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´╗┐Title: The Book of Dreams and Ghosts
Author: Lang, Andrew, 1844-1912
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Since the first edition of this book appeared (1897) a considerable
number of new and startling ghost stories, British, Foreign and
Colonial, not yet published, have reached me.  Second Sight abounds.
Crystal Gazing has also advanced in popularity.  For a singular series
of such visions, in which distant persons and places, unknown to the
gazer, were correctly described by her, I may refer to my book, The
Making of Religion (1898).  A memorial stone has been erected on the
scene of the story called "The Foul Fords" (p. 269), so that tale is
likely to endure in tradition.

July, 1899.


The chief purpose of this book is, if fortune helps, to entertain
people interested in the kind of narratives here collected.  For the
sake of orderly arrangement, the stories are classed in different
grades, as they advance from the normal and familiar to the undeniably
startling.  At the same time an account of the current theories of
Apparitions is offered, in language as free from technicalities as
possible.  According to modern opinion every "ghost" is a
"hallucination," a false perception, the perception of something which
is not present.

It has not been thought necessary to discuss the psychological and
physiological processes involved in perception, real or false.  Every
"hallucination" is a perception, "as good and true a sensation as if
there were a real object there.  The object happens _not_ to be there,
that is all." {0a}  We are not here concerned with the visions of
insanity, delirium, drugs, drink, remorse, or anxiety, but with
"sporadic cases of hallucination, visiting people only once in a
lifetime, which seems to be by far the most frequent type".  "These,"
says Mr. James, "are on any theory hard to understand in detail.  They
are often extraordinarily complete; and the fact that many of them are
reported as _veridical_, that is, as coinciding with real events, such
as accidents, deaths, etc., of the persons seen, is an additional
complication of the phenomenon." {0b}  A ghost, if seen, is undeniably
so far a "hallucination" that it gives the impression of the presence
of a real person, in flesh, blood, and usually clothes.  No such
person in flesh, blood, and clothes, is actually there.  So far, at
least, every ghost is a hallucination, "_that_" in the language of
Captain Cuttle, "you may lay to," without offending science, religion,
or common-sense.  And that, in brief, is the modern doctrine of

The old doctrine of "ghosts" regarded them as actual "spirits" of the
living or the dead, freed from the flesh or from the grave.  This
view, whatever else may be said for it, represents the simple
philosophy of the savage, which may be correct or erroneous.  About
the time of the Reformation, writers, especially Protestant writers,
preferred to look on apparitions as the work of deceitful devils, who
masqueraded in the aspect of the dead or living, or made up phantasms
out of "compressed air".  The common-sense of the eighteenth century
dismissed all apparitions as "dreams" or hoaxes, or illusions caused
by real objects misinterpreted, such as rats, cats, white posts,
maniacs at large, sleep-walkers, thieves, and so forth.  Modern
science, when it admits the possibility of occasional hallucinations
in the sane and healthy, also admits, of course, the existence of
apparitions.  These, for our purposes, are hallucinatory appearances
occurring in the experience of people healthy and sane.  The
difficulty begins when we ask whether these appearances ever have any
provoking mental cause outside the minds of the people who experience
them--any cause arising in the minds of others, alive or dead.  This
is a question which orthodox psychology does not approach, standing
aside from any evidence which may be produced.

This book does not pretend to be a convincing, but merely an
illustrative collection of evidence.  It may, or may not, suggest to
some readers the desirableness of further inquiry; the author
certainly does not hope to do more, if as much.

It may be urged that many of the stories here narrated come from
remote times, and, as the testimony for these cannot be rigidly
studied, that the old unauthenticated stories clash with the analogous
tales current on better authority in our own day.  But these ancient
legends are given, not as evidence, but for three reasons:  first,
because of their merit as mere stories; next, because several of them
are now perhaps for the first time offered with a critical discussion
of their historical sources; lastly, because the old legends seem to
show how the fancy of periods less critical than ours dealt with such
facts as are now reported in a dull undramatic manner.  Thus (1) the
Icelandic ghost stories have peculiar literary merit as simple
dramatic narratives.  (2) Every one has heard of the Wesley ghost, Sir
George Villiers's spectre, Lord Lyttelton's ghost, the Beresford
ghost, Mr. Williams's dream of Mr. Perceval's murder, and so forth.
But the original sources have not, as a rule, been examined in the
ordinary spirit of calm historical criticism, by aid of a comparison
of the earliest versions in print or manuscript.  (3) Even ghost
stories, as a rule, have some basis of fact, whether fact of
hallucination, or illusion, or imposture.  They are, at lowest, "human
documents".  Now, granting such facts (of imposture, hallucination, or
what you will), as our dull, modern narratives contain, we can regard
these facts, or things like these, as the nuclei which our less
critical ancestors elaborated into their extraordinary romances.  In
this way the belief in demoniacal possession (distinguished, as such,
from madness and epilepsy) has its nucleus, some contend, in the
phenomena of alternating personalities in certain patients.  Their
characters, ideas, habits, and even voices change, and the most
obvious solution of the problem, in the past, was to suppose that a
new alien personality--a "devil"--had entered into the sufferer.

Again, the phenomena occurring in "haunted houses" (whether caused, or
not, by imposture or hallucination, or both) were easily magnified
into such legends as that of Grettir and Glam, and into the
monstrosities of the witch trials.  Once more the simple hallucination
of a dead person's appearance in his house demanded an explanation.
This was easily given by evolving a legend that he was a spirit,
escaped from purgatory or the grave, to fulfil a definite purpose.
The rarity of such purposeful ghosts in an age like ours, so rich in
ghost stories, must have a cause.  That cause is, probably, a
dwindling of the myth-making faculty.

Any one who takes these matters seriously, as facts in human nature,
must have discovered the difficulty of getting evidence at first hand.
This arises from several causes.  First, the cock-sure common-sense of
the years from 1660 to 1850, or so, regarded every one who had
experience of a hallucination as a dupe, a lunatic, or a liar.  In
this healthy state of opinion, eminent people like Lord Brougham kept
their experience to themselves, or, at most, nervously protested that
they "were sure it was only a dream".  Next, to tell the story was,
often, to enter on a narrative of intimate, perhaps painful, domestic
circumstances.  Thirdly, many persons now refuse information as a
matter of "principle," or of "religious principle," though it is
difficult to see where either principle or religion is concerned, if
the witness is telling what he believes to be true.  Next, some
devotees of science aver that these studies may bring back faith by a
side wind, and, with faith, the fires of Smithfield and the torturing
of witches.  These opponents are what Professor Huxley called
"dreadful consequences argufiers," when similar reasons were urged
against the doctrine of evolution.  Their position is strongest when
they maintain that these topics have a tendency to befog the
intellect.  A desire to prove the existence of "new forces" may beget
indifference to logic and to the laws of evidence.  This is true, and
we have several dreadful examples among men otherwise scientific.  But
all studies have their temptations.  Many a historian, to prove the
guilt or innocence of Queen Mary, has put evidence, and logic, and
common honesty far from him.  Yet this is no reason for abandoning the
study of history.

There is another class of difficulties.  As anthropology becomes
popular, every inquirer knows what customs he _ought_ to find among
savages, so, of course, he finds them.  In the same way, people may
now know what customs it is orthodox to find among ghosts, and may
pretend to find them, or may simulate them by imposture.  The white
sheet and clanking chains are forsaken for a more realistic rendering
of the ghostly part.  The desire of social notoriety may beget wanton
fabrications.  In short, all studies have their perils, and these are
among the dangers which beset the path of the inquirer into things
ghostly.  He must adopt the stoical maxim:  "Be sober and do not
believe"--in a hurry.

If there be truth in even one case of "telepathy," it will follow that
the human soul is a thing endowed with attributes not yet recognised
by science.  It cannot be denied that this is a serious consideration,
and that very startling consequences might be deduced from it; such
beliefs, indeed, as were generally entertained in the ages of
Christian darkness which preceded the present era of enlightenment.
But our business in studies of any kind is, of course, with truth, as
we are often told, not with the consequences, however ruinous to our
most settled convictions, or however pernicious to society.

The very opposite objection comes from the side of religion.  These
things we learn, are spiritual mysteries into which men must not
inquire.  This is only a relic of the ancient opinion that he was an
impious character who first launched a boat, God having made man a
terrestrial animal.  Assuredly God put us into a world of phenomena,
and gave us inquiring minds.  We have as much right to explore the
phenomena of these minds as to explore the ocean.  Again, if it be
said that our inquiries may lead to an undignified theory of the
future life (so far they have not led to any theory at all), that,
also, is the position of the Dreadful Consequences Argufier.  Lastly,
"the stories may frighten children".  For children the book is not
written, any more than if it were a treatise on comparative anatomy.

The author has frequently been asked, both publicly and privately:
"Do you believe in ghosts?"  One can only answer:  "How do you define
a ghost?"  I do believe, with all students of human nature, in
hallucinations of one, or of several, or even of all the senses.  But
as to whether such hallucinations, among the sane, are ever caused by
psychical influences from the minds of others, alive or dead, not
communicated through the ordinary channels of sense, my mind is in a
balance of doubt.  It is a question of evidence.

In this collection many stories are given without the real names of
the witnesses.  In most of the cases the real names, and their owners,
are well known to myself.  In not publishing the names I only take the
common privilege of writers on medicine and psychology.  In other
instances the names are known to the managers of the Society for
Psychical Research, who have kindly permitted me to borrow from their

While this book passed through the press, a long correspondence called
"On the Trail of a Ghost" appeared in The Times.  It illustrated the
copious fallacies which haunt the human intellect.  Thus it was
maintained by some persons, and denied by others, that sounds of
unknown origin were occasionally heard in a certain house.  These, it
was suggested, might (if really heard) be caused by slight seismic
disturbances.  Now many people argue, "Blunderstone House is not
haunted, for I passed a night there, and nothing unusual occurred".
Apply this to a house where noises are actually caused by young
earthquakes.  Would anybody say:  "There are no seismic disturbances
near Blunderstone House, for I passed a night there, and none
occurred"?  Why should a noisy ghost (if there is such a thing) or a
hallucinatory sound (if there is such a thing), be expected to be more
punctual and pertinacious than a seismic disturbance?  Again, the
gentleman who opened the correspondence with a long statement on the
negative side, cried out, like others, for scientific publicity, for
names of people and places.  But neither he nor his allies gave their
own names.  He did not precisely establish his claim to confidence by
publishing his version of private conversations.  Yet he expected
science and the public to believe his anonymous account of a
conversation, with an unnamed person, at which he did not and could
not pretend to have been present.  He had a theory of sounds heard by
himself which could have been proved, or disproved, in five minutes,
by a simple experiment.  But that experiment he does not say that he

This kind of evidence is thought good enough on the negative side.  It
certainly would not be accepted by any sane person for the affirmative
side.  If what is called psychical research has no other results, at
least it enables us to perceive the fallacies which can impose on the
credulity of common-sense.

In preparing this collection of tales, I owe much to Mr. W. A.
Craigie, who translated the stories from the Gaelic and the Icelandic;
to Miss Elspeth Campbell, who gives a version of the curious Argyll
tradition of Ticonderoga (rhymed by Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson, who
put a Cameron where a Campbell should be); to Miss Violet Simpson, who
found the Windham MS. about the Duke of Buckingham's story, and made
other researches; and to Miss Goodrich Freer, who pointed out the
family version of "The Tyrone Ghost".


Arbuthnot on Political Lying.  Begin with "Great Swingeing
Falsehoods".  The Opposite Method to be used in telling Ghost Stones.
Begin with the more Familiar and Credible.  Sleep.  Dreams.  Ghosts
are identical with Waking Dreams.  Possibility of being Asleep when we
think we are Awake.  Dreams shared by several People.  Story of the
Dog Fanti.  The Swithinbank Dream.  Common Features of Ghosts and
Dreams.  Mark Twain's Story.  Theory of Common-sense.  Not Logical.
Fulfilled Dreams.  The Pig in the Palace.  The Mignonette.  Dreams of
Reawakened Memory.  The Lost Cheque.  The Ducks' Eggs.  The Lost Key.
Drama in Dreams.  The Lost Securities.  The Portuguese Gold-piece.
St. Augustine's Story.  The Two Curmas.  Knowledge acquired in Dreams.
The Assyrian Priest.  The Deja Vu.  "I have been here before."  Sir
Walter's Experience.  Explanations.  The Knot in the Shutter.
Transition to Stranger Dreams.

Arbuthnot, in his humorous work on Political Lying, commends the Whigs
for occasionally trying the people with "great swingeing falsehoods".
When these are once got down by the populace, anything may follow
without difficulty.  Excellently as this practice has worked in
politics (compare the warming-pan lie of 1688), in the telling of
ghost stories a different plan has its merits.  Beginning with the
common-place and familiar, and therefore credible, with the thin end
of the wedge, in fact, a wise narrator will advance to the rather
unusual, the extremely rare, the undeniably startling, and so arrive
at statements which, without this discreet and gradual initiation, a
hasty reader might, justly or unjustly, dismiss as "great swingeing

The nature of things and of men has fortunately made this method at
once easy, obvious, and scientific.  Even in the rather fantastic
realm of ghosts, the stories fall into regular groups, advancing in
difficulty, like exercises in music or in a foreign language.  We
therefore start from the easiest Exercises in Belief, or even from
those which present no difficulty at all.  The defect of the method is
that easy stories are dull reading.  But the student can "skip".  We
begin with common every-night dreams.

Sleeping is as natural as waking; dreams are nearly as frequent as
every-day sensations, thoughts, and emotions.  But dreams, being
familiar, are credible; it is admitted that people do dream; we reach
the less credible as we advance to the less familiar.  For, if we
think for a moment, the alleged events of ghostdom--apparitions of all
sorts--are precisely identical with the every-night phenomena of
dreaming, except for the avowed element of sleep in dreams.

In dreams, time and space are annihilated, and two severed lovers may
be made happy.  In dreams, amidst a grotesque confusion of things
remembered and things forgot, we _see_ the events of the past (I have
been at Culloden fight and at the siege of Troy); we are present in
places remote; we behold the absent; we converse with the dead, and we
may even (let us say by chance coincidence) forecast the future.  All
these things, except the last, are familiar to everybody who dreams.
It is also certain that similar, but yet more vivid, false experiences
may be produced, at the word of the hypnotiser, in persons under the
hypnotic sleep.  A hypnotised man will take water for wine, and get
drunk on it.

Now, the ghostly is nothing but the experience, when men are awake, or
_apparently_ awake, of the every-night phenomena of dreaming.  The
vision of the absent seen by a waking, or apparently waking, man is
called "a wraith"; the waking, or apparently waking, vision of the
dead is called "a ghost".  Yet, as St. Augustine says, the absent man,
or the dead man, may know no more of the vision, and may have no more
to do with causing it, than have the absent or the dead whom we are
perfectly accustomed to see in our dreams.  Moreover, the
comparatively rare cases in which two or more waking people are
alleged to have seen the same "ghost," simultaneously or in
succession, have _their_ parallel in sleep, where two or more persons
simultaneously dream the same dream.  Of this curious fact let us give
one example:  the names only are altered.


Mrs. Ogilvie of Drumquaigh had a poodle named Fanti.  Her family, or
at least those who lived with her, were her son, the laird, and three
daughters.  Of these the two younger, at a certain recent date, were
paying a short visit to a neighbouring country house.  Mrs. Ogilvie
was accustomed to breakfast in her bedroom, not being in the best of
health.  One morning Miss Ogilvie came down to breakfast and said to
her brother, "I had an odd dream; I dreamed Fanti went mad".

"Well, that _is_ odd," said her brother.  "So did I.  We had better
not tell mother; it might make her nervous."

Miss Ogilvie went up after breakfast to see the elder lady, who said,
"Do turn out Fanti; I dreamed last night that he went mad and bit".

In the afternoon the two younger sisters came home.

"How did you enjoy yourselves?" one of the others asked.

"We didn't sleep well.  I was dreaming that Fanti went mad when Mary
wakened me, and said she had dreamed Fanti went mad, and turned into a
cat, and we threw him into the fire."

Thus, as several people may see the same ghost at once, several people
may dream the same dream at once.  As a matter of fact, Fanti lived,
sane and harmless, "all the length of all his years". {4}

Now, this anecdote is credible, certainly is credible by people who
know the dreaming family.  It is nothing more than a curiosity of
coincidences; and, as Fanti remained a sober, peaceful hound, in face
of five dreamers, the absence of fulfilment increases the readiness of
belief.  But compare the case of the Swithinbanks.  Mr. Swithinbank,
on 20th May, 1883, signed for publication a statement to this effect:--

During the Peninsular war his father and his two brothers were
quartered at Dover.  Their family were at Bradford.  The brothers
slept in various quarters of Dover camp.  One morning they met after
parade.  "O William, I have had a queer dream," said Mr. Swithinbank's
father.  "So have I," replied the brother, when, to the astonishment
of both, the other brother, John, said, "I have had a queer dream as
well.  I dreamt that mother was dead."   "So did I," said each of the
other brothers.  And the mother had died on the night of this
dreaming.  Mrs. Hudson, daughter of one of the brothers, heard the
story from all three. {5a}

The distribution of the fulfilled is less than that of the unfulfilled
dream by three to five.  It has the extra coincidence of the death.
But as it is very common to dream of deaths, some such dreams must
occasionally hit the target.

Other examples might be given of shared dreams:  {5b} they are only
mentioned here to prove that all the _waking_ experiences of things
ghostly, such as visions of the absent and of the dead, and of the
non-existent, are familiar, and may even be common simultaneously to
several persons, in _sleep_.  That men may sleep without being aware
of it, even while walking abroad; that we may drift, while we think
ourselves awake, into a semi-somnolent state for a period of time
perhaps almost imperceptible is certain enough.  Now, the peculiarity
of sleep is to expand or contract time, as we may choose to put the
case.  Alfred Maury, the well-known writer on Greek religion, dreamed
a long, vivid dream of the Reign of Terror, of his own trial before a
Revolutionary Tribunal, and of his execution, in the moment of time
during which he was awakened by the accidental fall of a rod in the
canopy of his bed, which touched him on the neck.  Thus even a
prolonged interview with a ghost may _conceivably_ be, in real time, a
less than momentary dream occupying an imperceptible tenth of a second
of somnolence, the sleeper not realising that he has been asleep.

Mark Twain, who is seriously interested in these subjects, has
published an experience illustrative of such possibilities.  He tells
his tale at considerable length, but it amounts to this:--


Mark was smoking his cigar outside the door of his house when he saw a
man, a stranger, approaching him.  Suddenly he ceased to be visible!
Mark, who had long desired to see a ghost, rushed into his house to
record the phenomenon.  There, seated on a chair in the hall, was the
very man, who had come on some business.  As Mark's negro footman
acts, when the bell is rung, on the principle, "Perhaps they won't
persevere," his master is wholly unable to account for the
disappearance of the visitor, whom he never saw passing him or waiting
at his door--except on the theory of an unconscious nap.  Now, a
disappearance is quite as mystical as an appearance, and much less

This theory, that apparitions come in an infinitesimal moment of
sleep, while a man is conscious of his surroundings and believes
himself to be awake was the current explanation of ghosts in the
eighteenth century.  Any educated man who "saw a ghost" or "had a
hallucination" called it a "dream," as Lord Brougham and Lord
Lyttelton did.  But, if the death of the person seen coincided with
his appearance to them, they illogically argued that, out of the
innumerable multitude of dreams, some _must_ coincide, accidentally,
with facts.  They strove to forget that though dreams in sleep are
universal and countless, "dreams" in waking hours are extremely rare--
unique, for instance, in Lord Brougham's own experience.  Therefore,
the odds against chance coincidence are very great.

Dreams only form subjects of good dream-stories when the vision
coincides with and adequately represents an _unknown_ event in the
past, the present, or the future.  We dream, however vividly, of the
murder of Rizzio.  Nobody is surprised at that, the incident being
familiar to most people, in history and art.  But, if we dreamed of
being present at an unchronicled scene in Queen Mary's life, and if,
_after_ the dream was recorded, a document proving its accuracy should
be for the first time recovered, then there is matter for a good
dream-story. {8}  Again, we dream of an event not to be naturally
guessed or known by us, and our dream (which should be recorded before
tidings of the fact arrive) tallies with the news of the event when it
comes.  Or, finally, we dream of an event (recording the dream), and
that event occurs in the future.  In all these cases the actual
occurrence of the unknown event is the only addition to the dream's
usual power of crumpling up time and space.

As a rule such dreams are only mentioned _after_ the event, and so are
not worth noticing.  Very often the dream is forgotten by the dreamer
till he hears of or sees the event.  He is then either reminded of his
dream by association of ideas or _he has never dreamed at all_, and
his belief that he has dreamed is only a form of false memory, of the
common sensation of "having been here before," which he attributes to
an awakened memory of a real dream.  Still more often the dream is
unconsciously cooked by the narrator into harmony with facts.

As a rule fulfilled dreams deal with the most trivial affairs, and
such as, being usual, may readily occur by chance coincidence.  Indeed
it is impossible to set limits to such coincidence, for it would
indeed be extraordinary if extraordinary coincidences never occurred.

To take examples:--


Mrs. Atlay, wife of a late Bishop of Hereford, dreamed one night that
there was a pig in the dining-room of the palace.  She came
downstairs, and in the hall told her governess and children of the
dream, before family prayers.  When these were over, nobody who was
told the story having left the hall in the interval, she went into the
dining-room and there was the pig.  It was proved to have escaped from
the sty after Mrs. Atlay got up.  Here the dream is of the common
grotesque type; millions of such things are dreamed.  The event, the
pig in the palace, is unusual, and the coincidence of pig and dream is
still more so.  But unusual events must occur, and each has millions
of dreams as targets to aim at, so to speak.  It would be surprising
if no such target were ever hit.

Here is another case--curious because the dream was forgotten till the
corresponding event occurred, but there was a slight discrepancy
between event and dream.


Mrs. Herbert returned with her husband from London to their country
home on the Border.  They arrived rather late in the day, prepared to
visit the garden, and decided to put off the visit till the morrow.
At night Mrs. Herbert dreamed that they went into the garden, down a
long walk to a mignonette bed near the vinery.  The mignonette was
black with innumerable bees, and Wilburd, the gardener, came up and
advised Mr. and Mrs. Herbert not to go nearer.  Next morning the pair
went to the garden.  The air round the mignonette was dark with
_wasps_.  Mrs. Herbert now first remembered and told her dream,
adding, "but in the dream they were _bees_".  Wilburd now came up and
advised them not to go nearer, as a wasps' nest had been injured and
the wasps were on the warpath.

Here accidental coincidence is probable enough. {10}  There is another
class of dreams very useful, and apparently not so very uncommon, that
are veracious and communicate correct information, which the dreamer
did not know that he knew and was very anxious to know.  These are
rare enough to be rather difficult to believe.  Thus:--


Mr. A., a barrister, sat up one night to write letters, and about
half-past twelve went out to put them in the post.  On undressing he
missed a cheque for a large sum, which he had received during the day.
He hunted everywhere in vain, went to bed, slept, and dreamed that he
saw the cheque curled round an area railing not far from his own door.
He woke, got up, dressed, walked down the street and found his cheque
in the place he had dreamed of.  In his opinion he had noticed it fall
from his pocket as he walked to the letter-box, without consciously
remarking it, and his deeper memory awoke in slumber. {11a}


A little girl of the author's family kept ducks and was anxious to
sell the eggs to her mother.  But the eggs could not be found by eager
search.  On going to bed she said, "Perhaps I shall dream of them".
Next morning she exclaimed, "I _did_ dream of them, they are in a
place between grey rock, broom, and mallow; that must be 'The Poney's
Field'!"  And there the eggs were found. {11b}


Lady X., after walking in a wood near her house in Ireland, found that
she had lost an important key.  She dreamed that it was lying at the
root of a certain tree, where she found it next day, and her theory is
the same as that of Mr. A., the owner of the lost cheque. {11c}

As a rule dreams throw everything into a dramatic form.  Some one
knocks at our door, and the dream bases a little drama on the noise;
it constructs an explanatory myth, a myth to account for the noise,
which is acted out in the theatre of the brain.

To take an instance, a disappointing one:--


A lady dreamed that she was sitting at a window, watching the end of
an autumn sunset.  There came a knock at the front door and a
gentleman and lady were ushered in.  The gentleman wore an old-
fashioned snuff-coloured suit, of the beginning of the century; he
was, in fact, an aged uncle, who, during the Napoleonic wars, had been
one of the English detenus in France.  The lady was very beautiful and
wore something like a black Spanish mantilla.  The pair carried with
them a curiously wrought steel box.  Before conversation was begun,
the maid (still in the dream) brought in the lady's chocolate and the
figures vanished.  When the maid withdrew, the figures reappeared
standing by the table.  The box was now open, and the old gentleman
drew forth some yellow papers, written on in faded ink.  These, he
said, were lists of securities, which had been in his possession, when
he went abroad in 18--, and in France became engaged to his beautiful

"The securities," he said, "are now in the strong box of Messrs. ---;"
another rap at the door, and the actual maid entered with real hot
water.  It was time to get up.  The whole dream had its origin in the
first rap, heard by the dreamer and dramatised into the arrival of
visitors.  Probably it did not last for more than two or three seconds
of real time.  The maid's second knock just prevented the revelation
of the name of "Messrs. ---," who, like the lady in the mantilla, were
probably non-existent people. {13}

Thus dream dramatises on the impulse of some faint, hardly perceived
real sensation.  And thus either mere empty fancies (as in the case of
the lost securities) or actual knowledge which we may have once
possessed but have totally forgotten, or conclusions which have passed
through our brains as unheeded guesses, may in a dream be, as it were,
"revealed" through the lips of a character in the brain's theatre--
that character may, in fact, be alive, or dead, or merely fantastical.
A very good case is given with this explanation (lost knowledge
revived in a dramatic dream about a dead man) by Sir Walter Scott in a
note to The Antiquary.  Familiar as the story is it may be offered
here, for a reason which will presently be obvious.


"Mr. Rutherford, of Bowland, a gentleman of landed property in the
Vale of Gala, was prosecuted for a very considerable sum, the
accumulated arrears of teind (or tithe) for which he was said to be
indebted to a noble family, the titulars (lay impropriators of the
tithes).  Mr. Rutherford was strongly impressed with the belief that
his father had, by a form of process peculiar to the law of Scotland,
purchased these teinds from the titular, and, therefore, that the
present prosecution was groundless.  But, after an industrious search
among his father's papers, an investigation among the public records
and a careful inquiry among all persons who had transacted law
business for his father, no evidence could be recovered to support his
defence.  The period was now near at hand, when he conceived the loss
of his law-suit to be inevitable; and he had formed the determination
to ride to Edinburgh next day and make the best bargain he could in
the way of compromise.  He went to bed with this resolution, and, with
all the circumstances of the case floating upon his mind, had a dream
to the following purpose.  His father, who had been many years dead,
appeared to him, he thought, and asked him why he was disturbed in his
mind.  In dreams men are not surprised at such apparitions.  Mr.
Rutherford thought that he informed his father of the cause of his
distress, adding that the payment of a considerable sum of money was
the more unpleasant to him because he had a strong consciousness that
it was not due, though he was unable to recover any evidence in
support of his belief.  'You are right, my son,' replied the paternal
shade.  'I did acquire right to these teinds for payment of which you
are now prosecuted.  The papers relating to the transaction are in the
hands of Mr. ---, a writer (or attorney), who is now retired from
professional business and resides at Inveresk, near Edinburgh.  He was
a person whom I employed on that occasion for a particular reason, but
who never on any other occasion transacted business on my account.  It
is very possible,' pursued the vision, 'that Mr. --- may have
forgotten a matter which is now of a very old date; but you may call
it to his recollection by this token, that when I came to pay his
account there was difficulty in getting change for a Portugal piece of
gold and we were forced to drink out the balance at a tavern.'

"Mr. Rutherford awoke in the morning with all the words of the vision
imprinted on his mind, and thought it worth while to walk across the
country to Inveresk instead of going straight to Edinburgh.  When he
came there he waited on the gentleman mentioned in the dream--a very
old man.  Without saying anything of the vision he inquired whether he
ever remembered having conducted such a matter for his deceased
father.  The old gentleman could not at first bring the circumstance
to his recollection, but on mention of the Portugal piece of gold the
whole returned upon his memory.  He made an immediate search for the
papers and recovered them, so that Mr. Rutherford carried to Edinburgh
the documents necessary to gain the cause which he was on the verge of

The story is reproduced because it is clearly one of the tales which
come round in cycles, either because events repeat themselves or
because people will unconsciously localise old legends in new places
and assign old occurrences or fables to new persons.  Thus every one
has heard how Lord Westbury called a certain man in the Herald's
office "a foolish old fellow who did not even know his own foolish old
business".  Lord Westbury may very well have said this, but long
before his time the remark was attributed to the famous Lord
Chesterfield.  Lord Westbury may have quoted it from Chesterfield or
hit on it by accident, or the old story may have been assigned to him.
In the same way Mr. Rutherford may have had his dream or the following
tale of St. Augustine's (also cited by Scott) may have been attributed
to him, with the picturesque addition about the piece of Portuguese
gold.  Except for the piece of Portuguese gold St. Augustine
practically tells the anecdote in his De Cura pro Mortuis Habenda,
adding the acute reflection which follows. {16}

"Of a surety, when we were at Milan, we heard tell of a certain person
of whom was demanded payment of a debt, with production of his
deceased father's acknowledgment, which debt, unknown to the son, the
father had paid, whereupon the man began to be very sorrowful, and to
marvel that his father while dying did not tell him what he owed when
he also made his will.  Then in this exceeding anxiousness of his, his
said father appeared to him in a dream, and made known to him where
was the counter acknowledgment by which that acknowledgment was
cancelled.  Which when the young man had found and showed, he not only
rebutted the wrongful claim of a false debt, but also got back his
father's note of hand, which the father had not got back when the
money was paid.

"Here then the soul of a man is supposed to have had care for his son,
and to have come to him in his sleep, that, teaching him what he did
not know, he might relieve him of a great trouble.  But about the very
same time as we heard this, it chanced at Carthage that the
rhetorician Eulogius, who had been my disciple in that art, being (as
he himself, after our return to Africa, told us the story) in course
of lecturing to his disciples on Cicero's rhetorical books, as he
looked over the portion of reading which he was to deliver on the
following day, fell upon a certain passage, and not being able to
understand it, was scarce able to sleep for the trouble of his mind:
in which night, as he dreamed, I expounded to him that which he did
not understand; nay, not I, but my likeness, while I was unconscious
of the thing and far away beyond sea, it might be doing, or it might
be dreaming, some other thing, and not in the least caring for his
cares.  In what way these things come about I know not; but in what
way soever they come, why do we not believe it comes in the same way
for a person in a dream to see a dead man, as it comes that he sees a
living man? both, no doubt, neither knowing nor caring who dreams of
their images, or where or when.

"Like dreams, moreover, are some visions of persons awake, who have
had their senses troubled, such as phrenetic persons, or those who are
mad in any way, for they, too, talk to themselves just as though they
were speaking to people verily present, and as well with absent men as
with present, whose images they perceive whether persons living or
dead.  But just as they who live are unconscious that they are seen of
them and talk with them (for indeed they are not really themselves
present, or themselves make speeches, but through troubled senses
these persons are wrought upon by such like imaginary visions), just
so they also who have departed this life, to persons thus affected
appear as present while they be absent, and are themselves utterly
unconscious whether any man sees them in regard of their image." {18}

St. Augustine adds a similar story of a trance.


A rustic named Curma, of Tullium, near Hippo, Augustine's town, fell
into a catalepsy.  On reviving he said:  "Run to the house of Curma
the smith and see what is going on".  Curma the smith was found to
have died just when the other Curma awoke.  "I knew it," said the
invalid, "for I heard it said in that place whence I have returned
that not I, Curma of the Curia, but Curma the smith, was wanted."  But
Curma of the Curia saw living as well as dead people, among others
Augustine, who, in his vision, baptised him at Hippo.  Curma then, in
the vision, went to Paradise, where he was told to go and be baptised.
He said it had been done already, and was answered, "Go and be truly
baptised, for _that_ thou didst but see in vision".  So Augustine
christened him, and later, hearing of the trance, asked him about it,
when he repeated the tale already familiar to his neighbours.
Augustine thinks it a mere dream, and apparently regards the death of
Curma the smith as a casual coincidence.  Un esprit fort, le Saint

"If the dead could come in dreams," he says, "my pious mother would no
night fail to visit me.  Far be the thought that she should, by a
happier life, have been made so cruel that, when aught vexes my heart,
she should not even console in a dream the son whom she loved with an
only love."

Not only things once probably known, yet forgotten, but knowledge
never _consciously_ thought out, may be revealed in a dramatic dream,
apparently through the lips of the dead or the never existent.  The
books of psychology are rich in examples of problems worked out, or
music or poetry composed in sleep.  The following is a more recent and
very striking example:--


Herr H. V. Hilprecht is Professor of Assyriology in the University of
Pennsylvania.  That university had despatched an expedition to explore
the ruins of Babylon, and sketches of the objects discovered had been
sent home.  Among these were drawings of two small fragments of agate,
inscribed with characters.  One Saturday night in March, 1893,
Professor Hilprecht had wearied himself with puzzling over these two
fragments, which were supposed to be broken pieces of finger-rings.
He was inclined, from the nature of the characters, to date them about
1700-1140 B.C.; and as the first character of the third line of the
first fragment seemed to read KU, he guessed that it might stand for
Kurigalzu, a king of that name.

About midnight the professor went, weary and perplexed, to bed.

"Then I dreamed the following remarkable dream.  A tall thin priest of
the old pre-Christian Nippur, about forty years of age, and clad in a
simple abba, led me to the treasure-chamber of the temple, on its
south-east side.  He went with me into a small low-ceiled room without
windows, in which there was a large wooden chest, while scraps of
agate and lapis lazuli lay scattered on the floor.  Here he addressed
me as follows:--

"'The two fragments, which you have published separately upon pages 22
and 26, _belong together_'" (this amazing Assyrian priest spoke
American!). {20}  "'They are not finger-rings, and their history is as

"'King Kurigalzu (about 1300 B.C.) once sent to the temple of Bel,
among other articles of agate and lapis lazuli, an inscribed votive
cylinder of agate.  Then the priests suddenly received the command to
make for the statue of the god Nibib a pair of ear-rings of agate.  We
were in great dismay, since there was no agate as raw material at
hand.  In order to execute the command there was nothing for us to do
but cut the votive cylinder in three parts, thus making three rings,
each of which contained a portion of the original inscription.  The
first two rings served as ear-rings for the statue of the god; the two
fragments which have given you so much trouble are parts of them.  If
you will put the two together, you will have confirmation of my words.
But the third ring you have not found yet, and you never will find

The professor awoke, bounded out of bed, as Mrs. Hilprecht testifies,
and was heard crying from his study, "It is so, it is so!"  Mrs.
Hilprecht followed her lord, "and satisfied myself in the midnight
hour as to the outcome of his most interesting dream".

The professor, however, says that he awoke, told his wife the dream,
and verified it next day.  Both statements are correct.  There were
two sets of drawings, one in the study (used that night) one used next
day in the University Library.

