1934 (pre): Miss MacKenzie and the Arm

In his 1934 book, Family Ghosts and Ghostly Phenomena, Elliott O'Donnell chronicled the strange experience of a young woman from a branch of the MacKenzie family in Scotland.

        The young woman had gone upstairs one morning to fetch something from her bedroom. As she was about to leave, she heard something fall to the ground behind her. Turning around, she saw a tall and old-fashioned silver candlestick on the floor next to the chest of drawers it normally stood upon, so she walked over to pick it up, curious about why it had fallen... then she saw the arm.

The arm.
The arm [Larger version here]

        A "beautifully round" arm, from just the elbow up, protruded from the wall by the side of the chest of drawers. The skin of the limb was very white; the slender hand had "long tapering fingers and filbert nails"... the hand of a woman. As the young woman watched, the arm started to fade away, eventually vanishing completely.

        Only after it had vanished did she remember the stories of her family's phantom omen; a strange hand that was only seen by members of the family that forewarned of death and misfortune. She feared that her vision predicted the death of her mother, who was very ill at that time. Thankfully, her mother recovered fully.

        Several days after the arm was seen, the family received news that a cousin had died under tragic circumstances. Was this predicted by the young woman's vision?


        Much as I may like O'Donnell's book, the simple fact that he doesn't tell us when this event happened, the proper name of who it happened to, or where it occurred -- it's implied to have happened in Glaskow in his book, but not stated -- all lead to me having to mark this account as 'Unreliable' until I can find out more. O'Donnell also implies this account was told to him by the MacKenzie family directly, so there may be no other record of the event.

        O'Donnell also discussed two other examples of MacKenzie family omens; to read more on these, follow the 'See Also' links below.

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