Lengthy and detailed description of a woman's alleged psychic/astral travel to another world.
Following is the complete article from the Washington Post:
A Visit To Other Worlds.
A Woman's Remarkable Trip and Her Tragic Struggle
to get Back to Earth.
[New York World.]
A BELIEF in the possibility of the
mind or soul temporarily leaving
the body is widely prevalent today.
It is explicitly held by many
mystical sects and is more or less believed
by many students of the spiritualistic
and telepathic theories.
Hudson Maxim has drawn a fanciful
picture of what might happen if a mind
really could project itself with a rapidity
of thought to one of the distant stars. A
mind so situated and capable of looking
back toward the earth would now be
receiving the images of happenings in
ancient Rome, for the reason that, though
light travels with almost unthinkable
rapidity, the immense distance of the
stars would delay the images for many
hundreds of years.
The following narrative, which every
reader must judge for himself, is a typical
account of the mental experience of a
person believing in the possibility of an
Suspended between two worlds with all
the sensations as if it were a physical
reality, poised in the airless void of the
immensity of space, where the cold was
beyond the conception of the human
mind, unable to go or return, and seeing
the vital organs of her body cease their
functions, is the remarkable experience
claimed by Mrs. Aida de Nile, a beautiful
young California matron, in an attempt
made by her to "visit the planets."
The experiment nearly resulted fatally
to her. Found apparently dead, it was
many days before she left her bed. Her
sensations, however, which were remarkably
vivid and clear, make up one of the
many strange records of the American
Society for Psychical Research, which
took much interest in the young woman's
Mrs. de Nile recently went to California
from the East, where she was much
interested in the investigation of psychic
phenomena, and in the course of which
she had met some of the most prominent
scientific investigators in this field. Not
a Spiritualist nor a believer in Spiritualism,
she had devoted most of her attention
to the study of the mental and soul
forces, and was surprised to find that she
had acquired the ability to transfer her
consciousness or "go out of her body"
and return, bringing back a clear and
vivid impression and remembrance of all
that she had seen. Recently she conceived
the idea of attempting to visit
another planet in that manner, saying
nothing to any one about it.
"My peculiar ability to transfer my consciousness
to wherever I will to go,"
she said, "or 'going out of my body,'
which I developed while sick for many
months, first put into my head the idea
of trying to visit another planet. I do
not go into a trance, but my 'going out,'
as I call it, is wholly volitional and conscious.
Often I would stand out under
the sky at night looking at the stars,
and there would come over me a desire
to 'see' some of them.
"One morning a few weeks ago, when
every one in the house but myself and a
Japanese servant were gone, I resolved
to make the experiment. As I walked
through the kitchen to the back porch,
as the place best adapted for what I was
about to do, I looked at the clock. It
was just 10 o'clock. I sat down on the
porch, my feet on the steps and my back
against one of the columns. It was a
beautiful, sunny morning. The Japanese
servant was busy in the back yard
"Supporting my chin with my hands,
I concentrated my mind and was soon
floating in the clear sunlit atmosphere.
To all appearances my body was as real
as the physical, only it was vapory or
cloud-like, and seemed to be impelled or
propelled by my will, responding to every
desire in moving about. It was such a
beautiful morning that I hovered for a
moment over the house. I could see my
body sitting on the porch and the Japanese
cutting wood. Off to the west was
the beautiful Bay of San Francisco, the
hills of San Francisco on the other side
and beyond was the Golden Gate, through
which a steamer was coming.
"Soon I shot upward and out into space
like a comet, but much faster. I soon realized
that I was far out, for it began to
get dark and the sun, instead of getting
larger, was so much smaller. Oh, the
immensity of that space! It grew darker
and the atmosphere, which had grown
very light - in fact, there seemed to be
none ? now became denser. In some manner
I realized that I was approaching a
planet. Thicker, heavier and denser became
the air as I drew nearer, until I
could hardly make my way through it.
I felt as if I was surrounded by compressed
air. It was hot and sultry.
"I floated down over what appeared to
be a large city. It was night. Below
me I saw hundreds of lights twinkling
and there came to my ears the din of traffic.
I saw stars and three moons. The
largest was about half the size of our
moon, and moving around it but in opposite
directions, were two smaller moons.
All three were full and round and in color
and general appearance looked much like
"The atmosphere was so hot and so
dense that I had no desire to investigate,
but in response to my will I shot out into
space and turned to the left. Higher and
higher, further and further out into the
immense void I floated. Round about me
glimmered a myriad of stars. The atmosphere
rapidly became lighter and
cooler, and I traveled with greater ease
and speed. Soon I floated down upon another
"Again it was night and intensely dark.
I saw no moon or stars and perceived
that they were shut out by clouds. I
floated much nearer to the ground than
on the first planet. Despite the darkness
I was conscious of it being a rugged,
mountainous country. There was much
water on the planet. I made out several
large bodies of water like seas. There
were vast canals, narrow but numerous,
and miles and miles in length, many of
them running parallel to each other.
They looked, even in the darkness, like
ribbons or series of streets. I floated
over several cities, and in the lighted
streets saw a peculiar flaxen-haired type
of people of small stature, even smaller
than the Japanese.
"I left, and after another journey
through space I reached a third planet.
It was midday and the sun was shining
brightly. There were many mountains
and much timber, but I beheld no seas
or great bodies of water. I saw many
buildings of a low, flat architecture with
many low, arched doorways and apparently
of a light-colored stone. There
were many cities with narrow streets
and surrounded by high stone walls.
They appeared very ancient to me.