The inscription ran thus, the missing fragment being restored, "by
analogy from many similar inscriptions":--


But, in the drawings, the fragments were of different colours, so that
a student working on the drawings would not guess them to be parts of
one cylinder.  Professor Hilprecht, however, examined the two actual
fragments in the Imperial Museum at Constantinople.  They lay in two
distinct cases, but, when put together, fitted.  When cut asunder of
old, in Babylon, the white vein of the stone showed on one fragment,
the grey surface on the other.

Professor Romaine Newbold, who publishes this dream, explains that the
professor had unconsciously reasoned out his facts, the difference of
colour in the two pieces of agate disappearing in the dream.  The
professor had heard from Dr. Peters of the expedition, that a room had
been discovered with fragments of a wooden box and chips of agate and
lapis lazuli.  The sleeping mind "combined its information," reasoned
rightly from it, and threw its own conclusions into a dramatic form,
receiving the information from the lips of a priest of Nippur.

Probably we do a good deal of reasoning in sleep.  Professor
Hilprecht, in 1882-83, was working at a translation of an inscription
wherein came Nabu--Kudurru--usur, rendered by Professor Delitzsch
"Nebo protect my mortar-board".  Professor Hilprecht accepted this,
but woke one morning with his mind full of the thought that the words
should be rendered "Nebo protect my boundary," which "sounds a deal
likelier," and is now accepted.  I myself, when working at the MSS. of
the exiled Stuarts, was puzzled by the scorched appearance of the
paper on which Prince Charlie's and the king's letters were often
written and by the peculiarities of the ink.  I woke one morning with
a sudden flash of common-sense.  Sympathetic ink had been used, and
the papers had been toasted or treated with acids.  This I had
probably reasoned out in sleep, and, had I dreamed, my mind might have
dramatised the idea.  Old Mr. Edgar, the king's secretary, might have
appeared and given me the explanation.  Maury publishes tales in which
a forgotten fact was revealed to him in a dream from the lips of a
dream-character (Le Sommeil et les Reves, pp. 142-143.  The curious
may also consult, on all these things, The Philosophy of Mysticism, by
Karl du Prel, translated by Mr. Massey.  The Assyrian Priest is in
Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. xii., p. 14).

On the same plane as the dreams which we have been examining is the
waking sensation of the deja vu.

"I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell."

Most of us know this feeling, all the circumstances in which we find
ourselves have already occurred, we have a prophecy of what will
happen next "on the tip of our tongues" (like a half-remembered name),
and then the impression vanishes.  Scott complains of suffering
through a whole dinner-party from this sensation, but he had written
"copy" for fifty printed pages on that day, and his brain was breaking
down.  Of course psychology has explanations.  The scene _may_ have
really occurred before, or may be the result of a malady of
perception, or one hemisphere of the brain not working in absolute
simultaneousness with the other may produce a double impression, the
first being followed by the second, so that we really have had two
successive impressions, of which one seems much more remote in time
than it really was.  Or we may have dreamed something like the scene
and forgotten the dream, or we may actually, in some not understood
manner, have had a "prevision" of what is now actual, as when Shelley
almost fainted on coming to a place near Oxford which he had beheld in
a dream.

Of course, if this "prevision" could be verified in detail, we should
come very near to dreams of the future fulfilled.  Such a thing--
verification of a detail--led to the conversion of William Hone, the
free-thinker and Radical of the early century, who consequently became
a Christian and a pessimistic, clear-sighted Tory.  This tale of the
deja vu, therefore, leads up to the marvellous narratives of dreams
simultaneous with, or prophetic of, events not capable of being
guessed or inferred, or of events lost in the historical past, but,
later, recovered from documents.

Of Hone's affair there are two versions.  Both may be given, as they
are short.  If they illustrate the deja vu, they also illustrate the
fond discrepancies of all such narratives. {24}


"It is said that a dream produced a powerful effect on Hone's mind.
He dreamt that he was introduced into a room where he was an entire
stranger, and saw himself seated at a table, and on going towards the
window his attention was somehow or other attracted to the window-
shutter, and particularly to a knot in the wood, which was of singular
appearance; and on waking the whole scene, and especially the knot in
the shutter, left a most vivid impression on his mind.  Some time
afterwards, on going, I think, into the country, he was at some house
shown into a chamber where he had never been before, and which
instantly struck him as being the identical chamber of his dream.  He
turned directly to the window, where the same knot in the shutter
caught his eye.  This incident, to his investigating spirit, induced a
train of reflection which overthrew his cherished theories of
materialism, and resulted in conviction that there were spiritual
agencies as susceptible of proof as any facts of physical science; and
this appears to have been one of the links in that mysterious chain of
events by which, according to the inscrutable purposes of the Divine
will, man is sometimes compelled to bow to an unseen and divine power,
and ultimately to believe and live."

"Another of the Christian friends from whom, in his later years,
William Hone received so much kindness, has also furnished
recollections of him.

" . . . Two or three anecdotes which he related are all I can
contribute towards a piece of mental history which, if preserved,
would have been highly interesting.  The first in point of time as to
his taste of mind, was a circumstance which shook his confidence in
_materialism_, though it did not lead to his conversion.  It was one
of those mental phenomena which he saw to be _inexplicable_ by the
doctrines he then held.

"It was as follows:  He was called in the course of business into a
part of London quite new to him, and as he walked along the street he
noticed to himself that he had never been there; but on being shown
into a room in a house where he had to wait some time, he immediately
fancied that it was all familiar, that he had seen it before, 'and if
so,' said he to himself, 'there is a very peculiar knot in this
shutter'.  He opened the shutter and found the knot.  'Now then,'
thought he, 'here is something I cannot explain on my principles!'"

Indeed the occurrence is not very explicable on any principles, as a
detail not visible without search was sought and verified, and that by
a habitual mocker at anything out of the common way.  For example,
Hone published a comic explanation, correct or not, of the famous
Stockwell mystery.

Supposing Hone's story to be true, it naturally conducts us to yet
more unfamiliar, and therefore less credible dreams, in which the
unknown past, present, or future is correctly revealed.


Veracious Dreams.  Past, Present and Future unknown Events "revealed".
Theory of "Mental Telegraphy" or "Telepathy" fails to meet Dreams of
the unknowable Future.  Dreams of unrecorded Past, how alone they can
be corroborated.  Queen Mary's Jewels.  Story from Brierre de
Boismont.  Mr. Williams's Dream before Mr. Perceval's Murder.
Discrepancies of Evidence.  Curious Story of Bude Kirk.  Mr.
Williams's Version.  Dream of a Rattlesnake.  Discrepancies.  Dream of
the Red Lamp.  "Illusions Hypnagogiques."  The Scar in the Moustache.
Dream of the Future.  The Coral Sprigs.  Anglo-Saxon Indifference.  A
Celtic Dream.  The Satin Slippers.  Waking Dreams.  The Dead Shopman.
Dreams in Swoons.

Perhaps nothing, not even a ghost, is so staggering to the powers of
belief as a well-authenticated dream which strikes the bull's eye of
facts not known to the dreamer nor capable of being guessed by him.
If the events beheld in the dream are far away in space, or are remote
in time past, the puzzle is difficult enough.  But if the events are
still in the future, perhaps no kind of explanation except a mere
"fluke" can even be suggested.  Say that I dream of an event occurring
at a distance, and that I record or act on my dream before it is
corroborated.  Suppose, too, that the event is not one which could be
guessed, like the death of an invalid or the result of a race or of an
election.  This would be odd enough, but the facts of which I dreamed
must have been present in the minds of living people.  Now, if there
is such a thing as "mental telegraphy" or "telepathy," {28} my mind,
in dream, may have "tapped" the minds of the people who knew the
facts.  We may not believe in "mental telegraphy," but we can
_imagine_ it as one of the unknown possibilities of nature.  Again, if
I dream of an unchronicled event in the past, and if a letter of some
historical person is later discovered which confirms the accuracy of
my dream, we can at least _conceive_ (though we need not believe) that
the intelligence was telegraphed to my dreaming mind from the mind of
a _dead_ actor in, or witness of the historical scene, for the facts
are unknown to living man.  But even these wild guesses cannot cover a
dream which correctly reveals events of the future; events necessarily
not known to any finite mind of the living or of the dead, and too
full of detail for an explanation by aid of chance coincidence.

In face of these difficulties mankind has gone on believing in dreams
of all three classes:  dreams revealing the unknown present, the
unknown past, and the unknown future.  The judicious reasonably set
them all aside as the results of fortuitous coincidence, or revived
recollection, or of the illusions of a false memory, or of imposture,
conscious or unconscious.  However, the stories continue to be told,
and our business is with the stories.

Taking, first, dreams of the unknown past, we find a large modern
collection of these attributed to a lady named "Miss A---".  They were
waking dreams representing obscure incidents of the past, and were
later corroborated by records in books, newspapers and manuscripts.
But as these books and papers existed, and were known to exist, before
the occurrence of the visions, it is obvious that the matter of the
visions _may_ have been derived from the books and so forth, or at
least, a sceptic will vastly prefer this explanation.  What we need is
a dream or vision of the unknown past, corroborated by a document _not
known to exist_ at the time when the vision took place and was
recorded.  Probably there is no such instance, but the following tale,
picturesque in itself, has a kind of shadow of the only satisfactory
sort of corroboration.

The author responsible for this yarn is Dr. Gregory, F.R.S., Professor
of Chemistry in the University of Edinburgh.  After studying for many
years the real or alleged phenomena of what has been called mesmerism,
or electro-biology, or hypnotism, Dr. Gregory published in 1851 his
Letters to a Candid Inquirer on Animal Magnetism.

Though a F.R.S. and a Professor of Chemistry, the Doctor had no more
idea of what constitutes evidence than a baby.  He actually mixed up
the Tyrone with the Lyttelton ghost story!  His legend of Queen Mary's
jewels is derived from (1) the note-book, _or_ (2) a letter
containing, or professing to contain, extracts from the note-book, of
a Major Buckley, an Anglo-Indian officer.  This gentleman used to
"magnetise" or hypnotise people, some of whom became clairvoyant, as
if possessed of eyes acting as "double-patent-million magnifiers,"
permeated by X rays.

"What follows is transcribed," says the Doctor, "from Major Buckley's
note-book."  We abridge the narrative.  Major Buckley hypnotised a
young officer, who, on November 15, 1845, fell into "a deeper state"
of trance.  Thence he awoke into a "clairvoyant" condition and said:--


"I have had a strange dream about your ring" (a "medallion" of Anthony
and Cleopatra); "it is very valuable."

Major Buckley said it was worth 60 pounds, and put the ring into his
friend's hand.

"It belonged to royalty."

"In what country?"

"I see Mary, Queen of Scots.  It was given to her by a man, a
foreigner, with other things from Italy.  It came from Naples.  It is
not in the old setting.  She wore it only once.  The person who gave
it to her was a musician."

The seer then "saw" the donor's signature, "Rizzio".  But Rizzio
spelled his name Riccio!  The seer now copied on paper a writing which
in his trance he saw on vellum.  The design here engraved (p. 32) is
only from a rough copy of the seer's original drawing, which was made
by Major Buckley.

[Picture of vellum as described in the text - images/rizzo.gif]

"Here" (pointing to the middle) "I see a diamond cross."   The
smallest stone was above the size of one of four carats.  "It" (the
cross) "was worn out of sight by Mary.  The vellum has been shown in
the House of Lords." {31}

" . . . The ring was taken off Mary's finger by a man in anger and
jealousy:  he threw it into the water.  When he took it off, she was
being carried in a kind of bed with curtains" (a litter).

Just before Rizzio's murder Mary was enceinte, and might well be
carried in a litter, though she usually rode.

The seer then had a view of Sizzle's murder, which he had probably
read about.

Three weeks later, in another trance, the seer finished his design of
the vellum.  The words


probably stand for a Marie, de la part de--

The thistle heads and leaves in gold at the corners were a usual
decoration of the period; compare the ceiling of the room in Edinburgh
Castle where James VI. was born, four months after Rizzio's murder.
They also occur in documents.  Dr. Gregory conjectures that so
valuable a present as a diamond cross may have been made not by
Rizzio, but through Rizzio by the Pope.

It did not seem good to the doctor to consult Mary's lists of jewels,
nor, if he had done so, would he have been any the wiser.  In 1566,
just before the birth of James VI., Mary had an inventory drawn up,
and added the names of the persons to whom she bequeathed her
treasures in case she died in child-bed.  But this inventory, hidden
among a mass of law-papers in the Record Office, was not discovered
till 1854, nine years after the vision of 1845, and three after its
publication by Dr. Gregory in 1851.  Not till 1863 was the inventory
of 1566, discovered in 1854, published for the Bannatyne Club by Dr.
Joseph Robertson.

Turning to the inventory we read of a valuable present made by David
Rizzio to Mary, a tortoise of rubies, which she kept till her death,
for it appears in a list made after her execution at Fotheringay.  The
murdered David Rizzio left a brother Joseph.  Him the queen made her
secretary, and in her will of 1566 mentions him thus:--

"A Josef, pour porter a celui qui je luy ay dit, une emeraude emaille
de blanc.

"A Josef, pour porter a celui qui je luy ai dit, dont il ranvoir

"Une bague garnye de vingt cinq diamens tant grands que petis."

Now the diamond cross seen by the young officer in 1845 was set with
diamonds great and small, and was, in his opinion, a gift from or
through Rizzio.  "The queen wore it out of sight."  Here in the
inventory we have a bague (which may be a cross) of diamonds small and
great, connected with a secret only known to Rizzio's brother and to
the queen.  It is "to be carried to one whose name the queen has
spoken in her new secretary's ear" (Joseph's), "but dare not trust
herself to write".  "It would be idle now to seek to pry into the
mystery which was thus anxiously guarded," says Dr. Robertson, editor
of the queen's inventories.  The doctor knew nothing of the vision
which, perhaps, so nearly pried into the mystery.  There is nothing
like proof here, but there is just a presumption that the diamonds
connected with Rizzio, and secretly worn by the queen, seen in the
vision of 1845, are possibly the diamonds which, had Mary died in
1566, were to be carried by Joseph Rizzio to a person whose name might
not safely be written. {35a}

We now take a dream which apparently reveals a real fact occurring at
a distance.  It is translated from Brierre de Boismont's book, Des
Hallucinations {35b} (Paris, 1845).  "There are," says the learned
author, "authentic dreams which have revealed an event occurring at
the moment, or later."  These he explains by accidental coincidence,
and then gives the following anecdote, as within his own intimate


Miss C., a lady of excellent sense, religious but not bigoted, lived
before her marriage in the house of her uncle D., a celebrated
physician, and member of the Institute.  Her mother at this time was
seriously ill in the country.  One night the girl dreamed that she saw
her mother, pale and dying, and especially grieved at the absence of
two of her children:  one a cure in Spain, the other--herself--in
Paris.  Next she heard her own Christian name called, "Charlotte!"
and, in her dream, saw the people about her mother bring in her own
little niece and god-child Charlotte from the next room.  The patient
intimated by a sign that she did not want _this_ Charlotte, but her
daughter in Paris.  She displayed the deepest regret; her countenance
changed, she fell back, and died.

Next day the melancholy of Mademoiselle C. attracted the attention of
her uncle.  She told him her dream; he pressed her to his heart, and
admitted that her mother was dead.

Some months later Mademoiselle C., when her uncle was absent, arranged
his papers, which he did not like any one to touch.  Among these was a
letter containing the story of her mother's death, with all the
details of her own dream, which D. had kept concealed lest they should
impress her too painfully.

Boismont is staggered by this circumstance, and inclined to account
for it by "still unknown relations in the moral and physical world".
"Mental telegraphy," of course, would explain all, and even chance
coincidence is perfectly conceivable.

The most commonly known of dreams prior to, or simultaneous with an
historical occurrence represented in the vision, is Mr. Williams's
dream of the murder of Mr. Perceval in the lobby of the House of
Commons, May 11, 1812.  Mr. Williams, of Scorrier House, near Redruth,
in Cornwall, lived till 1841.  He was interested in mines, and a man
of substance.  Unluckily the versions of his dream are full of
discrepancies.  It was first published, apparently, in The Times
during the "silly season" of 1828 (August 28).  According to The
Times, whose account is very minute, Mr. Williams dreamed of the
murder thrice before 2 a.m. on the night of May 11.  He told Mrs.
Williams, and was so disturbed that he rose and dressed at two in the
morning.  He went to Falmouth next day (May 12), and told the tale to
every one he knew.  On the evening of the 13th he told it to Mr. and
Mrs. Tucker (his married daughter) of Tremanton Castle.  Mr. Williams
only knew that the _chancellor_ was shot; Mr. Tucker said it must be
the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  From the description he recognised
Mr. Perceval, with whom he was at enmity.  Mr. Williams had never been
inside the House of Commons.  As they talked, Mr. William's son
galloped up from Truro with news of the murder, got from a traveller
by coach.  Six weeks later, Mr. Williams went to town, and in the
House of Commons walked up to and recognised the scene of the various
incidents in the murder.

So far The Times, in 1828.  But two forms of a version of 1832 exist,
one in a note to Mr. Walpole's Life of Perceval (1874), "an attested
statement, drawn up and signed by Mr. Williams in the presence of the
Rev. Thomas Fisher and Mr. Charles Prideaux Brune".  Mr. Brune gave it
to Mr. Walpole.  With only verbal differences this variant corresponds
to another signed by Mr. Williams and given by him to his grandson,
who gave it to Mr. Perceval's great-niece, by whom it was lent to the
Society for Psychical Research.

These accounts differ toto coelo from that in The Times of 1828.  The
dream is _not_ of May 11, but "about" May 2 or 3.  Mr. Williams is
_not_ a stranger to the House of Commons; it is "a place well known to
me".  He is _not_ ignorant of the name of the victim, but "understood
that it was Mr. Perceval".  He thinks of going to town to give
warning.  We hear nothing of Mr. Tucker.  Mr. Williams does _not_
verify his dream in the House, but from a drawing.  A Mr. C. R. Fox,
son of one to whom the dream was told _before_ the event, was then a
boy of fourteen, and sixty-one years later was sure that he himself
heard of Mr. Williams's dream _before_ the news of the murder arrived.
After sixty years, however, the memory cannot be relied upon.

One very curious circumstance in connection with the assassination of
Mr. Perceval has never been noticed.  A rumour or report of the deed
reached Bude Kirk, a village near Annan, on the night of Sunday, May
10, a day before the crime was committed!  This was stated in the
Dumfries and Galloway Courier, and copied in The Times of May 25.  On
May 28, the Perth Courier quotes the Dumfries paper, and adds that
"the Rev. Mr. Yorstoun, minister of Hoddam (ob. 1833), has visited
Bude Kirk and has obtained the most satisfactory proof of the rumour
having existed" on May 10, but the rumour cannot be traced to its
source.  Mr. Yorstoun authorises the mention of his name.  The Times
of June 2 says that "the report is without foundation".  If Williams
talked everywhere of his dream, on May 3, some garbled shape of it may
conceivably have floated to Bude Kirk by May 10, and originated the
rumour.  Whoever started it would keep quiet when the real news
arrived for fear of being implicated in a conspiracy as accessory
before the fact.  No trace of Mr. Williams's dream occurs in the
contemporary London papers.

The best version of the dream to follow is probably that signed by Mr.
Williams himself in 1832. {39a}

It may, of course, be argued by people who accept Mr. Williams's dream
as a revelation of the future that it reached his mind from the
_purpose_ conceived in Bellingham's mind, by way of "mental
telegraphy". {39b}


"SUNDHILL, December, 1832.

"[Some account of a dream which occurred to John Williams, Esq., of
Scorrier House, in the county of Cornwall, in the year 1812.  Taken
from his own mouth, and narrated by him at various times to several of
his friends.]

"Being desired to write out the particulars of a remarkable dream
which I had in the year 1812, before I do so I think it may be proper
for me to say that at that time my attention was fully occupied with
affairs of my own--the superintendence of some very extensive mines in
Cornwall being entrusted to me.  Thus I had no leisure to pay any
attention to political matters, and hardly knew at that time who
formed the administration of the country.  It was, therefore, scarcely
possible that my own interest in the subject should have had any share
in suggesting the circumstances which presented themselves to my
imagination.  It was, in truth, a subject which never occurred to my
waking thoughts.

"My dream was as follows:--

"About the second or third day of May, 1812, I dreamed that I was in
the lobby of the House of Commons (a place well known to me).  A small
man, dressed in a blue coat and a white waistcoat, entered, and
immediately I saw a person whom I had observed on my first entrance,
dressed in a snuff-coloured coat with metal buttons, take a pistol
from under his coat and present it at the little man above-mentioned.
The pistol was discharged, and the ball entered under the left breast
of the person at whom it was directed.  I saw the blood issue from the
place where the ball had struck him, his countenance instantly
altered, and he fell to the ground.  Upon inquiry who the sufferer
might be, I was informed that he was the chancellor.  I understood him
to be Mr. Perceval, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer.  I further
saw the murderer laid hold of by several of the gentlemen in the room.
Upon waking I told the particulars above related to my wife; she
treated the matter lightly, and desired me to go to sleep, saying it
was only a dream.  I soon fell asleep again, and again the dream
presented itself with precisely the same circumstances.  After waking
a second time and stating the matter again to my wife, she only
repeated her request that I would compose myself and dismiss the
subject from my mind.  Upon my falling asleep the third time, the same
dream without any alteration was repeated, and I awoke, as on the
former occasions, in great agitation.  So much alarmed and impressed
was I with the circumstances above related, that I felt much doubt
whether it was not my duty to take a journey to London and communicate
upon the subject with the party principally concerned.  Upon this
point I consulted with some friends whom I met on business at the
Godolphin mine on the following day.  After having stated to them the
particulars of the dream itself and what were my own feelings in
relation to it, they dissuaded me from my purpose, saying I might
expose myself to contempt and vexation, or be taken up as a fanatic.
Upon this I said no more, but anxiously watched the newspapers every
evening as the post arrived.

"On the evening of the 13th of May (as far as I recollect) no account
of Mr. Perceval's death was in the newspapers, but my second son,
returning from Truro, came in a hurried manner into the room where I
was sitting and exclaimed:  'O father, your dream has come true!  Mr.
Perceval has been shot in the lobby of the House of Commons; there is
an account come from London to Truro written after the newspapers were

"The fact was Mr. Percival was assassinated on the evening of the

"Some business soon after called me to London, and in one of the
print-shops I saw a drawing for sale, representing the place and the
circumstances which attended Mr. Perceval's death.  I purchased it,
and upon a careful examination I found it to coincide in all respects
with the scene which had passed through my imagination in the dream.
The colours of the dresses, the buttons of the assassin's coat, the
white waistcoat of Mr. Perceval, the spot of blood upon it, the
countenances and attitudes of the parties present were exactly what I
had dreamed.

"The singularity of the case, when mentioned among my friends and
acquaintances, naturally made it the subject of conversation in
London, and in consequence my friend, the late Mr. Rennie, was
requested by some of the commissioners of the navy that they might be
permitted to hear the circumstances from myself.  Two of them
accordingly met me at Mr. Rennie's house, and to them I detailed at
the time the particulars, then fresh in my memory, which form the
subject of the above statement.

"I forbear to make any comment on the above narrative, further than to
declare solemnly that it is a faithful account of facts as they
actually occurred.

(Signed) "JOHN WILLIAMS." {42}

When we come to dreams of the future, great historical examples are
scarce indeed, that is, dreams respectably authenticated.  We have to
put up with curious trivialities.  One has an odd feature.


Dr. Kinsolving, of the Church of the Epiphany in Philadelphia, dreamed
that he "came across a rattlesnake," which "when killed had _two_
black-looking rattles and a peculiar projection of bone from the tail,
while the skin was unusually light in colour".  Next day, while
walking with his brother, Dr. Kinsolving nearly trod on a rattlesnake,
"the same snake in every particular with the one I had had in my
mind's eye".  This would be very well, but Dr. Kinsolving's brother,
who helped to kill the unlucky serpent, says "_he had a single
rattle_".  The letters of these gentlemen were written without
communication to each other.  If Mr. Kinsolving is right, the real
snake with _one_ rattle was _not_ the dream snake with _two_ rattles.
The brothers were in a snaky country, West Virginia. {43}

The following is trivial, but good.  It is written by Mr. Alfred
Cooper, and attested by the dreamer, the Duchess of Hamilton.


Mr. Cooper says:  "A fortnight before the death of the late Earl of L---
in 1882, I called upon the Duke of Hamilton, in Hill Street, to see
him professionally.  After I had finished seeing him, we went into the
drawing-room, where the duchess was, and the duke said, 'Oh, Cooper,
how is the earl?'

"The duchess said, 'What earl?' and on my answering 'Lord L---,' she
replied:  'That is very odd.  I have had a most extraordinary vision.
I went to bed, but after being in bed a short time, I was not exactly
asleep, but thought I saw a scene as if from a play before me.  The
actors in it were Lord L--- as if in a fit, with a man standing over
him with a red beard.  He was by the side of a bath, over which a red
lamp was distinctly shown.

"I then said:  'I am attending Lord L--- at present; there is very
little the matter with him; he is not going to die; he will be all
right very soon'.

"Well he got better for a week and was nearly well, but at the end of
six or seven days after this I was called to see him suddenly.  He had
inflammation of both lungs.

"I called in Sir William Jenner, but in six days he was a dead man.
There were two male nurses attending on him; one had been taken ill.
But when I saw the other, the dream of the duchess was exactly
represented.  He was standing near a bath over the earl, and strange
to say, his beard was red.  There was the bath with the red lamp over
it.  It is rather rare to find a bath with a red lamp over it, and
this brought the story to my mind. . . ."

This account, written in 1888, has been revised by the late Duke of
Manchester, father of the Duchess of Hamilton, who heard the vision
from his daughter on the morning after she had seen it.

The duchess only knew the earl by sight, and had not heard that he was
ill.  She knew she was not asleep, for she opened her eyes to get rid
of the vision, and, shutting them, saw the same thing again. {45a}

In fact, the "vision" was an illusion hypnagogique.  Probably most
readers know the procession of visions which sometimes crowd on the
closed eyes just before sleep. {45b}  They commonly represent with
vivid clearness unknown faces or places, occasionally known faces.
The writer has seen his own in this way and has occasionally "opened
his eyes to get rid of" the appearances.  In his opinion the pictures
are unconsciously constructed by the half-sleeping mind out of blurs
of light or dark seen with closed eyes.  Mr. Cooper's story would be
more complete if he had said whether or not the earl, when visited by
him, was in a chair as in the vision.  But beds are not commonly found
in bathrooms.


This story was told to the writer by his old head-master, the Rev. Dr.
Hodson, brother of Hodson, of Hodson's Horse, a person whom I never
heard make any other allusion to such topics.  Dr. Hodson was staying
with friends in Switzerland during the holidays.  One morning, as he
lay awake, he seemed to see into a room as if the wall of his bedroom
had been cut out.  In the room were a lady well known to him and a man
whom he did not know.  The man's back was turned to the looker-on.
The scene vanished, and grew again.  Now the man faced Dr. Hodson; the
face was unfamiliar, and had a deep white scar seaming the moustache.
Dr. Hodson mentioned the circumstance to his friends, and thought
little of it.  He returned home, and, one day, in Perth station, met
the lady at the book-stall.  He went up to accost her, and was
surprised by the uneasiness of her manner.  A gentleman now joined
them, with a deep white scar through his moustache.  Dr. Hodson now
recalled, what had slipped his memory, that the lady during his
absence from Scotland had eloped with an officer, the man of the
vision and the railway station.  He did not say, or perhaps know,
whether the elopement was prior to the kind of dream in Switzerland.

Here is a dream representing a future event, with details which could
not be guessed beforehand.


Mrs. Weiss, of St. Louis, was in New York in January, 1881, attending
a daughter, Mrs. C., who was about to have a child.  She writes:--

"On Friday night (Jan. 21) I dreamed that my daughter's time came;
that owing to some cause not clearly defined, we failed to get word to
Mr. C., who was to bring the doctor; that we sent for the nurse, who
came; that as the hours passed and neither Mr. C. nor the doctor came
we both got frightened; that at last I heard Mr. C. on the stairs, and
cried to him:  'Oh, Chan, for heaven's sake get a doctor!  Ada may be
confined at any moment'; that he rushed away, and I returned to the
bedside of my daughter, who was in agony of mind and body; that
suddenly I seemed to know what to do, . . . and that shortly after Mr.
C. came, bringing a tall young doctor, having brown eyes, dark hair,
ruddy brun complexion, grey trousers and grey vest, and wearing a
bright blue cravat, picked out with coral sprigs; the cravat attracted
my attention particularly.  The young doctor pronounced Mrs. C.
properly attended to, and left."

Mrs. Weiss at breakfast told the dream to Mr. C. and her daughter;
none of them attached any importance to it.  However, as a snowstorm
broke the telegraph wires on Saturday, the day after the dream, Mrs.
Weiss was uneasy.  On Tuesday the state of Mrs. C. demanded a doctor.
Mrs. Weiss sent a telegram for Mr. C.; he came at last, went out to
bring a doctor, and was long absent.  Then Mrs. Weiss suddenly felt a
calm certainty that _she_ (though inexperienced in such cares) could
do what was needed.  "I heard myself say in a peremptory fashion:
'Ada, don't be afraid, I know just what to do; all will go well'."
All did go well; meanwhile Mr. C. ran to seven doctors' houses, and at
last returned with a young man whom Mrs. Weiss vaguely recognised.
Mrs. C. whispered, "Look at the doctor's cravat".  It was blue and
coral sprigged, and then first did Mrs. Weiss remember her dream of
Friday night.

Mrs. Weiss's story is corroborated by Mr. Blanchard, who heard the
story "a few days after the event".  Mrs. C. has read Mrs. Weiss's
statement, "and in so far as I can remember it is quite correct".  Mr.
C. remembers nothing about it; "he declares that he has no
recollection of it, _or of any matters outside his business_, and
knowing him as I do," says Mrs. Weiss, "I do not doubt the assertion".

Mr. C. must be an interesting companion.  The nurse remembers that
after the birth of the baby Mrs. C. called Mr. C.'s attention to "the
doctor's necktie," and heard her say, "Why, I know him by mamma's
description as the doctor she saw in her dreams". {48}

The only thing even more extraordinary than the dream is Mr. C.'s
inability to remember anything whatever "outside of his business".
Another witness appears to decline to be called, "as it would be
embarrassing to him in his business".  This it is to be Anglo-Saxon!

We now turn to a Celtic dream, in which knowledge supposed to be only
known to a dead man was conveyed to his living daughter.


On 1st February, 1891, Michael Conley, a farmer living near Ionia, in
Chichasow county, Iowa, went to Dubuque, in Iowa, to be medically
treated.  He left at home his son Pat and his daughter Elizabeth, a
girl of twenty-eight, a Catholic, in good health.  On February 3
Michael was found dead in an outhouse near his inn.  In his pocket
were nine dollars, seventy-five cents, but his clothes, including his
shirt, were thought so dirty and worthless that they were thrown away.
The body was then dressed in a white shirt, black clothes and satin
slippers of a new pattern.  Pat Conley was telegraphed for, and
arrived at Dubuque on February 4, accompanied by Mr. George Brown, "an
intelligent and reliable farmer".  Pat took the corpse home in a
coffin, and on his arrival Elizabeth fell into a swoon, which lasted
for several hours.  Her own account of what followed on her recovery
may be given in her own words:--

"When they told me that father was dead I felt very sick and bad; I
did not know anything.  Then father came to me.  He had on a white
shirt" (his own was grey), "and black clothes and slippers.  When I
came to, I told Pat I had seen father.  I asked Pat if he had brought
back father's old clothes.  He said 'No,' and asked me why I wanted
them.  I told him father said he had sewed a roll of bills inside of
his grey shirt, in a pocket made of a piece of my old red dress.  I
went to sleep, and father came to me again.  When I awoke I told Pat
he must go and get the clothes"--her father's old clothes.

Pat now telephoned to Mr. Hoffman, Coroner of Dubuque, who found the
old clothes in the back yard of the local morgue.  They were wrapped
up in a bundle.  Receiving this news, Pat went to Dubuque on February
9, where Mr. Hoffman opened the bundle in Pat's presence.  Inside the
old grey shirt was found a pocket of red stuff, sewn with a man's
long, uneven stitches, and in the pocket notes for thirty-five

The girl did not see the body in the coffin, but asked about the _old_
clothes, because the figure of her father in her dream wore clothes
which she did not recognise as his.  To dream in a faint is nothing
unusual. {50}


Swooning, or slight mental mistiness, is not very unusual in ghost
seers.  The brother of a friend of my own, a man of letters and wide
erudition, was, as a boy, employed in a shop in a town, say Wexington.
The overseer was a dark, rather hectic-looking man, who died.  Some
months afterwards the boy was sent on an errand.  He did his business,
but, like a boy, returned by a longer and more interesting route.  He
stopped as a bookseller's shop to stare at the books and pictures, and
while doing so felt a kind of mental vagueness.  It was just before
his dinner hour, and he may have been hungry.  On resuming his way, he
looked up and found the dead overseer beside him.  He had no sense of
surprise, and walked for some distance, conversing on ordinary topics
with the appearance.  He happened to notice such a minute detail as
that the spectre's boots were laced in an unusual way.  At a crossing,
something in the street attracted his attention; he looked away from
his companion, and, on turning to resume their talk, saw no more of
him.  He then walked to the shop, where he mentioned the occurrence to
a friend.  He has never during a number of years had any such
experience again, or suffered the preceding sensation of vagueness.

This, of course, is not a ghost story, but leads up to the old tale of
the wraith of Valogne.  In this case, two boys had made a covenant,
the first who died was to appear to the other.  He _did_ appear before
news of his death arrived, but after a swoon of his friend's, whose
health (like that of Elizabeth Conley) suffered in consequence.


"PERCEVAL MURDER."  Times, 25th May, 1812.

"A Dumfries paper states that on the night of Sunday, the 10th
instant, _twenty-four hours before the fatal deed was perpetrated_, a
report was brought to Bude Kirk, two miles from Annan, that _Mr.
Perceval was shot on his way to the House of Commons, at the door or
in the lobby of that House_.  This the whole inhabitants of the
village are ready to attest, as the report quickly spread and became
the topic of conversation.  A clergyman investigated the rumour, with
the view of tracing it to its source, but without success."

The Times of 2nd June says, "Report without foundation".

Perth Courier, 28th May, quoting from the Dumfries and Galloway
Courier, repeats above almost verbatim.  " . . .  The clergyman to
whom we have alluded, and who allows me to make use of his name, is
Mr. Yorstoun, minister of Hoddam.  This gentleman went to the spot and
carefully investigated the rumour, but has not hitherto been
successful, although he has obtained the most satisfactory proof of
its having existed at the time we have mentioned.  We forbear to make
any comments on this wonderful circumstance, but should anything
further transpire that may tend to throw light upon it, we shall not
fail to give the public earliest information."

The Dumfries and Galloway Courier I cannot find!  It is not in the
British Museum.


Transition from Dreams to Waking Hallucinations.  Popular Scepticism
about the Existence of Hallucinations in the Sane.  Evidence of Mr.
Francis Galton, F.R.S.  Scientific Disbelief in ordinary Mental
Imagery.  Scientific Men who do not see in "the Mind's Eye".  Ordinary
People who do.  Frequency of Waking Hallucinations among Mr. Gallon's
friends.  Kept Private till asked for by Science.  Causes of such
Hallucinations unknown.  Story of the Diplomatist.  Voluntary or
Induced Hallucinations.  Crystal Gazing.  Its Universality.
Experience of George Sand.  Nature of such Visions.  Examples.
Novelists.  Crystal Visions only "Ghostly" when Veracious.  Modern
Examples.  Under the Lamp.  The Cow with the Bell Historical Example.
Prophetic Crystal Vision.  St. Simon The Regent d'Orleans.  The
Deathbed of Louis XIV.  References for other Cases of Crystal Visions.

