The Phantom Sphere of Evil

Sounds of mingled import—bursts of laughter—utterances of revelry, of gay sport and witty ridicule, and polished sarcasm, and obscene allusions and terrible curses broke upon my ear. These again were intermixed with impure solicitations and backbitings, and hollow compliments, and feigned congratulations, and all in one sparkling brilliancy, agitated the pained, bewildered sense.
As I advanced, I walked as upon scorpions, and trod as amid living embers. The trees that seemed to wave about me were fiery exhalations, and their blossoms the sparklings and the burnings of unremitting flames. Each object I approached by contact created agony. 

The phosphorescent glare that surrounded the various objects burned the eye that looked upon them. The fruitage burned the hand that plucked and the lips that received it. The gathered flowers had emitted a burning exhalation, whose fetid and noisome odor, inhaled in the nostrils, caused excruciating pain. The fiery atoms of the atmosphere burned as they were wafted by me. The air and the blast that moved it, alike were burdened with the very elements of disappointment and wretchedness.

Upon turning to see if I could discover a single drop’ of water to allay the fierce and intolerable thirst; fountains appeared, and rivulets flowed amid the herbage, and lay in calm and placid pools. Soon, however, I discovered that these corresponded with the former illusions, and the drops of spray from the sparkling fountains fell like drops of molten lead upon the shrinking form. The flowing rivulets were like the molten river of metallic fire that streams from a furnace seven times heated; and the deep still pools were as the white and waveless silver in some glowing crucible, when every atom is burning with a fierce, intolerable glow.

A Lost Spirit Speaks

When in solemn contemplation of these fearful scenes, a spirit approached me whom I had known on earth. This being appeared externally far more brilliant than when in the body. The form, the countenance, the eyes, the hands, appeared endued with a metallic lustre that varied with every motion and every thought. Accosting me the spirit said:

Marietta, we are again met. You see me a disembodied spirit, in that abode where those who inwardly deny the Savior find their habitation when their mortal day has ended. Strange emotions agitate your bosom. Thus I felt, looked, wondered, and moved in sad and bewildered anxiety in the hour when my being here discovered the theatre of its present existence. But I experienced that which you have never yet realized in the interior principles of mind. Strange and incontrollable are the emotions causing me to relate that inward sorrow which this brilliant exterior would, if it were possible, conceal.

Autumnal splendor from:

Scenes From Beyond the Grave

published in 1865 by Marietta Davis

 
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The Unhallowed Lost

As the autumnal shades deepen and memories of the haunted past surge and rise from the depths of despair, I offer pearls of eternal wisdom to set in your corroding crowns of earthly joy.

(favorite passages: Scenes From Beyond the Grave published in 1865 by Marietta Davis)

 The Abode of the Lost

Suddenly a sable veil of nether night appeared to ascend, pervading, and encompassing my being. My inner doubt seemed wrought into a cloud that shut out the upper glory, and the spirit of denial plunged me into the vortex of a deeper gloom. I fell as one precipitated from some dizzy height. The embodiment of darkness opened to receive me. The moving shadow of a more desolate abyss arose like clouds in dense masses of tempestuous gloom; and as I descended, the ever-accumulating weight of darkness pressed more fearfully upon me. At length a nether plain that seemed boundless was imaged upon my sight, which, at a little distance, appeared to be covered with the sparkling semblance of vegetation. Luminous appearances, like waving trees, with resplendent foliage, and flowers and fruits of crystal and of gold, were visible in every direction.

Spirits of the Lost

Multitudes of spirits appeared beneath the umbrage, and luminous mantles were folded about rapidly moving forms. Some wore crowns upon their heads; others tiaras; and others decorations of which I knew not the name, but which appeared to be wrought of clusters of jewels, wreaths of golden coin, and cloth of gold and silver tissue. Others, wore towering helmets; and others circlets filled with glistening and waving plumes. A pale phosphorescence was emitted by every object, and all appeared a splendid masquerade. The apparel worn by these busy myriads corresponded with the ornaments of the head; hence every variety of sumptuous apparel was displayed upon their forms. Kings and queens appeared arrayed in the gorgeous robes of coronation. Groups of nobility of both sexes, also decorated with all the varieties of adornment displayed in the pageantry of kingly courts. Dense multitudes were visible in costume, proper to the highly cultivated nations; and as they passed by, I discovered similar groups composed of less civilized tribes, attired in barbaric ornaments of every form. While some appeared clothed in the habiliments of the present day, others were in ancient attire; but every class of spirits manifested, in the midst of variety of mode, a uniformity of external pride, pomp, and rapidly moving and dazzling luster.

 

The Unhallowed and the Lost

And now, dearly departed connectees, as autumnal shades deepen and hallowed memories of the haunted past surge and rise from the depths of smiling despair, I cast before you pearls of eternal wisdom to set in your swiftly-corroding crowns of ephemeral earthly joy as you prepare body and soul for All Hallows Even.

Here are passages from Scenes From Beyond the Grave
first published in 1865 by Marietta Davis.

Chapter 12

the Abode of the Lost

    Suddenly a sable veil of nether night appeared to ascend, pervading, and encompassing my being. My inner doubt seemed wrought into a cloud that shut out the upper glory, and the spirit of denial plunged me into the vortex of a deeper gloom. I fell as one precipitated from some dizzy height. The embodiment of darkness opened to receive me. The moving shadow of a more desolate abyss arose like clouds in dense masses of tempestuous gloom; and as I descended, the ever-accumulating weight of darkness pressed more fearfully upon me. At length a nether plain that seemed boundless was imaged upon my sight, which, at a little distance, appeared to be covered with the sparkling semblance of vegetation. Luminous appearances, like waving trees, with resplendent foliage, and flowers and fruits of crystal and of gold, were visible in every direction.

Spirits of the Lost

    Multitudes of spirits appeared beneath the umbrage, and luminous mantles were folded about rapidly moving form. Some wore crowns upon their heads; others tiaras; and others decorations of which I knew not the name, but which appeared to be wrought of clusters of jewels, wreaths of golden coin, and cloth of gold and silver tissue. Others, wore towering helmets; and others circlets filled with glistening and waving plumes. A pale phosphorescence was emitted by every object, and all appeared a splendid masquerade. The apparel worn by these busy myriads corresponded with the ornaments of the head; hence every variety of sumptuous apparel was displayed upon their forms. Kings and queens appeared arrayed in the gorgeous robes of coronation. Groups of nobility of both sexes, also decorated with all the varieties of adornment displayed in the pageantry of kingly courts. Dense multitudes were visible in costume, proper to the highly cultivated nations; and as they passed by, I discovered similar groups composed of less civilized tribes, attired in barbaric ornaments of every form. While some appeared clothed in the habiliments of the present day, others were in ancient attire; but every class of spirits manifested, in the midst of variety of mode, a uniformity of external pride, pomp, and rapidly moving and dazzling luster.

BEYOND BEYOND the GRAVE