Apparition of acquaintance before death - Mrs McAlpine, Glasgow

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[Image: furness-abbey-hotel-barrow-in-furness.png][Image: empress-of-china.jpg]
Furness Abbey Hotal, and Empress of China Steamship

Quote:No. 1. From Mrs. McAlpine.
Garscadden, Bearsden, Glasgow,

12th April, 1892. w On the 25th March, 1891, my husband and I were staying at Furness Abbey Hotel, Barrow-in-Furness, with a friend of ours, the late Mr. A. D. Bryce Douglas, of Seafield Tower, Ardrossan. He was managing director of the 'Naval Construction and Armaments Company,' and had resided at Furness Abbey Hotel for some eighteen months or more. He had invited us, along with a number of other friends, to the launch of the Empress of China. We breakfasted with Mr. Bryce Douglas on the day of the launch, the 25th, and afterwards saw the launch, had luncheon at the shipyard, and returned to the hotel. He appeared to be in his usual health and spirits (he was a powerfully-built man, and justly proud of his fine constitution). The following day (Thursday) he left with a party of gentlemen, to sail from Liverpool to Ardrossan, on the trial trip of the Empress of Japan (another large steamer which had been built at his yard).

"We remained on at the hotel for some days with our son Bob, aged 23, who was staying there, superintending work which Mr. McAlpine was carrying on at Barrow.

"On the Monday night, the 30th, I went upstairs after dinner. On my way down again I saw Mr. Bryce Douglas, standing in the doorway of his sitting-room. I saw him quite distinctly. He looked at me with a sad expression. He was wearing a cap which I had never seen him wear. I walked on and left him standing there. It was then about ten minutes to eight. I told my husband and Bob. We all felt alarmed, and we immediately sent the following telegram, 'How is Mr. Bryce Douglas?' to Miss Caldwell, his sister-in-law, who kept house for him at Seafield. It was too late for a reply that night. On Tuesday morning we received a wire from her ; it ran thus : 'Mr. Bryce Douglas dangerously ill.' That telegram was the first intimation of his illness which reached Barrow. As will be seen in the account of his illness and death in the Barrow News, he died on the following Sunday, and we afterwards ascertained from Miss Caldwell that he was unconscious on Monday evening, at the time I saw him."

Mr. Robert McAlpine, junr., writes as follows on April 4th, 1892.
"I distinctly remember that on the Monday night (30th March, 1891) my father and I were sitting at the drawing-room fire after dinner, and mother came in looking very pale and startled, and said she had been upstairs and had seen Mr. Bryce Douglas standing at the door of his sitting-room (he had used this sitting- room for nearly two years). Both my father and I felt anxious, and after some discussion we sent a telegram to Mr. Bryce Douglas's residence at Ardrossan, asking how he was, and the following morning had the reply, ' Keeping better, but not out of danger,' or words to that effect. I can assert positively that no one in Barrow knew of his illness until after the receipt of that telegram."

Mr. McAlpine, senior, corroborates the statement made by his wife and son ; and Miss Caldwell writes that she clearly remembers the receipt of the telegram and her surprise at receiving it " as I did not think anyone knew he was so ill." The landlady also confirms the dispatch of the telegram.*

This account, it will be seen, was written just a year after the event. But Mrs. McAlpine had sent a brief account to the same effect [to the SPR] on the 7th May,1891, six weeks after the event. In any case it is difficult, in view of the decisive corroboration afforded by the telegram, to suppose that the incidents have been seriously misrepresented by defect of memory. It may be true, as indeed appears from the newspaper account of the death, that Mr. Douglas had been observed by some of his friends to be unwell on the Wednesday before his departure from Barrow. But it seems clear that the McAlpines felt no overt anxiety on his behalf. An intimate friend of Mr. Douglas also residing in Barrow, Mr. Charlton, testifies that he was quite unaware of Mr. Douglas' illness until the Tuesday morning (31st March).

On the "ghost" theory, it will be seen, the ghost was that of a living man, which appears to have left its unconscious body in order to warn a friend of the approaching end.

Taken from the Book: Telepathic Hallucinations: The New View of Ghosts by Frank Podmore M.A.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
(This post was last modified: 2023-10-22, 03:53 PM by Max_B. Edited 3 times in total.)
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Very interesting. Thank you.
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