From dreams, in sleep or swoon, of a character difficult to believe in
we pass by way of "hallucinations" to ghosts.  Everybody is ready to
admit that dreams do really occur, because almost everybody has
dreamed.  But everybody is not so ready to admit that sane and
sensible men and women can have hallucinations, just because everybody
has not been hallucinated.

On this point Mr. Francis Galton, in his Inquiries into Human Faculty
(1833), is very instructive.  Mr. Galton drew up a short catechism,
asking people how clearly or how dimly they saw things "in their
mind's eye".

"Think of your breakfast-table," he said; "is your mental picture of
it as clearly illuminated and as complete as your actual view of the
scene?"  Mr. Galton began by questioning friends in the scientific
world, F.R.S.'s and other savants.  "The earliest results of my
inquiry amazed me. . . .  The great majority of the men of science to
whom I first applied, protested that _mental imagery was unknown to
them_, and they looked on me as fanciful and fantastic in supposing
that the words 'mental imagery' really expressed what I believed
everybody supposed them to mean."  One gentleman wrote:  "It is only
by a figure of speech that I can describe my recollection of a scene
as a 'mental image' which I can 'see' with 'my mind's eye'.  I do not
see it," so he seems to have supposed that nobody else did.

When he made inquiries in general society, Mr. Galton found plenty of
people who "saw" mental imagery with every degree of brilliance or
dimness, from "quite comparable to the real object" to "I recollect
the table, but do not see it"--my own position.

Mr. Galton was next "greatly struck by the frequency of the replies in
which my correspondents" (sane and healthy) "described themselves as
subject to 'visions'".  These varied in degree, "some were so vivid as
actually to deceive the judgment".  Finally, "a notable proportion of
sane persons have had not only visions, but actual hallucinations of
sight at one or more periods of their life.  I have a considerable
packet of instances contributed by my personal friends."  Thus one
"distinguished authoress" saw "the principal character of one of her
novels glide through the door straight up to her.  It was about the
size of a large doll."  Another heard unreal music, and opened the
door to hear it better.  Another was plagued by voices, which said
"Pray," and so forth.

Thus, on scientific evidence, sane and healthy people may, and "in a
notable proportion _do_, experience hallucinations".  That is to say,
they see persons, or hear them, or believe they are touched by them,
or all their senses are equally affected at once, when no such persons
are really present.  This kind of thing is always going on, but "when
popular opinion is of a matter-of-fact kind, the seers of visions keep
quiet; they do not like to be thought fanciful or mad, and they hide
their experiences, which only come to light through inquiries such as
those that I have been making".

We may now proceed to the waking hallucinations of sane and healthy
people, which Mr. Galton declares to be so far from uncommon.  Into
the _causes_ of these hallucinations which may actually deceive the
judgment, Mr. Galton does not enter.


For example, there is a living diplomatist who knows men and cities,
and has, moreover, a fine sense of humour.  "My Lord," said a famous
Russian statesman to him, "you have all the qualities of a
diplomatist, but you cannot control your smile."  This gentleman,
walking alone in a certain cloister at Cambridge, met a casual
acquaintance, a well-known London clergyman, and was just about
shaking hands with him, when the clergyman vanished.  Nothing in
particular happened to either of them; the clergyman was not in the
seer's mind at the moment.

This is a good example of a solitary hallucination in the experience
of a very cool-headed observer.  The _causes_ of such experiences are
still a mystery to science.  Even people who believe in "mental
telegraphy," say when a distant person, at death or in any other
crisis, impresses himself as present on the senses of a friend, cannot
account for an experience like that of the diplomatist, an experience
not very uncommon, and little noticed except when it happens to
coincide with some remarkable event. {56b}  Nor are such
hallucinations of an origin easily detected, like those of delirium,
insanity, intoxication, grief, anxiety, or remorse.  We can only
suppose that a past impression of the aspect of a friend is recalled
by some association of ideas so vividly that (though we are not
_consciously_ thinking of him) we conceive the friend to be actually
present in the body when he is absent.

These hallucinations are casual and unsought.  But between these and
the dreams of sleep there is a kind of waking hallucinations which
some people can purposely evoke.  Such are the visions of _crystal

Among the superstitions of almost all ages and countries is the belief
that "spirits" will show themselves, usually after magical ceremonies,
to certain persons, commonly children, who stare into a crystal ball,
a cup, a mirror, a blob of ink (in Egypt and India), a drop of blood
(among the Maoris of New Zealand), a bowl of water (Red Indian), a
pond (Roman and African), water in a glass bowl (in Fez), or almost
any polished surface.  The magical ceremonies, which have probably
nothing to do with the matter, have succeeded in making this old and
nearly universal belief seem a mere fantastic superstition.  But
occasionally a person not superstitious has recorded this experience.
Thus George Sand in her Histoire de ma Vie mentions that, as a little
girl, she used to see wonderful moving landscapes in the polished back
of a screen.  These were so vivid that she thought they must be
visible to others.

Recent experiments have proved that an unexpected number of people
have this faculty.  Gazing into a ball of crystal or glass, a crystal
or other smooth ring stone, such as a sapphire or ruby, or even into a
common ink-pot, they will see visions very brilliant.  These are often
mere reminiscences of faces or places, occasionally of faces or places
sunk deep below the ordinary memory.  Still more frequently they
represent fantastic landscapes and romantic scenes, as in an
historical novel, with people in odd costumes coming, going and
acting.  Thus I have been present when a lady saw in a glass ball a
man in white Oriental costume kneeling beside a leaping fountain of
fire.  Presently a hand appeared pointing downwards through the flame.
The _first_ vision seen pretty often represents an invalid in bed.
Printed words are occasionally read in the glass, as also happens in
the visions beheld with shut eyes before sleeping.

All these kinds of things, in fact, are common in our visions between
sleeping and waking (illusions hypnagogiques).  The singularity is
that they are seen by people wide awake in glass balls and so forth.
Usually the seer is a person whose ordinary "mental imagery" is
particularly vivid.  But every "visualiser" is not a crystal seer.  A
novelist of my acquaintance can "visualise" so well that, having
forgotten an address and lost the letter on which it was written, he
called up a mental picture of the letter, and so discovered the
address.  But this very popular writer can see no visions in a crystal
ball.  Another very popular novelist can see them; little dramas are
acted out in the ball for his edification. {58}

These things are as unfamiliar to men of science as Mr. Galton found
ordinary mental imagery, pictures in memory, to be.  Psychology may or
may not include them in her province; they may or may not come to be
studied as ordinary dreams are studied.  But, like dreams, these
crystal visions enter the domain of the ghostly only when they are
_veracious_, and contribute information previously unknown as to past,
present or future.  There are plenty of stories to this effect.  To
begin with an easy, or comparatively easy, exercise in belief.


I had given a glass ball to a young lady, who believed that she could
play the "willing game" successfully without touching the person
"willed," and when the person did not even know that "willing" was
going on.  This lady, Miss Baillie, had scarcely any success with the
ball.  She lent it to Miss Leslie, who saw a large, square, old-
fashioned red sofa covered with muslin, which she found in the next
country house she visited.  Miss Baillie's brother, a young athlete
(at short odds for the amateur golf championship), laughed at these
experiments, took the ball into the study, and came back looking "gey
gash".  He admitted that he had seen a vision, somebody he knew "under
a lamp".  He would discover during the week whether he saw right or
not.  This was at 5.30 on a Sunday afternoon.  On Tuesday, Mr. Baillie
was at a dance in a town some forty miles from his home, and met a
Miss Preston.  "On Sunday," he said, "about half-past five you were
sitting under a standard lamp in a dress I never saw you wear, a blue
blouse with lace over the shoulders, pouring out tea for a man in blue
serge, whose back was towards me, so that I only saw the tip of his

"Why, the blinds must have been up," said Miss Preston.

"I was at Dulby," said Mr. Baillie, as he undeniably was. {60a}

This is not a difficult exercise in belief.  Miss Preston was not
unlikely to be at tea at tea-time.

Nor is the following very hard.


I had given a glass ball to the wife of a friend, whose visions proved
so startling and on one occasion so unholy that she ceased to make
experiments.  One day my friend's secretary, a young student and
golfer, took up the ball.

"I see a field I know very well," he said, "but there is a cow in it
that I never saw; brown, with white markings, and, this is odd in
Scotland, she has a bell hanging from her neck.  I'll go and look at
the field."

He went and found the cow as described, bell and all. {60b}

In the spring of 1897 I gave a glass ball to a young lady, previously
a stranger to me, who was entirely unacquainted with crystal gazing,
even by report.  She had, however, not infrequent experience of
spontaneous visions, which were fulfilled, including a vision of the
Derby (Persimmon's year), which enriched her friends.  In using the
ball she, time after time, succeeded in seeing and correctly
describing persons and places familiar to people for whom she
"scried," but totally strange to herself.  In one case she added a
detail quite unknown to the person who consulted her, but which was
verified on inquiry.  These experiments will probably be published
elsewhere.  Four people, out of the very small number who tried on
these occasions, saw fancy pictures in the ball:  two were young
ladies, one a man, and one a schoolboy.  I must confess that, for the
first time, I was impressed by the belief that the lady's veracious
visions, however they are to be explained, could not possibly be
accounted for by chance coincidence.  They were too many (I was aware
of five in a few days), too minute, and too remote from the range of
ingenious guessing.  But "thought transference," tapping the mental
wires of another person, would have accounted for every case, with,
perhaps, the exception of that in which an unknown detail was added.
This confession will, undoubtedly, seem weakly credulous, but not to
make it would be unfair and unsportsmanlike.  My statement, of course,
especially without the details, is not evidence for other people.

The following case is a much harder exercise in belief.  It is
narrated by the Duc de Saint Simon. {62}  The events were described to
Saint Simon on the day after their occurrence by the Duc d'Orleans,
then starting for Italy, in May, 1706.  Saint Simon was very intimate
with the duke, and they corresponded by private cypher without
secretaries.  Owing to the death of the king's son and grandson (not
seen in the vision), Orleans became Regent when Louis XIV. died in
1714.  Saint Simon is a reluctant witness, and therefore all the


"Here is a strange story that the Duc d'Orleans told me one day in a
tete-a-tete at Marly, he having just run down from Paris before he
started for Italy; and it may be observed that all the events
predicted came to pass, though none of them could have been foreseen
at the time.  His interest in every kind of art and science was very
great, and in spite of his keen intellect, he was all his life subject
to a weakness which had been introduced (with other things) from Italy
by Catherine de Medici, and had reigned supreme over the courts of her
children.  He had exercised every known method of inducing the devil
to appear to him in person, though, as he has himself told me, without
the smallest success.  He had spent much time in investigating matters
that touched on the supernatural, and dealt with the future.

"Now La Sery (his mistress) had in her house a little girl of eight or
nine years of age, who had never resided elsewhere since her birth.
She was to all appearance a very ordinary child, and from the way in
which she had been brought up, was more than commonly ignorant and
simple.  One day, during the visit of M. d'Orleans, La Sery produced
for his edification one of the charlatans with whom the duke had long
been familiar, who pretended that by means of a glass of water he
could see the answer to any question that might be put.  For this
purpose it was necessary to have as a go-between some one both young
and innocent, to gaze into the water, and this little girl was at once
sent for.  They amused themselves by asking what was happening in
certain distant places; and after the man had murmured some words over
the water, the child looked in and always managed to see the vision
required of her.

"M. le duc d'Orleans had so often been duped in matters of this kind
that he determined to put the water-gazer to a severe test.  He
whispered to one of his attendants to go round to Madame de Nancre's,
who lived close by, and ascertain who was there, what they were all
doing, the position of the room and the way it was furnished, and
then, without exchanging a word with any one, to return and let him
know the result.  This was done speedily and without the slightest
suspicion on the part of any person, the child remaining in the room
all the time.  When M. le duc d'Orleans had learned all he wanted to
know, he bade the child look in the water and tell him who was at
Madame de Nancre's and what they were all doing.  She repeated word
for word the story that had been told by the duke's messenger;
described minutely the faces, dresses and positions of the assembled
company, those that were playing cards at the various tables, those
that were sitting, those that were standing, even the very furniture!
But to leave nothing in doubt, the Duke of Orleans despatched Nancre
back to the house to verify a second time the child's account, and
like the valet, he found she had been right in every particular.

"As a rule he said very little to me about these subjects, as he knew
I did not approve of them, and on this occasion I did not fail to
scold him, and to point out the folly of being amused by such things,
especially at a time when his attention should be occupied with more
serious matters.  'Oh, but I have only told you half,' he replied;
'that was just the beginning,' and then he went on to say that,
encouraged by the exactitude of the little girl's description of
Madame de Nancre's room, he resolved to put to her a more important
question, namely, as to the scene that would occur at the death of the
king.  The child had never seen any one who was about the court, and
had never even heard of Versailles, but she described exactly and at
great length the king's bedroom at Versailles and all the furniture
which was in fact there at the date of his death.  She gave every
detail as to the bed, and cried out on recognising, in the arms of
Madame de Ventadour, a little child decorated with an order whom she
had seen at the house of Mademoiselle la Sery; and again at the sight
of M. le duc d'Orleans.  From her account, Madame de Maintenon, Fagon
with his odd face, Madame la duchesse d'Orleans, Madame la duchesse,
Madame la princesse de Conti, besides other princes and nobles, and
even the valets and servants were all present at the king's deathbed.
Then she paused, and M. le duc d'Orleans, surprised that she had never
mentioned Monseigneur, Monsieur le duc de Bourgogne, Madame la
duchesse de Bourgogne, nor M. le duc de Berri, inquired if she did not
see such and such people answering to their description.  She
persisted that she did not, and went over the others for the second
time.  This astonished M. le duc d'Orleans deeply, as well as myself,
and we were at a loss to explain it, but the event proved that the
child was perfectly right.  This seance took place in 1706.  These
four members of the royal family were then full of health and
strength; and they all died before the king.  It was the same thing
with M. le prince, M. le duc, and M. le prince de Conti, whom she
likewise did not see, though she beheld the children of the two last
named; M. du Maine, his own (Orleans), and M. le comte de Toulouse.
But of course this fact was unknown till eight years after."

Science may conceivably come to study crystal visions, but veracious
crystal visions will be treated like veracious dreams.  That is to
say, they will be explained as the results of a chance coincidence
between the unknown fact and the vision, or of imposture, conscious or
unconscious, or of confusion of memory, or the fact of the crystal
vision will be simply denied.  Thus a vast number of well-
authenticated cases of veracious visions will be required before
science could admit that it might be well to investigate hitherto
unacknowledged faculties of the human mind.  The evidence can never be
other than the word of the seer, with whatever value may attach to the
testimony of those for whom he "sees," and describes, persons and
places unknown to himself.  The evidence of individuals as to their
own subjective experiences is accepted by psychologists in other
departments of the study. {66}


Veracious Waking Hallucinations not recognised by Science; or
explained by Coincidence, Imposture, False Memory.  A Veracious
Hallucination popularly called a Wraith or Ghost.  Example of
Unveracious Hallucination.  The Family Coach.  Ghosts' Clothes and
other Properties and Practices; how explained.  Case of Veracious
Hallucination.  Riding Home from Mess.  Another Case.  The Bright
Scar.  The Vision and the Portrait.  Such Stories not usually
believed.  Cases of Touch:  The Restraining Hand.  Of Hearing:  The
Benedictine's Voices; The Voice in the Bath-room.  Other "Warnings".
The Maoris.  The Man at the Lift.  Appearances Coincident with Death.
Others not Coincident with Anything.

In "crystal-gazing" anybody can make experiments for himself and among
such friends as he thinks he can trust.  They are hallucinations
consciously sought for, and as far as possible, provoked or induced by
taking certain simple measures.  Unsought, spontaneous waking
hallucinations, according to the result of Mr. Galton's researches,
though not nearly so common as dreams, are as much facts of _sane_
mental experience.  Now every ghost or wraith is a hallucination.  You
see your wife in the dining-room when she really is in the drawing-
room; you see your late great-great-grandfather anywhere.  Neither
person is really present.  The first appearance in popular language is
a "wraith"; the second is a "ghost" in ordinary speech.  Both are

So far Mr. Galton would go, but mark what follows!  Everybody allows
the existence of dreams, but comparatively few believe in dream
stories of _veracious_ dreams.  So every scientific man believes in
hallucinations, {68} but few believe in _veracious_ hallucinations.  A
veracious hallucination is, for our purpose, one which communicates
(as veracious dreams do) information not otherwise known, or, at
least, not known to the knower to be known.  The communication of the
knowledge may be done by audible words, with or without an actual
apparition, or with an apparition, by words or gestures.  Again, if a
hallucination of Jones's presence tallies with a great crisis in
Jones's life, or with his death, the hallucination is so far veracious
in that, at least, it does not seem meaningless.  Or if Jones's
appearance has some unwonted feature not known to the seer, but
afterwards proved to be correct in fact, that is veracious.  Next, if
several persons successively in the same place, or simultaneously,
have a similar hallucination not to be accounted for physically, that
is, if not a veracious, a curious hallucination.  Once more, if a
hallucinatory figure is afterwards recognised in a living person
previously unknown, or a portrait previously unseen, that (if the
recognition be genuine) is a veracious hallucination.  The vulgar call
it a wraith of the living, or a ghost of the dead.

Here follow two cases.  The first, The Family Coach, {69a} gave no
verified intelligence, and would be styled a "subjective
hallucination".  The second contributed knowledge of facts not
previously known to the witness, and so the vulgar would call it a
ghost.  Both appearances were very rich and full of complicated
detail.  Indeed, any ghost that wears clothes is a puzzle.  Nobody but
savages thinks that clothes have ghosts, but Tom Sawyer conjectures
that ghosts' clothes "are made of ghost stuff".

As a rule, not very much is seen of a ghost; he is "something of a
shadowy being".  Yet we very seldom hear of a ghost stark naked; that
of Sergeant Davies, murdered in 1749, is one of three or four examples
in civilised life. {69b}  Hence arises the old question, "How are we
to account for the clothes of ghosts?" One obvious reply is that there
is no ghost at all, only a hallucination.  We do not see people naked,
as a rule, in our dreams; and hallucinations, being waking dreams,
conform to the same rule.  If a ghost opens a door or lifts a curtain
in our sight, that, too, is only part of the illusion.  The door did
not open; the curtain was not lifted.  Nay, if the wrist or hand of
the seer is burned or withered, as in a crowd of stories, the ghost's
hand did not produce the effect.  It was produced in the same way as
when a hypnotised patient is told that "his hand is burned," his fancy
then begets real blisters, or so we are informed, truly or not.  The
stigmata of St. Francis and others are explained in the same way. {70}
How ghosts pull bedclothes off and make objects fly about is another
question:  in any case the ghosts are not _seen_ in the act.

Thus the clothes of ghosts, their properties, and their actions
affecting physical objects, are not more difficult to explain than a
naked ghost would be, they are all the "stuff that dreams are made
of".  But occasionally things are carried to a great pitch, as when a
ghost drives off in a ghostly dogcart, with a ghostly horse, whip and
harness.  Of this complicated kind we give two examples; the first
reckons as a "subjective," the second as a veracious hallucination.


A distinguished and accomplished country gentleman and politician, of
scientific tastes, was riding in the New Forest, some twelve miles
from the place where he was residing.  In a grassy glade he discovered
that he did not very clearly know his way to a country town which he
intended to visit.  At this moment, on the other side of some bushes a
carriage drove along, and then came into clear view where there was a
gap in the bushes.  Mr. Hyndford saw it perfectly distinctly; it was a
slightly antiquated family carriage, the sides were in that imitation
of wicker work on green panel which was once so common.  The coachman
was a respectable family servant, he drove two horses:  two old ladies
were in the carriage, one of them wore a hat, the other a bonnet.
They passed, and then Mr. Hyndford, going through the gap in the
bushes, rode after them to ask his way.  There was no carriage in
sight, the avenue ended in a cul-de-sac of tangled brake, and there
were no traces of wheels on the grass.  Mr. Hyndford rode back to his
original point of view, and looked for any object which could suggest
the illusion of one old-fashioned carriage, one coachman, two horses
and two elderly ladies, one in a hat and one in a bonnet.  He looked
in vain--and that is all!

Nobody in his senses would call this appearance a ghostly one.  The
name, however, would be applied to the following tale of


In 1854, General Barter, C.B., was a subaltern in the 75th Regiment,
and was doing duty at the hill station of Murree in the Punjaub.  He
lived in a house built recently by a Lieutenant B., who died, as
researches at the War Office prove, at Peshawur on 2nd January, 1854.
The house was on a spur of the hill, three or four hundred yards under
the only road, with which it communicated by a "bridle path," never
used by horsemen.  That path ended in a precipice; a footpath led into
the bridle path from Mr. Barter's house.

One evening Mr. Barter had a visit from a Mr. and Mrs. Deane, who
stayed till near eleven o'clock.  There was a full moon, and Mr.
Barter walked to the bridle path with his friends, who climbed it to
join the road.  He loitered with two dogs, smoking a cigar, and just
as he turned to go home, he heard a horse's hoofs coming down the
bridle path.  At a bend of the path a tall hat came into view, then
round the corner, the wearer of the hat, who rode a pony and was
attended by two native grooms.  "At this time the two dogs came, and
crouching at my side, gave low frightened whimpers.  The moon was at
the full, a tropical moon, so bright that you could see to read a
newspaper by its light, and I saw the party above me advance as
plainly as if it were noon-day; they were above me some eight or ten
feet on the bridle road. . . .  On the party came, . . . and now I had
better describe them.  The rider was in full dinner dress, with white
waistcoat and a tall chimney-pot hat, and he sat on a powerful hill
pony (dark-brown, with black mane and tail) in a listless sort of way,
the reins hanging loosely from both hands."  Grooms led the pony and
supported the rider.  Mr. Barter, knowing that there was no place they
could go to but his own house, cried "Quon hai?" (who is it?), adding
in English, "Hullo, what the devil do you want here?"  The group
halted, the rider gathered up the reins with both hands, and turning,
showed Mr. Barter the known features of the late Lieutenant B.

He was very pale, the face was a dead man's face, he was stouter than
when Mr. Barter knew him and he wore _a dark Newgate fringe_.

Mr. Barter dashed up the bank, the earth thrown up in making the
bridle path crumbled under him, he fell, scrambled on, reached the
bridle path where the group had stopped, and found nobody.  Mr. Barter
ran up the path for a hundred yards, as nobody could go _down_ it
except over a precipice, and neither heard nor saw anything.  His dogs
did not accompany him.

Next day Mr. Barter gently led his friend Deane to talk of Lieutenant
B., who said that the lieutenant "grew very bloated before his death,
and while on the sick list he allowed the fringe to grow in spite of
all we could say to him, and I believe he was buried with it".  Mr.
Barter then asked where he got the pony, describing it minutely.

"He bought him at Peshawur, and killed him one day, riding in his
reckless fashion down the hill to Trete."

Mr. Barter and his wife often heard the horse's hoofs later, though he
doubts if any one but B. had ever ridden the bridle path.  His Hindoo
bearer he found one day armed with a lattie, being determined to
waylay the sound, which "passed him like a typhoon". {74}  Here the
appearance gave correct information unknown previously to General
Barter, namely, that Lieutenant B. grew stout and wore a beard before
his death, also that he had owned a brown pony, with black mane and
tail.  Even granting that the ghosts of the pony and lieutenant were
present (both being dead), we are not informed that the grooms were
dead also.  The hallucination, on the theory of "mental telegraphy,"
was telegraphed to General Barter's mind from some one who had seen
Lieutenant B. ride home from mess not very sober, or from the mind of
the defunct lieutenant, or, perhaps, from that of the deceased pony.
The message also reached and alarmed General Barter's dogs.

Something of the same kind may or may not explain Mr. Hyndford's view
of the family coach, which gave no traceable information.

The following story, in which an appearance of the dead conveyed
information not known to the seer, and so deserving to be called
veracious, is a little ghastly.


In 1867, Miss G., aged eighteen, died suddenly of cholera in St.
Louis.  In 1876 a brother, F. G., who was much attached to her, had
done a good day's business in St. Joseph.  He was sending in his
orders to his employers (he is a commercial traveller) and was smoking
a cigar, when he became conscious that some one was sitting on his
left, with one arm on the table.  It was his dead sister.  He sprang
up to embrace her (for even on meeting a stranger whom we take for a
dead friend, we never realise the impossibility in the half moment of
surprise) but she was gone.  Mr. G. stood there, the ink wet on his
pen, the cigar lighted in his hand, the name of his sister on his
lips.  He had noted her expression, features, dress, the kindness of
her eyes, the glow of the complexion, and what he had never seen
before, _a bright red scratch on the right side of her face_.

Mr. G. took the next train home to St. Louis, and told the story to
his parents.  His father was inclined to ridicule him, but his mother
nearly fainted.  When she could control herself, she said that,
unknown to any one, she had accidentally scratched the face of the
dead, apparently with the pin of her brooch, while arranging something
about the corpse.  She had obliterated the scratch with powder, and
had kept the fact to herself.  "She told me she _knew_ at least that I
had seen my sister."  A few weeks later Mrs. G. died. {75}

Here the information existed in one living mind, the mother's, and if
there is any "mental telegraphy," may thence have been conveyed to Mr.
F. G.

Another kind of cases which may be called veracious, occurs when the
ghost seer, after seeing the ghost, recognises it in a portrait not
previously beheld.  Of course, allowance must be made for fancy, and
for conscious or unconscious hoaxing.  You see a spook in Castle
Dangerous.  You then recognise the portrait in the hall, or elsewhere.
The temptation to recognise the spook rather more clearly than you
really do, is considerable, just as one is tempted to recognise the
features of the Stuarts in the royal family, of the parents in a baby,
or in any similar case.

Nothing is more common in literary ghost stories than for somebody to
see a spectre and afterwards recognise him or her in a portrait not
before seen.  There is an early example in Sir Walter Scott's
Tapestried Chamber, which was told to him by Miss Anna Seward.
Another such tale is by Theophile Gautier.  In an essay on Illusions
by Mr. James Sully, a case is given.  A lady (who corroborated the
story to the present author) was vexed all night by a spectre in
armour.  Next morning she saw, what she had not previously observed, a
portrait of the spectre in the room.  Mr. Sully explains that she had
seen the portrait _unconsciously_, and dreamed of it.  He adds the
curious circumstance that other people have had the same experience in
the same room, which his explanation does not cover.  The following
story is published by the Society for Psychical Research, attested by
the seer and her husband, whose real names are known, but not
published. {76}


Mrs. M. writes (December 15, 1891) that before her vision she had
heard nothing about hauntings in the house occupied by herself and her
husband, and nothing about the family sorrows of her predecessors

"One night, on retiring to my bedroom about 11 o'clock, I thought I
heard a peculiar moaning sound, and some one sobbing as if in great
distress of mind.  I listened very attentively, and still it
continued; so I raised the gas in my bedroom, and then went to the
window on the landing, drew the blind aside, and there on the grass
was a very beautiful young girl in a kneeling posture, before a
soldier in a general's uniform, sobbing and clasping her hands
together, entreating for pardon, but alas! he only waved her away from
him.  So much did I feel for the girl that I ran down the staircase to
the door opening upon the lawn, and begged her to come in and tell me
her sorrow.  The figures then disappeared gradually, as in a
dissolving view.  Not in the least nervous did I feel then; went again
to my bedroom, took a sheet of writing-paper, and wrote down what I
had seen." {77}

Mrs. M., whose husband was absent, began to feel nervous, and went to
another lady's room.

She later heard of an old disgrace to the youngest daughter of the
proud family, her predecessors in the house.  The poor girl tried in
vain to win forgiveness, especially from a near relative, a soldier,
Sir X. Y.

"So vivid was my remembrance of the features of the soldier, that some
months after the occurrence [of the vision] when I called with my
husband at a house where there was a portrait of him, I stepped before
it and said, 'Why, look! there is the General!'  And sure enough it

Mrs. M. had not heard that the portrait was in the room where she saw
it.  Mr. M. writes that he took her to the house where he knew it to
be without telling her of its existence.  Mrs. M. turned pale when she
saw it.  Mr. M. knew the sad old story, but had kept it to himself.
The family in which the disgrace occurred, in 1847 or 1848, were his
relations. {78}

This vision was a veracious hallucination; it gave intelligence not
otherwise known to Mrs. M., and capable of confirmation, therefore the
appearances would be called "ghosts".  The majority of people do not
believe in the truth of any such stories of veracious hallucinations,
just as they do not believe in veracious dreams.  Mr. Galton, out of
all his packets of reports of hallucinations, does not even allude to
a veracious example, whether he has records of such a thing or not.
Such reports, however, are ghost stories, "which we now proceed," or
continue, "to narrate".  The reader will do well to remember that
while everything ghostly, and not to be explained by known physical
facts, is in the view of science a hallucination, every hallucination
is not a ghost for the purposes of story-telling.  The hallucination
must, for story-telling purposes, be _veracious_.

Following our usual method, we naturally begin with the anecdotes
least trying to the judicial faculties, and most capable of an
ordinary explanation.  Perhaps of all the senses, the sense of touch,
though in some ways the surest, is in others the most easily deceived.
Some people who cannot call up a clear mental image of things seen,
say a saltcellar, can readily call up a mental revival of the feeling
of touching salt.  Again, a slight accidental throb, or leap of a
sinew or vein, may feel so like a touch that we turn round to see who
touched us.  These familiar facts go far to make the following tale
more or less conceivable.


"About twenty years ago," writes Mrs. Elliot, "I received some letters
by post, one of which contained 15 pounds in bank notes.  After
reading the letters I went into the kitchen with them in my hands.  I
was alone at the time. . . .  Having done with the letters, I made an
effort to throw them into the fire, when I distinctly felt my hand
arrested in the act.  It was as though another hand were gently laid
upon my own, pressing it back.  Much surprised, I looked at my hand
and then saw it contained, not the letters I had intended to destroy,
but the bank notes, and that the letters were in the other hand.  I
was so surprised that I called out, 'Who's here?'" {80a}

Nobody will call this "the touch of a vanished hand".  Part of Mrs.
Elliot's mind knew what she was about, and started an unreal but
veracious feeling to warn her.  We shall come to plenty of Hands not
so readily disposed of.

Next to touch, the sense most apt to be deceived is hearing.  Every
one who has listened anxiously for an approaching carriage, has often
heard it come before it came.  In the summer of 1896 the writer, with
a lady and another companion, were standing on the veranda at the back
of a house in Dumfriesshire, waiting for a cab to take one of them to
the station.  They heard a cab arrive and draw up, went round to the
front of the house, saw the servant open the door and bring out the
luggage, but wheeled vehicle there was none in sound or sight.  Yet
all four persons had heard it, probably by dint of expectation.

To hear articulate voices where there are none is extremely common in
madness, {80b} but not very rare, as Mr. Galton shows, among the sane.
When the voices are veracious, give unknown information, they are in
the same case as truthful dreams.  I offer a few from the experience,
reported to me by himself, of a man of learning whom I shall call a
Benedictine monk, though that is not his real position in life.


My friend, as a lad, was in a strait between the choice of two
professions.  He prayed for enlightenment, and soon afterwards heard
an _internal_ voice, advising a certain course.  "Did you act on it?"
I asked.

"No; I didn't.  I considered that in my circumstances it did not
demand attention."

Later, when a man grown, he was in his study merely idling over some
books on the table, when he heard a loud voice from a corner of the
room assert that a public event of great importance would occur at a
given date.  It did occur.  About the same time, being abroad, he was
in great anxiety as to a matter involving only himself.  Of this he
never spoke to any one.  On his return to England his mother said,
"You were very wretched about so and so".

"How on earth did you know?"

"I heard ---'s voice telling me."

Now --- had died years before, in childhood.

In these cases the Benedictine's own conjecture and his mother's
affection probably divined facts, which did not present themselves as
thoughts in the ordinary way, but took the form of unreal voices.

There are many examples, as of the girl in her bath who heard a voice
say "Open the door" four times, did so, then fainted, and only escaped
drowning by ringing the bell just before she swooned.

Of course she might not have swooned if she had not been alarmed by
hearing the voices.  These tales are dull enough, and many voices,
like Dr. Johnson's mother's, when he heard her call his name, she
being hundreds of miles away, lead to nothing and are not veracious.
When they are veracious, as in the case of dreams, it may be by sheer

In a similar class are "warnings" conveyed by the eye, not by the ear.
The Maoris of New Zealand believe that if one sees a body lying across
a path or oneself on the opposite side of a river, it is wiser to try
another path and a different ford.


In the same way, in August, 1890, a lady in a Boston hotel in the dusk
rang for the lift, walked along the corridor and looked out of a
window, started to run to the door of the lift, saw a man in front of
it, stopped, and when the lighted lift came up, found that the door
was wide open and that, had she run on as she intended, she would have
fallen down the well.  Here part of her mind may have known that the
door was open, and started a ghost (for there was no real man there)
to stop her.  Pity that these things do not occur more frequently.
They do--in New Zealand. {82}

These are a few examples of useful veracious waking dreams.  The sort
of which we hear most are "wraiths".  A, when awake, meets B, who is
dead or dying or quite well at a distance.  The number of these
stories is legion.  To these we advance, under their Highland title,
_spirits of the living_.


"Spirits of the Living."  Mistakes of Identity.  Followed by Arrival
of Real Person.  "Arrivals."  Mark Twain's Phantom Lady.  Phantom
Dogcart.  Influence of Expectant Attention.  Goethe.  Shelley.  The
Wraith of the Czarina.  Queen Elizabeth's Wraith.  Second Sight.  Case
at Ballachulish.  Experiments in sending Wraiths.  An "Astral Body".
Evidence discussed.  Miss Russell's Case.  "Spirits of the Dying."
Maori Examples.  Theory of Chance Coincidence.  In Tavistock Place.
The Wynyard Wraith.  Lord Brougham's Wraith Story.  Lord Brougham's
Logic.  The Dying Mother.  Comparison with the Astral Body.  The
Vision of the Bride.  Animals as affected by the supposed Presence of
Apparitions.  Examples.  Transition to Appearances of the Dead.

