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The Stolen Body

The Stolen Body is a sci-fi tale by H. G. Wells,1​ first published in November 1898 by The Strand Magazine. It later appeared in collections like “Twelve Stories and a Dream.”

  1. H.G. Wells, or Herbert George Wells, was an English writer who excelled in various genres, including novels, stories, biographies, and social satire. He’s often referred to as the “father of science fiction,” alongside Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.

Wells’ versatility in writing, demonstrated in works like Kipps and The History of Mr. Polly, led many to see him as a worthy successor to Charles Dickens.

Recommended for: Fans of classic science fiction stories, as well as readers interested in exploring the themes of the supernatural, the nature of consciousness, and the boundaries between the physical and spiritual realms. This story will appeal to both casual readers and fans of early 20th century speculative fiction.

You will:

  • Discover a gripping, imaginative tale by the renowned science fiction pioneer H.G. Wells, who helped establish the genre as we know it today.
  • Dive into a thought-provoking exploration of the concept of the “astral body” and the possibility of the spirit or mind separating from the physical form.
  • Follow the plight of the protagonist, Mr. Bessel, as he grapples with the unsettling experience of his body being taken over by an evil entity during an out-of-body experiment.
  • Witness the suspenseful efforts of Mr. Vincey, Bessel’s colleague, to locate and rescue his friend’s lost physical form.
  • Gain insight into the philosophical and metaphysical questions raised by the story, such as the nature of consciousness, the boundaries between the material and immaterial worlds, and the implications of manipulating the self.
  • Appreciate Wells’ skillful blend of scientific speculation and supernatural mystery, which reflects the author’s own interests in the emerging fields of psychology and psychical research.
  • Explore the cultural and historical context in which this story was produced, as spiritualism and the exploration of altered states of consciousness were areas of growing public fascination in the late 19th century.
  • Engage with the timeless human desires to transcend the physical limitations of the body and access realms beyond the material world.


The main characters in the story are a couple of investigators interested in physical research, called Mr. Bessel and Mr. Vincey. They did several experiments trying to project the appearance of their spirit through space. One night, Mr. Bessel manages to leave his body and communicate with Mr. Vincey as a kind of ghost.

Therefore, an evil entity possessed his body during his absence. So, Mr. Vincey feels the appearance of his partner asks for help. And he decides to go and look for him at his apartment. But he finds the place alone and wholly shattered. Thus, Mr. Vincey goes out to look for his friend and discovers that Mr. Bessel has carried out a series of violent events in London.

Despite this, Mr. Vincey has different dreams and premonitions where his friend Mr. Bessel asks for help. Finally, he finds a medium who helps him locate his friend and tells him where he is. Surprisingly, the body was sunk and abandoned by the entity near the Baker Street station. After they rescue him, Mr. Bessel narrates all his experience of how he left his body and how he went into some place or another state out of this world.


H. G. Wells. The Stolen Body. From Weird Tales Magazine, Volume 6, Issue 5, 1925. Originally published in 1898. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1929. The longest-living author of this work died in 1946, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author’s life plus 77 years or less. Text from Wikisource: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Stolen_Body
This digital edition is provided by Ebooks-net in 2024 under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. The full text of the license is available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

To cite this work

Wells, H. G. The Stolen Body. Ebooks-net, 2024. CC BY-SA 4.0. https://ebooks-net.com/ebook/the-stolen-body/


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