Sunday, May 15, 2016

How it Feels to be Dead, article in the Boston Post 1897

HOW IT FEELS TO BE DEAD, article in the Boston Post 1897

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Intelligence, for August, publishes, on the authority of the Boston Post, an interesting story of the experiences of a man who was revived after being apparently dead for two days. The story is as follows:—

Minneapolis, Minn., May 9th.—W. A. Laufinan, a well known commercial traveller in this section, tells a most extraordinary story.

He says he was dead for nearly two days, and through the application of electricity he was brought back to life again, and that while dead he, in another form, walked about the room, went in and out of the house at will, and heard all that was said about him.

He says: "My strange experience dates from about two years ago, when I took sick in Mankato. . . . On December 26th, at eleven o'clock in the morning, the doctor pronounced me dead, and my body was turned over to M. Maul's undertaking establishment for preparation for shipment. My brother, C. H. Laufman. of Des Moines, IA., was telegraphed for and came on to take charge of my remains.

"On that fatal morning I was suddenly aware of an indescribable sensation, beginning at my feet and snapping clear through my frame and out at the top of my head. I was then conscious of something like a ball of cotton released and spreading out, in form the size of a man at least three feet taller than myself. I was standing in the centre of the room and plainly saw my dead body lying on the cot. I started to leave the room and met one of the doctors. I wondered that he did not say something to me, but as he made no effort to stop me I went out into the street.

"I walked down Fourteenth Street to the corner, towards California Avenue, and there met an old acquaintance from Mitchell, S. D., named Milt Blose. I attempted to strike him on the back by way of salutation, but my arm passed right through him. I did not speak to him, but struck at him again with the same result. I utterly failed to attract his attention, although I followed him at least a block. I distinctly saw him walk across the street and gaze at a miniature Ferris wheel in a window."

It may be stated that Mr. Laufman has letters and telegrams showing that Mr. Blose was in Omaha on the date mentioned and walked on the street and saw the Ferris wheel as described by Mr. Laufman.

Continuing with his narrative, Mr. Laufman said: "After leaving Blose I went up to the hospital to see the body. I found the door closed, but as I could see into the room I passed through the door and gazed at mvself for a while. I then went out and found the doctors and heard them discussing my case. I hung around with them until the arrival of my brother. I went in with him and the doctors and watched his anguish as he looked at my dead face. He remained at the hospital that night, as it was very late, and I went into the room with him and watched until he fell asleep.

"I was laid out dead exactly thirty-seven hours and fifty-eight minutes. I stayed around with the doctors and my brother during all of the time, and heard and remembered every word spoken by them. The doctors wanted to make a post-mortem examination, but my brother objected.

"Of course you want to know how I got back into my shell, and it happened in this way: One of the specialists wanted to try some experiment with a new electric apparatus. My brother consented to it, and I accompanied them to my deathbed to watch the operation. The instruments were attached to my feet, and I distinctly felt the sensation while standing out in the centre of the room. I was next conscious of excruciating pains all through me, and I knew I was in my body again."

These are the main facts in Mr. Laufman's story. His long months of illness and his slow recovery are matters well known in Mankato.—Boston Post.

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