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Why some people believe they can hear the dead

By Adam J. Powell, Assistant Professor (Research), Religion and Medical Humanities, Durham University
Peter Moseley, Senior Research Fellow, Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle
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It’s a blustery October night in 1841, and though Liverpool is sleeping, Mrs Bates is very much awake. Before her, shining brightly at the foot of her bed, is an “open vision” of her friend Elizabeth Morgan, “standing in full view before her, clothed in robes beautiful and white”. The shimmering vision lingers for “some considerable length of time” before fading away. When dawn arrives, and after a fitful sleep, Mrs Bates is informed by a messenger that Elizabeth Morgan is dead.

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