"Spirits of the living" is the Highland term for the appearances of
people who are alive and well--but elsewhere.  The common Highland
belief is that they show themselves to second-sighted persons, very
frequently before the arrival of a stranger or a visitor, expected or
unexpected.  Probably many readers have had the experience of meeting
an acquaintance in the street.  He passes us, and within a hundred
yards we again meet and talk with our friend.  When he is of very
marked appearance, or has any strong peculiarity, the experience is
rather perplexing.  Perhaps a few bits of hallucination are sprinkled
over a real object.  This ordinary event leads on to what are called
"Arrivals," that is when a person is seen, heard and perhaps spoken to
in a place to which he is travelling, but whither he has not yet
arrived.  Mark Twain gives an instance in his own experience.  At a
large crowded reception he saw approaching him in the throng a lady
whom he had known and liked many years before.  When she was near him,
he lost sight of her, but met her at supper, dressed as he had seen
her in the "levee".  At that moment she was travelling by railway to
the town in which he was. {85a}

A large number of these cases have been printed. {85b}  In one case a
gentleman and lady from their window saw his brother and sister-in-law
drive past, with a horse which they knew had not been out for some
weeks.  The seers were presently joined by the visitors' daughter, who
had met the party on the road, she having just left them at their
house.  Ten minutes later the real pair arrived, horse and all. {85c}

This last affair is one of several tales of "Phantom Coaches," not
only heard but seen, the coach being a coach of the living.  In 1893
the author was staying at a Highland castle, when one of the ladies
observed to her nephew, "So you and Susan _did_ drive in the dogcart;
I saw you pass my window".  "No, we didn't; but we spoke of doing it."
The lady then mentioned minute details of the dress and attitudes of
her relations as they passed her window, where the drive turned from
the hall door through the park; but, in fact, no such journey had been
made.  Dr. Hack Tuke published the story of the "Arrival" of Dr. Boase
at his house a quarter of an hour before he came, the people who saw
him supposing him to be in Paris. {86}

When a person is seen in "Arrival" cases before he arrives, the affair
is not so odd if he is expected.  Undoubtedly, expectation does
sometimes conjure up phantasms, and the author once saw (as he
supposed) a serious accident occur which in fact did not take place,
though it seemed unavoidable.

Curiously enough, this creation of phantasms by expectant attention
seems to be rare where "ghosts" are expected.  The author has slept in
several haunted houses, but has never seen what he was led to expect.
In many instances, as in "The Lady in Black" (infra), a ghost who is a
frequent visitor is never seen when people watch for her.  Among the
many persons who have had delusions as to the presence of the dead,
very few have been hoping, praying for and expecting them.

"I look for ghosts, but none will force
   Their way to me:  'Tis falsely said
That there was ever intercourse
   Between the living and the dead,
For surely then I should have sight
Of him I wait for day and night
With love and longings infinite."

The Affliction of Margaret has been the affliction of most of us.
There are curious historical examples of these appearances of the
living.  Goethe declares that he once met himself at a certain place
in a certain dress, and several years later found himself there in
that costume.  Shelley was seen by his friends at Lerici to pass along
a balcony whence there was no exit.  However, he could not be found
there.  The story of the wraith of Catherine the Great is variously
narrated.  We give it as told by an eye-witness, the Comte de
Ribaupierre, about 1862 to Lady Napier and Ettrick.  The Count, in
1862, was a very old man, and more than thirty years have passed since
he gave the tale to Lady Napier, whose memory retains it in the
following form:--


"In the exercise of his duties as one of the pages-in-waiting,
Ribaupierre followed one day his august mistress into the throne-room
of the palace.  When the Empress, accompanied by the high officers of
her court and the ladies of her household, came in sight of the chair
of state which she was about to occupy, she suddenly stopped, and to
the horror and astonished awe of her courtiers, she pointed to a
visionary being seated on the imperial throne.  The occupant of the
chair was an exact counterpart of herself.  All saw it and trembled,
but none dared to move towards the mysterious presentment of their

"After a moment of dead silence the great Catherine raised her voice
and ordered her guard to advance and fire on the apparition.  The
order was obeyed, a mirror beside the throne was shattered, the vision
had disappeared, and the Empress, with no sign of emotion, took the
chair from which her semblance had passed away."  It is a striking
barbaric scene!

"Spirits of the living" of this kind are common enough.  In the
Highlands "second sight" generally means a view of an event or
accident some time before its occurrence.  Thus an old man was sitting
with a little boy on a felled tree beside a steep track in a quarry at
Ballachulish.  Suddenly he jerked the boy to one side, and threw
himself down on the further side of the tree.  While the boy stared,
the old man slowly rose, saying, "The spirits of the living are strong
to-day!"  He had seen a mass of rock dashing along, killing some
quarrymen and tearing down the path.  The accident occurred next day.
It is needless to dwell on second sight, which is not peculiar to
Celts, though the Highlanders talk more about it than other people.

These appearances of the living but absent, whether caused by some
mental action of the person who appears or not, are, at least,
_unconscious_ on his part. {88}  But a few cases occur in which a
living person is said, by a voluntary exertion of mind, to have made
himself visible to a friend at a distance.  One case is vouched for by
Baron von Schrenck-Notzig, a German psychologist, who himself made the
experiment with success.  Others are narrated by Dr. Gibotteau.  A
curious tale is told by several persons as follows:--


Mr. Sparks and Mr. Cleave, young men of twenty and nineteen, were
accustomed to "mesmerise" each other in their dormitory at Portsmouth,
where they were students of naval engineering.  Mr. Sparks simply
stared into Mr. Cleave's eyes as he lay on his bed till he "went off".
The experiments seemed so curious that witnesses were called, Mr.
Darley and Mr. Thurgood.  On Friday, 15th January, 1886, Mr. Cleave
determined to try to see, when asleep, a young lady at Wandsworth to
whom he was in the habit of writing every Sunday.  He also intended,
if possible, to make _her_ see _him_.  On awaking, he said that he had
seen her in the dining-room of her house, that she had seemed to grow
restless, had looked at him, and then had covered her face with her
hands.  On Monday he tried again, and he thought he had frightened
her, as after looking at him for a few minutes she fell back in her
chair in a kind of faint.  Her little brother was in the room with her
at the time.  On Tuesday next the young lady wrote, telling Mr. Cleave
that she had been startled by seeing him on Friday evening (this is an
error), and again on Monday evening, "much clearer," when she nearly

All this Mr. Sparks wrote to Mr. Gurney in the same week.  He was
inviting instructions on hypnotic experiments, and "launched a letter
into space," having read something vague about Mr. Gurney's studies in
the newspapers.  The letter, after some adventures, arrived, and on
15th March Mr. Cleave wrote his account, Mr. Darley and Mr. Thurgood
corroborating as to their presence during the trance and as to Mr.
Cleave's statement when he awoke.  Mr. Cleave added that he made
experiments "for five nights running" before seeing the lady.  The
young lady's letter of 19th January, 1886, is also produced (postmark,
Portsmouth, 20th January).  But the lady mentions her _first_ vision
of Mr. Cleave as on last _Tuesday_ (not Friday), and her second, while
she was alone with her little brother, at supper on Monday.  "I was so
frightened that I nearly fainted."

These are all young people.  It may be said that all five were
concerned in a complicated hoax on Mr. Gurney.  Nor would such a hoax
argue any unusual moral obliquity.  Surtees of Mainsforth, in other
respects an honourable man, took in Sir Walter Scott with forged
ballads, and never undeceived his friend.  Southey played off a hoax
with his book The Doctor.  Hogg, Lockhart, and Wilson, with Allan
Cunningham and many others, were constantly engaged in such
mystifications, and a "ghost-hunter" might seem a fair butt.

But the very discrepancy in Miss ---'s letter is a proof of fairness.
Her first vision of Mr. Cleave was on "Tuesday last".  Mr. Cleave's
first impression of success was on the Friday following.

But he had been making the experiment for five nights previous,
including the Tuesday of Miss ---'s letter.  Had the affair been a
hoax, Miss --- would either have been requested by him to re-write her
letter, putting Friday for Tuesday, or what is simpler, Mr. Sparks
would have adopted her version and written "Tuesday" in place of
"Friday" in his first letter to Mr. Gurney.  The young lady,
naturally, requested Mr. Cleave not to try his experiment on her

A similar case is that of Mrs. Russell, who tried successfully, when
awake and in Scotland, to appear to one of her family in Germany.  The
sister corroborates and says, "Pray don't come appearing to me again".

These spirits of the living lead to the subject of spirits of the
dying.  No kind of tale is so common as that of dying people appearing
at a distance.  Hundreds have been conscientiously published. {91b}
The belief is prevalent among the Maoris of New Zealand, where the
apparition is regarded as a proof of death. {91c}  Now there is
nothing in savage philosophy to account for this opinion of the
Maoris.  A man's "spirit" leaves his body in dreams, savages think,
and as dreaming is infinitely more common than death, the Maoris
should argue that the appearance is that of a man's spirit wandering
in his sleep.  However, they, like many Europeans, associate a man's
apparition with his death.  Not being derived from their philosophy,
this habit may be deduced from their experience.

As there are, undeniably, many examples of hallucinatory appearances
of persons in perfect health and ordinary circumstances, the question
has been asked whether there are _more_ cases of an apparition
coinciding with death than, according to the doctrine of chances,
there ought to be.  Out of about 18,000 answers to questions on this
subject, has been deduced the conclusion that the deaths do coincide
with the apparitions to an extent beyond mere accident.  Even if we
had an empty hallucination for every case coinciding with death, we
could not set the coincidences down to mere chance.  As well might we
say that if "at the end of an hour's rifle practice at long-distance
range, the record shows that for every shot that has hit the bull's
eye, another has missed the target, therefore the shots that hit the
target did so by accident." {92}  But as empty hallucinations are more
likely to be forgotten than those which coincide with a death; as
exaggeration creeps in, as the collectors of evidence are naturally
inclined to select and question people whom they know to have a good
story to tell, the evidence connecting apparitions, voices, and so on
with deaths is not likely to be received with favour.

One thing must be remembered as affecting the theory that the
coincidence between the wraith and the death is purely an accident.
Everybody dreams and out of the innumerable dreams of mankind, a few
must hit the mark by a fluke.  But _hallucinations_ are not nearly so
common as dreams.  Perhaps, roughly speaking, one person in ten has
had what he believes to be a waking hallucination.  Therefore, so to
speak, compared with dreams, but a small number of shots of this kind
are fired.  Therefore, bull's eyes (the coincidence between an
appearance and a death) are infinitely less likely to be due to chance
in the case of waking hallucinations than in the case of dreams, which
all mankind are firing off every night of their lives.  Stories of
these coincidences between appearances and deaths are as common as
they are dull.  Most people come across them in the circle of their
friends.  They are all very much alike, and make tedious reading.  We
give a few which have some picturesque features.


"In the latter part of the autumn of 1878, between half-past three and
four in the morning, I was leisurely walking home from the house of a
sick friend.  A middle-aged woman, apparently a nurse, was slowly
following, going in the same direction.  We crossed Tavistock Square
together, and emerged simultaneously into Tavistock Place.  The
streets and squares were deserted, the morning bright and calm, my
health excellent, nor did I suffer from anxiety or fatigue.  A man
suddenly appeared, striding up Tavistock Place, coming towards me, and
going in a direction opposite to mine.  When first seen he was
standing exactly in front of my own door (5 Tavistock Place).  Young
and ghastly pale, he was dressed in evening clothes, evidently made by
a foreign tailor.  Tall and slim, he walked with long measured strides
noiselessly.  A tall white hat, covered thickly with black crape, and
an eyeglass, completed the costume of this strange form.  The
moonbeams falling on the corpse-like features revealed a face well
known to me, that of a friend and relative.  The sole and only person
in the street beyond myself and this being was the woman already
alluded to.  She stopped abruptly, as if spell-bound, then rushing
towards the man, she gazed intently and with horror unmistakable on
his face, which was now upturned to the heavens and smiling ghastly.
She indulged in her strange contemplation but during very few seconds,
then with extraordinary and unexpected speed for her weight and age
she ran away with a terrific shriek and yell.  This woman never have I
seen or heard of since, and but for her presence I could have
explained the incident:  called it, say, subjection of the mental
powers to the domination of physical reflex action, and the man's
presence could have been termed a false impression on the retina.

"A week after this event, news of this very friend's death reached me.
It occurred on the morning in question.  From the family I learned
that according to the rites of the Greek Church and the custom of the
country he resided in, he was buried in his evening clothes made
abroad by a foreign tailor, and strange to say, he wore goloshes over
his boots, according also to the custom of the country he died in. . .
.  When in England, he lived in Tavistock Place, and occupied my rooms
during my absence." {95a}


"In the month of November (1785 or 1786), Sir John Sherbrooke and
Colonel Wynyard were sitting before dinner in their barrack room at
Sydney Cove, in America.  It was duskish, and a candle was placed on a
table at a little distance.  A figure dressed in plain clothes and a
good round hat, passed gently between the above people and the fire.
While passing, Sir J. Sherbrooke exclaimed, 'God bless my soul, who's

"Almost at the same moment Colonel W. said, 'That's my brother John
Wynyard, and I am sure he is dead'.  Colonel W. was much agitated, and
cried and sobbed a great deal.  Sir John said, 'The fellow has a
devilish good hat; I wish I had it'.  (Hats were not to be got there
and theirs were worn out.)  They immediately got up (Sir John was on
crutches, having broken his leg), took a candle and went into the
bedroom, into which the figure had entered.  They searched the bed and
every corner of the room to no effect; the windows were fastened up
with mortar. . . .

"They received no communication from England for about five months,
when a letter from Mr. Rush, the surgeon (Coldstream Guards),
announced the death of John Wynyard at the moment, as near as could be
ascertained, when the figure appeared.  In addition to this
extraordinary circumstance, Sir John told me that two years and a half
afterwards he was walking with Lilly Wynyard (a brother of Colonel W.)
in London, and seeing somebody on the other side of the way, he
recognised, he thought, the person who had appeared to him and Colonel
Wynyard in America.  Lilly Wynyard said that the person pointed out
was a Mr. Eyre (Hay?), that he and John Wynyard were frequently
mistaken for each other, and that money had actually been paid to this
Mr. Eyre in mistake."

A famous tale of an appearance is Lord Brougham's.  His Lordship was
not reckoned precisely a veracious man; on the other hand, this was
not the kind of fable he was likely to tell.  He was brought up under
the regime of common-sense.  "On all such subjects my father was very
sceptical," he says.  To disbelieve Lord Brougham we must suppose
either that he wilfully made a false entry in his diary in 1799, or
that in preparing his Autobiography in 1862, he deliberately added a
falsehood--and then explained his own marvel away!


"December 19, 1799.

" . . . At one in the morning, arriving at a decent inn (in Sweden),
we decided to stop for the night, and found a couple of comfortable
rooms.  Tired with the cold of yesterday, I was glad to take advantage
of a hot bath before I turned in.  And here a most remarkable thing
happened to me--so remarkable that I must tell the story from the

"After I left the High School, I went with G---, my most intimate
friend, to attend the classes in the University. . . .  We actually
committed the folly of drawing up an agreement, written with our
blood, to the effect that whichever of us died the first should appear
to the other, and thus solve any doubts we had entertained of 'the
life after death'.  G--- went to India, years passed, and," says Lord
Brougham, "I had nearly forgotten his existence.  I had taken, as I
have said, a warm bath, and while lying in it and enjoying the comfort
of the heat, I turned my head round, looking towards the chair on
which I had deposited my clothes, as I was about to get out of the
bath.  On the chair sat G---, looking calmly at me.  How I got out of
the bath I know not, but on recovering my senses I found myself
sprawling on the floor.  The apparition, or whatever it was that had
taken the likeness of G---, had disappeared. . . .  So strongly was I
affected by it that I have here written down the whole history, with
the date, 19th December, and all the particulars as they are now fresh
before me.  No doubt I had fallen asleep" (he has just said that he
was awake and on the point of leaving the bath), "and that the
appearance presented so distinctly to my eyes was a dream I cannot for
a moment doubt. . . ."

On 16th October, 1862, Lord Brougham copied this extract for his
Autobiography, and says that on his arrival in Edinburgh he received a
letter from India, announcing that G--- had died on 19th December.  He
remarks "singular coincidence!" and adds that, considering the vast
number of dreams, the number of coincidences is perhaps fewer than a
fair calculation of chances would warrant us to expect.

This is a concession to common-sense, and argues an ignorance of the
fact that sane and (apparently) waking men may have hallucinations.
On the theory that we _may_ have inappreciable moments of sleep when
we think ourselves awake, it is not an ordinary but an extraordinary
coincidence that Brougham should have had that peculiar moment of the
"dream" of G--- on the day or night of G---'s death, while the
circumstance that he had made a compact with G--- multiplies the odds
against accident in a ratio which mathematicians may calculate.
Brougham was used to dreams, like other people; he was not shocked by
them.  This "dream" "produced such a shock that I had no inclination
to talk about it".  Even on Brougham's showing, then, this dream was a
thing unique in his experience, and not one of the swarm of visions of
sleep.  Thus his including it among these, while his whole language
shows that he himself did not really reckon it among these, is an
example of the fallacies of common-sense.  He completes his fallacy by
saying, "It is not much more wonderful than that a person whom we had
no reason to expect should appear to us at the very moment we had been
thinking or speaking of him".  But Lord Brougham had _not_ been
speaking or thinking of G---; "there had been nothing to call him to
my recollection," he says.  To give his logic any value, he should
constantly when (as far as he knew) awake, have had dreams that
"shocked" him.  Then _one_ coincidence would have had no assignable
cause save ordinary accident.

If Lord Brougham fabled in 1799 or in 1862, he did so to make a
"sensation".  And then he tried to undo it by arguing that his
experience was a thoroughly commonplace affair.

We now give a very old story, "The Dying Mother".  If the reader will
compare it with Mr. Cleave's case, "An Astral Body," in this chapter,
he will be struck by the resemblance.  Mr. Cleave and Mrs. Goffe were
both in a trance.  Both wished to see persons at a distance.  Both
saw, and each was seen, Mrs. Goffe by her children's nurse; Mr. Cleave
by the person whom he wished to see, but _not_ by a small boy also


"Mary, the wife of John Goffe of Rochester, being afflicted with a
long illness, removed to her father's house at West Mulling, about
nine miles from her own.  There she died on 4th June, this present
year, 1691.

"The day before her departure (death) she grew very impatiently
desirous to see her two children, whom she had left at home to the
care of a nurse.  She prayed her husband to 'hire a horse, for she
must go home and die with the children'.  She was too ill to be moved,
but 'a minister who lives in the town was with her at ten o'clock that
night, to whom she expressed good hopes in the mercies of God and a
willingness to die'.  'But' said she, 'it is my misery that I cannot
see my children.'

"Between one and two o'clock in the morning, she fell into a trance.
One, widow Turner, who watched with her that night, says that her eyes
were open and fixed and her jaw fallen.  Mrs. Turner put her hand upon
her mouth and nostrils, but could perceive no breath.  She thought her
to be in a fit; and doubted whether she were dead or alive.

"The next morning the dying woman told her mother that she had been at
home with her children. . . . 'I was with them last night when I was

"The nurse at Rochester, widow Alexander by name, affirms, and says
she will take her oath on't before a Magistrate and receive the
sacrament upon it, that a little before two o'clock that morning she
saw the likeness of the said Mary Goffe come out of the next chamber
(where the elder child lay in a bed by itself) the door being left
open, and stood by her bedside for about a quarter of an hour; the
younger child was there lying by her.  Her eyes moved and her mouth
went, but she said nothing.  The nurse, moreover, says that she was
perfectly awake; it was then daylight, being one of the longest days
in the year.  She sat up in bed and looked steadfastly on the
apparition.  In that time she heard the bridge clock strike two, and a
while after said, 'In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, what
art thou?'  Thereupon the apparition removed and went away; she
slipped on her clothes and followed, but what became on't she cannot

"Mrs. Alexander then walked out of doors till six, when she persuaded
some neighbours to let her in.  She told her adventure; they failed to
persuade her that she had dreamed it.  On the same day the neighbour's
wife, Mrs. Sweet, went to West Mulling, saw Mrs. Goffe before her
death, and heard from Mrs. Goffe's mother the story of the daughter's
dream of her children, Mrs. Sweet not having mentioned the nurse's
story of the apparition."  That poor Mrs. Goffe walked to Rochester
and returned undetected, a distance of eighteen miles is difficult to

Goethe has an obiter dictum on the possibility of intercommunion
without the aid of the ordinary senses, between the souls of lovers.
Something of the kind is indicated in anecdotes of dreams dreamed in
common by husband and wife, but, in such cases, it may be urged that
the same circumstance, or the same noise or other disturbing cause,
may beget the same dream in both.  A better instance is


Colonel Meadows Taylor writes, in The Story of my Life (vol. ii., p.
32):  "The determination (to live unmarried) was the result of a very
curious and strange incident that befel me during one of my marches to
Hyderabad.  I have never forgotten it, and it returns to this day to
my memory with a strangely vivid effect that I can neither repel nor
explain.  I purposely withhold the date of the year.  In my very early
life I had been deeply and devotedly attached to one in England, and
only relinquished the hope of one day winning her when the terrible
order came out that no furlough to Europe would be granted.

"One evening I was at the village of Dewas Kudea, after a very long
afternoon and evening march from Muktul, and I lay down very weary;
but the barking of village dogs, the baying of jackals and over-
fatigue and heat prevented sleep, and I was wide awake and restless.
Suddenly, for my tent door was wide open, I saw the face and figure so
familiar to me, but looking older, and with a sad and troubled
expression; the dress was white and seemed covered with a profusion of
lace and glistened in the bright moonlight.  The arms were stretched
out, and a low plaintive cry of 'Do not let me go!  Do not let me go!'
reached me.  I sprang forward, but the figure receded, growing fainter
and fainter till I could see it no more, but the low plaintive tones
still sounded.  I had run barefooted across the open space where my
tents were pitched, very much to the astonishment of the sentry on
guard, but I returned to my tent without speaking to him.  I wrote to
my father.  I wished to know whether there were any hope for me.  He
wrote back to me these words:  'Too late, my dear son--on the very day
of the vision you describe to me, A. was married'."

The colonel did not keep his determination not to marry, for his Life
is edited by his daughter, who often heard her father mention the
incident, "precisely in the same manner, and exactly as it is in the
book". {103}

If thinking of friends and lovers, lost or dead, could bring their
forms and voices before the eye and ear of flesh, there would be a
world of hallucinations around us.  "But it wants heaven-sent moments
for this skill," and few bridal nights send a vision and a voice to
the bed of a wakeful lover far away.

Stories of this kind, appearances of the living or dying really at a
distance, might be multiplied to any extent.  They are all capable of
explanation, if we admit the theory of telepathy, of a message sent by
an unknown process from one living man's mind to another.  Where more
than one person shares the vision, we may suppose that the influence
comes directly from A to B, C and D, or comes from A to B, and is by
him unconsciously "wired" on to B and C, or is "suggested" to them by
B's conduct or words.

In that case animals may be equally affected, thus, if B seems
alarmed, that may frighten his dog, or the alarm of a dog, caused by
some noise or smell, heard or smelt by him, may frighten B, C and D,
and make one or all of them see a ghost.

Popular opinion is strongly in favour of beasts seeing ghosts.  The
people of St. Kilda, according to Martin, held that cows shared the
visions of second-sighted milk-maids.  Horses are said to shy on the
scene of murders.  Scott's horse ran away (home) when Sir Walter saw
the bogle near Ashiestiel.  In a case given later the dog shut up in a
room full of unexplained noises, yelled and whined.  The same dog (an
intimate friend of my own) bristled up his hair and growled before his
master saw the Grey Lady.  The Rev. J. G. Wood gives a case of a cat
which nearly went mad when his mistress saw an apparition.  Jeremy
Taylor tells of a dog which got quite used to a ghost that often
appeared to his master, and used to follow it.  In "The Lady in
Black," a dog would jump up and fawn on the ghost and then run away in
a fright.  Mr. Wesley's mastiff was much alarmed by the family ghost.
Not to multiply cases, dogs and other animals are easily affected by
whatever it is that makes people think a ghost is present, or by the
conduct of the human beings on these occasions.

Absurd as the subject appears, there are stories of the ghosts of
animals.  These may be discussed later; meanwhile we pass from
appearances of the living or dying to stories of appearances of the


Transition to Appearances of the Dead.  Obvious Scientific
Difficulties.  Purposeless Character of Modern Ghosts.  Theory of Dead
Men's Dreams.  Illustrated by Sleep-walking House-maid.  Purposeful
Character of the Old Ghost Stories.  Probable Causes of the Difference
between Old and New Ghost Stories.  Only the most Dramatic were
recorded.  Or the Tales were embellished or invented.  Practical
Reasons for inventing them.  The Daemon of Spraiton.  Sources of Story
of Sir George Villier's Ghost.  Clarendon.  Lilly, Douch.  Wyndham.
Wyndham's Letter.  Sir Henry Wotton.  Izaak Walton.  Anthony Wood.  A
Wotton Dream proved Legendary.  The Ghost that appeared to Lord
Lyttleton.  His Lordship's Own Ghost.


We now pass beyond the utmost limits to which a "scientific" theory of
things ghostly can be pushed.  Science admits, if asked, that it does
not know everything.  It is not _inconceivable_ that living minds may
communicate by some other channel than that of the recognised senses.
Science now admits the fact of hypnotic influence, though, sixty years
ago, Braid was not allowed to read a paper on it before the British
Association.  Even now the topic is not welcome.  But perhaps only one
eminent man of science declares that hypnotism is _all_ imposture and
malobservation.  Thus it is not wholly beyond the scope of fancy to
imagine that some day official science may glance at the evidence for

But the stories we have been telling deal with living men supposed to
be influencing living men.  When the dead are alleged to exercise a
similar power, we have to suppose that some consciousness survives the
grave, and manifests itself by causing hallucinations among the
living.  Instances of this have already been given in "The Ghost and
the Portrait," "The Bright Scar" and "Riding Home after Mess".  These
were adduced as examples of _veracity_ in hallucinations.  Each
appearance gave information to the seer which he did not previously
possess.  In the first case, the lady who saw the soldier and the
suppliant did not know of their previous existence and melancholy
adventure.  In the second, the brother did not know that his dead
sister's face had been scratched.  In the third, the observer did not
know that Lieutenant B. had grown a beard and acquired a bay pony with
black mane and tail.  But though the appearances were _veracious_,
they were _purposeless_, and again, as in each case the information
existed in living minds, it _may_ have been wired on from them.

Thus the doctrine of telepathy puts a ghost of the dead in a great
quandary.  If he communicates no verifiable information, he may be
explained as a mere empty illusion.  If he does yield fresh
information, and if that is known to any living mind, he and his
intelligence may have been wired on from that mind.  His only chance
is to communicate facts which are proved to be true, facts which
nobody living knew before.  Now it is next to impossible to
demonstrate that the facts communicated were absolutely unknown to

Far, however, from conveying unknown intelligence, most ghosts convey
none at all, and appear to have no purpose whatever.

It will be observed that there was no traceable reason why the girl
with a scar should appear to Mr. G., or the soldier and suppliant to
Mrs. M., or Lieutenant B. to General Barker.  The appearances came in
a vague, casual, aimless way, just as the living and healthy clergyman
appeared to the diplomatist.  On St. Augustine's theory the dead
persons who appeared may have known no more about the matter than did
the living clergyman.  It is not even necessary to suppose that the
dead man was dreaming about the living person to whom, or about the
place in which, he appeared.  But on the analogy of the tales in which
a dream or thought of the living seems to produce a hallucination of
their presence in the minds of other and distant living people, so a
dream of the dead may (it is urged) have a similar effect if "in that
sleep of death such dreams may come".  The idea occurred to
Shakespeare!  In any case the ghosts of our stories hitherto have been
so aimless and purposeless as to resemble what we might imagine a dead
man's dream to be.

This view of the case (that a "ghost" may be a reflection of a dead
man's dream) will become less difficult to understand if we ask
ourselves what natural thing most resembles the common idea of a
ghost.  You are reading alone at night, let us say, the door opens and
a human figure glides into the room.  To you it pays no manner of
attention; it does not answer if you speak; it may trifle with some
object in the chamber and then steal quietly out again.

_It is the House-maid walking in her Sleep_.

This perfectly accountable appearance, in its aimlessness, its
unconsciousness, its irresponsiveness, is undeniably just like the
common notion of a ghost.  Now, if ordinary ghosts are not of flesh
and blood, like the sleep-walking house-maid, yet are as irresponsive,
as unconscious, and as vaguely wandering as she, then (if the dead are
somewhat) a ghost _may_ be a hallucination produced in the living by
the _unconscious_ action of the mind of the dreaming dead.  The
conception is at least conceivable.  If adopted, merely for argument's
sake, it would first explain the purposeless behaviour of ghosts, and
secondly, relieve people who see ghosts of the impression that they
see "spirits".  In the Scotch phrase the ghost obviously "is not all
there," any more than the sleep walker is intellectually "all there".
This incomplete, incoherent presence is just what might be expected if
a dreaming disembodied mind could affect an embodied mind with a

But the good old-fashioned ghost stories are usually of another type.
The robust and earnest ghosts of our ancestors "had their own purpose
sun-clear before them," as Mr. Carlyle would have said.  They knew
what they wanted, asked for it, and saw that they got it.

As a rule their bodies were unburied, and so they demanded sepulture;
or they had committed a wrong, and wished to make restitution; or they
had left debts which they were anxious to pay; or they had advice, or
warnings, or threats to communicate; or they had been murdered, and
were determined to bring their assassins to the gibbet.

Why, we may ask, were the old ghost stories so different from the new?
Well, first they were not all different.  Again, probably only the
more dramatic tales were as a rule recorded.  Thirdly, many of the
stories may have been either embellished--a fancied purpose being
attributed to a purposeless ghost--or they may even have been invented
to protect witnesses who gave information against murderers.  Who
could disobey a ghost?

In any case the old ghost stories are much more dramatic than the new.
To them we turn, beginning with the appearances of Mr. and Mrs. Furze
at Spraiton, in Devonshire, in 1682.  Our author is Mr. Richard Bovet,
in his Pandaemonium, or the Devil's Cloister opened (1683).  The
motive of the late Mr. Furze was to have some small debts paid; his
wife's spectre was influenced by a jealousy of Mr. Furze's spectre's
relations with another lady.


"About the month of November in the year 1682, in the parish of
Spraiton, in the county of Devon, one Francis Fey (servant to Mr.
Philip Furze) being in a field near the dwelling-house of his said
master, there appeared unto him the _resemblance_ of an _aged
gentleman_ like his master's father, with a pole or staff in his hand,
resembling that he was wont to carry when living to kill the moles
withal.  The _spectrum_ approached near the young man, whom you may
imagin not a little surprized at the _appearance_ of one that he knew
to be dead, but the _spectrum bid him not be afraid of him, but tell
his master_ (who was his son) that several _legacies which by his
testament he had bequeathed were unpaid, naming ten shillings to one
and ten shillings to another, both which persons he named_ to the
young man, who replyed that the party he last named was dead, and so
it could not be paid to him.  The ghost answered _he knew that, but it
must be paid to the next relation_, whom he also named.  The spectrum
likewise ordered him to carry twenty shillings to a gentlewoman,
sister to the deceased, living near Totness in the said county, and
promised, if these things were performed, to trouble him no further;
but at the same time the _spectrum_, speaking of his _second wife_
(who was also dead) _called her wicked woman_, though the gentleman
who writ the letter knew her and esteemed her a very good woman.  And
(having thus related him his mind) the spectrum left the young man,
who according to the _direction_ of the _spirit_ took care to see the
small legacies satisfied, and carried the twenty shillings that was
appointed to be paid the gentlewoman near Totness, but she utterly
refused to receive it, being sent her (as she said) from the devil.
The same night the young man lodging at her house, the aforesaid
spectrum appeared to him again; whereupon the young man challenged his
_promise not to trouble him any more_, saying he had performed all
according to his appointment, but that the gentlewoman, his sister,
would not receive the money.

"_To which the spectrum replied that was true indeed_; but withal
_directed_ the young man to ride to Totness and buy for her _a ring of
that value, which the spirit said she would accept of_, which being
provided accordingly, she received.  Since the performance of which
the ghost or apparition of the old gentleman hath seemed to be at
rest, having never given the young man any further trouble.

"But the next day after having delivered the ring, the young man was
riding home to his master's house, accompanyed by a servant of the
gentlewoman's near Totness, and near about the time of their entrance
(or a little before they came) into the parish of Spraiton aforesaid,
there appeared to be upon the horse behind the young man, the
resemblance of the _second wife_ of the old gentleman spoken of

"This daemon often threw the young man off his horse, and cast him
with such violence to the ground as was great astonishment, not only
to the gentlewoman's servant (with him), but to divers others who were
spectators of the frightful action, the ground resounding with great
noise by reason of the incredible force with which he was cast upon
it.  At his coming into his master's yard, the horse which he rid,
though very poor and out of case, leaped at one spring twenty-five
foot, to the amazement of all that saw it.  Soon after the she-spectre
shewed herself to divers in the house, viz., the aforesaid young man,
_Mistress Thomasin Gidly, Ann Langdon_, born in that parish, and a
little child, which, by reason of the troublesomeness of the spirit,
they were fain to remove from that house.  She appeared sometimes in
her own shape, sometimes in forms very horrid; now and then like a
monstrous dog belching out fire; at another time it flew out at the
window, in the shape of a horse, carrying with it only one pane of
glass and a small piece of iron.

"One time the young man's head was thrust into a very strait place
betwixt a bed's head and a wall, and forced by the strength of divers
men to be removed thence, and that not without being much hurt and
bruised, so that much blood appeared about it:  upon this it was
advised he should be bleeded, to prevent any ill accident that might
come of the bruise; after bleeding, the ligature or binder of his arm
was removed from thence and conveyed about his middle, where it was
strained with such violence that the girding had almost stopp'd his
breath and kill'd him, and being cut asunder it made _a strange and
dismal noise_, so that the standers by were affrighted at it.  At
divers other times he hath been in danger to be strangled with cravats
and handkerchiefs that he hath worn about his neck, which have been
drawn so close that with the sudden violence he hath near been
choaked, and hardly escaped death.

"The spectre hath shewed great offence at the perriwigs which the
young man used to wear, for they are often torn from his head after a
very strange manner; one that he esteemed above the rest he put in a
small box, and that box he placed in another, which he set against the
wall of his chamber, placing a joint-stool with other weight a top of
it, but in short time the boxes were broken in sunder and the perriwig
rended into many small parts and tatters.  Another time, lying in his
master's chamber with his perriwig on his head, to secure it from
danger, within a little time it was torn from him and reduced into
very small fragments.  At another time one of his shoe-strings was
observed (without the assistance of any hand) to come of its own
accord out of its shoe and fling itself to the other side of the room;
the other was crawling after it, but a maid espying that, with her
hand drew it out, and it strangely _clasp'd_ and _curl'd_ about her
hand like a living _eel_ or _serpent_; this is testified by a lady of
considerable quality, too great for exception, who was an eye-witness.
The same lady shewed Mr. C. one of the young man's gloves, which was
torn in his pocket while she was by, which is so dexterously tatter'd
and so artificially torn that it is conceived a cutler could not have
contrived an instrument to have laid it abroad so accurately, and all
this was done in the pocket in the compass of one minute.  It is
further observable that if the aforesaid young man, or another person
who is a servant maid in the house, do wear their own clothes, they
are certainly torn in pieces on their backs, but if the clothes belong
to any other, they are not injured after that manner.

"Many other strange and fantastical freaks have been done by the said
daemon or spirit in the view of divers persons; a barrel of salt of
considerable quantity hath been observed to march from room to room
without any human assistance.

"An hand-iron hath seemed to lay itself cross over-thwart a pan of
milk that hath been scalding over the fire, and two flitches of bacon
have of their own accord descended from the chimney where they were
hung, and placed themselves upon the hand-iron.

