Isolated fireballs and star showers had been occasionally observed, but instead of being attentively watched they had been neglected, for their apparitions had filled mankind with dread, and superstition attributed to them certain malevolent influences.
I still won't buy these apparitions are trips to the past.
It was the brilliant exhibition in November 1833 that, in modern times particularly, attracted earnest students to investigate the subject of meteors generally, and to make systematic observations of their apparitions on ordinary nights of the year.
This is a curious book, partly explanatory of Defoe's ideas on morality, and partly belonging to a series of demonological works which he wrote, and of which the chief others are A System of Magic (1726), and An Essay on the History of Apparitions (1728), issued the year before under another title.
Among these phenomena are: trance and unconsciousness, sickness, death, clairvoyance, dreams, apparitions of the dead, wraiths, hallucinations, echoes, shadows and reflections.