I start with this account from the late 19th century, not for its time period, but for the level of enlightenment of the deceased. He is a self-proclaimed egotist, and the ethereal world that he describes is fitting to his character. I imagine it on the one hand as the wild west, due to its amount of lawlessness, and like a ghetto on the other hand, due to its run-down and dirty appearance.
This is a fascinating story to read after having read Wickland’s work, because it complements the knowledge he imparts. Franchezzo explains how he and other ethereal beings in this wild west influence weak-willed humans. After death, an addict is still an addict, so they seek out humans that they can connect with to experience the “high” of their addiction. They accomplish this through temporary possession. For example, a deceased alcoholic will search out weak-willed drinkers and encourage them to keep drinking so that he can enjoy the ethereal essence of the alcohol and the intoxicating feeling experienced by the drinker.
We also find from this story that the deceased are encouraged to improve their base thinking and strive for virtue. Benevolent beings visit these lower regions and encourage the residents to consider a path of redemption, a nobler path. Though, as in the material world, free will is respected and no one is forced to change their ways, until they are incarnated again in the material world.