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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 5944 times)
Porscha Campbell
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Posts: 212

« Reply #120 on: November 15, 2009, 05:27:29 am »

It is not difficult to trace the origin of the nervous and mental disease from which she suffered. Kerner's account of her childhood shows plainly that she was born temperamentally imaginative and unstable and that she was raised in an environment well calculated to exaggerate her imaginativeness and instability. Ghosts and goblins were favorite topics of conversation among the peasantry of Prevorst, while the children with whom she played were many of them unstable like herself, neurotic, hysterical, and the victims of St. Vitus's dance. The weird and uneasy ideas and feelings which thus early took possession of her were given firmer lodgment by her unfortunate sojourn with grave-haunting Grandfather Schmidgall. After this, it seems, she suffered for a year from some eye trouble, and every physician knows how close the connection is between optical disease and hallucinations. Then came a brief period of seeming normality, the lull before the storm[Pg 141] which burst in full force with her marriage to a man she did not love. From that time, the helpless victim of hysteria in its most deep-seated and obstinate form, she gave herself unreservedly to the delusions which both arose from and intensified her physical ills—ills which after all had a purely mental basis. "If I doubted the reality of these apparitions," she once told Kerner, "I should be in danger of insanity; for it would make me doubt the reality of everything I saw."
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