"The people were large and robust,
larger than the people of this world, and
all I saw were of a very dark type. They
were attired something like the ancient
Romans and Greeks, in skirt and tunic,
and the men and women were dressed
much alike. What impressed me as
strange was that every man, woman and
child ? and I saw many of them ? had a
peculiar hood of a material like straw
or matting and in shape not unlike the
bathing chairs on the beaches. My impression
was that they wore it as a protection,
but protection against what, unless
the sun's rays, I can not say.
"I realized that it was time for me to
return. To me it seemed I had been
gone for hours. Obedient to my will, I
turned for 'home.' On and on and on I
went with the speed of thought. The air
became lighter and lighter, it grew darker
and intensely cold. I knew I was going
at a speed that could scarcely be computed
by mathematics. The sun which
I had seen on the planet just left behind
receded until it was but one of many
stars in the distance. Would I never
reach the earth?
"The air, if such it could be called, became
more rarefied, and every moment it
was growing colder ? a cold that no thermometer
could measure. Was I lost in
the trackless space and immense void of
the universe? As the air became less my
speed began to slacken. Soon I noticed
that I was no longer moving at all, and
then I suddenly realized that I was suspended
in what appeared to be a vacuum.
I was powerless to cross the abyss. To
my astonishment I found that I could not
even go back to the planet and try it
over by going back over the route I had
come. Motionless, I was literally suspended
between the worlds. With that
came the realization that I was in grave
danger, but immediately came the
thought, 'If thou givest way to fear thou
art lost.' In my many experiments I had
learned how fear weakens the will power,
so I strove to maintain composure.
"Oh, the awful intensity of that cold!
Composed of no material atoms, yet it
seemed to me that the terrible cold congealed
the very spirit in me. It was so
cold that it burned like fire. It is impossible
to convey in words that sensation of
cold, the feeling that I had as I hung
there motionless. The stars and worlds
seemed far, far away, glimmering like
little points of light. There I hung in that
cold, abysmal space with all the thoughts
and sensations as if I was there in the
physical body. It could have been no
more real to me, for my senses when out
of the body are always more acute.
"Suddenly there flashed before me the
picture of my body on the back porch of
my home. It seemed millions upon millions
of miles away. The body had fallen
on the left side and was lying on the
porch, the eyes half open and staring.
There seemed to be a wilting and shriveling
of the vital organs. I could see
that the blood has ceased to circulate
and that the heart no longer beat. My
face was as white as that of a dead person.
I called upon the highest powers
for help and concentrated my will with
all the intensity that one sometimes is
capable of when in grave danger. I began
to feel as if some force of attraction
was acting upon me and drawing me
across the gulf. I moved on. Oh, the
joy of that moment! I was moving! But
oh, so slowly, so slowly, it seemed to me,
though doubtless I was moving with the
speed of lightning.
"I believe I was fully 15 minutes crossing
that awful gulf. Then I began to
perceive an atmosphere, perhaps only
ether, but what a relief! A little later
I was master of myself and the situation
again as I sped onward with ever increasing
speed. All at once I beheld at
my side an old man in flowing garments
and with white beard and hair. 'Maiden,
thou art too venturesome,' said he, sternly.
'Thou venturest too rar and art rash.
Few there are on the earth planet, who
can go as high and as far as thou didst
this day and return. Thou wert in grave
peril. Go, take up thy body, if it be not
already too late, and repeat not this rash
experiment alone.' With that he was
"Again I floated down through the
beautiful sunlit atmosphere. Again the
placid waters of the bay, beyond it the
city and the range of hills and cliffs flanking
the Golden Gate. The vessel I had
seen coming in as I went away was now
near the mail dock.
"A moment later I stood on the porch
by my body. It was lying on the side, the
face ashen gray, the eyes staring through
half-open lids. I could see that the heart
had ceased to beat and that the blood
was stagnated. Looking out into the back
yard I saw the Japanese boy sitting down
resting from his work of sawing wood. I
tried to enter the body, but for the first
time found I could not. Again and again
I tried. In vain. Then I noticed that my
tortoise-shell cat had crawled up under
my chin and was purring into my face as
I lay there on the porch. It made me intensely
angry, and that anger had the
effect, as it often does, of arousing great
"The next moment I felt a terrific
shock. I can only compare it to the sudden
starting of some vast and complicated
machinery. I looked through my
half open eyes and there, just as I had
seen a moment before, was the Japanese
boy sitting down and resting, while under
my chin was the cat. I felt the heart
begin to beat, oh, so little, and the blood
move. I was unable to move a muscle
or call for help. Perfectly helpless I lay
there some time. Soon it seemed that a
million needles were pricking me all over
"A few minutes later I was found lying
on the porch by members of the family,
who thought from my glassy eyes that
I was dead. As they carried me through
the kitchen to my room upstairs I glanced
at the clock. It was 10:45.
"Whoever the old man or the intelligence
was that spoke to me - for I do not
believe in spiritualism as generally understood -
I shall need his admonition and
warning. No more experiments of this
character for me. This earth is big
enough for me hereafter."
In discussing the unusual experiment of
Mrs. de Nile, Dr. James H. Hyslop, head
of the American Society for Psychic Research,
who has met her personally, said:
"It is certainly a most interesting experiment
and record. As to the young
woman leaving her body in such experiences -
that is the open question yet, so
far as science is concerned. It is not a
question of what the experience seemed
to her, but we do not yet know whether
it is merely an illusion about leaving the
body or an actual leaving of the body.
It might be accounted for on the supposition
that it was the telepathic effect of
deceased persons producing the phantasma
upon or in Mme. de Nile's mind. That,
of course, is a complicated explanation,
but it is a possible one.
"It is quite possible that the view of
leaving the body will ultimately be
adopted. That yet remains to be learned