“If this philosophy is wrong, if all the “materialized” forms emerging in darkened rooms from still darker cabinets, are spirits of men who once lived upon this earth, why such a difference between them and the ghosts that appear unexpectedly – ex abrupto – without either cabinet or medium?
Who ever heard of the apparitions, unrestful “souls”, hovering about the spots where they were murdered, or coming back for some other mysterious reasons of their own, with “warm hands” feeling like living flesh, and but that they are known to be dead and buried, not distinguishable from living mortals?
We have well-attested facts of such apparitions making themselves suddenly visible, but never, until the beginning of the era of the “materializations”, did we see anything like them.
In the Medium and Day Break, of September 8, 1876, we read a letter from “a lady traveling in the continent”, narrating a circumstance that happened in a haunted house.
She says: “…A strange sound proceeded from a darkened corner of the library…on looking up she perceived a cloud or column of luminous vapor; ….the earth-bound spirit was hovering about the spot rendered accursed by his evil deed….”
As this spirit was doubtless a genuine elementary apparition, which made itself visible of its own free will – in short, an umbra – it was, as every respectable shadow should be, visible but impalpable, or if palpable at all, communicating to the feeling of touch the sensation of a mass of water suddenly clasped in the hand, or of condensed but cold steam.
It was luminous and vapory; for aught we can tell it might have been the real personal umbra of the “spirit”, persecuted, and earth-bound, either by its own remorse and crimes or those of another person or spirit.
The mysteries of after-death are many, and modern “materializations” only make them cheap and ridiculous in the eyes of the indifferent.”
H. P. Blavatsky