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Charles Richet’s Account
of a
Spontaneous Veridical Impression

Nobel Laureate and French physiologist Dr. Charles Richet reported having what we would call today ESP experiences. One example of his experiences is the following:

One evening, during the winter of 1899, I was at home in my library. My wife had that night been to the Opera with my daughter Louise. Suddenly, about half-past ten o’clock, I imagined, for the first time in my life and without there being the slightest odour of smoke in the room, that the Opera was on fire. So powerful was my conviction, that I wrote on a piece of paper the words: Feu! Feu! A few minutes afterwards … I wrote: Att. (i.e. attention). Then, without feeling at all disturbed, I resumed my work. About midnight, on the return of my wife and daughter, I immediately asked them if there has been a fire … “No,” answered my wife, “there has not been a fire, only a false alarm … Between the acts there was a rumour of fire and I rushed out to see what it meant … I was quickly assured there was no danger and the performance continued without a break” … At the very moment of my writing on the piece of paper the words Feu! Feu! Att., my sister …, whose rooms on the same floor are separated from mine only by a door, imagines that my room was on fire. She goes to the door between the two apartments, and, when on the point of turning the handle … she stops, saying to herself: “No, after all, I won’t disturb my brother for such a trifle!” (Richet, n.d., pp. 60-61).


Richet, C. (n.d., ca 1929). Our Sixth Sense. London: Rider (First published in French, 1928)



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