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Telepathy through blood transfusion: The strange case of Frederick Lee

Facade of the Middlesex Hospital before its demolition in 2007.

Blood has played a sacred role in religious rituals around the world for millenia, from primitive practitioners of human sacrifice to modern cults and secret societies. There's just something mysterious about the substance, even though many of us come into contact with it on a regular basis. Yet, no matter how many times we see it, blood never fails to stir up strange emotions within us.

But does blood have special powers? Mysterious, unexplained powers that defy scientific explanation?

On September 7, 1925, Time Magazine featured a story about blood-- and its telepathic qualities.

The story concerned a young man, Frederick George Lee, who was a frequent blood donor at Middlesex Hospital in London. According to Mr. Lee, he believed that he felt an inexplicable sharp pain in his arm every time a person to whom he had donated blood died.

Lee first experienced the pain one afternoon in the arm from which his blood was regularly drawn. He described it as a sudden, jabbing, searing pain in his left arm. When Lee discovered that the man who had received his blood had died on the same afternoon, he became curious, but eventually dismissed it as a strange coincidence.

However, Lee decided that the next time he felt the pain, he would write down the exact time, just to satify his curiosity.

Sure enough, before long he felt the same bizarre pain in his left arm. He carefully noted the time and then checked local hospital records. The time coincided-- to the exact minute-- with the death of another patient who had been transfused with Frederick Lee's blood.

Over the course of three years Lee donated blood 24 times to the Middlesex Hospital. Seven of the patients who got his blood died. And Frederick Lee felt the same strange pain in his arm every single time, at the precise moment the patient passed away.

It would be strange enough if the circumstances were reversed-- if the person who received the blood felt pain when the donor died, but the other way around? It's almost as if each blood cell that had been created by Lee's body frantically tried to send an S.O.S message back to Lee when it felt endangered and that death was imminent.

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