"When the spectre appears in resemblance of her own person, she seems
to be habited in the same cloaths and dress which the gentlewoman of
the house (her daughter-in-law) hath on at the same time.  Divers
times the feet and legs of the young man aforesaid have been so
entangled about his neck that he hath been loosed with great
difficulty; sometimes they have been so twisted about the frames of
chairs and stools that they have hardly been set at liberty.  But one
of the most considerable instances of the malice of the spirit against
the young man happened on Easter Eve, when Mrs. C. the relator, was
passing by the door of the house, and it was thus:--

"When the young man was returning from his labour, he was taken up by
the _skirt_ of his _doublet_ by this _female daemon_, and carried a
height into the air.  He was soon missed by his Master and some other
servants that had been at labour with him, and after diligent enquiry
no news could be heard of him, until at length (near half an hour
after) he was heard singing and whistling in a bog or quagmire, where
they found him in a kind of trance or _extatick fit_, to which he hath
sometimes been accustomed (but whether before the affliction he met
with from this spirit I am not certain).  He was affected much after
such sort, as at the time of those _fits_, so that the people did not
give that _attention_ and _regard_ to what he said as at other times;
but when he returned again to himself (which was about an hour after)
he solemnly protested to them that the daemon had carried him so high
that his master's house seemed to him to be but _as a hay-cock_, and
_that during all that time he was in perfect sense, and prayed to
Almighty God not to suffer the devil to destroy him_; and that he was
suddenly set down in that quagmire.

The workmen found one shoe on one side of his master's house, and the
other on the other side, and in the morning espied his perriwig
hanging on the top of a tree; by which it appears he had been carried
a considerable height, and that what he told them was not a fiction.

"After this it was observed that that part of the young man's body
which had been on the mud in the quagmire was somewhat benummbed and
seemingly deader than the other, whereupon the following _Saturday_,
which was the day before _Low Sunday_, he was carried to _Crediton,
alias Kirton_, to be bleeded, which being done accordingly, and the
company having left him for some little space, at their return they
found him in one of his fits, with his _forehead_ much _bruised_, and
_swoln_ to a _great bigness_, none being able to guess how it
happened, until his recovery from that _fit_, when upon enquiry he
gave them this account of it:  _that a bird had with great swiftness
and force flown in at the window with a stone in its beak, which it
had dashed against his forehead, which had occasioned the swelling
which they saw_.

"The people much wondering at the strangeness of the accident,
diligently sought the stone, and under the place where he sat they
found not such a stone as they expected but a weight of brass or
copper, which it seems the daemon had made use of on that occasion to
give the poor young man that hurt in his forehead.

"The persons present were at the trouble to break it to pieces, every
one taking a part and preserving it in memory of so strange an
accident.  After this the spirit continued to molest the young man in
a very severe and rugged manner, often handling him with great
extremity, and whether it hath yet left its violences to him, or
whether the young man be yet alive, I can have no certain account."

I leave the reader to consider of the extraordinary strangeness of the

The reader, considering the exceeding strangeness of the relation,
will observe that we have now reached "great swingeing falsehoods,"
even if that opinion had not hitherto occurred to his mind.  But if he
thinks that such stories are no longer told, and even sworn to on
Bible oath, he greatly deceives himself.  In the chapter on "Haunted
Houses" he will find statements just as hard narrated of the years
1870 and 1882.  In these, however, the ghosts had no purpose but
mischief. {118}

We take another "ghost with a purpose".


The variations in the narratives of Sir George Villiers' appearance to
an old servant of his, or old protege, and the warning communicated by
this man to Villiers' son, the famous Duke of Buckingham, are curious
and instructive.  The tale is first told in print by William Lilly,
the astrologer, in the second part of a large tract called Monarchy or
No Monarchy in England (London, 1651), twenty-three years after
Buckingham's murder.  But while prior in publication, Lilly's story
was probably written after, though independent of Lord Clarendon's, in
the first book of his History of the Rebellion, begun on 18th March,
1646, that is within eighteen years of the events.  Clarendon, of
course, was in a position to know what was talked of at the time.
Next, we have a letter of Mr. Douch to Glanvil, undated, but written
after the Restoration, and, finally, an original manuscript of 1652.

Douch makes the warning arrive "some few days" before the murder of
Buckingham, and says that the ghost of Sir George, "in his morning
gown," bade one Parker tell Buckingham to abandon the expedition to La
Rochelle or expect to be murdered.  On the third time of appearing the
vision pulled a long knife from under his gown, as a sign of the death
awaiting Buckingham.  He also communicated a "private token" to
Parker, the "percipient," Sir George's old servant.  On each occasion
of the appearance, Parker was reading at midnight.  Parker, _after_
the murder, told one Ceeley, who told it to a clergyman, who told
Douch, who told Glanvil.

In Lilly's version the ghost had a habit of walking in Parker's room,
and finally bade him tell Buckingham to abstain from certain company,
"or else he will come to destruction, and that suddenly".  Parker,
thinking he had dreamed, did nothing; the ghost reappeared, and
communicated a secret "which he (Buckingham) knows that none in the
world ever knew but myself and he".  The duke, on hearing the story
from Parker, backed by the secret, was amazed, but did not alter his
conduct.  On the third time the spectre produced the knife, but at
_this_ information the duke only laughed.  Six weeks later he was
stabbed.  Douch makes the whole affair pass immediately before the
assassination.  "And Mr. Parker died soon after," as the ghost had
foretold to him.

Finally, Clarendon makes the appearances set in six months before
Felton slew the duke.  The percipient, unnamed, was in bed.  The
narrative now develops new features; the token given on the ghost's
third coming obviously concerns Buckingham's mother, the Countess, the
"one person more" who knew the secret communicated.  The ghost
produces no knife from under his gown; no warning of Buckingham's
death by violence is mentioned.  A note in the MS. avers that
Clarendon himself had papers bearing on the subject, and that he got
his information from Sir Ralph Freeman (who introduced the unnamed
percipient to the duke), and from some of Buckingham's servants, "who
were informed of much of it before the murder of the duke".  Clarendon
adds that, in general, "no man looked on relations of that sort with
less reverence and consideration" than he did.  This anecdote he
selects out of "many stories scattered abroad at the time" as "upon a
better foundation of credit".  The percipient was an officer in the
king's wardrobe at Windsor, "of a good reputation for honesty and
discretion," and aged about fifty.  He was bred at a school in Sir
George's parish, and as a boy was kindly treated by Sir George, "whom
afterwards he never saw".  On first beholding the spectre in his room,
the seer recognised Sir George's costume, then antiquated.  At last
the seer went to Sir Ralph Freeman, who introduced him to the duke on
a hunting morning at Lambeth Bridge.  They talked earnestly apart,
observed by Sir Ralph, Clarendon's informant.  The duke seemed
abstracted all day; left the field early, sought his mother, and after
a heated conference of which the sounds reached the ante-room, went
forth in visible trouble and anger, a thing never before seen in him
after talk with his mother.  She was found "overwhelmed with tears and
in the highest agony imaginable".  "It is a notorious truth" that,
when told of his murder, "she seemed not in the least degree

The following curious manuscript account of the affair is, after the
prefatory matter, the copy of a letter dated 1652.  There is nothing
said of a ghostly knife, the name of the seer is not Parker, and in
its whole effect the story tallies with Clarendon's version, though
the narrator knows nothing of the scene with the Countess of


"1627.  Since William Lilly the Rebells Jugler and Mountebank in his
malicious and blaspheamous discourse concerning our late Martyred
Soveraigne of ever blessed memory (amongst other lyes and falsehoods)
imprinted a relation concerning an Aparition which foretold several
Events which should happen to the Duke of Buckingham, wherein he
falsifies boeth the person to whom it appeared and ye circumstances; I
thought it not amis to enter here (that it may be preserved) the true
account of that Aparition as I have receaved it from the hande and
under the hande of Mr. Edmund Wyndham, of Kellefford in the County of
Somersett.  I shall sett it downe (ipsissimis verbis) as he delivered
it to me at my request written with his own hande.


"Sr.  According to your desire and my promise I have written down what
I remember (divers things being slipt out of my memory) of the
relation made me by Mr. Nicholas Towse concerning the Aparition wch
visited him.  About ye yeare 1627, {122} I and my wife upon an
occasion being in London lay att my Brother Pyne's house without
Bishopsgate, wch. was ye next house unto Mr. Nicholas Towse's, who was
my Kinsman and familiar acquaintance, in consideration of whose
Society and friendship he tooke a house in that place, ye said Towse
being a very fine Musician and very good company, and for ought I ever
saw or heard, a Vurtuous, religious and wel disposed Gentleman.  About
that time ye said Mr. Towse tould me that one night, being in Bed and
perfectly waking, and a Candle burning by him (as he usually had)
there came into his Chamber and stood by his bed side an Olde
Gentleman in such an habitt as was in fashion in Q:  Elizebeth's tyme,
at whose first appearance Mr. Towse was very much troubled, but after
a little tyme, recollecting himselfe, he demanded of him in ye Name of
God what he was, whether he were a Man.  And ye Aparition replyed No.
Then he asked him if he were a Divell.  And ye answer was No.  Then
Mr. Towse said 'in ye Name of God, what art thou then?'  And as I
remember Mr. Towse told me that ye Apparition answered him that he was
ye Ghost of Sir George Villiers, Father to ye then Duke of Buckingham,
whom he might very well remember, synce he went to schoole at such a
place in Leicestershire (naming ye place which I have forgotten).  And
Mr. Towse tould me that ye Apparition had perfectly ye resemblance of
ye said Sr George Villiers in all respects and in ye same habitt that
he had often seene him weare in his lifetime.

"The said Apparition then tould Mr. Towse that he could not but
remember ye much kindness that he, ye said Sr George Villiers, had
expressed to him whilst he was a Schollar in Leicestershire, as
aforesaid, and that as out of that consideration he believed that he
loved him and that therefore he made choyce of him, ye sayde Mr.
Towse, to deliver a message to his sonne, ye Duke of Buckingham;
thereby to prevent such mischiefe as would otherwise befall ye said
Duke whereby he would be inevitably ruined.  And then (as I remember)
Mr. Towse tould me that ye Apparition instructed him what message he
should deliver unto ye Duke.  Vnto wch. Mr. Towse replyed that he
should be very unwilling to goe to ye Duke of Buckingham upon such an
errand, whereby he should gaine nothing but reproach and contempt, and
to be esteemed a Madman, and therefore desired to be exscused from ye
employment, but ye Apparition pressd him wth. much earnestness to
undertake it, telling him that ye Circumstances and secret Discoveries
which he should be able to make to ye Duke of such passages in ye
course of his life which were known to none but himselfe, would make
it appeare that ye message was not ye fancy of a Distempered Brayne,
but a reality, and so ye Apparition tooke his leave of him for that
night and telling him that he would give him leave to consider till
the next night, and then he would come to receave his answer wheather
he would undertake to deliver his message or no.

"Mr. Towse past that day wth. much trouble and perplexity, debating
and reasoning wth. himselfe wether he should deliver his message or
not to ye Duke but, in ye conclusion, he resolved to doe it, and ye
next night when ye Apparition came he gave his answer accordingly, and
then receaved his full instruction.  After which Mr. Towse went and
founde out Sr. Thomas Bludder and Sr. Ralph Freeman, by whom he was
brought to ye Duke of Buckingham, and had sevarall private and lone
audiences of him, I my selfe, by ye favoure of a freinde (Sr. Edward
Savage) was once admitted to see him in private conference with ye
Duke, where (although I heard not there discourses) I observed much
earnestnessse in their actions and gestures.  After wch. conference
Mr. Towse tould me that ye Duke would not follow ye advice that was
given him, which was (as I remember) that he intimated ye casting of,
and ye rejecting of some Men who had great interest in him, which was,
and as I take it he named, Bp. Laud and that ye Duke was to doe some
popular Acts in ye ensuing Parliament, of which Parliament ye Duke
would have had Mr. Towse to have been a Burgesse, but he refused it,
alleadging that unlesse ye Duke followed his directions, he must doe
him hurt if he were of ye Parliament.  Mr. Towse then toalde that ye
Duke of Buckingham confessed that he had toalde him those things wch.
no Creature knew but himself, and that none but God or ye Divell could
reveale to him.  Ye Duke offered Mr. Towse to have ye King knight him,
and to have given him preferment (as he tould me), but that he refused
it, saying that vnless he would follow his advice he would receave
nothing from him.

"Mr. Towse, when he made me this relation, he tolde me that ye Duke
would inevitably be destroyed before such a time (wch. he then named)
and accordingly ye Duke's death happened before that time.  He
likewise tolde that he had written downe all ye severall discourses
that he had had wth. ye Apparition, and that at last his coming was so
familiar that he was as litle troubled with it as if it had beene a
friende or acquayntance that had come to visitt him.  Mr. Towse told
me further that ye Archbishop of Canterbury, then Bishop of London,
Dr. Laud, should by his Councells be ye authoure of very great
troubles to ye Kingdome, by which it should be reduced to ye extremity
of disorder and confusion, and that it should seeme to be past all
hope of recovery without a miracle, but when all people were in
dispayre of seeing happy days agayne, ye Kingdome should suddenly be
reduced and resettled agayne in a most happy condition.

"At this tyme my father Pyne was in trouble and comitted to ye
Gatehouse by ye Lords of ye Councell about a Quarrel betweene him and
ye Lord Powlett, upon which one night I saide to my Cosin Towse, by
way of jest, 'I pray aske your Appairition what shall become of my
father Pyne's business,' which he promised to doe, and ye next day he
tolde me that my father Pyne's enemyes were ashamed of their malicious
prosecution, and that he would be at liberty within a week or some few
days, which happened according.

"Mr. Towse, his wife, since his death tolde me that her husband and
she living at Windsor Castle, where he had an office that Sumer that
ye Duke of Buckingham was killed, tolde her that very day that the
Duke was sett upon by ye mutinous Mariners att Portesmouth, saying
then that ye next attempt agaynst him would be his Death, which
accordingly happened.  And att ye instant ye Duke was killed (as she
vnderstood by ye relation afterwards) Mr. Towse was sitting in his
chayre, out of which he suddenly started vp and sayd, 'Wyfe, ye Duke
of Buckingham is slayne!'

"Mr. Towse lived not long after that himselfe, but tolde his wife ye
tyme of his Death before itt happened.  I never saw him after I had
seen some effects of his discourse, which before I valued not, and
therefore was not curious to enquire after more than he voluntaryly
tolde me, which I then entertayned not wth. these serious thoughts
which I have synce reflected on in his discourse.  This is as much as
I can remember on this business which, according to youre desire, is
written by

"Sr. Yor., &c.,


"BOULOGNE, 5th August, 1652."

* * * * *

This version has, over all others, the merit of being written by an
acquaintance of the seer, who was with him while the appearances were
going on.  The narrator was also present at an interview between the
seer and Buckingham.  His mention of Sir Ralph Freeman tallies with
Clarendon's, who had the story from Freeman.  The ghost predicts the
Restoration, and this is recorded before that happy event.  Of course
Mr. Towse may have been interested in Buckingham's career and may have
invented the ghost (after discovering the secret token) {127} as an
excuse for warning him.

The reader can now take his choice among versions of Sir George
Villiers' ghost.  He must remember that, in 1642, Sir Henry Wotton
"spent some inquiry whether the duke had any ominous presagement
before his end," but found no evidence.  Sir Henry told Izaak Walton a
story of a dream of an ancestor of his own, whereby some robbers of
the University chest at Oxford were brought to justice.  Anthony Wood
consulted the records of the year mentioned, and found no trace of any
such robbery.  We now approach a yet more famous ghost than Sir
George's.  This is Lord Lyttelton's.  The ghost had a purpose, to warn
that bad man of his death, but nobody knows whose ghost she was!


"Sir," said Dr. Johnson, "it is the most extraordinary thing that has
happened in my day."  The doctor's day included the rising of 1745 and
of the Wesleyans, the seizure of Canada, the Seven Years' War, the
American Rebellion, the Cock Lane ghost, and other singular
occurrences, but "the most extraordinary thing" was--Lord Lyttelton's
ghost!  Famous as is that spectre, nobody knows what it was, nor even
whether there was any spectre at all.

Thomas, Lord Lyttelton, was born in 1744.  In 1768 he entered the
House of Commons.  In 1769 he was unseated for bribery.  He then
vanishes from public view, probably he was playing the prodigal at
home and abroad, till February, 1772, when he returned to his father's
house, and married.  He then went abroad (with a barmaid) till 1773,
when his father died.  In January, 1774, he took his seat in the House
of Lords.  In November, 1779, Lyttelton went into Opposition.  On
Thursday, 25th November, he denounced Government in a magnificent
speech.  As to a sinecure which he held, he said, "Perhaps I shall not
keep it long!"

_Something had Happened_!

On the night before his speech, that of Wednesday, 24th November,
Lyttelton had seen the ghost, and had been told that he would die in
three days.  He mentioned this to Rowan Hamilton on the Friday. {129a}
On the same day, or on Friday, he mentioned it to Captain Ascough, who
told a lady, who told Mrs. Thrale. {129b}  On the Friday he went to
Epsom with friends, and mentioned the ghost to them, among others to
Mr. Fortescue. {129c}  About midnight on 28th November, Lord Lyttelton
died suddenly in bed, his valet having left him for a moment to fetch
a spoon for stirring his medicine.  The cause of death was not stated;
there was no inquest.

This, literally, is all that is _known_ about Lord Lyttelton's ghost.
It is variously described as:  (1) "a young woman and a robin" (Horace
Walpole); (2) "a spirit" (Captain Ascough); (3) a bird in a dream,
"which changed into a woman in white" (Lord Westcote's narrative of
13th February, 1780, collected from Lord Lyttelton's guests and
servants); (4) "a bird turning into a woman" (Mrs. Delany, 9th
December, 1779); (5) a dream of a bird, followed by a woman, Mrs.
Amphlett, in white (Pitt Place archives after 1789); (6) "a fluttering
noise, as of a bird, followed by the apparition of a woman who had
committed suicide after being seduced by Lyttelton" (Lady Lyttelton,
1828); (7) a bird "which vanished when a female spirit in white
raiment presented herself" (Scots Magazine, November-December, 1779).

Out of seven versions, a bird, or a fluttering noise as of a bird (a
common feature in ghost stories), {130a} with a woman following or
accompanying, occurs in six.  The phenomena are almost equally
ascribed to dreaming and to waking hallucination, but the common-sense
of the eighteenth century called all ghosts "dreams".  In the Westcote
narrative (1780) Lyttelton explains the dream by his having lately
been in a room with a lady, Mrs. Dawson, when a robin flew in.  Yet,
in the same narrative, Lyttelton says on Saturday morning "that he was
very well, and believed he should bilk the _ghost_".  He was certainly
in bed at the time of the experience, and probably could not be sure
whether he was awake or asleep. {130b}

Considering the remoteness of time, the story is very well recorded.
It is chronicled by Mrs. Thrale before the news of Lyttelton's death
reached her, and by Lady Mary Coke two days later, by Walpole on the
day after the peer's decease, of which he had heard.  Lord Lyttelton's
health had for some time been bad; he had made his will a few weeks
before, and his nights were horror-haunted.  A little boy, his nephew,
to whom he was kind, used to find the wicked lord sitting by his bed
at night, because he dared not be alone.  So Lockhart writes to his
daughter, Mrs. Hope Scott. {131}  He had strange dreams of being in
hell with the cruel murderess, Mrs. Brownrigg, who "whipped three
female 'prentices to death and hid them in the coal-hole".  Such a man
might have strange fancies, and a belief in approaching death might
bring its own fulfilment.  The hypothesis of a premeditated suicide,
with the story of the ghost as a last practical joke, has no
corroboration.  It occurred to Horace Walpole at once, but he laid no
stress on it.

Such is a plain, dry, statistical account of the most extraordinary
event that happened in Dr. Johnson's day.

However, the story does not end here.  On the fatal night, 27th
November, 1779, Mr. Andrews, M.P., a friend of Lyttelton's was
awakened by finding Lord Lyttelton drawing his curtains.  Suspecting a
practical joke, he hunted for his lordship both in his house and in
the garden.  Of course he never found him.  The event was promptly
recorded in the next number of the Scots Magazine, December, 1779.

More Ghosts With A Purpose

The Slaying of Sergeant Davies in 1749.  The Trial.  Scott's Theory.
Curious recent Corroboration of Sir Walter's Hypothesis.  Other Trials
involving Ghostly Evidence.  Their Want of Authenticity.  "Fisher's
Ghost" criticised.  The Aylesbury Murder.  The Dog o' Mause.  The
Ghosts of Dogs.  Peter's Ghost.

Much later in time than the ghost of Sir George Villiers is the ghost
of Sergeant Davies, of Guise's regiment.  His purpose was, first, to
get his body buried; next, to bring his murderers to justice.  In this
latter desire he totally failed.


We now examine a ghost with a purpose; he wanted to have his bones
buried.  The Highlands, in spite of Culloden, were not entirely
pacified in the year 1749.  Broken men, robbers, fellows with wrongs
unspeakable to revenge, were out in the heather.  The hills that
seemed so lonely were not bare of human life.  A man was seldom so
solitary but that eyes might be on him from cave, corry, wood, or den.
The Disarming Act had been obeyed in the usual style:  old useless
weapons were given up to the military.  But the spirit of the clans
was not wholly broken.  Even the old wife of Donald Ban, when he was
"sair hadden down by a Bodach" (ghost) asked the spirit to answer one
question, "Will the Prince come again?"  The song expressed the
feelings of the people:--

The wind has left me bare indeed,
And blawn my bonnet off my heid,
But something's hid in Hieland brae,
The wind's no blawn my sword away!

Traffickers came and went from Prince Charles to Cluny, from Charles
in the Convent of St. Joseph to Cluny lurking on Ben Alder.  Kilt and
tartan were worn at the risk of life or liberty, in short, the embers
of the rising were not yet extinct.

At this time, in the summer of 1749, Sergeant Arthur Davies, of
Guise's regiment, marched with eight privates from Aberdeen to Dubrach
in Braemar, while a corporal's guard occupied the Spital of Glenshee,
some eight miles away.  "A more waste tract of mountain and bog, rocks
and ravines, without habitations of any kind till you reach
Glenclunie, is scarce to be met with in Scotland," says Sir Walter.

The sergeant's business was the general surveillance of the country
side.  He was a kindly prosperous man, liked in the country, fond of
children, newly married, and his wife bore witness "that he and she
lived together in as great amity and love as any couple could do, and
that he never was in use to stay away a night from her".

The sergeant had saved fifteen guineas and a half; he carried the gold
in a green silk purse, and was not averse to displaying it.  He wore a
silver watch, and two gold rings, one with a peculiar knob on the
bezel.  He had silver buckles to his brogues, silver knee-buckles, two
dozen silver buttons on a striped lute-string waistcoat, and he
carried a gun, a present from an officer in his regiment.  His dress,
on the fatal 28th of September, was "a blue surtout coat, with a
striped silk vest, and teiken breeches and brown stockings".  His
hair, of "a dark mouse colour," was worn in a silk ribbon, his hat was
silver laced, and bore his initials cut in the felt.  Thus attired, "a
pretty man," Sergeant Davies said good-bye to his wife, who never saw
him again, and left his lodgings at Michael Farquharson's early on
28th September.  He took four men with him, and went to meet the
patrol from Glenshee.  On the way he met John Growar in Glenclunie,
who spoke with him "about a tartan coat, which the sergeant had
observed him to drop, and after strictly enjoining him not to use it
again, dismissed him, instead of making him prisoner".

This encounter was after Davies left his men, before meeting the
patrol, it being his intention to cross the hill and try for a shot at
a stag.

The sergeant never rejoined his men or met the patrol!  He vanished as
if the fairies had taken him.  His captain searched the hill with a
band of men four days after the disappearance, but to no avail.
Various rumours ran about the country, among others a clatter that
Davies had been killed by Duncan Clerk and Alexander Bain Macdonald.
But the body was undiscovered.

In June, one Alexander Macpherson came to Donald Farquharson, son of
the man with whom Davies had been used to lodge.  Macpherson (who was
living in a sheiling or summer hut of shepherds on the hills) said
that he "was greatly troubled by the ghost of Sergeant Davies, who
insisted that he should bury his bones, and that, he having declined
to bury them, the ghost insisted that he should apply to Donald
Farquharson".  Farquharson "could not believe this," till Macpherson
invited him to come and see the bones.  Then Farquharson went with the
other, "as he thought it might possibly be true, and if it was, he did
not know but the apparition might trouble himself".

The bones were found in a peat moss, about half a mile from the road
taken by the patrols.  There, too, lay the poor sergeant's mouse-
coloured hair, with rags of his blue cloth and his brogues, without
the silver buckles, and there did Farquharson and Macpherson bury them

Alexander Macpherson, in his evidence at the trial, declared that,
late in May, 1750, "when he was in bed, a vision appeared to him as of
a man clothed in blue, who said, '_I am Sergeant Davies_!'".  At first
Macpherson thought the figure was "a real living man," a brother of
Donald Farquharson's.  He therefore rose and followed his visitor to
the door, where the ghost indicated the position of his bones, and
said that Donald Farquharson would help to inter them.  Macpherson
next day found the bones, and spoke to Growar, the man of the tartan
coat (as Growar admitted at the trial).  Growar said if Macpherson did
not hold his tongue, he himself would inform Shaw of Daldownie.
Macpherson therefore went straight to Daldownie, who advised him to
bury the bones privily, not to give the country a bad name for a rebel
district.  While Macpherson was in doubt, and had not yet spoken to
Farquharson, the ghost revisited him at night and repeated his
command.  He also denounced his murderers, Clerk and Macdonald, which
he had declined to do on his first appearance.  He spoke in Gaelic,
which, it seems, was a language not known by the sergeant.

Isobel MacHardie, in whose service Macpherson was, deponed that one
night in summer, June, 1750, while she lay at one end of the sheiling
(a hill hut for shepherds or neatherds) and Macpherson lay at the
other, "she saw something naked come in at the door, which frighted
her so much that she drew the clothes over her head.  That when it
appeared it came in in a bowing posture, and that next morning she
asked Macpherson what it was that had troubled them in the night
before.  To which he answered that she might be easy, for it would not
trouble them any more."

All this was in 1750, but Clerk and Macdonald were not arrested till
September, 1753.  They were then detained in the Tolbooth of Edinburgh
on various charges, as of wearing the kilt, till June, 1754, when they
were tried, Grant of Prestongrange prosecuting, aided by Haldane, Home
and Dundas, while Lockhart and Mackintosh defended.  It was proved
that Clerk's wife wore Davies's ring, that Clerk, after the murder,
had suddenly become relatively rich and taken a farm, and that the two
men, armed, were on the hill near the scene of the murder on 28th
September, 1749.  Moreover, Angus Cameron swore that he saw the murder
committed.  His account of his position was curious.  He and another
Cameron, since dead, were skulking near sunset in a little hollow on
the hill of Galcharn.  There he had skulked all day, "waiting for
Donald Cameron, _who was afterwards hanged_, together with some of the
said Donald's companions from Lochaber".  No doubt they were all
honest men who had been "out," and they may well have been on Cluny's
business of conveying gold from the Loch Arkaig hoard to Major Kennedy
for the prince.

On seeing Clerk and Macdonald strike and shoot the man in the silver-
laced hat, Cameron and his companion ran away, nor did Cameron mention
the matter till nine months later, and then only to Donald (not he who
was hanged).  Donald advised him to hold his tongue.  This Donald
corroborated at the trial.  The case against Clerk and Macdonald
looked very black, especially as some witnesses fled and declined to
appear.  Scott, who knew Macintosh, the counsel for the prisoners,
says that their advocates and agent "were convinced of their guilt".
Yet a jury of Edinburgh tradesmen, moved by Macintosh's banter of the
apparition, acquitted the accused solely, as Scott believes, because
of the ghost and its newly-learned Gaelic.  It is indeed extraordinary
that Prestongrange, the patron of David Balfour, allowed his witnesses
to say what the ghost said, which certainly "is not evidence".  Sir
Walter supposes that Macpherson and Mrs. MacHardie invented the
apparition as an excuse for giving evidence.  "The ghost's commands,
according to Highland belief, were not to be disobeyed."  Macpherson
must have known the facts "by ordinary means".  We have seen that
Clerk and Macdonald were at once suspected; there was "a clatter"
against them.  But Angus Cameron had not yet told his tale of what he
saw.  Then who _did_ tell?  Here comes in a curious piece of evidence
of the year 1896.  A friend writes (29th December, 1896):--


"I enclose a tradition connected with the murder of Sergeant
Davies, which my brother picked up lately before he had read the
story in your Cock Lane.  He had heard of the event before, both in
Athole and Braemar, and it was this that made him ask the old lady
(see next letter) about it.

"He thinks that Glenconie of your version (p. 256) must be
Glenclunie, into which Allt Chriostaidh falls.  He also suggests
that the person who was chased by the murderers may have got up the
ghost, in order to shift the odium of tale-bearing to other
shoulders.  The fact of being mixed up in the affair lends some
support to the story here related."

Here follows my friend's brother's narrative, the name of the witness
being suppressed.


There is at present living in the neighbourhood of --- an old lady,
about seventy years of age.  Her maiden name is ---, {140} and she is
a native of Braemar, but left that district when about twenty years
old, and has never been back to it even for a visit.  On being asked
whether she had ever heard the story of Sergeant Davies, she at first
persisted in denying all knowledge of it.  The ordinary version was
then related to her, and she listened quietly until it was finished,
when she broke out with:--

"That isn't the way of it at all, for the men _were_ seen, and it was
a forbear of my own that saw them.  He had gone out to try to get a
stag, and had his gun and a deer-hound with him.  He saw the men on
the hill doing something, and thinking they had got a deer, he went
towards them.  When he got near them, the hound began to run on in
front of him, and at that minute _he saw what it was they had_.  He
called to the dog, and turned to run away, but saw at once that he had
made a mistake, for he had called their attention to himself, and a
shot was fired after him, which wounded the dog.  He then ran home as
fast as he could, never looking behind him, and did not know how far
the men followed him.  Some time afterwards the dog came home, and he
went to see whether it was much hurt, whereupon it flew at him, and
had to be killed.  They thought that it was trying to revenge itself
on him for having left it behind."

At this point the old lady became conscious that she was telling the
story, and no more could be got out of her.  The name of the lady who
keeps a secret of 145 years' standing, is the name of a witness in the
trial.  The whole affair is thoroughly characteristic of the
Highlanders and of Scottish jurisprudence after Culloden, while the
verdict of "Not Guilty" (when "Not Proven" would have been stretching
a point) is evidence to the "common-sense" of the eighteenth century.

There are other cases, in Webster, Aubrey and Glanvil of ghosts who
tried more successfully to bring their murderers to justice.  But the
reports of the trials do not exist, or cannot be found, and Webster
lost a letter which he once possessed, which would have been proof
that ghostly evidence was given and was received at a trial in Durham
(1631 or 1632).  Reports of old men present were collected for
Glanvil, but are entirely too vague.

The case of Fisher's Ghost, which led to evidence being given as to a
murder in New South Wales, cannot be wholly omitted.  Fisher was a
convict settler, a man of some wealth.  He disappeared from his
station, and his manager (also a convict) declared that he had
returned to England.  Later, a man returning from market saw Fisher
sitting on a rail; at his approach Fisher vanished.  Black trackers
were laid on, found human blood on the rail, and finally discovered
Fisher's body.  The manager was tried, was condemned, acknowledged his
guilt and was hanged.

The story is told in Household Words, where Sir Frederick Forbes is
said to have acted as judge.  No date is given.  In Botany Bay, {142}
the legend is narrated by Mr. John Lang, who was in Sydney in 1842.
He gives no date of the occurrence, and clearly embellishes the tale.
In 1835, however, the story is told by Mr. Montgomery Martin in volume
iv. of his History of the British Colonies.  He gives the story as a
proof of the acuteness of black trackers.  Beyond saying that he
himself was in the colony when the events and the trial occurred, he
gives no date.  I have conscientiously investigated the facts, by aid
of the Sydney newspapers, and the notes of the judge, Sir Frederick
Forbes.  Fisher disappeared at the end of June, 1826, from
Campbeltown.  Suspicion fell on his manager, Worral.  A reward was
offered late in September.  Late in October the constable's attention
was drawn to blood-stains on a rail.  Starting thence, the black
trackers found Fisher's body.  Worral was condemned and hanged, after
confession, in February, 1827.  Not a word is said about _why_ the
constable went to, and examined, the rail.  But Mr. Rusden, author of
a History of Australia, knew the medical attendant D. Farley (who saw
Fisher's ghost, and pointed out the bloody rail), and often discussed
it with Farley.  Mr. Souttar, in a work on Colonial traditions, proves
the point that Farley told his ghost story _before_ the body of Fisher
was found.  But, for fear of prejudicing the jury, the ghost was kept
out of the trial, exactly as in the following case.


Perhaps the latest ghost in a court of justice (except in cases about
the letting of haunted houses) "appeared" at the Aylesbury Petty
Session on 22nd August, 1829.  On 25th October, 1828, William Edden, a
market gardener, was found dead, with his ribs broken, in the road
between Aylesbury and Thame.  One Sewell, in August, 1829, accused a
man named Tyler, and both were examined at the Aylesbury Petty
Sessions.  Mrs. Edden gave evidence that she sent five or six times
for Tyler "to come and see the corpse. . . .  I had some particular
reasons for sending for him which I never did divulge. . . .  I will
tell you my reasons, gentlemen, if you ask me, in the face of Tyler,
even if my life should be in danger for it."  The reasons were that on
the night of her husband's murder, "something rushed over me, and I
thought my husband came by me.  I looked up, and I thought I heard the
voice of my husband come from near my mahogany table. . . .  I thought
I saw my husband's apparition, and the man that had done it, and that
man was Tyler. . . .  I ran out and said, 'O dear God! my husband is
murdered, and his ribs are broken'."

Lord Nugent--"What made you think your husband's ribs were broken?"

"He held up his hands like this, and I saw a hammer, or something like
a hammer, and it came into my mind that his ribs were broken."  Sewell
stated that the murder was accomplished by means of a hammer.

The prisoners were discharged on 13th September.  On 5th March, 1830,
they were tried at the Buckingham Lent Assizes, were found guilty and
were hanged, protesting their innocence, on 8th March, 1830.

"In the report of Mrs. Edden's evidence (at the Assizes) no mention is
made of the vision." {144}

Here end our ghosts in courts of justice; the following ghost gave
evidence of a murder, or rather, confessed to one, but was beyond the
reach of human laws.

This tale of 1730 is still current in Highland tradition.  It has,
however, been improved and made infinitely more picturesque by several
generations of narrators.  As we try to be faithful to the best
sources, the contemporary manuscript version is here reprinted from
The Scottish Standard-Bearer, an organ of the Scotch Episcopalians
(October and November, 1894).


Account of an apparition that appeared to William Soutar, {145a} in
the Mause, 1730.

[This is a copy from that in the handwriting of Bishop Rattray,
preserved at Craighall, and which was found at Meikleour a few years
ago, to the proprietor of which, Mr. Mercer, it was probably sent by
the Bishop.--W. W. H., 3rd August, 1846.]

"I have sent you an account of an apparition as remarkable, perhaps,
as anything you ever heard of, and which, considered in all its
circumstances, leaves, I think, no ground of doubt to any man of
common-sense.  The person to whom it appeared is one William Soutar, a
tenant of Balgowan's, who lives in Middle Mause, within about half a
mile from this place on the other side of the river, and in view from
our windows of Craighall House.  He is about thirty-seven years of
age, as he says, and has a wife and bairns.

