[THE BEWITCHED MIRROR]
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 11, August, 1880, p. 284]
[In The Theosophist of June, 1880, p. 230, there appeared an account of an experiment made by A. Tzeretelef. He had heard that “to stand alone at midnight before a mirror, with two lighted candles in one’s hands, and to repeat three times loudly and slowly one’s own name,” was a most terrifying experience. He proceeded to do exactly as he had been told. After twice calling his name, meanwhile gazing firmly at his reflection in the mirror, he became suddenly filled with terror upon realizing that his reflection had disappeared, while all the other objects were faithfully reflected. He tried desperately to utter his name for the third time, but failed. After that, he knew no more until next morning when he became conscious that he was in his own bed with a servant standing at his side.
The same experiment was tried by Babu Asu Tosh Mittra, who proceeded exactly according to the same method, but without results. He repeated the experiment on three subsequent nights, but in vain. He expresses his wish to know if anyone else has tried it and thinks that “it might be that the effects described happen only with certain persons.”
To this H. P. B. remarks:]
The experimental plan, followed in this instance by the Babu, is the only one by which it may be discovered how
much truth there is in the time-honoured legends, traditions, and superstitious observances of modern nations. If his and his friend’s tests prove nothing else, they certainly show that not everyone, who invokes himself in a mirror at midnight by the light of two candles, will, of necessity, be appalled by ghostly apparitions. But his own common sense has probably suggested what is no doubt the fact of the case, viz., that the phenomena described by Prince Tzeretelef, in our June number, are observable only by persons of a peculiar temperament. This is certainly the rule in every other department of psychic phenomena. As regards the “Bewitched Mirror” tale, we printed it as an illustration of one of the oldest of Slavic beliefs, leaving it to the reader to put [it to] the test or not as pleases him best.