[The Theosophist, Vol. V, No.10 (58), July, 1884, p.235]
[The following footnote is appended by the Editor to a condensed version of a story by A. Conan Doyle, entitled “The Silver Hatchet.” The story, based on facts, deals with the mysterious circumstances connected with the murder of Dr. Otto von Hopstein, Regius Professor of Comparative Anatomy at the University of Budapest, and Curator of the Academical Museum, which took place on December 3, 1861. The evidence gathered in the story shows that a certain hatchet which had been used to perform a crime, almost irresistibly impelled to crime all those who handled it afterwards. The handle of the hatchet was hollow and contained a written curse.]
We reprint this from a Christmas Annual, edited, we believe, by Mssrs. Ward, Lock and Co., in London. The story we have condensed, is worth perusal, since its subject is directly connected with occult sciences, the evil magnetism impressed upon any material object being shown, in its fatal influences, no idle superstition, but an occult, invisible power worthy of the most profound and careful investigation from our great scientific minds. The murderous influence impressed upon the hatchet, in this narrative, is of the same kind as the suicidal influence that lingered in a certain sentry box wherein over a dozen soldiers committed suicide, one after the other, a fact which happened in Germany, and the circumstances of which were well ascertained by official inquest.