Mr Beecher Appeased
Scary Books: The Best Ghost Stories
"When what seemed to be Mr. Beecher's embodied spirit appeared to me,"
Dr. Funk said, "I asked that very question. He smiled and replied that
it was not a matter that concerned him especially, and that the whole
thing was in the nature of a test, to prove to me that there actually
are spirits, and that it is possible to have communication with them
when all the conditions are favorable. He remarked that he was glad the
old coin had been found, but seemed to consider the disposition of it a
matter of minor importance. He told me he was glad I was taking interest
in the subject, as he believed it would result in good for the world,
and then, excusing himself on the ground that he had an engagement which
it was necessary for him to keep, the apparition disappeared."
Dr. Funk borrowed the coin from Professor West's collection, as a
lighter colored one he already had was of doubtful authenticity. Both
coins were sent to the government expert in Philadelphia and the lighter
one was declared to be the genuine one. By the spirits it is now
declared, however, that a mistake was made and that the darker one
belonging to Professor West has the greater value.
"I found both the light and the dark one in the drawer," said Dr. Funk,
"and remembered distinctly that it was the darker of the two which I had
borrowed from Professor West. I went to the next seance, and when
Rakestraw's spirit arrived I asked him to find out which one was to be
returned. After a brief interval his voice came to me.
"'Return the dark one, of course,' he said. 'That is the genuine coin
and is the one you borrowed from Dr. Beecher's friend.'
"While I do not wish to be classed as a believer in Spiritualism, I
certainly am open to conviction after what has come under my personal
observation," Dr. Funk concluded. "I am confident that no fraud was
practiced on me at the seance at which I was told about the old coin.
The medium is an elderly woman living in Brooklyn, who never appears in
public, and the only persons present were members of her family and
known to me. But none of them knew any more about the coin being in my
safe than I did."