described as “some years ago.”
Sargent and a doctor were sitting with “a sick young lady with an obstinate fever.” At 11 p.m. “disquieting symptoms developed.” The girl’s mother slept in the next room, but “we did not want to disturb the sick girl’s mother, because the doctor was afraid that she too would become ill if she lost too much sleep.
“We knew, however, that the sick woman ardently desired the presence of her mother, but since she had become unconscious, we did not think it necessary to satisfy that desire….The final symptoms were not long in beginning, and we were awaiting death…The doctor and I, long since familiar with the scenes of death, nevertheless, felt a sense of solemn mystery, which kept us, as it were, nailed to our places.
“I was sitting at the foot of the bed, silently watching the poor dying young woman, whose breast had ceased to move…Suddenly, from the head of the bed, I saw a white form advancing, a robed form, although I could not see the face, because it was turned in the opposite direction. The form remained for a moment by the inert physical body, then passed swiftly past the doctor and glided toward me, but always turning its face n the opposite direction.
“It entered the room of the sick woman’s mother. I was stupefied, and at the same time had an inhibition that kept me from moving or speaking. I could not understand how the form passed through the wall…At the moment the phantom passed the doctor he exclaimed, ‘Something struck me on the shoulder!’”
“Yes,” Sargent replied, “the woman just went past you.”
“’What woman?’ he exclaimed. ‘I saw no one. But someone struck me. What does this mean?’
“We looked at each other in utter stupefaction. But we were both recalled to reality by the feeble voice of the sick girl, who, now, to our astonishment, was still alive, and had recovered her senses.
“She lived twenty-four hours longer, dying completely conscious, with her head affectionately resting on the arm of her mother…It is our absolute conviction that, at the time when death was imminent, the soul of the young girl, who idolized her mother, left its own body for the moment to make its adieux and then returned to its own again.”
Sargent added that if one rejected a case of astral projection in this instance, “one must at least admit that a spirit was manifested to us that night, that it was visible to my eyes and that it signaled its presence to the doctor by striking him upon the shoulder…”
Sargent’s theory was “that the desire of the dying girl to be with her mother, caused her to be projected to her, and that the blow which the doctor received was in vengeance for his refusal to summon the mother at the girl’s request.”
The doctor, considered to be “of the highest standing” in the local medical field, added to the article, “I am the doctor referred to in the above story and I certify without hesitation that it is absolutely correct.” His name was not revealed.
This is my first Georgia astral projection case, and I never expected to find even one.
Jim Miles is the author of two Weird Georgia books, seven books about Georgia ghosts and eight books about the Civil War. To see all of his books go to the Jim Miles Author Page on Amazon. Order autographed books or contact Jim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org