"The following is an account from his own mouth; and because there are
some circumstances fit to be taken in as you go along, I have given
them with reference at the end, {145b} that I may not interrupt the
sense of the account, or add anything to it.  Therefore, it begins:--

"'In the month of December in the year 1728, about sky-setting, I and
my servant, with several others living in the town (farm-steading)
heard a scratching (screeching, crying), and I followed the noise,
with my servant, a little way from the town (farm-steading
throughout).  We both thought we saw what had the appearance to be a
fox, and hounded the dogs at it, but they would not pursue it. {146a}

"'About a month after, as I was coming from Blair {146b} alone, about
the same time of the night, a big dog appeared to me, of a dark
greyish colour, between the Hilltown and Knockhead {146c} of Mause, on
a lea rig a little below the road, and in passing by it touched me
sonsily (firmly) on the thigh at my haunch-bane (hip-bone), upon which
I pulled my staff from under my arm and let a stroke at it; and I had
a notion at the time that I hit it, and my haunch was painful all that
night.  However, I had no great thought of its being anything
particular or extraordinary, but that it might be a mad dog wandering.
About a year after that, to the best of my memory, in December month,
about the same time of the night and in the same place, when I was
alone, it appeared to me again as before, and passed by me at some
distance; and then I began to think it might be something more than

"'In the month of December, 1730, as I was coming from Perth, from the
Claith (cloth) Market a little before sky-setting, it appeared to me
again, being alone, at the same place, and passed by me just as
before.  I had some suspicion of it then likewise, but I began to
think that a neighbour of mine in the Hilltown having an ox lately
dead, it might be a dog that had been at the carrion, by which I
endeavoured to put the suspicion out of my head.

"'On the second Monday of December, 1730, as I was coming from
Woodhead, a town (farm) in the ground of Drumlochy, it appeared to me
again in the same place just about sky-setting; and after it had
passed me as it was going out of my sight, it spoke with a low voice
so that I distinctly heard it, these words, "Within eight or ten days
do or die," and it thereupon disappeared.  No more passed at that
time.  On the morrow I went to my brother, who dwells in the Nether
Aird of Drumlochy, and told him of the last and of all the former
appearances, which was the first time I ever spoke of it to anybody.
He and I went to see a sister of ours at Glenballow, who was dying,
but she was dead before we came.  As we were returning home, I desired
my brother, whose name is James Soutar, to go forward with me till we
should be passed the place where it used to appear to me; and just as
we had come to it, about ten o'clock at night, it appeared to me again
just as formerly; and as it was passing over some ice I pointed to it
with my finger and asked my brother if he saw it, but he said he did
not, nor did his servant, who was with us.  It spoke nothing at that
time, but just disappeared as it passed the ice.

"'On the Saturday after, as I was at my own sheep-cots putting in my
sheep, it appeared to me again just after daylight, betwixt day and
skylight, and upon saying these words, "Come to the spot of ground
within half an hour," it just disappeared; whereupon I came home to my
own house, and took up a staff and also a sword off the head of the
bed, and went straight to the place where it used formerly to appear
to me; and after I had been there some minutes and had drawn a circle
about me with my staff, it appeared to me.  And I spoke to it saying,
"In the name of God and Jesus Christ, what are you that troubles me?"
and it answered me, "I am David Soutar, George Soutar's brother.
{148a}  I killed a man more than five-and-thirty years ago, when you
was new born, at a bush be-east the road, as you go into the Isle."
{148b}  And as I was going away, I stood again and said, "David Soutar
was a man, and you appear like a dog," whereupon it spoke to me again,
saying, "I killed him with a dog, and therefore I am made to speak out
of the mouth of a dog, and tell you you must go and bury these bones".
Upon this I went straight to my brother to his house, and told him
what had happened to me.  My brother having told the minister of
Blair, he and I came to the minister on Monday thereafter, as he was
examining in a neighbour's house in the same town where I live.  And
the minister, with my brother and me and two or three more, went to
the place where the apparition said the bones were buried, when
Rychalzie met us accidentally; and the minister told Rychalzie the
story in the presence of all that were there assembled, and desired
the liberty from him to break up the ground to search for the bones.
Rychalzie made some scruples to allow us to break up the ground, but
said he would go along with us to Glasclune {149a}; and if he advised,
he would allow search to be made.  Accordingly he went straight along
with my brother and me and James Chalmers, a neighbour who lives in
the Hilltown of Mause, to Glasclune, and told Glasclune the story as
above narrated; and he advised Rychalzie to allow the search to be
made, whereupon he gave his consent to it.

"'The day after, being Friday, we convened about thirty or forty men
and went to the Isle, and broke up the ground in many places,
searching for the bones, but we found nothing.

"'On Wednesday the 23rd December, about twelve o'clock, when I was in
my bed, I heard a voice but saw nothing; the voice said, "Come away".
{149b} Upon this I rose out of my bed, cast on my coat and went to the
door, but did not see it.  And I said, "In the name of God, what do
you demand of me now?"  It answered, "Go, take up these bones".  I
said, "How shall I get these bones?"  It answered again, "At the side
of a withered bush, {150} and there are but seven or eight of them
remaining".  I asked, "Was there any more guilty of that action but
you?"  It answered, "No".  I asked again, "What is the reason you
trouble me?"  It answered, "Because you are the youngest".  Then said
I to it, "Depart from me, and give me a sign that I may know the
particular spot, and give me time".  [Here there is written on the
margin in a different hand, "You will find the bones at the side of a
withered bush.  There are but eight of them, and for a sign you will
find the print of a cross impressed on the ground."]  On the morrow,
being Thursday, I went alone to the Isle to see if I could find any
sign, and immediately I saw both the bush, which was a small bush, the
greatest stick in it being about the thickness of a staff, and it was
withered about half-way down; and also the sign, which was about a
foot from the bush.  The sign was an exact cross, thus X; each of the
two lines was about a foot and a half in length and near three inches
broad, and more than an inch deeper than the rest of the ground, as if
it had been pressed down, for the ground was not cut.  On the morrow,
being Friday, I went and told my brother of the voice that had spoken
to me, and that I had gone and seen the bush which it directed me to
and the above-mentioned sign at it.  The next day, being Saturday, my
brother and I went, together with seven or eight men with us, to the
Isle.  About sun-rising we all saw the bush and the sign at it; and
upon breaking up the ground just at the bush, we found the bones,
viz., the chaft-teeth (jaw-teeth-molars) in it, one of the thigh
bones, one of the shoulder blades, and a small bone which we supposed
to be a collar bone, which was more consumed than any of the rest, and
two other small bones, which we thought to be bones of the sword-arm.
By the time we had digged up those bones, there convened about forty
men who also saw them.  The minister and Rychalzie came to the place
and saw them.

"'We immediately sent to the other side of the water, to Claywhat,
{151} to a wright that was cutting timber there, whom Claywhat brought
over with him, who immediately made a coffin for the bones, and my
wife brought linen to wrap them in, and I wrapped the bones in the
linen myself and put them in the coffin before all these people, and
sent for the mort-cloth and buried them in the churchyard of Blair
that evening.  There were near an hundred persons at the burial, and
it was a little after sunset when they were buried.'"

"This above account I have written down as dictated to me by William
Soutar in the presence of Robert Graham, brother to the Laird of
Balgowan, and of my two sons, James and John Rattray, at Craighall,
30th December, 1730.

"We at Craighall heard nothing of this history till after the search
was over, but it was told us on the morrow by some of the servants who
had been with the rest at the search; and on Saturday Glasclune's son
came over to Craighall and told us that William Soutar had given a
very distinct account of it to his father.

"On St. Andrew's Day, the 1st of December, this David Soutar (the
ghost) listed himself a soldier, being very soon after the time the
apparition said the murder was committed, and William Soutar declares
he had no remembrance of him till that apparition named him as brother
to George Soutar; then, he said, he began to recollect that when he
was about ten years of age he had seen him once at his father's in a
soldier's habit, after which he went abroad and was never more heard
of; neither did William ever before hear of his having listed as a
soldier, neither did William ever before hear of his having killed a
man, nor, indeed, was there ever anything heard of it in the country,
and it is not yet known who the person was that was killed, and whose
bones are now found.

"My son John and I went within a few days after to visit Glasclune,
and had the account from him as William had told him over.  From
thence we went to Middle Mause to hear it from himself; but he being
from home, his father, who also lives in that town, gave us the same
account of it which Glasclune had done, and the poor man could not
refrain from shedding tears as he told it, as Glasclune told us his
son was under very great concern when he spoke of it to him.  We all
thought this a very odd story, and were under suspense about it
because the bones had not been found upon the search.

"(Another account that also seems to have been written by the bishop
mentions that the murderer on committing the deed went home, and on
looking in at the window he saw William Soutar lying in a cradle--
hence it was the ghaist always came to him, and not to any of the
other relations.)"

Mr. Hay Newton, of Newton Hall, a man of great antiquarian tastes in
the last generation, wrote the following notes on the matter:--

"Widow M'Laren, aged seventy-nine, a native of Braemar, but who has
resided on the Craighall estate for sixty years, says that the
tradition is that the man was murdered for his money; that he was a
Highland drover on his return journey from the south; that he arrived
late at night at the Mains of Mause and wished to get to Rychalzie;
that he stayed at the Mains of Mause all night, but left it early next
morning, when David Soutar with his dog accompanied him to show him
the road; but that with the assistance of the dog he murdered the
drover and took his money at the place mentioned; that there was a
tailor at work in his father's house that morning when he returned
after committing the murder (according to the custom at that date by
which tailors went out to make up customers' own cloth at their own
houses), and that his mother being surprised at his strange
appearance, asked him what he had been about, to which inquiry he made
no reply; that he did not remain long in the country afterwards, but
went to England and never returned.  The last time he was seen he went
down by the Brae of Cockridge.  A man of the name of Irons, a
fisherman in Blairgowrie, says that his father, who died a very old
man some years ago, was present at the getting of the bones.  Mr.
Small, Finzyhan, when bringing his daughter home from school in
Edinburgh, saw a coffin at the door of a public house near Rychalzie
where he generally stopped, but he did not go in as usual, thinking
that there was a death in the family.  The innkeeper came out and
asked him why he was passing the door, and told him the coffin
contained the bones of the murdered man which had been collected, upon
which he went into the house.

"The Soutars disliked much to be questioned on the subject of the Dog
of Mause.  Thomas Soutar, who was tenant in Easter Mause, formerly
named Knowhead of Mause, and died last year upwards of eighty years of
age, said that the Soutars came originally from Annandale, and that
their name was Johnston; that there were three brothers who fled from
that part of the country on account of their having killed a man; that
they came by Soutar's Hill, and having asked the name of the hill,
were told 'Soutar,' upon which they said, 'Soutar be it then,' and
took that name.  One of the brothers went south and the others came
north." {155a}

The appearance of human ghosts in the form of beasts is common enough;
in Shropshire they usually "come" as bulls.  (See Miss Burne's
Shropshire Folklore.)  They do not usually speak, like the Dog o'
Mause.  M. d'Assier, a French Darwinian, explains that ghosts revert
"atavistically" to lower forms of animal life! {155b}

We now, in accordance with a promise already made, give an example of
the ghosts of beasts!  Here an explanation by the theory that the
consciousness of the beast survives death and affects with a
hallucination the minds of living men and animals, will hardly pass
current.  But if such cases were as common and told on evidence as
respectable as that which vouches for appearances of the dead,
believers in these would either have to shift their ground, or to
grant that

Admitted to that equal sky,
Our faithful dog may bear us company.

We omit such things as the dripping death wraith of a drowned cat who
appeared to a lady, or the illused monkey who died in a Chinese house,
after which he haunted it by rapping, secreting objects, and, in
short, in the usual way. {155c}  We adduce


A naval officer visited a friend in the country.  Several men were
sitting round the smoking-room fire when he arrived, and a fox-terrier
was with them.  Presently the heavy, shambling footsteps of an old
dog, and the metallic shaking sound of his collar, were heard coming
up stairs.

"Here's old Peter!" said his visitor.

"_Peter's dead_!" whispered his owner.

The sounds passed through the closed door, heard by all; they pattered
into the room; the fox-terrier bristled up, growled, and pursued a
viewless object across the carpet; from the hearth-rug sounded a
shake, a jingle of a collar and the settling weight of a body
collapsing into repose. {156}

This pleasing anecdote rests on what is called _nautical evidence_,
which, for reasons inexplicable to me, was (in these matters)
distrusted by Sir Walter Scott.


More Ghosts with a Purpose.  Ticonderoga.  The Beresford Ghost.
Sources of Evidence.  The Family Version.  A New Old-Fashioned Ghost.
Half-past One o'clock.  Put out the Light!

The ghost in the following famous tale had a purpose.  He was a
Highland ghost, a Campbell, and desired vengeance on a Macniven, who
murdered him.  The ghost, practically, "cried Cruachan," and tried to
rouse the clan.  Failing in this, owing to Inverawe's loyalty to his
oath, the ghost uttered a prophecy.

The tale is given in the words of Miss Elspeth Campbell, who collected
it at Inverawe from a Highland narrator.  She adds a curious
supplementary tradition in the Argyle family.


It was one evening in the summer of the year 1755 that Campbell of
Inverawe {157} was on Cruachan hill side.  He was startled by seeing a
man coming towards him at full speed; a man ragged, bleeding, and
evidently suffering agonies of terror.  "The avengers of blood are on
my track, Oh, save me!" the poor wretch managed to gasp out.
Inverawe, filled with pity for the miserable man, swore "By the word
of an Inverawe which never failed friend or foe yet" to save him.

Inverawe then led the stranger to the secret cave on Cruachan hill

None knew of this cave but the laird of Inverawe himself, as the
secret was most carefully kept and had been handed down from father to
son for many generations.  The entrance was small, and no one passing
would for an instant suspect it to be other than a tod's hole, {158a}
but within were fair-sized rooms, one containing a well of the purest
spring water.  It is said that Wallace and Bruce had made use of this
cave in earlier days.

Here Inverawe left his guest.  The man was so overcome by terror that
he clung on to Inverawe's plaid, {158b} imploring him not to leave him
alone.  Inverawe was filled with disgust at this cowardly conduct, and
already almost repented having plighted his word to save such a
worthless creature.

On Inverawe's return home he found a man in a state of great
excitement waiting to see him.  This man informed him of the murder of
his (Inverawe's) foster-brother by one Macniven.  "We have," said he,
"tracked the murderer to within a short distance of this place, and I
am here to warn you in case he should seek your protection."  Inverawe
turned pale and remained silent, not knowing what answer to give.  The
man, knowing the love that subsisted between the foster-brothers,
thought this silence arose from grief alone, and left the house to
pursue the search for Macniven further.

The compassion Inverawe felt for the trembling man he had left in the
cave turned to hate when he thought of his beloved foster-brother
murdered; but as he had plighted his word to save him, save him he
must and would.  As soon, therefore, as night fell he went to the cave
with food, and promised to return with more the next day.

Thoroughly worn out, as soon as he reached home he retired to rest,
but sleep he could not.  So taking up a book he began to read.  A
shadow fell across the page.  He looked up and saw his foster-brother
standing by the bedside.  But, oh, how changed!  His fair hair clotted
with blood; his face pale and drawn, and his garments all gory.  He
uttered the following words:  "Inverawe, shield not the murderer;
blood must flow for blood," and then faded away out of sight.

In spite of the spirit's commands, Inverawe remained true to his
promise, and returned next day to Macniven with fresh provisions.
That night his foster-brother again appeared to him uttering the same
warning:  "Inverawe, Inverawe, shield not the murderer; blood must
flow for blood".  At daybreak Inverawe hurried off to the cave, and
said to Macniven:  "I can shield you no longer; you must escape as
best you can".  Inverawe now hoped to receive no further visit from
the vengeful spirit.  In this he was disappointed, for at the usual
hour the ghost appeared, and in anger said, "I have warned you once, I
have warned you twice; it is too late now.  We shall meet again at

Inverawe rose before dawn and went straight to the cave.  Macniven was

Inverawe saw no more of the ghost, but the adventure left him a
gloomy, melancholy man.  Many a time he would wander on Cruachan hill
side, brooding over his vision, and people passing him would see the
far-away look in his eyes, and would say one to the other:  "The puir
laird, he is aye thinking on him that is gone".  Only his dearest
friends knew the cause of his melancholy.

In 1756 the war between the English and French in America broke out.
The 42nd regiment embarked, and landed at New York in June of that
year.  Campbell of Inverawe was a major in the regiment.  The lieut.-
colonel was Francis Grant.  From New York the 42nd proceeded to
Albany, where the regiment remained inactive till the spring of 1757.
One evening when the 42nd were still quartered at this place, Inverawe
asked the colonel "if he had ever heard of a place called
Ticonderoga". {160}  Colonel Grant replied he had never heard the name
before.  Inverawe then told his story.  Most of the officers were
present at the time; some were impressed, others were inclined to look
upon the whole thing as a joke, but seeing how very much disturbed
Inverawe was about it all, even the most unbelieving refrained from
bantering him.

In 1758 an expedition was to be directed against Ticonderoga, on Lake
George, a fort erected by the French.  The Highlanders were to form
part of this expedition.  The force was under Major-General

Ticonderoga was called by the French St. Louis [really "Fort
Carillon"], and Inverawe knew it by no other name.  One of the
officers told Colonel Grant that the Indian name of the place was
Ticonderoga.  Grant, remembering Campbell's story, said:  "For God's
sake don't let Campbell know this, or harm will come of it".

The troops embarked on Lake George and landed without opposition near
the extremity of the lake early in July.  They marched from there,
through woods, upon Ticonderoga, having had one successful skirmish
with the enemy, driving them back with considerable loss.  Lord Howe
was killed in this engagement.

On the 10th of July the assault was directed to be commenced by the
picquets. {162}  The Grenadiers were to follow, supported by the
battalions and reserves.  The Highlanders and 55th regiment formed the

In vain the troops attempted to force their way through the abbatis,
they themselves being exposed to a heavy artillery and musket fire
from an enemy well under cover.  The Highlanders could no longer be
restrained, and rushed forward from the reserve, cutting and carving
their way through trees and other obstacles with their claymores.  The
deadly fire still continued from the fort.  As no ladders had been
provided for scaling the breastwork, the soldiers climbed on to one
another's shoulders, and made holes for their feet in the face of the
work with their swords and bayonets, but as soon as a man reached the
top he was thrown down.  Captain John Campbell and a few men succeeded
at last in forcing their way over the breastworks, but were
immediately cut down.

After a long and desperate struggle, lasting in fact nearly four
hours, General Abercromby gave orders for a retreat.  The troops could
hardly be prevailed upon to retire, and it was not till the order had
been given for the third time that the Highlanders withdrew from the
hopeless encounter.  The loss sustained by the regiment was as
follows:  eight officers, nine sergeants and 297 men killed; seventeen
officers, ten sergeants and 306 men wounded.

Inverawe, after having fought with the greatest courage, received at
length his death wound.  Colonel Grant hastened to the dying man's
side, who looked reproachfully at him, and said:  "You deceived me;
this is Ticonderoga, for I have seen him".  Inverawe never spoke
again.  Inverawe's son, an officer in the same regiment, also lost his
life at Ticonderoga.

On the very day that these events were happening in far-away America,
two ladies, Miss Campbell of Ederein and her sister, were walking from
Kilmalieu to Inveraray, and had reached the then new bridge over the
Aray.  One of them happened to look up at the sky.  She gave a call to
her sister to look also.  They both of them saw in the sky what looked
like a siege going on.  They saw the different regiments with their
colours, and recognised many of their friends among the Highlanders.
They saw Inverawe and his son fall, and other men whom they knew.
When they reached Inveraray they told all their friends of the vision
they had just seen.  They also took down the names of those they had
seen fall, and the time and date of the occurrence.  The well-known
Danish physician, Sir William Hart, was, together with an Englishman
and a servant, walking round the Castle of Inveraray.  These men saw
the same phenomena, and confirmed the statements made by the two
ladies.  Weeks after the gazette corroborated their statements in its
account of the attempt made on Ticonderoga.  Every detail was correct
in the vision, down to the actual number of the killed and wounded.

But there was sorrow throughout Argyll long before the gazette

* * * * *

We now give the best attainable version of a yet more famous legend,
"The Tyrone Ghost".

The literary history of "The Tyrone Ghost" is curious.  In 1802 Scott
used the tale as the foundation of his ballad, The Eve of St. John,
and referred to the tradition of a noble Irish family in a note.  In
1858 the subject was discussed in Notes and Queries.  A reference was
given to Lyon's privately printed Grand Juries of Westmeath from 1751.
The version from that rare work, a version dated "Dublin, August,
1802," was published in Notes and Queries of 24th July, 1858.  In
December, 1896, a member of the Beresford family published in The
Nines (a journal of the Wiltshire regiment), the account which
follows, derived from a MS. at Curraghmore, written by Lady Betty
Cobbe, granddaughter of the ghost-seer, Lady Beresford.  The writer in
The Nines remembers Lady Betty.  The account of 1802 is clearly
derived from the Curraghmore MS., but omits dates; calls Sir Tristram
Beresford "Sir Marcus "; leaves out the visit to Gill Hall, where the
ghost appeared, and substitutes blanks for the names of persons
concerned.  Otherwise the differences in the two versions are mainly


"There is at Curraghmore, the seat of Lord Waterford, in Ireland, a
manuscript account of the tale, such as it was originally received and
implicitly believed in by the children and grandchildren of the lady
to whom Lord Tyrone is supposed to have made the supernatural
appearance after death.  The account was written by Lady Betty Cobbe,
the youngest daughter of Marcus, Earl of Tyrone, and granddaughter of
Nicola S., Lady Beresford.  She lived to a good old age, in full use
of all her faculties, both of body and mind.  I can myself remember
her, for when a boy I passed through Bath on a journey with my mother,
and we went to her house there, and had luncheon.  She appeared to my
juvenile imagination a very appropriate person to revise and transmit
such a tale, and fully adapted to do ample justice to her subject-
matter.  It never has been doubted in the family that she received the
full particulars in early life, and that she heard the circumstances,
such as they were believed to have occurred, from the nearest
relatives of the two persons, the supposed actors in this mysterious
interview, viz., from her own father, Lord Tyrone, who died in 1763,
and from her aunt, Lady Riverston, who died in 1763 also.

"These two were both with their mother, Lady Beresford, on the day of
her decease, and they, without assistance or witness, took off from
their parent's wrist the black bandage which she had always worn on
all occasions and times, even at Court, as some very old persons who
lived well into the eighteenth century testified, having received
their information from eyewitnesses of the fact.  There was an oil
painting of this lady in Tyrone House, Dublin, representing her with a
black ribbon bound round her wrist.  This portrait disappeared in an
unaccountable manner.  It used to hang in one of the drawing-rooms in
that mansion, with other family pictures.  When Henry, Marquis of
Waterford, sold the old town residence of the family and its grounds
to the Government as the site of the Education Board, he directed Mr.
Watkins, a dealer in pictures, and a man of considerable knowledge in
works of art and vertu, to collect the pictures, etc., etc., which
were best adapted for removal to Curraghmore.  Mr. Watkins especially
picked out this portrait, not only as a good work of art, but as one
which, from its associations, deserved particular care and notice.
When, however, the lot arrived at Curraghmore and was unpacked, no
such picture was found; and though Mr. Watkins took great pains and
exerted himself to the utmost to trace what had become of it, to this
day (nearly forty years), not a hint of its existence has been
received or heard of.

"John le Poer, Lord Decies, was the eldest son of Richard, Earl of
Tyrone, and of Lady Dorothy Annesley, daughter of Arthur, Earl of
Anglesey.  He was born 1665, succeeded his father 1690, and died 14th
October, 1693.  He became Lord Tyrone at his father's death, and is
the 'ghost' of the story.

"Nicola Sophie Hamilton was the second and youngest daughter and co-
heiress of Hugh, Lord Glenawley, who was also Baron Lunge in Sweden.
Being a zealous Royalist, he had, together with his father, migrated
to that country in 1643, and returned from it at the Restoration.  He
was of a good old family, and held considerable landed property in the
county Tyrone, near Ballygawley.  He died there in 1679.  His eldest
daughter and co-heiress, Arabella Susanna, married, in 1683, Sir John
Macgill, of Gill Hall, in the county Down.

"Nicola S. (the second daughter) was born in 1666, and married Sir
Tristram Beresford in 1687.  Between that and 1693 two daughters were
born, but no son to inherit the ample landed estates of his father,
who most anxiously wished and hoped for an heir.  It was under these
circumstances, and at this period, that the manuscripts state that
Lord Tyrone made his appearance after death; and all the versions of
the story, without variation, attribute the same cause and reason,
viz., a solemn promise mutually interchanged in early life between
John le Poer, then Lord Decies, afterwards Lord Tyrone, and Nicola S.
Hamilton, that whichever of the two died the first, should, if
permitted, appear to the survivor for the object of declaring the
approval or rejection by the Deity of the revealed religion as
generally acknowledged:  of which the departed one must be fully
cognisant, but of which they both had in their youth entertained
unfortunate doubts.

"In the month of October, 1693, Sir Tristram and Lady Beresford went
on a visit to her sister, Lady Macgill, at Gill Hall, now the seat of
Lord Clanwilliam, whose grandmother was eventually the heiress of Sir
J. Macgill's property.  One morning Sir Tristram rose early, leaving
Lady Beresford asleep, and went out for a walk before breakfast.  When
his wife joined the table very late, her appearance and the
embarrassment of her manner attracted general attention, especially
that of her husband.  He made anxious inquiries as to her health, and
asked her apart what had occurred to her wrist, which was tied up with
black ribbon tightly bound round it.  She earnestly entreated him not
to inquire more then, or thereafter, as to the cause of her wearing or
continuing afterwards to wear that ribbon; 'for,' she added, 'you will
never see me without it'.  He replied, 'Since you urge it so
vehemently, I promise you not to inquire more about it'.

"After completing her hurried breakfast she made anxious inquiries as
to whether the post had yet arrived.  It had not yet come in; and Sir
Tristram asked:  'Why are you so particularly eager about letters to-
day?'  'Because I expect to hear of Lord Tyrone's death, which took
place on Tuesday.'  'Well,' remarked Sir Tristram, 'I never should
have put you down for a superstitious person; but I suppose that some
idle dream has disturbed you.'  Shortly after, the servant brought in
the letters; one was sealed with black wax.  'It is as I expected,'
she cries; 'he is dead.'  The letter was from Lord Tyrone's steward to
inform them that his master had died in Dublin, on Tuesday, 14th
October, at 4 p.m.  Sir Tristram endeavoured to console her, and
begged her to restrain her grief, when she assured him that she felt
relieved and easier now that she knew the actual fact.  She added, 'I
can now give you a most satisfactory piece of intelligence, viz., that
I am with child, and that it will be a boy'.  A son was born in the
following July.  Sir Tristram survived its birth little more than six
years.  After his death Lady Beresford continued to reside with her
young family at his place in the county of Derry, and seldom went from
home.  She hardly mingled with any neighbours or friends, excepting
with Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, of Coleraine.  He was the principal
personage in that town, and was, by his mother, a near relative of Sir
Tristram.  His wife was the daughter of Robert Gorges, LL.D. (a
gentleman of good old English family, and possessed of a considerable
estate in the county Meath), by Jane Loftus, daughter of Sir Adam
Loftus, of Rathfarnham, and sister of Lord Lisburn.  They had an only
son, Richard Gorges, who was in the army, and became a general officer
very early in life.  With the Jacksons Lady Beresford maintained a
constant communication and lived on the most intimate terms, while she
seemed determined to eschew all other society and to remain in her
chosen retirement.

"At the conclusion of three years thus passed, one luckless day "Young
Gorges" most vehemently professed his passion for her, and solicited
her hand, urging his suit in a most passionate appeal, which was
evidently not displeasing to the fair widow, and which, unfortunately
for her, was successful.  They were married in 1704.  One son and two
daughters were born to them, when his abandoned and dissolute conduct
forced her to seek and to obtain a separation.  After this had
continued for four years, General Gorges pretended extreme penitence
for his past misdeeds, and with the most solemn promises of amendment
induced his wife to live with him again, and she became the mother of
a second son.  The day month after her confinement happened to be her
birthday, and having recovered and feeling herself equal to some
exertion, she sent for her son, Sir Marcus Beresford, then twenty
years old, and her married daughter, Lady Riverston.  She also invited
Dr. King, the Archbishop of Dublin (who was an intimate friend), and
an old clergyman who had christened her, and who had always kept up a
most kindly intercourse with her during her whole life, to make up a
small party to celebrate the day.

"In the early part of it Lady Beresford was engaged in a kindly
conversation with her old friend the clergyman, and in the course of
it said:  'You know that I am forty-eight this day'.  'No, indeed,' he
replied; 'you are only forty-seven, for your mother had a dispute with
me once on the very subject of your age, and I in consequence sent and
consulted the registry, and can most confidently assert that you are
only forty-seven this day.'  'You have signed my death-warrant, then,'
she cried; 'leave me, I pray, for I have not much longer to live, but
have many things of grave importance to settle before I die.  Send my
son and my daughter to me immediately.'  The clergyman did as he was
bidden.  He directed Sir Marcus and his sister to go instantly to
their mother; and he sent to the archbishop and a few other friends to
put them off from joining the birthday party.

"When her two children repaired to Lady Beresford, she thus addressed
them:  'I have something of deep importance to communicate to you, my
dear children, before I die.  You are no strangers to the intimacy and
the affection which subsisted in early life between Lord Tyrone and
myself.  We were educated together when young, under the same roof, in
the pernicious principles of Deism.  Our real friends afterwards took
every opportunity to convince us of our error, but their arguments
were insufficient to overpower and uproot our infidelity, though they
had the effect of shaking our confidence in it, and thus leaving us
wavering between the two opinions.  In this perplexing state of doubt
we made a solemn promise one to the other, that whichever died first
should, if permitted, appear to the other for the purpose of declaring
what religion was the one acceptable to the Almighty.  One night,
years after this interchange of promises, I was sleeping with your
father at Gill Hall, when I suddenly awoke and discovered Lord Tyrone
sitting visibly by the side of the bed.  I screamed out, and vainly
endeavoured to rouse Sir Tristram.  "Tell me," I said, "Lord Tyrone,
why and wherefore are you here at this time of the night?"  "Have you
then forgotten our promise to each other, pledged in early life?  I
died on Tuesday, at four o'clock.  I have been permitted thus to
appear in order to assure you that the revealed religion is the true
and only one by which we can be saved.  I am also suffered to inform
you that you are with child, and will produce a son, who will marry my
heiress; that Sir Tristram will not live long, when you will marry
again, and you will die from the effects of childbirth in your forty-
seventh year."  I begged from him some convincing sign or proof so
that when the morning came I might rely upon it, and feel satisfied
that his appearance had been real, and that it was not the phantom of
my imagination.  He caused the hangings of the bed to be drawn in an
unusual way and impossible manner through an iron hook.  I still was
not satisfied, when he wrote his signature in my pocket-book.  I
wanted, however, more substantial proof of his visit, when he laid his
hand, which was cold as marble, on my wrist; the sinews shrunk up, the
nerves withered at the touch.  "Now," he said, "let no mortal eye,
while you live, ever see that wrist," and vanished.  While I was
conversing with him my thoughts were calm, but as soon as he
disappeared I felt chilled with horror and dismay, a cold sweat came
over me, and I again endeavoured but vainly to awaken Sir Tristram; a
flood of tears came to my relief, and I fell asleep.

"'In the morning your father got up without disturbing me; he had not
noticed anything extraordinary about me or the bed-hangings.  When I
did arise I found a long broom in the gallery outside the bedroom
door, and with great difficulty I unhooded the curtain, fearing that
the position of it might excite surprise and cause inquiry.  I bound
up my wrist with black ribbon before I went down to breakfast, where
the agitation of my mind was too visible not to attract attention.
Sir Tristram made many anxious inquiries as to my health, especially
as to my sprained wrist, as he conceived mine to be.  I begged him to
drop all questions as to the bandage, even if I continued to adopt it
for any length of time.  He kindly promised me not to speak of it any
more, and he kept his promise faithfully.  You, my son, came into the
world as predicted, and your father died six years after.  I then
determined to abandon society and its pleasures and not mingle again
with the world, hoping to avoid the dreadful predictions as to my
second marriage; but, alas! in the one family with which I held
constant and friendly intercourse I met the man, whom I did not regard
with perfect indifference.  Though I struggled to conquer by every
means the passion, I at length yielded to his solicitations, and in a
fatal moment for my own peace I became his wife.  In a few years his
conduct fully justified my demand for a separation, and I fondly hoped
to escape the fatal prophecy.  Under the delusion that I had passed my
forty-seventh birthday, I was prevailed upon to believe in his
amendment, and to pardon him.  I have, however, heard from undoubted
authority that I am only forty-seven this day, and I know that I am
about to die.  I die, however, without the dread of death, fortified
as I am by the sacred precepts of Christianity and upheld by its
promises.  When I am gone, I wish that you, my children, should unbind
this black ribbon and alone behold my wrist before I am consigned to
the grave.'

"She then requested to be left that she might lie down and compose
herself, and her children quitted the apartment, having desired her
attendant to watch her, and if any change came on to summon them to
her bedside.  In an hour the bell rang, and they hastened to the call,
but all was over.  The two children having ordered every one to
retire, knelt down by the side of the bed, when Lady Riverston unbound
the black ribbon and found the wrist exactly as Lady Beresford had
described it--every nerve withered, every sinew shrunk.

"Her friend, the Archbishop, had had her buried in the Cathedral of
St. Patrick, in Dublin, in the Earl of Cork's tomb, where she now

* * * * *

The writer now professes his disbelief in any spiritual presence, and
explains his theory that Lady Beresford's anxiety about Lord Tyrone
deluded her by a vivid dream, during which she hurt her wrist.

Of all ghost stories the Tyrone, or Beresford Ghost, has most
variants.  Following Monsieur Haureau, in the Journal des Savants, I
have tracked the tale, the death compact, and the wound inflicted by
the ghost on the hand, or wrist, or brow, of the seer, through Henry
More, and Melanchthon, and a mediaeval sermon by Eudes de Shirton, to
William of Malmesbury, a range of 700 years.  Mrs. Grant of Laggan has
a rather recent case, and I have heard of another in the last ten
years!  Calmet has a case in 1625, the spectre leaves

The sable score of fingers four

on a board of wood.

Now for a modern instance of a gang of ghosts with a purpose!

When I narrated the story which follows to an eminent moral
philosopher, he remarked, at a given point, "Oh, the ghost _spoke_,
did she?" and displayed scepticism.  The evidence, however, left him,
as it leaves me, at a standstill, not convinced, but agreeably
perplexed.  The ghosts here are truly old-fashioned.

My story is, and must probably remain, entirely devoid of proof, as
far as any kind of ghostly influence is concerned.  We find ghosts
appearing, and imposing a certain course of action on a living
witness, for definite purposes of their own.  The course of action
prescribed was undeniably pursued, and apparently the purpose of the
ghosts was fulfilled, but what that purpose was their agent declines
to state, and conjecture is hopelessly baffled.

The documents in the affair have been published by the Society for
Psychical Research (Proceedings, vol. xi., p. 547), and are here used
for reference.  But I think the matter will be more intelligible if I
narrate it exactly as it came under my own observation.  The names of
persons and places are all fictitious, and are the same as those used
in the documents published by the S.P.R.


