Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Diary of Mrs. Bird, the Arsenic Prophetess.

From The Lancet (New York ed., April 1847).

Mrs. Bird, a self proclaimed clairvoyant, describes her paranormal experiences to the “mesmeric attendant”, Mr. Luxmore. Here is a taste…

“Jan. 5th, 1846 – During sleep walking Mrs. Bird said, ‘The first thing that injured me was being salivated. I ought not to have had any mercury. My then medical attendant also gave me a solution of arsenic, which I took until my mouth was all over black spots. It created inflammation in the stomach which has never subsided….’
9th – ‘How beautiful! I see all my inside.’
12th – In her sleep to-day, she described a sort of coating over the inside of her stomach.

Feb. 5th – Bled and put to sleep. Said, ‘The coating in my stomach, which I mentioned in January, is rather loosened. My food should be nourishing.’
27th – She still vomits her food and says she shall continue to do so until the coating is removed from the stomach.

Mar. 6th – Vomited nearly two quarts of water. Says, ‘the day before on the same morning I vomit the coating from my stomach, I shall eject a little blood.’
....
Apr. 22nd – ‘On the 1st of May I shall throw a little blood from my stomach. On the 2nd I shall be very ill. On the 3rd I shall throw up something gritty. It will contain part of the coating of my stomach I have before spoken of. After I have thrown up the gritty substance, I must have a does of medicine….’

Perhaps she should have thought twice about ingesting arsenic.

1 comment:

Max said...

Wait - I'm confused? Why did she take arsenic? Her mouth turned black???????