Crawford Tillinghast was the narrator’s best friend, but a weird experiment caused the friendship to be severed namely in the fact that the narrator was implicated in Crawford’s death for a short period of time.
Crawford embarked on an experiment because he believed that people could be augmented, or rather their natural abilities could be augmented, to see the unseen world around. For example, Crawford wanted to see everything in the ultra-violent spectrum.
The narrator and Crawford did not speak for some time before the narrator went over to Crawford’s house for a visit. He found the house devoid of servants. Crawford was there though. He took the narrator to his laboratory. He told the narrator all about where the servants went. They were there, but then one of them flipped on a light switch, of which Crawford’s experiment was especially sensitive to. All the servants were gone, but their clothes remained.
Crawford had an awful machine. He turned it on and the narrator was able to see what Crawford had been working on. There were strange creatures that seemed to pass through one another, and even pass through Crawford and the narrator. Crawford said these creatures were harmless, there was something much, much bigger in the unseen world.
In a confusion that followed next, the narrator shot his revolver that he carried with him for safety after dark. Crawford ended up dead and the narrator was detained on suspicion of his murder. It turns out that the narrator’s bullet had not hit Crawford, but Crawford’s strange machine. Crawford seemed to die of a heart attack. The bullet had gone into the terrible machine, rendering it useless. The servants were never found.
There are definitely things around us that we cannot see, or hear, or taste, or feel. We have a limited perception as humans. The question is are there creatures and even beings, lurking around in that unseen world? Are there things that we could only see if we could see in another spectrum of light? Are there scary things in what we cannot detect?
Take ghosts for example, maybe, ghosts are simply something that exist in a spectrum that we normally don’t see. It’s a woo-woo theory, but who knows, maybe it’s true. Dan Aykroyd has been on some very interesting alien shows talking about UFOs that can only be seen in certain spectrums of light.
This whole conversation is woo-woo, but just because we do not readily perceive something doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
If there was something lurking around you all the time, but you couldn’t see it, and you saw it one day, would you be scared? Of course you would. How did you not see that elephant sized, saber-toothed giraffe in the corner of the room? We assume that because we can see and hear around us that we know all the things that are around, but that’s not the case. What about the things your dog hears that you don’t? What about the things creeping under the leaves and crawling through the dirt? Do you readily discern those? There is a very complex world beyond our perception, speaking of spectrums, but also of the microscopic world.
If we knew what all was around us all the time, we’d probably all be crazy. We’d be constantly thinking about the mites that live on our eyelashes and the bear that’s being really quiet, just in the tree line.
If we could see all that we don’t readily perceive now, I think we’d be terrified. It may not be strange monsters or whatever, but there’s something there, and it would creep us out. That’s what this story is about.
Could you imagine what’s under the bed under ultra-violet light?
Do you think you could handle perceiving all that you don’t currently perceive?
What do you think happened to Crawford? Why did he die?