Müller, Auguste(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Auguste Müller of Karlsruhe was the first German somnambulist to claim that she had made contact with spirits of the dead. Her spirit guide was her deceased mother. Müller gave many exhibitions of her clairvoyance. Her case was written up in detail by Dr. Meier in Höchst Merkwürdige Geschichte der Magnetisch Hellsehenden Auguste Müller (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1818). According to Frank Podmore,
The young woman in the trance was able to diagnose and prescribe for the ailments of herself and other persons in the usual fashion. She said in the trance that she could discern not only the bodies of men, but also their thoughts and characters; but no proofs are offered of this power. She claimed to converse with the spirit of her dead mother. She also said that she could visit her brother in Vienna, and make her presence known to him; but she rejected Dr. Meier’s suggestion that she should speak aloud, for fear that she should frighten him. It is recorded that with her eyes closed she could read theatre tickets and songs out of a music book. But no details are given. The nearest approach to a test is as follows: Meier asked her one evening whether she could tell him anything noteworthy which had recently happened in his own family, and the clairvoyant in reply was able to tell him of the death of his father-in-law at a town fifteen miles off Meier had received the news of this event on the morning of that day, but was confident—a confidence which he does not enable us to share—that the somnambule knew nothing about it. One other case may be cited. A friend of Auguste, one Catharine, happened to be suffering from toothache, and told the somnambule that she would probably be unable to pay her usual visit on the following day. Auguste replied, “I will visit you, then, tonight.” That night Catharine is reported to have seen Auguste enter her room clothed in a night dress. The form, which hovered above the floor, came up to Catharine and lay beside her in bed. In the morning Catharine awoke to find her toothache gone, and was much astonished to learn that Auguste had never left her own bed all the night through. The incident is regarded by Meier as a manifest proof of the existence of a psychic body. Kieser, as already mentioned, reviewing the case in the Archiv, adduces it as a striking instance of action at a distance, conditioned by the rapport between the young women.