In October, 1893, I was staying at a town which we shall call
Rapingham.  One night I and some kinsfolk dined with another old
friend of all of us, a Dr. Ferrier.  In the course of dinner he asked
a propos de bottes:--

"Have you heard of the ghost in Blake Street?" a sunny, pleasant
street of respectable but uninteresting antiquity in Rapingham.

We had none of us heard of the ghost, and begged the doctor to
enlighten our ignorance.  His story ran thus--I have it in his own
writing as far as its essence goes:--

"The house," he said, "belongs to my friends, the Applebys, who let
it, as they live elsewhere.  A quiet couple took it and lived in it
for five years, when the husband died, and the widow went away.  They
made no complaint while tenants.  The house stood empty for some time,
and all I know personally about the matter is that I, my wife, and the
children were in the dining-room one Sunday when we heard unusual
noises in the drawing-room overhead.  We went through the rooms but
could find no cause or explanation of the disturbance, and thought no
more about it.

"About six or seven years ago I let the house to a Mr. Buckley, who is
still the tenant.  He was unmarried, and his family consisted of his
mother and sisters.  They preceded him to put the place in order, and
before his arrival came to me in some irritation complaining that I
had let them _a haunted house_!  They insisted that there were strange
noises, as if heavy weights were being dragged about, or heavy
footsteps pacing in the rooms and on the stairs.  I said that I knew
nothing about the matter.  The stairs are of stone, water is only
carried up to the first floor, there is an unused system of hot air
pipes. {177a}  Something went wrong with the water-main in the area
once, but the noises lasted after it was mended.

"I think Mr. Buckley when he arrived never heard anything unusual.
But one evening as he walked upstairs carrying an ink-bottle, he found
his hand full of some liquid.  Thinking that he had spilt the ink, he
went to a window where he found his hand full of water, to account for
which there was no stain on the ceiling, or anything else that he
could discover.  On another occasion one of the young ladies was
kneeling by a trunk in an attic, alone, when water was switched over
her face, as if from a wet brush. {177b}  There was a small pool of
water on the floor, and the wall beyond her was sprinkled.

"Time went on, and the disturbances were very rare:  in fact ceased
for two years till the present week, when Mrs. Claughton, a widow
accompanied by two of her children, came to stay with the Buckleys.
{177c}  She had heard of the disturbances and the theory of hauntings--
I don't know if these things interested her or not.

"Early on Monday, 9th October, Mrs. Claughton came to consult me.  Her
story was this:  About a quarter past one on Sunday night, or Monday
morning, she was in bed with one of her children, the other sleeping
in the room.  She was awakened by footsteps on the stair, and supposed
that a servant was coming to call her to Miss Buckley, who was ill.
The steps stopped at the door, then the noise was repeated.  Mrs.
Claughton lit her bedroom candle, opened the door and listened.  There
was no one there.  The clock on the landing pointed to twenty minutes
past one.  Mrs. Claughton went back to bed, read a book, fell asleep,
and woke to find the candle still lit, but low in the socket.  She
heard a sigh, and saw a lady, unknown to her, her head swathed in a
soft white shawl, her expression gentle and refined, her features much

"The Appearance said, 'Follow me,' and Mrs. Claughton, taking the
bedroom candle, rose and followed out on to the landing, and so into
the adjacent drawing-room.  She cannot remember opening the door,
which the housemaid had locked outside, and she owns that this passage
is dreamlike in her memory.  Seeing that her candle was flickering
out, she substituted for it a pink one taken from a chiffonier.  The
figure walked nearly to the window, turned three-quarters round, said
'To-morrow!' and was no more seen.  Mrs. Claughton went back to her
room, where her eldest child asked:--

"'Who is the lady in white?'

"'Only me, mother, go to sleep,' she thinks she answered.  After lying
awake for two hours, with gas burning, she fell asleep.  The pink
candle from the drawing-room chiffonier was in her candlestick in the

"After hearing the lady's narrative I told her to try change of air,
which she declined as cowardly.  So, as she would stay on at Mr.
Buckley's, I suggested that an electric alarm communicating with Miss
Buckley's room should be rigged up, and this was done."

Here the doctor paused, and as the events had happened within the
week, we felt that we were at last on the track of a recent ghost.

"Next morning, about one, the Buckleys were aroused by a tremendous
peal of the alarm; Mrs. Claughton they found in a faint.  Next morning
{179} she consulted me as to the whereabouts of a certain place, let
me call it 'Meresby'.  I suggested the use of a postal directory; we
found Meresby, a place extremely unknown to fame, in an agricultural
district about five hours from London in the opposite direction from
Rapingham.  To this place Mrs. Claughton said she must go, in the
interest and by the order of certain ghosts, whom she saw on Monday
night, and whose injunctions she had taken down in a note-book.  She
has left Rapingham for London, and there," said the doctor, "my story
ends for the present."

We expected it to end for good and all, but in the course of the week
came a communication to the doctor in writing from Mrs. Claughton's
governess.  This lady, on Mrs. Claughton's arrival at her London house
(Friday, 13th October), passed a night perturbed by sounds of weeping,
"loud moans," and "a very odd noise overhead, like some electric
battery gone wrong," in fact, much like the "warning" of a jack
running down, which Old Jeffrey used to give at the Wesley's house in
Epworth.  There were also heavy footsteps and thuds, as of moving
weighty bodies.  So far the governess.

This curious communication I read at Rapingham on Saturday, 14th
October, or Sunday, 15th October.  On Monday I went to town.  In the
course of the week I received a letter from my kinsman in Rapingham,
saying that Mrs. Claughton had written to Dr. Ferrier, telling him
that she had gone to Meresby on Saturday; had accomplished the bidding
of the ghosts, and had lodged with one Joseph Wright, the parish
clerk.  Her duty had been to examine the Meresby parish registers, and
to compare certain entries with information given by the ghosts and
written by her in her note-book.  If the entries in the parish
register tallied with her notes, she was to pass the time between one
o'clock and half-past one, alone, in Meresby Church, and receive a
communication from the spectres.  All this she said that she had done,
and in evidence of her journey enclosed her half ticket to Meresby,
which a dream had warned her would not be taken on her arrival.  She
also sent a white rose from a grave to Dr. Ferrier, a gentleman in no
sympathy with the Jacobite cause, which, indeed, has no connection
whatever with the matter in hand.

On hearing of this letter from Mrs. Claughton, I confess that, not
knowing the lady, I remained purely sceptical.  The railway company,
however, vouched for the ticket.  The rector of Meresby, being
appealed to, knew nothing of the matter.  He therefore sent for his
curate and parish clerk.

"Did a lady pass part of Sunday night in the church?"

The clerk and the curate admitted that this unusual event _had_
occurred.  A lady had arrived from London on Saturday evening; had
lodged with Wright, the parish clerk; had asked for the parish
registers; had compared them with her note-book after morning service
on Sunday, and had begged leave to pass part of the night in the
church.  The curate in vain tried to dissuade her, and finally,
washing his hands of it, had left her to Wright the clerk.  To him she
described a Mr. George Howard, deceased (one of the ghosts).  He
recognised the description, and he accompanied her to the church on a
dark night, starting at one o'clock.  She stayed alone, without a
light, in the locked-up church from 1.20 to 1.45, when he let her out.

There now remained no doubt that Mrs. Claughton had really gone to
Meresby, a long and disagreeable journey, and had been locked up in
the church alone at a witching hour.

Beyond this point we have only the statements of Mrs. Claughton, made
to Lord Bute, Mr. Myers and others, and published by the Society for
Psychical Research.  She says that after arranging the alarm bell on
Monday night (October 9-10) she fell asleep reading in her dressing-
gown, lying outside her bed.  She wakened, and found the lady of the
white shawl bending over her.  Mrs. Claughton said:  "Am I dreaming,
or is it true?"  The figure gave, as testimony to character, a piece
of information.  Next Mrs. Claughton saw a male ghost, "tall, dark,
healthy, sixty years old," who named himself as George Howard, buried
in Meresby churchyard, Meresby being a place of which Mrs. Claughton,
like most people, now heard for the first time.  He gave the dates of
his marriage and death, which are correct, and have been seen by Mr.
Myers in Mrs. Claughton's note-book.  He bade her verify these dates
at Meresby, and wait at 1.15 in the morning at the grave of Richard
Harte (a person, like all of them, unknown to Mrs. Claughton) at the
south-west corner of the south aisle in Meresby Church.  This Mr.
Harte died on 15th May, 1745, and missed many events of interest by
doing so.  Mr. Howard also named and described Joseph Wright, of
Meresby, as a man who would help her, and he gave minute local
information.  Next came a phantom of a man whose name Mrs. Claughton
is not free to give; {182} he seemed to be in great trouble, at first
covering his face with his hands, but later removing them.  These
three spectres were to meet Mrs. Claughton in Meresby Church and give
her information of importance on a matter concerning, apparently, the
third and only unhappy appearance.  After these promises and
injunctions the phantoms left, and Mrs. Claughton went to the door to
look at the clock.  Feeling faint, she rang the alarum, when her
friends came and found her in a swoon on the floor.  The hour was

What Mrs. Claughton's children were doing all this time, and whether
they were in the room or not, does not appear.

On Thursday Mrs. Claughton went to town, and her governess was
perturbed, as we have seen.

On Friday night Mrs. Claughton _dreamed_ a number of things connected
with her journey; a page of the notes made from this dream was shown
to Mr. Myers.  Thus her half ticket was not to be taken, she was to
find a Mr. Francis, concerned in the private affairs of the ghosts,
which needed rectifying, and so forth.  These premonitions, with
others, were all fulfilled.  Mrs. Claughton, in the church at night,
continued her conversation with the ghosts whose acquaintance she had
made at Rapingham.  She obtained, it seems, all the information
needful to settling the mysterious matters which disturbed the male
ghost who hid his face, and on Monday morning she visited the daughter
of Mr. Howard in her country house in a park, "recognised the strong
likeness to her father, and carried out all things desired by the dead
to the full, as had been requested. . . .  The wishes expressed to her
were perfectly rational, reasonable and of natural importance."

The clerk, Wright, attests the accuracy of Mrs. Claughton's
description of Mr. Howard, whom he knew, and the correspondence of her
dates with those in the parish register and on the graves, which he
found for her at her request.  Mr. Myers, "from a very partial
knowledge" of what the Meresby ghosts' business was, thinks the
reasons for not revealing this matter "entirely sufficient".  The
ghosts' messages to survivors "effected the intended results," says
Mrs. Claughton.

* * * * *

Of this story the only conceivable natural explanation is that Mrs.
Claughton, to serve her private ends, paid secret preliminary visits
to Meresby, "got up" there a number of minute facts, chose a haunted
house at the other end of England as a first scene in her little
drama, and made the rest of the troublesome journeys, not to mention
the uncomfortable visit to a dark church at midnight, and did all this
from a hysterical love of notoriety.  This desirable boon she would
probably never have obtained, even as far as it is consistent with a
pseudonym, if I had not chanced to dine with Dr. Ferrier while the
adventure was only beginning.  As there seemed to be a chance of
taking a ghost "on the half volley," I at once communicated the first
part of the tale to the Psychical Society (using pseudonyms, as here,
throughout), and two years later Mrs. Claughton consented to tell the
Society as much as she thinks it fair to reveal.

This, it will be confessed, is a round-about way of obtaining fame,
and an ordinary person in Mrs. Claughton's position would have gone to
the Psychical Society at once, as Mark Twain meant to do when he saw
the ghost which turned out to be a very ordinary person.

There I leave these ghosts, my mind being in a just balance of
agnosticism.  If ghosts at all, they were ghosts with a purpose.  The
species is now very rare.

The purpose of the ghost in the following instance was trivial, but
was successfully accomplished.  In place of asking people to do what
it wanted, the ghost did the thing itself.  Now the modern theory of
ghosts, namely, that they are delusions of the senses of the seers,
caused somehow by the mental action of dead or distant people, does
not seem to apply in this case.  The ghost produced an effect on a
material object.


The Rev. D. W. G. Gwynne, M.D., was a physician in holy orders.  In
1853 he lived at P--- House, near Taunton, where both he and his wife
"were made uncomfortable by auditory experiences to which they could
find no clue," or, in common English, they heard mysterious noises.
"During the night," writes Dr. Gwynne, "I became aware of a draped
figure passing across the foot of the bed towards the fireplace.  I
had the impression that the arm was raised, pointing with the hand
towards the mantel-piece on which a night-light was burning.  Mrs.
Gwynne at the same moment seized my arm, _and the light was
extinguished_!  Notwithstanding, I distinctly saw the figure returning
towards the door, and being under the impression that one of the
servants had found her way into our room, I leaped out of bed to
intercept the intruder, but found and saw nothing.  I rushed to the
door and endeavoured to follow the supposed intruder, and it was not
until I found the door locked, as usual, that I was painfully
impressed.  I need hardly say that Mrs. Gwynne was in a very nervous
state.  She asked me what I had seen, and I told her.  She had seen
the same figure," "but," writes Mrs. Gwynne, "I distinctly _saw the
hand of the figure placed over the night-light, which was at once
extinguished_".  "Mrs. Gwynne also heard the rustle of the 'tall man-
like figure's' garments.  In addition to the night-light there was
moonlight in the room."

"Other people had suffered many things in the same house, unknown to
Dr. and Mrs. Gwynne, who gave up the place soon afterwards."

In plenty of stories we hear of ghosts who draw curtains or open
doors, and these apparent material effects are usually called part of
the seer's delusion.  But the night-light certainly went out under the
figure's hand, and was relit by Dr. Gwynne.  Either the ghost was an
actual entity, not a mere hallucination of two people, or the
extinction of the light was a curious coincidence. {186}


Haunted Houses.  Antiquity of Haunted Houses.  Savage Cases.  Ancient
Egyptian Cases.  Persistence in Modern Times.  Impostures.  Imaginary
Noises.  Nature of Noises.  The Creaking Stair.  Ghostly Effects
produced by the Living but Absent.  The Grocer's Cough.  Difficulty of
Belief.  My Gillie's Father's Story.  "Silverton Abbey."  The Dream
that Opened the Door.  Abbotsford Noises.  Legitimate Haunting by the
Dead.  The Girl in Pink.  The Dog in the Haunted Room.  The Lady in
Black.  Dogs Alarmed.  The Dead Seldom Recognised.  Glamis.  A Border
Castle.  Another Class of Hauntings.  A Russian Case.  The Dancing
Devil.  The Little Hands.

Haunted houses have been familiar to man ever since he has owned a
roof to cover his head.  The Australian blacks possessed only shelters
or "leans-to," so in Australia the spirits do their rapping on the
tree trunks; a native illustrated this by whacking a table with a
book.  The perched-up houses of the Dyaks are haunted by noisy routing
agencies.  We find them in monasteries, palaces, and crofters'
cottages all through the Middle Ages.  On an ancient Egyptian papyrus
we find the husband of the Lady Onkhari protesting against her habit
of haunting his house, and exclaiming:  "What wrong have I done,"
exactly in the spirit of the "Hymn of Donald Ban," who was "sair
hadden down by a bodach" (noisy bogle) after Culloden. {188a}

The husband of Onkhari does not say _how_ she disturbed him, but the
manners of Egyptian haunters, just what they remain at present, may be
gathered from a magical papyrus, written in Greek.  Spirits "wail and
groan, or laugh dreadfully"; they cause bad dreams, terror and
madness; finally, they "practice stealthy theft," and rap and knock.
The "theft" (by making objects disappear mysteriously) is often
illustrated in the following tales, as are the groaning and knocking.
{188b}  St. Augustine speaks of hauntings as familiar occurrences, and
we have a chain of similar cases from ancient Egypt to 1896.  Several
houses in that year were so disturbed that the inhabitants were
obliged to leave them.  The newspapers were full of correspondence on
the subject.

The usual annoyances are apparitions (rare), flying about of objects
(not very common), noises of every kind (extremely frequent), groans,
screams, footsteps and fire-raising.  Imposture has either been proved
or made very probable in ten out of eleven cases of volatile objects
between 1883 and 1895. {188c}  Moreover, it is certain that the noises
of haunted houses are not equally audible by all persons present, even
when the sounds are at their loudest.  Thus Lord St. Vincent, the
great admiral, heard nothing during his stay at the house of his
sister, Mrs. Ricketts, while that lady endured terrible things.  After
his departure she was obliged to recall him.  He arrived, and slept
peacefully.  Next day his sister told him about the disturbances,
after which he heard them as much as his neighbours, and was as
unsuccessful in discovering their cause. {189}

Of course this looks as if these noises were unreal, children of the
imagination.  Noises being the staple of haunted houses, a few words
may be devoted to them.  They are usually the frou-frou or rustling
sweep of a gown, footsteps, raps, thumps, groans, a sound as if all
the heavy furniture was being knocked about, crashing of crockery and
jingling of money.  Of course, as to footsteps, people _may_ be
walking about, and most of the other noises are either easily
imitated, or easily produced by rats, water pipes, cracks in furniture
(which the Aztecs thought ominous of death), and other natural causes.
The explanation is rather more difficult when the steps pace a
gallery, passing and repassing among curious inquirers, or in this


A lady very well known to myself, and in literary society, lived as a
girl with an antiquarian father in an old house dear to an antiquary.
It was haunted, among other things, by footsteps.  The old oak
staircase had two creaking steps, numbers seventeen and eighteen from
the top.  The girl would sit on the stair, stretching out her arms,
and count the steps as they passed her, one, two, three, and so on to
seventeen and eighteen, _which always creaked_. {190}   In this case
rats and similar causes were excluded, though we may allow for
"expectant attention".  But this does not generally work.  When people
sit up on purpose to look out for the ghost, he rarely comes; in the
case of the "Lady in Black," which we give later, when purposely
waited for, she was never seen at all.

Discounting imposture, which is sometimes found, and sometimes merely
fabled (as in the Tedworth story), there remains one curious
circumstance.  Specially ghostly noises are attributed to the living
but absent.


A man of letters was born in a small Scotch town, where his father was
the intimate friend of a tradesman whom we shall call the grocer.
Almost every day the grocer would come to have a chat with Mr. Mackay,
and the visitor, alone of the natives, had the habit of knocking at
the door before entering.  One day Mr. Mackay said to his daughter,
"There's Mr. Macwilliam's knock.  Open the door."  But there was no
Mr. Macwilliam!  He was just leaving his house at the other end of the
street.  From that day Mr. Mackay always heard the grocer's knock "a
little previous," accompanied by the grocer's cough, which was
peculiar.  Then all the family heard it, including the son who later
became learned.  He, when he had left his village for Glasgow,
reasoned himself out of the opinion that the grocer's knock did herald
and precede the grocer.  But when he went home for a visit he found
that he heard it just as of old.  Possibly some local Sentimental
Tommy watched for the grocer, played the trick and ran away.  This
explanation presents no difficulty, but the boy was never detected.

Such anecdotes somehow do not commend themselves to the belief even of
people who can believe a good deal.

But "the spirits of the living," as the Highlanders say, have surely
as good a chance to knock, or appear at a distance, as the spirits of
the dead.  To be sure, the living do not know (unless they are making
a scientific experiment) what trouble they are giving on these
occasions, but one can only infer, like St. Augustine, that probably
the dead don't know it either.



Fishing in Sutherland, I had a charming companion in the gillie.  He
was well educated, a great reader, the best of salmon fishers, and I
never heard a man curse William, Duke of Cumberland, with more
enthusiasm.  His father, still alive, was second-sighted, and so, to a
moderate extent and without theory, was my friend.  Among other
anecdotes (confirmed in writing by the old gentleman) was this:--

The father had a friend who died in the house which they both
occupied.  The clothes of the deceased hung on pegs in the bedroom.
One night the father awoke, and saw a stranger examining and handling
the clothes of the defunct.  Then came a letter from the dead man's
brother, inquiring about the effects.  He followed later, and was the
stranger seen by my gillie's father.

Thus the living but absent may haunt a house both noisily and by
actual appearance.  The learned even think, for very exquisite
reasons, that "Silverton Abbey" {192} is haunted noisily by a "spirit
of the living".  Here is a case:--


The following is an old but good story.  The Rev. Joseph Wilkins died,
an aged man, in 1800.  He left this narrative, often printed; the date
of the adventure is 1754, when Mr. Wilkins, aged twenty-three, was a
schoolmaster in Devonshire.  The dream was an ordinary dream, and did
not announce death, or anything but a journey.  Mr. Wilkins dreamed,
in Devonshire, that he was going to London.  He thought he would go by
Gloucestershire and see his people.  So he started, arrived at his
father's house, found the front door locked, went in by the back door,
went to his parents' room, saw his father asleep in bed and his mother
awake.  He said:  "Mother, I am going a long journey, and have come to
bid you good-bye".  She answered in a fright, "Oh dear son, thou art
dead!"  Mr. Wilkins wakened, and thought nothing of it.  As early as a
letter could come, one arrived from his father, addressing him as if
he were dead, and desiring him, if by accident alive, or any one into
whose hands the letter might fall, to write at once.  The father then
gave his reasons for alarm.  Mrs. Wilkins, being awake one night,
heard some one try the front door, enter by the back, then saw her son
come into her room and say he was going on a long journey, with the
rest of the dialogue.  She then woke her husband, who said she had
been dreaming, but who was alarmed enough to write the letter.  No
harm came of it to anybody.

The story would be better if Mr. Wilkins, junior, like Laud, had kept
a nocturnal of his dreams, and published his father's letter, with

The story of the lady who often dreamed of a house, and when by chance
she found and rented it was recognised as the ghost who had recently
haunted it, is good, but is an invention!

A somewhat similar instance is that of the uproar of moving heavy
objects, heard by Scott in Abbotsford on the night preceding and the
night of the death of his furnisher, Mr. Bullock, in London.  The
story is given in Lockhart's Life of Scott, and is too familiar for

On the whole, accepting one kind of story on the same level as the
other kind, the living and absent may unconsciously produce the
phenomena of haunted houses just as well as the dead, to whose alleged
performances we now advance.  Actual appearances, as we have said, are
not common, and just as all persons do not hear the sounds, so many do
not see the appearance, even when it is visible to others in the same
room.  As an example, take a very mild and lady-like case of haunting.


The following anecdote was told to myself, a few months after the
curious event, by the three witnesses in the case.  They were
connections of my own, the father was a clergyman of the Anglican
Church; he, his wife and their daughter, a girl of twenty, were the
"percipients".  All are cheerful, sagacious people, and all, though
they absolutely agreed as to the facts in their experience, professed
an utter disbelief in "ghosts," which the occurrence has not affected
in any way.  They usually reside in a foreign city, where there is a
good deal of English society.  One day they left the town to lunch
with a young fellow-countryman who lived in a villa in the
neighbourhood.  There he was attempting to farm a small estate, with
what measure of success the story does not say.  His house was kept by
his sister, who was present, of course, at the little luncheon party.
During the meal some question was asked, or some remark was made, to
which the clerical guest replied in English by a reference to "the
maid-servant in pink".

"There is no maid in pink," said the host, and he asked both his other
guests to corroborate him.

Both ladies, mother and daughter, were obliged to say that unless
their eyes deceived them, they certainly _had_ seen a girl in pink
attending on them, or, at least, moving about in the room.  To this
their entertainers earnestly replied that no such person was in their
establishment, that they had no woman servant but the elderly cook and
housekeeper, then present, who was neither a girl nor in pink.  After
luncheon the guests were taken all over the house, to convince them of
the absence of the young woman whom they had seen, and assuredly there
was no trace of her.

On returning to the town where they reside, they casually mentioned
the circumstance as a curious illusion.  The person to whom they spoke
said, with some interest, "Don't you know that a girl is said to have
been murdered in that house before your friends took it, and that she
is reported to be occasionally seen, dressed in pink?"

They had heard of no such matter, but the story seemed to be pretty
generally known, though naturally disliked by the occupant of the
house.  As for the percipients, they each and all remain firm in the
belief that, till convinced of the impossibility of her presence, they
were certain they had seen a girl in pink, and rather a pretty girl,
whose appearance suggested nothing out of the common.  An obvious
hypothesis is discounted, of course, by the presence of the sister of
the young gentleman who farmed the estate and occupied the house.

Here is another case, mild but pertinacious.


The author's friend, Mr. Rokeby, lives, and has lived for some twenty
years, in an old house at Hammersmith.  It is surrounded by a large
garden, the drawing-room and dining-room are on the right and left of
the entrance from the garden, on the ground floor.  My friends had
never been troubled by any phenomena before, and never expected to be.
However, they found the house "noisy," the windows were apt to be
violently shaken at night and steps used to be heard where no steps
should be.  Deep long sighs were audible at all times of day.  As Mrs.
Rokeby approached a door, the handle would turn and the door fly open.
{196}  Sounds of stitching a hard material, and of dragging a heavy
weight occurred in Mrs. Rokeby's room, and her hair used to be pulled
in a manner for which she could not account.  "These sorts of things
went on for about five years, when in October, 1875, about three
o'clock in the afternoon, I was sitting" (says Mrs. Rokeby) "with
three of my children in the dining-room, reading to them.  I rang the
bell for the parlour-maid, when the door opened, and on looking up I
saw the figure of a woman come in and walk up to the side of the
table, stand there a second or two, and then turn to go out again, but
before reaching the door she seemed to dissolve away.  She was a grey,
short-looking woman, apparently dressed in grey muslin.  I hardly saw
the face, which seemed scarcely to be defined at all.  None of the
children saw her," and Mrs. Rokeby only mentioned the affair at the
time to her husband.

Two servants, in the next two months, saw the same figure, alike in
dress at least, in other rooms both by daylight and candle light.
They had not heard of Mrs. Rokeby's experience, were accustomed to the
noises, and were in good health.  One of them was frightened, and left
her place.

A brilliant light in a dark room, an icy wind and a feeling of being
"watched" were other discomforts in Mrs. Rokeby's lot.  After 1876,
only occasional rappings were heard, till Mr. Rokeby being absent one
night in 1883, the noises broke out, "banging, thumping, the whole
place shaking".  The library was the centre of these exercises, and
the dog, a fine collie, was shut up in the library.  Mrs. Rokeby left
her room for her daughter's, while the dog whined in terror, and the
noises increased in violence.  Next day the dog, when let out, rushed
forth with enthusiasm, but crouched with his tail between his legs
when invited to re-enter.

This was in 1883.  Several years after, Mr. Rokeby was smoking, alone,
in the dining-room early in the evening, when the dog began to bristle
up his hair, and bark.  Mr. Rokeby looked up and saw the woman in
grey, with about half her figure passed through the slightly open
door.  He ran to the door, but she was gone, and the servants were
engaged in their usual business. {198a}

Our next ghost offered many opportunities to observers.


A ghost in a haunted house is seldom observed with anything like
scientific precision.  The spectre in the following narrative could
not be photographed, attempts being usually made in a light which
required prolonged exposure.  Efforts to touch it were failures, nor
did it speak.  On the other hand, it did lend itself, perhaps
unconsciously, to one scientific experiment.  The story is unromantic;
the names are fictitious. {198b}

Bognor House, an eligible family residence near a large town, was
built in 1860, and occupied, till his death in 1876, by Mr. S.  He was
twice married, and was not of temperate ways.  His second wife adopted
his habits, left him shortly before his death, and died at Clifton in
1878.  The pair used to quarrel about some jewels which Mr. S.
concealed in the flooring of a room where the ghost was never seen.

A Mr L. now took the house, but died six months later.  Bognor House
stood empty for four years, during which there was vague talk of
hauntings.  In April, 1882, the house was taken by Captain Morton.
This was in April; in June Miss Rose Morton, a lady of nineteen
studying medicine (and wearing spectacles), saw the first appearance.
Miss Morton did not mention her experiences to her family, her mother
being an invalid, and her brothers and sisters very young, but she
transmitted accounts to a friend, a lady, in a kind of diary letters.
These are extant, and are quoted.

Phenomena of this kind usually begin with noises, and go on to
apparitions.  Miss Morton one night, while preparing to go to bed,
heard a noise outside, thought it was her mother, opened the door, saw
a tall lady in black holding a handkerchief to her face, and followed
the figure till her candle burned out.  A widow's white cuff was
visible on each wrist, the whole of the face was never seen.  In 1882-
84, Miss Morton saw the figure about six times; it was thrice seen,
once through the window from outside, by other persons, who took it
for a living being.  Two boys playing in the garden ran in to ask who
was the weeping lady in black.

On 29th January, 1884, Miss Morton spoke to her inmate, as the lady in
black stood beside a sofa.  "She only gave a slight gasp and moved
towards the door.  Just by the door I spoke to her again, but she
seemed as if she were quite unable to speak." {199}  In May and June
Miss Morton fastened strings at different heights from the stair
railings to the wall, where she attached them with glue, but she twice
saw the lady pass through the cords, leaving them untouched.  When
Miss Morton cornered the figure and tried to touch her, or pounce on
her, she dodged, or disappeared.  But by a curious contradiction her
steps were often heard by several of the family, and when she heard
the steps, Miss Morton used to go out and follow the figure.  There is
really no more to tell.  Miss Morton's father never saw the lady, even
when she sat on a sofa for half an hour, Miss Morton watching her.
Other people saw her in the garden crying, and sent messages to ask
what was the matter, and who was the lady in distress.  Many members
of the family, boys, girls, married ladies, servants and others often
saw the lady in black.  In 1885 loud noises, bumps and turning of door
handles were common, and though the servants were told that the lady
was quite harmless, they did not always stay.  The whole establishment
of servants was gradually changed, but the lady still walked.  She
appeared more seldom in 1887-1889, and by 1892 even the light
footsteps ceased.  Two dogs, a retriever and a Skye terrier, showed
much alarm.  "Twice," says Miss Morton, "I saw the terrier suddenly
run up to the mat at the foot of the stairs in the hall, wagging its
tail, and moving its back in the way dogs do when they expect to be
caressed.  It jumped up, fawning as it would do if a person had been
standing there, but suddenly slunk away with its tail between its
legs, and retreated, trembling, under a sofa."  Miss Morton's own
emotion, at first, was "a feeling of awe at something unknown, mixed
with a strong desire to know more about it". {200}

This is a pretty tame case of haunting, as was conjectured, by an
unhappy revenant, the returned spirit of the second Mrs. S.  Here it
may be remarked that apparitions in haunted houses are very seldom
recognised as those of dead persons, and, when recognised, the
recognition is usually dubious.  Thus, in February, 1897, Lieutenant
Carr Glyn, of the Grenadiers, while reading in the outer room of the
Queen's Library in Windsor, saw a lady in black in a kind of mantilla
of black lace pass from the inner room into a corner where she was
lost to view.  He supposed that she had gone out by a door there, and
asked an attendant later who she was.  There was no door round the
corner, and, in the opinion of some, the lady was Queen Elizabeth!
She has a traditional habit, it seems, of haunting the Library.  But
surely, of all people, in dress and aspect Queen Elizabeth is most
easily recognised.  The seer did not recognise her, and she was
probably a mere casual hallucination.  In old houses such traditions
are common, but vague.  In this connection Glamis is usually
mentioned.  Every one has heard of the Secret Chamber, with its
mystery, and the story was known to Scott, who introduces it in The
Betrothed.  But we know when the Secret Chamber was built (under the
Restoration), who built it, what he paid the masons, and where it is:
under the Charter Room. {201}  These cold facts rather take the
"weird" effect off the Glamis legend.

The usual process is, given an old house, first a noise, then a
hallucination, actual or pretended, then a myth to account for the
hallucination.  There is a castle on the border which has at least
seven or eight distinct ghosts.  One is the famous Radiant Boy.  He
has been evicted by turning his tapestried chamber into the smoking-
room.  For many years not one ghost has been seen except the lady with
the candle, viewed by myself, but, being ignorant of the story, I
thought she was one of the maids.  Perhaps she was, but she went into
an empty set of rooms, and did not come out again.  Footsteps are apt
to approach the doors of these rooms in mirk midnight, the door handle
turns, and that is all.

So much for supposed hauntings by spirits of the dead.

At the opposite pole are hauntings by agencies whom nobody supposes to
be ghosts of inmates of the house.  The following is an extreme
example, as the haunter proceeded to arson.  This is not so very
unusual, and, if managed by an impostor, shows insane malevolence.


On 16th November, 1870, Mr. Shchapoff, a Russian squire, the narrator,
came home from a visit to a country town, Iletski, and found his
family in some disarray.  There lived with him his mother and his
wife's mother, ladies of about sixty-nine, his wife, aged twenty, and
his baby daughter.  The ladies had been a good deal disturbed.  On the
night of the 14th, the baby was fractious, and the cook, Maria, danced
and played the harmonica to divert her.  The baby fell asleep, the
wife and Mr. Shchapoff's miller's lady were engaged in conversation,
when a shadow crossed the blind on the outside.  They were about to go
out and see who was passing, when they heard a double shuffle being
executed with energy in the loft overhead.  They thought Maria, the
cook, was making a night of it, but found her asleep in the kitchen.
The dancing went on but nobody could be found in the loft.  Then raps
began on the window panes, and so the miller and gardener patrolled
outside.  Nobody!

Raps and dancing lasted through most of the night and began again at
ten in the morning.  The ladies were incommoded and complained of
broken sleep.  Mr. Shchapoff, hearing all this, examined the miller,
who admitted the facts, but attributed them to a pigeon's nest, which
he had found under the cornice.  Satisfied with this rather elementary
hypothesis, Mr. Shchapoff sat down to read Livingstone's African
Travels.  Presently the double shuffle sounded in the loft.  Mrs.
Shchapoff was asleep in her bedroom, but was awakened by loud raps.
The window was tapped at, deafening thumps were dealt at the outer
wall, and the whole house thrilled.  Mr. Shchapoff rushed out with
dogs and a gun, there were no footsteps in the snow, the air was
still, the full moon rode in a serene sky.  Mr. Shchapoff came back,
and the double shuffle was sounding merrily in the empty loft.  Next
day was no better, but the noises abated and ceased gradually.

Alas, Mr. Shchapoff could not leave well alone.  On 20th December, to
amuse a friend, he asked Maria to dance and play.  Raps, in tune,
began on the window panes.  Next night they returned, while boots,
slippers, and other objects, flew about with a hissing noise.  A piece
of stuff would fly up and fall with a heavy hard thud, while hard
bodies fell soundless as a feather.  The performances slowly died

On Old Year's Night Maria danced to please them; raps began, people
watching on either side of a wall heard the raps on the other side.
On 8th January, Mrs. Shchapoff fainted when a large, luminous ball
floated, increasing in size, from under her bed.  The raps now
followed her about by day, as in the case of John Wesley's sisters.
On these occasions she felt weak and somnolent.  Finally Mr. Shchapoff
carried his family to his town house for much-needed change of air.

Science, in the form of Dr. Shustoff, now hinted that electricity or
magnetic force was at the bottom of the annoyances, a great comfort to
the household, who conceived that the devil was concerned.  The doctor
accompanied his friends to their country house for a night, Maria was
invited to oblige with a dance, and only a few taps on windows
followed.  The family returned to town till 21st January.  No sooner
was Mrs. Shchapoff in bed than knives and forks came out of a closed
cupboard and flew about, occasionally sticking in the walls.

On 24th January the doctor abandoned the hypothesis of electricity,
because the noises kept time to profane but not to sacred music.  A
Tartar hymn by a Tartar servant, an Islamite, had no accompaniment,
but the Freischutz was warmly encored.

This went beyond the most intelligent spontaneous exercises of
electricity.  Questions were asked of the agencies, and to the
interrogation, "Are you a devil?" a most deafening knock replied.  "We
all jumped backwards."

