“Can a meteorological phenomenon become a paranormal phenomenon?”, a kind reader asks me. Rain of frogs is a relatively frequent phenomenon but clearly explained by Science. However, what about the rain of hearts that struck Australia in 1766, according to a document dated at that time? (The word isn’t clearly written but, although some have suggested that it says “hails”, Dr Lodge, who examined the document, concluded it says “hearts”). But if I am allowed to turn the question over, I will tell you one of the strangest events recorded in the Society for Psychical Research’s files. So the question would rather be: “Can a paranormal phenomenon become a meteorological phenomenon?” Well, the answer is yes, it cans. First of all, let’s place ourselves: we are in Clapham Road in Bedford. William Spencer is a naughty young man who always tends to antagonize people. He was warned about the danger of eating toadstools, and nevertheless he went to the forest expressly to hunt that type of poisonous mushrooms. Then he cooks them on the grill and eats them, with the consequent disastrous consequence that was foreseeable: death. Ah, but death is not enough to amend this bolshy young man. By means of a medium who resides in the town, his neighbors warn him about the convenience of leaving the world of the living and letting himself be drawn to the Light. But it is enough that they advise option A for him to choose option B. So, ignoring the transcendent Light that shines on his back, the young man is always up to some mischief. Among other things, he carries water in two large buckets from Lake Stewartby to Lake Linden located several miles away from each other but both underground interconnected so that the water he transports with so much effort returns to the starting point. This operation performed by a living human being would fall within the category of “stupid phenomena”. But carried out by a rebellious spirit, it becomes a “paranormal phenomenon” since the locals observe with stupefaction a continuous flow of buckets of water floating in the air. That is why is required the intervention of the SPR, which sends two of its members to investigate. After a thorough examination of the phenomenon, Sir William Barret concludes that it is a strange cross between a “paranormal phenomenon” and a “stupid phenomenon”. According to Arthur Balfour, on the contrary, the phenomenon is not at all stupid but possesses a profound significance hidden from profane eyes. Naturally, this discrepancy generates heated debates between the two researchers. While both are discussing whether the phenomenon is a wonder or a stupidity, as a result of it there is a change in the humidity of the air, and this circumstance, in combination with other environmental factors, is generating atmospheric whirlwinds that are grabbing the inhabitants of Bedford and moving them through the air to the banks of the river Tyne. When the two researchers notice this, it is already too late: Bedford has been depopulated and Newcastle experiences a sudden increase in its population, which will lead to its takeoff as a prosperous industrial city.
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