A Spiritualist explanation for the relatively frequent phenomenon
of children reporting invisible playmates. In Spiritualism,
these are children who have died and, according to accounts
of mediums in trance, are growing to maturity in an
afterlife. Child mediums have often claimed spirit children as
their playmates, and mediums have often had a child as one
of their spirit controls.
Florence Marryat, in her book There is No Death (1891),
writes of medium Bessie Williamss little girl Mabel I have
watched her playing at ball with an invisible child, and have
seen the ball thrown, arrested half-way in the air, and then
tossed back again as if a living child had been Mabs opponent.
According to Marryat, when a still-born baby enters the
other side, she is delivered over to the nearest relative of its
parent to be named and brought up.
The nurse of the little Guldenstubbe, writes Baron Hellenbach
in his book Birth and Death as a Change of Perception
(1886), who afterwards became a very celebrated medium, noticed
with terror that his playthings moved about by themselves,
while the child declared that another child was playing
Marryat, Florence. There is No Death. London K Paul,
Trench, Trubner, 1891. Reprint, London Griffith, Farran,