Now comes a curious point.  In the Wesley and Tedworth cases, the
masters of the houses, like the cure of Cideville (1851), were at odds
with local "cunning men".

Mr. Shchapoff's fiend now averred that he was "set on" by the servant
of a neighbouring miller, with whom Mr. Shchapoff had a dispute about
a mill pond.  This man had previously said, "It will be worse; they
will drag you by the hair".  And, indeed, Mrs. Shchapoff was found in
tears, because her hair had been pulled. {205}

Science again intervened.  A section of the Imperial Geographical
Society sent Dr. Shustoff, Mr. Akutin (a Government civil engineer),
and a literary gentleman, as a committee of inquiry appointed by the
governor of the province.  They made a number of experiments with
Leyden jars, magnets, and so forth, with only negative results.
Things flew about, both _from_, and _towards_ Mrs. Shchapoff.  Nothing
volatile was ever seen to _begin_ its motion, though, in March, 1883,
objects were seen, by a policeman and six other witnesses, to fly up
from a bin and out of a closed cupboard, in a house at Worksop. {206}
Mr. Akutin, in Mrs. Shchapoff's bedroom, found the noises answer
questions in French and German, on contemporary politics, of which the
lady of the house knew nothing.  Lassalle was said to be alive, Mr.
Shchapoff remarked, "What nonsense!" but Mr. Akutin corrected him.
The bogey was better informed.  The success of the French in the great
war was predicted.

The family now moved to their town house, and the inquest continued,
though the raps were only heard near the lady.  A Dr. Dubinsky vowed
that she made them herself, with her tongue; then, with her pulse.
The doctor assailed, and finally shook the faith of Mr. Akutin, who
was to furnish a report.  "He bribed a servant boy to say that his
mistress made the sounds herself, and then pretended that he had
caught her trying to deceive us by throwing things."  Finally Mr.
Akutin reported that the whole affair was a hysterical imposition by
Mrs. Shchapoff.  Dr. Dubinsky attended her, her health and spirits
improved, and the disturbances ceased.  But poor Mr. Shchapoff
received an official warning not to do it again, from the governor of
his province.  That way lies Siberia.

"Imagine, then," exclaims Mr. Shchapoff, "our horror, when, on our
return to the country in March, the unknown force at once set to work
again.  And now even my wife's presence was not essential.  Thus, one
day, I saw with my own eyes a heavy sofa jump off all four legs (three
or four times in fact), and this when my aged mother was lying on it."
The same thing occurred to Nancy Wesley's bed, on which she was
sitting while playing cards in 1717.  The picture of a lady of
seventy, sitting tight to a bucking sofa, appeals to the brave.

Then the fire-raising began.  A blue spark flew out of a wash-stand,
into Mrs. Shchapoff's bedroom.  Luckily she was absent, and her
mother, rushing forward with a water-jug, extinguished a flaming
cotton dress.  Bright red globular meteors now danced in the veranda.
Mr. Portnoff next takes up the tale as follows, Mr. Shchapoff having
been absent from home on the occasion described.

"I was sitting playing the guitar.  The miller got up to leave, and
was followed by Mrs. Shchapoff.  Hardly had she shut the door, when I
heard, as though from far off, a deep drawn wail.  The voice seemed
familiar to me.  Overcome with an unaccountable horror I rushed to the
door, and there in the passage I saw a literal pillar of fire, in the
middle of which, draped in flame, stood Mrs. Shchapoff. . . . I rushed
to put it out with my hands, but I found it burned them badly, as if
they were sticking to burning pitch.  A sort of cracking noise came
from beneath the floor, which also shook and vibrated violently."  Mr.
Portnoff and the miller "carried off the unconscious victim".

Mr. Shchapoff also saw a small pink hand, like a child's, spring from
the floor, and play with Mrs. Shchapoff's coverlet, in bed.  These
things were too much; the Shchapoffs fled to a cottage, and took a new
country house.  They had no more disturbances.  Mrs. Shchapoff died in
child-bed, in 1878, "a healthy, religious, quiet, affectionate woman".

Modern Hauntings

The Shchapoff Story of a Peculiar Type.  "Demoniacal Possession."
Story of Wellington Mill briefly analysed.  Authorities for the Story.
Letters.  A Journal.  The Wesley Ghost.  Given Critically and Why.
Note on similar Stories, such as the Drummer of Tedworth.  Sir Waller
Scott's Scepticism about Nautical Evidence.  Lord St. Vincent.  Scott
asks Where are his Letters on a Ghostly Disturbance.  The Letters are
now Published.  Lord St. Vincent's Ghost Story.  Reflections.

Cases like that of Mrs. Shchapoff really belong to a peculiar species
of haunted houses.  Our ancestors, like the modern Chinese, attributed
them to diabolical possession, not to an ordinary ghost of a dead
person.  Examples are very numerous, and have all the same "symptoms,"
as Coleridge would have said, he attributing them to a contagious
nervous malady of observation in the spectators.  Among the most
notorious is the story of Willington Mill, told by Howitt, and
borrowed by Mrs. Crowe, in The Night Side of Nature.  Mr. Procter, the
occupant, a Quaker, vouched to Mrs. Crowe for the authenticity of
Howitt's version. (22nd July, 1847.)  Other letters from seers are
published, and the Society of Psychical Research lately printed Mr.
Procter's contemporary journal.  A man, a woman, and a monkey were the
chief apparitions.  There were noises, lights, beds were heaved about:
nothing was omitted.  A clairvoyante was turned on, but could only say
that the spectral figures, which she described, "had no brains".
After the Quakers left the house there seems to have been no more
trouble.  The affair lasted for fifteen years.

Familiar as it is, we now offer the old story of the hauntings at
Epworth, mainly because a full view of the inhabitants, the
extraordinary family of Wesley, seems necessary to an understanding of
the affair.  The famous and excessively superstitious John Wesley was
not present on the occasion.


No ghost story is more celebrated than that of Old Jeffrey, the spirit
so named by Emily Wesley, which disturbed the Rectory at Epworth,
chiefly in the December of 1716 and the spring of 1717.  Yet the
vagueness of the human mind has led many people, especially
journalists, to suppose that the haunted house was that, not of Samuel
Wesley, but of his son John Wesley, the founder of the Wesleyan
Methodists.  For the better intelligence of the tale, we must know who
the inmates of the Epworth Rectory were, and the nature of their
characters and pursuits.  The rector was the Rev. Samuel Wesley, born
in 1662, the son of a clergyman banished from his living on "Black
Bartholomew Day," 1666.  Though educated among Dissenters, Samuel
Wesley converted himself to the truth as it is in the Church of
England, became a "poor scholar" of Exeter College in Oxford,
supported himself mainly by hack-work in literature (he was one of the
editors of a penny paper called The Athenian Mercury, a sort of
Answers), married Miss Susanna Annesley, a lady of good family, in
1690-91, and in 1693 was presented to the Rectory of Epworth in
Lincolnshire by Mary, wife of William of Orange, to whom he had
dedicated a poem on the life of Christ.  The living was poor, Mr.
Wesley's family multiplied with amazing velocity, he was in debt, and
unpopular.  His cattle were maimed in 1705, and in 1703 his house was
burned down.  The Rectory House, of which a picture is given in
Clarke's Memoirs of the Wesleys, 1825, was built anew at his own
expense.  Mr. Wesley was in politics a strong Royalist, but having
seen James II. shake "his lean arm" at the Fellows of Magdalen
College, and threaten them "with the weight of a king's right hand,"
he conceived a prejudice against that monarch, and took the side of
the Prince of Orange.  His wife, a very pious woman and a strict
disciplinarian, was a Jacobite, would not say "amen" to the prayers
for "the king," and was therefore deserted by her husband for a year
or more in 1701-1702.  They came together again, however, on the
accession of Queen Anne.

Unpopular for his politics, hated by the Dissenters, and at odds with
the "cunning men," or local wizards against whom he had frequently
preached, Mr. Wesley was certainly apt to have tricks played on him by
his neighbours.  His house, though surrounded by a wall, a hedge, and
its own grounds, was within a few yards of the nearest dwelling in the
village street.

In 1716, when the disturbances began, Mr. Wesley's family consisted of
his wife; his eldest son, Sam, aged about twenty-three, and then
absent at his duties as an usher at Westminster; John, aged twelve, a
boy at Westminster School; Charles, a boy of eight, away from home,
and the girls, who were all at the parsonage.  They were Emily, about
twenty-two, Mary, Nancy and Sukey, probably about twenty-one, twenty
and nineteen, and Hetty, who may have been anything between nineteen
and twelve, but who comes after John in Dr. Clarke's list, and is
apparently reckoned among "the children". {212}  Then there was Patty,
who may have been only nine, and little Keziah.

All except Patty were very lively young people, and Hetty, afterwards
a copious poet, "was gay and sprightly, full of mirth, good-humour,
and keen wit.  She indulged this disposition so much that it was said
to have given great uneasiness to her parents."  The servants, Robin
Brown, Betty Massy and Nancy Marshall, were recent comers, but were
acquitted by Mrs. Wesley of any share in the mischief.  The family,
though, like other people of their date, they were inclined to believe
in witches and "warnings," were not especially superstitious, and
regarded the disturbances, first with some apprehension, then as a
joke, and finally as a bore.

The authorities for what occurred are, first, a statement and journal
by Mr. Wesley, then a series of letters of 1717 to Sam at Westminster
by his mother, Emily and Sukey, next a set of written statements made
by these and other witnesses to John Wesley in 1726, and last and
worst, a narrative composed many years after by John Wesley for The
Arminian Magazine.

The earliest document, by a few days, is the statement of Mr. Wesley,
written, with a brief journal, between 21st December, 1716, and 1st
January, 1717.  Comparing this with Mrs. Wesley's letter to Sam of
12th January, 1716 and Sukey's letter of 24th January, we learn that
the family for some weeks after 1st December had been "in the greatest
panic imaginable," supposing that Sam, Jack, or Charlie (who must also
have been absent from home) was dead, "or by some misfortune killed".
The reason for these apprehensions was that on the night of 1st
December the maid "heard at the dining-room door several dreadful
groans, like a person in extremes".  They laughed at her, but for the
whole of December "the groans, squeaks, tinglings and knockings were
frightful enough".  The rest of the family (Mr. Wesley always
excepted) "heard a strange knocking in divers places," chiefly in the
green room, or nursery, where (apparently) Hetty, Patty and Keziah
lay.  Emily heard the noises later than some of her sisters, perhaps a
week after the original groans.  She was locking up the house about
ten o'clock when a sound came like the smashing and splintering of a
huge piece of coal on the kitchen floor.  She and Sukey went through
the rooms on the ground floor, but found the dog asleep, the cat at
the other end of the house, and everything in order.  From her bedroom
Emily heard a noise of breaking the empty bottles under the stairs,
but was going to bed, when Hetty, who had been sitting on the lowest
step of the garret stairs beside the nursery door, waiting for her
father, was chased into the nursery by a sound as of a man passing her
in a loose trailing gown.  Sukey and Nancy were alarmed by loud knocks
on the outside of the dining-room door and overhead.  All this time
Mr. Wesley heard nothing, and was not even told that anything unusual
was heard.  Mrs. Wesley at first held her peace lest he should think
it "according to the vulgar opinion, a warning against his own death,
which, indeed, we all apprehended".  Mr. Wesley only smiled when he
was informed; but, by taking care to see all the girls safe in bed,
sufficiently showed his opinion that the young ladies and their lovers
were the ghost.  Mrs. Wesley then fell back on the theory of rats, and
employed a man to blow a horn as a remedy against these vermin.  But
this measure only aroused the emulation of the sprite, whom Emily
began to call "Jeffrey".

Not till 21st December did Mr. Wesley hear anything, then came
thumpings on his bedroom wall.  Unable to discover the cause, he
procured a stout mastiff, which soon became demoralised by his
experiences.  On the morning of the 24th, about seven o'clock, Emily
led Mrs. Wesley into the nursery, where she heard knocks on and under
the bedstead; these sounds replied when she knocked.  Something "like
a badger, with no head," says Emily; Mrs. Wesley only says, "like a
badger," ran from under the bed.  On the night of the 25th there was
an appalling vacarme.  Mr. and Mrs. Wesley went on a tour of
inspection, but only found the mastiff whining in terror.  "We still
heard it rattle and thunder in every room above or behind us, locked
as well as open, except my study, where as yet it never came."  On the
night of the 26th Mr. Wesley seems to have heard of a phenomenon
already familiar to Emily--"something like the quick winding up of a
jack, at the corner of the room by my bed head".  This was always
followed by knocks, "hollow and loud, such as none of us could ever
imitate".  Mr. Wesley went into the nursery, Hetty, Kezzy and Patty
were asleep.  The knocks were loud, beneath and in the room, so Mr.
Wesley went below to the kitchen, struck with his stick against the
rafters, and was answered "as often and as loud as I knocked".  The
peculiar knock which was his own, 1-23456-7, was not successfully
echoed at that time.  Mr. Wesley then returned to the nursery, which
was as tapageuse as ever.  The children, three, were trembling in
their sleep.  Mr. Wesley invited the agency to an interview in his
study, was answered by one knock outside, "all the rest were within,"
and then came silence.  Investigations outside produced no result, but
the latch of the door would rise and fall, and the door itself was
pushed violently back against investigators.

"I have been with Hetty," says Emily, "when it has knocked under her,
and when she has removed has followed her," and it knocked under
little Kezzy, when "she stamped with her foot, pretending to scare

Mr. Wesley had requested an interview in his study, especially as the
Jacobite goblin routed loudly "over our heads constantly, when we came
to the prayers for King George and the prince".  In his study the
agency pushed Mr. Wesley about, bumping him against the corner of his
desk, and against his door.  He would ask for a conversation, but
heard only "two or three feeble squeaks, a little louder than the
chirping of a bird, but not like the noise of rats, which I have often

Mr. Wesley had meant to leave home for a visit on Friday, 28th
December, but the noises of the 27th were so loud that he stayed at
home, inviting the Rev. Mr. Hoole, of Haxey, to view the performances.
"The noises were very boisterous and disturbing this night."  Mr.
Hoole says (in 1726, confirmed by Mrs. Wesley, 12th January, 1717)
that there were sounds of feet, trailing gowns, raps, and a noise as
of planing boards:  the disturbance finally went outside the house and
died away.  Mr. Wesley seems to have paid his visit on the 30th, and
notes, "1st January, 1717.  My family have had no disturbance since I
went away."

To judge by Mr. Wesley's letter to Sam, of 12th January, there was no
trouble between the 29th of December and that date.  On the 19th of
January, and the 30th of the same month, Sam wrote, full of curiosity,
to his father and mother.  Mrs. Wesley replied (25th or 27th January),
saying that no explanation could be discovered, but "it commonly was
nearer Hetty than the rest".  On 24th January, Sukey said "it is now
pretty quiet, but still knocks at prayers for the king."  On 11th
February, Mr. Wesley, much bored by Sam's inquiries, says, "we are all
now quiet. . . .  It would make a glorious penny book for Jack
Dunton," his brother-in-law, a publisher of popular literature, such
as the Athenian Mercury.  Emily (no date) explains the phenomena as
the revenge for her father's recent sermons "against consulting those
that are called cunning men, which our people are given to, and _it
had a particular spite at my father_".

The disturbances by no means ended in the beginning of January, nor at
other dates when a brief cessation made the Wesleys hope that Jeffrey
had returned to his own place.  Thus on 27th March, Sukey writes to
Sam, remarking that as Hetty and Emily are also writing "so
particularly," she need not say much.  "One thing I believe you do not
know, that is, last Sunday, to my father's no small amazement, his
trencher danced upon the table a pretty while, without anybody's
stirring the table. . . .  Send me some news for we are excluded from
the sight or hearing of any versal thing, except Jeffery."

The last mention of the affair, at this time, is in a letter from
Emily, of 1st April, to a Mr. Berry.

"Tell my brother the sprite was with us last night, and heard by many
of our family."  There are no other contemporary letters preserved,
but we may note Mrs. Wesley's opinion (25th January) that it was
"beyond the power of any human being to make such strange and various

The next evidence is ten years after date, the statements taken down
by Jack Wesley in 1726 (1720?).  Mrs. Wesley adds to her former
account that she "earnestly desired it might not disturb her" (at her
devotions) "between five and six in the evening," and it did not rout
in her room at that time.  Emily added that a screen was knocked at on
each side as she went round to the other.  Sukey mentioned the noise
as, on one occasion, coming gradually from the garret stairs, outside
the nursery door, up to Hetty's bed, "who trembled strongly in her
sleep.  It then removed to the room overhead, where it knocked my
father's knock on the ground, as if it would beat the house down."
Nancy said that the noise used to follow her, or precede her, and once
a bed, on which she sat playing cards, was lifted up under her several
times to a considerable height.  Robin, the servant, gave evidence
that he was greatly plagued with all manner of noises and movements of

John Wesley, in his account published many years after date in his
Arminian Magazine, attributed the affair of 1716 to his father's
broken vow of deserting his mother till she recognised the Prince of
Orange as king!  He adds that the mastiff "used to tremble and creep
away before the noise began".

Some other peculiarities may be noted.  All persons did not always
hear the noises.  It was three weeks before Mr. Wesley heard anything.
"John and Kitty Maw, who lived over against us, listened several
nights in the time of the disturbance, but could never hear anything."
Again, "The first time my mother ever heard any unusual noise at
Epworth was long before the disturbance of old Jeffrey . . . the door
and windows jarred very loud, and presently several distinct strokes,
three by three, were struck.  From that night it never failed to give
notice in much the same manner, against any signal misfortune or
illness of any belonging to the family," writes Jack.

Once more, on 10th February, 1750, Emily (now Mrs. Harper) wrote to
her brother John, "that wonderful thing called by us Jeffery, how
certainly it calls on me against any extraordinary new affliction".

This is practically all the story of Old Jeffrey.  The explanations
have been, trickery by servants (Priestley), contagious hallucinations
(Coleridge), devilry (Southey), and trickery by Hetty Wesley (Dr.
Salmon, of Trinity College, Dublin).  Dr. Salmon points out that there
is no evidence from Hetty; that she was a lively, humorous girl, and
he conceives that she began to frighten the maids, and only
reluctantly exhibited before her father against whom, however, Jeffrey
developed "a particular spite".  He adds that certain circumstances
were peculiar to Hetty, which, in fact, is not the case.  The present
editor has examined Dr. Salmon's arguments in The Contemporary Review,
and shown reason, in the evidence, for acquitting Hetty Wesley, who
was never suspected by her family.

Trickery from without, by "the cunning men," is an explanation which,
at least, provides a motive, but how the thing could be managed from
without remains a mystery.  Sam Wesley, the friend of Pope, and
Atterbury, and Lord Oxford, not unjustly said:  "Wit, I fancy, might
find many interpretations, but wisdom none". {220}

As the Wesley tale is a very typical instance of a very large class,
our study of it may exempt us from printing the well-known parallel
case of "The Drummer of Tedworth".  Briefly, the house of Mr.
Mompesson, near Ludgarshal, in Wilts, was disturbed in the usual way,
for at least two years, from April, 1661, to April, 1663, or later.
The noises, and copious phenomena of moving objects apparently
untouched, were attributed to the unholy powers of a wandering
drummer, deprived by Mr. Mompesson of his drum.  A grand jury
presented the drummer for trial, on a charge of witchcraft, but the
petty jury would not convict, there being a want of evidence to prove
threats, malum minatum, by the drummer.  In 1662 the Rev. Joseph
Glanvil, F.R.S., visited the house, and, in the bedroom of Mr.
Mompesson's little girls, the chief sufferers, heard and saw much the
same phenomena as the elder Wesley describes in his own nursery.  The
"little modest girls" were aged about seven and eight.  Charles II.
sent some gentlemen to the house for one night, when nothing occurred,
the disturbances being intermittent.  Glanvil published his narrative
at the time, and Mr. Pepys found it "not very convincing".  Glanvil,
in consequence of his book, was so vexed by correspondents "that I
have been haunted almost as bad as Mr. Mompesson's house".  A report
that imposture had been discovered, and confessed by Mr. Mompesson,
was set afloat, by John Webster, in a well-known work, and may still
be found in modern books.  Glanvil denied it till he was "quite
tired," and Mompesson gave a formal denial in a letter dated Tedworth,
8th November, 1672.  He also, with many others, swore to the facts on
oath, in court, at the drummer's trial. {221}

In the Tedworth case, as at Epworth, and in the curious Cideville case
of 1851, a quarrel with "cunning men" preceded the disturbances.  In
Lord St. Vincent's case, which follows, nothing of the kind is
reported.  As an almost universal rule children, especially girls of
about twelve, are centres of the trouble; in the St. Vincent story,
the children alone were exempt from annoyance.


Sir Walter Scott, writing about the disturbances in the house occupied
by Mrs. Ricketts, sister of the great admiral, Lord St. Vincent, asks:
"Who has seen Lord St. Vincent's letters?"  He adds that the gallant
admiral, after all, was a sailor, and implies that "what the sailor
said" (if he said anything) "is not evidence".

The fact of unaccountable disturbances which finally drove Mrs.
Ricketts out of Hinton Ampner, is absolutely indisputable, though the
cause of the annoyances may remain as mysterious as ever.  The
contemporary correspondence (including that of Lord St. Vincent, then
Captain Jervis) exists, and has been edited by Mrs. Henley Jervis,
grand-daughter of Mrs. Ricketts. {222}

There is only the very vaguest evidence for hauntings at Lady
Hillsborough's old house of Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, before Mr.
Ricketts took it in January, 1765.  He and his wife were then
disturbed by footsteps, and sounds of doors opening and shutting.
They put new locks on the doors lest the villagers had procured keys,
but this proved of no avail.  The servants talked of seeing
appearances of a gentleman in drab and of a lady in silk, which Mrs.
Ricketts disregarded.  Her husband went to Jamaica in the autumn of
1769, and in 1771 she was so disturbed that her brother, Captain
Jervis, a witness of the phenomena, insisted on her leaving the house
in August.  He and Mrs. Ricketts then wrote to Mr. Ricketts about the
affair.  In July, 1772, Mrs. Ricketts wrote a long and solemn
description of her sufferings, to be given to her children.

We shall slightly abridge her statement, in which she mentions that
when she left Hinton she had not one of the servants who came thither
in her family, which "evinces the impossibility of a confederacy".
Her new, like her former servants, were satisfactory; Camis, her new
coachman, was of a yeoman house of 400 years' standing.  It will be
observed that Mrs. Ricketts was a good deal annoyed even _before_ 2nd
April, 1771, the day when she dates the beginning of the worst
disturbances.  She believed that the agency was human--a robber or a
practical joker--and but slowly and reluctantly became convinced that
the "exploded" notion of an abnormal force might be correct.  We learn
that while Captain Jervis was not informed of the sounds he never
heard them, and whereas Mrs. Ricketts heard violent noises after he
went to bed on the night of his vigil, he heard nothing.  "Several
instances occurred where very loud noises were heard by one or two
persons, when those equally near and in the same direction were not
sensible of the least impression." {223}

With this preface, Mrs. Ricketts may be allowed to tell her own tale.

"Sometime after Mr. Ricketts left me (autumn, 1769) I--then lying in
the bedroom over the kitchen--heard frequently the noise of some one
walking in the room within, and the rustling as of silk clothes
against the door that opened into my room, sometimes so loud, and of
such continuance as to break my rest.  Instant search being often
made, we never could discover any appearance of human or brute being.
Repeatedly disturbed in the same manner, I made it my constant
practice to search the room and closets within, and to secure the only
door on the inside. . . .  Yet this precaution did not preclude the
disturbance, which continued with little interruption."

Nobody, in short, could enter this room, except by passing through
that of Mrs. Ricketts, the door of which "was always made fast by a
drawn bolt".  Yet somebody kept rustling and walking in the inner
room, which somebody could never be found when sought for.

In summer, 1770, Mrs. Ricketts heard someone walk to the foot of her
bed in her own room, "the footsteps as distinct as ever I heard,
myself perfectly awake and collected".  Nobody could be discovered in
the chamber.  Mrs. Ricketts boldly clung to her room, and was only now
and then disturbed by "sounds of harmony," and heavy thumps, down
stairs.  After this, and early in 1771, she was "frequently sensible
of a hollow murmuring that seemed to possess the whole house:  it was
independent of wind, being equally heard on the calmest nights, and it
was a sound I had never been accustomed to hear".

On 27th February, 1771, a maid was alarmed by "groans and fluttering
round her bed":  she was "the sister of an eminent grocer in
Alresford".  On 2nd April, Mrs. Ricketts heard people walking in the
lobby, hunted for burglars, traced the sounds to a room whence their
was no outlet, and found nobody.  This kind of thing went on till Mrs.
Ricketts despaired of any natural explanation.  After mid-summer,
1771, the trouble increased, in broad daylight, and a shrill female
voice, answered by two male voices was added to the afflictions.
Captain Jervis came on a visit, but was told of nothing, and never
heard anything.  After he went to Portsmouth, "the most deep, loud
tremendous noise seemed to rush and fall with infinite velocity and
force on the lobby floor adjoining my room," accompanied by a shrill
and dreadful shriek, seeming to proceed from under the spot where the
rushing noise fell, and repeated three or four times.

Mrs. Ricketts' "resolution remained firm," but her health was
impaired; she tried changing her room, without results.  The
disturbances pursued her.  Her brother now returned.  She told him
nothing, and he heard nothing, but next day she unbosomed herself.
Captain Jervis therefore sat up with Captain Luttrell and his own man.
He was rewarded by noises which he in vain tried to pursue.  "I should
do great injustice to my sister" (he writes to Mr. Ricketts on 9th
August, 1771), "if I did not acknowledge to have heard what I could
not, after the most diligent search and serious reflection, any way
account for."  Captain Jervis during a whole week slept by day, and
watched, armed, by night.  Even by day he was disturbed by a sound as
of immense weights falling from the ceiling to the floor of his room.
He finally obliged his sister to leave the house.

What occurred after Mrs. Ricketts abandoned Hinton is not very
distinct.  Apparently Captain Jervis's second stay of a week, when he
did hear the noises, was from 1st August to 8th August.  From a
statement by Mrs. Ricketts it appears that, when her brother joined
his ship, the Alarm (9th August), she retired to Dame Camis's house,
that of her coachman's mother.  Thence she went, and made another
attempt to live at Hinton, but was "soon after assailed by a noise I
never before heard, very near me, and the terror I felt not to be
described".  She therefore went to the Newbolts, and thence to the old
Palace at Winton; later, on Mr. Ricketts' return, to the Parsonage,
and then to Longwood (to the _old_ house there) near Alresford.

Meanwhile, on 18th September, Lady Hillsborough's agent lay with armed
men at Hinton, and, making no discovery, offered 50 pounds (increased
by Mr. Ricketts to 100 pounds) for the apprehension of the persons who
caused the noises.  The reward was never claimed.  On 8th March, 1772,
Camis wrote:  "I am very sorry that we cannot find out the reason of
the noise"; at other dates he mentions sporadic noises heard by his
mother and another woman, including "the murmur".  A year after Mrs.
Ricketts left a family named Lawrence took the house, and, according
to old Lucy Camis, in 1818, Mr. Lawrence very properly threatened to
dismiss any servant who spoke of the disturbances.  The result of this
sensible course was that the Lawrences left suddenly, at the end of
the year--and the house was pulled down.  Some old political papers of
the Great Rebellion, and a monkey's skull, not exhibited to any
anatomist, are said to have been discovered under the floor of the
lobby, or of one of the rooms.  Mrs. Ricketts adds sadly, "The
unbelief of Chancellor Hoadley went nearest my heart," as he had
previously a high opinion of her veracity.  The Bishop of St. Asaph
was incredulous, "on the ground that such means were unworthy of the
Deity to employ".

Probably a modern bishop would say that there were no noises at all,
that every one who heard the sounds was under the influence of
"suggestion," caused first in Mrs. Ricketts' own mind by vague tales
of a gentleman in drab seen by the servants.

The contagion, to be sure, also reached two distinguished captains in
the navy, but not till one of them was told about disturbances which
had not previously disturbed him.  If this explanation be true, it
casts an unusual light on the human imagination.  Physical science has
lately invented a new theory.  Disturbances of this kind are perhaps
"seismic,"--caused by earthquakes!  (See Professor Milne, in The
Times, 21st June, 1897.)


A Question for Physicians.  Professor William James's Opinion.
Hysterical Disease?  Little Hands.  Domestic Arson.  The Wem Case.
"The Saucepan began it."  The Nurse-maid.  Boots Fly Off.
Investigation.  Emma's Partial Confession.  Corroborative Evidence.
Question of Disease Repeated.  Chinese Cases.  Haunted Mrs. Chang.
Mr. Niu's Female Slave.  The Great Amherst Mystery.  Run as a Show.
Failure.  Later Miracles.  The Fire-raiser Arrested.  Parallels.  A
Highland Case.  A Hero of the Forty-Five.  Donald na Bocan.  Donald's
Hymn.  Icelandic Cases.  The Devil of Hjalta-stad.  The Ghost at


A physician, as we have seen, got the better of the demon in Mrs.
Shchapoff's case, at least while the lady was under his care.  Really
these disturbances appear to demand the attention of medical men.  If
the whole phenomena are caused by imposture, the actors, or actresses,
display a wonderful similarity of symptoms and an alarming taste for
fire-raising.  Professor William James, the well-known psychologist,
mentions ten cases whose resemblances "suggest a natural type," and we
ask, is it a type of hysterical disease? {229}  He chooses, among
others, an instance in Dr. Nevius's book on Demon Possession in China,
and there is another in Peru.  He also mentions The Great Amherst
Mystery, which we give, and the Rerrick case in Scotland (1696),
related by Telfer, who prints, on his margins, the names of the
attesting witnesses of each event, lairds, clergymen, and farmers.  At
Rerrick, as in Russia, the _little hand_ was seen by Telfer himself,
and the fire-raising was endless.  At Amherst too, as in a pair of
recent Russian cases and others, there was plenty of fire-raising.  By
a lucky chance an English case occurred at Wem, in Shropshire, in
November, 1883.  It began at a farm called the Woods, some ten miles
from Shrewsbury.  First a saucepan full of eggs "jumped" off the fire
in the kitchen, and the tea-things, leaping from the table, were
broken.  Cinders "were thrown out of the fire," and set some clothes
in a blaze.  A globe leaped off a lamp.  A farmer, Mr. Lea, saw all
the windows of the upper story "as it were on fire," but it was no
such matter.  The nurse-maid ran out in a fright, to a neighbour's,
and her dress spontaneously combusted as she ran.  The people
attributed these and similar events, to something in the coal, or in
the air, or to electricity.  When the nurse-girl, Emma Davies, sat on
the lap of the school mistress, Miss Maddox, her boots kept flying
off, like the boot laces in The Daemon of Spraiton.

All this was printed in the London papers, and, on 15th November, The
Daily Telegraph and Daily News published Emma's confession that she
wrought by sleight of hand and foot.  On 17th November, Mr. Hughes
went from Cambridge to investigate.  For some reason investigation
never begins till the fun is over.  On the 9th the girl, now in a very
nervous state (no wonder!) had been put under the care of a Dr.
Mackey.  This gentleman and Miss Turner said that things had occurred
since Emma came, for which they could not account.  On 13th November,
however, Miss Turner, looking out of a window, spotted Emma throwing a
brick, and pretending that the flight of the brick was automatic.
Next day Emma confessed to her tricks, but steadfastly denied that she
had cheated at Woods Farm, and Weston Lullingfield, where she had also
been.  Her evidence to this effect was so far confirmed by Mrs.
Hampson of Woods Farm, and her servant, Priscilla Evans, when examined
by Mr. Hughes.  Both were "quite certain" that they saw crockery rise
by itself into air off the kitchen table, when Emma was at a
neighbouring farm, Mr. Lea's.  Priscilla also saw crockery come out of
a cupboard, in detachments, and fly between her and Emma, usually in a
slanting direction, while Emma stood by with her arms folded.  Yet
Priscilla was not on good terms with Emma.  Unless, then, Mrs. Hampson
and Priscilla fabled, it is difficult to see how Emma could move
objects when she was "standing at some considerable distance,
standing, in fact, in quite another farm".

Similar evidence was given and signed by Miss Maddox, the
schoolmistress, and Mr. and Mrs. Lea.  On the other hand Mrs. Hampson
and Priscilla believed that Emma managed the fire-raising herself.
The flames were "very high and white, and the articles were very
little singed".  This occurred also at Rerrick, in 1696, but Mr.
Hughes attributes it to Emma's use of paraffin, which does not apply
to the Rerrick case.  Paraffin smells a good deal--nothing is said
about a smell of paraffin.

Only one thing is certain:  Emma was at last caught in a cheat.  This
discredits her, but a man who cheats at cards _may_ hold a good hand
by accident.  In the same way, if such wonders can happen (as so much
world-wide evidence declares), they _may_ have happened at Woods Farm,
and Emma, "in a very nervous state," _may_ have feigned then, or
rather did feign them later.

The question for the medical faculty is:  Does a decided taste for
wilful fire-raising often accompany exhibitions of dancing furniture
and crockery, gratuitously given by patients of hysterical
temperament?  This is quite a normal inquiry.  Is there a nervous
malady of which the symptoms are domestic arson, and amateur leger-de-
main?  The complaint, if it exists, is of very old standing and wide
prevalence, including Russia, Scotland, New England, France, Iceland,
Germany, China and Peru.

As a proof of the identity of symptoms in this malady, we give a
Chinese case.  The Chinese, as to diabolical possession, are precisely
of the same opinion as the inspired authors of the Gospels.  People
are "possessed," and, like the woman having a spirit of divination in
the Acts of the Apostles, make a good thing out of it.  Thus Mrs. Ku
was approached by a native Christian.  She became rigid and her demon,
speaking through her, acknowledged the Catholic verity, and said that
if Mrs. Ku were converted he would have to leave.  On recovering her
everyday consciousness, Mrs. Ku asked what Tsehwa, her demon, had
said.  The Christian told her, and perhaps she would have deserted her
erroneous courses, but her fellow-villagers implored her to pay homage
to the demon.  They were in the habit of resorting to it for medical
advice (as people do to Mrs. Piper's demon in the United States), so
Mrs. Ku decided to remain in the business. {232}  The parallel to the
case in the Acts is interesting.


Mr. Chang, of that ilk (Chang Chang Tien-ts), was a man of fifty-
seven, and a graduate in letters.  The ladies of his family having
accommodated a demon with a shrine in his house, Mr. Chang said he
"would have none of that nonsense".  The spirit then entered into Mrs.
Chang, and the usual fire-raising began all over the place.  The
furniture and crockery danced in the familiar way, and objects took to
disappearing mysteriously, even when secured under lock and key.  Mr.
Chang was as unlucky as Mr. Chin.  At _his_ house "doors would open of
their own accord, footfalls were heard, as of persons walking in the
house, although no one could be seen.  Plates, bowls and the teapot
would suddenly rise from the table into the air." {233a}

Mrs. Chang now tried the off chance of there being something in
Christianity, stayed with a native Christian (the narrator), and felt
much better.  She could enjoy her meals, and was quite a new woman.
As her friend could not go home with her, Mrs. Fung, a native
Christian, resided for a while at Mr. Chang's; "comparative quiet was
restored," and Mrs. Fung retired to her family.

The symptoms returned; the native Christian was sent for, and found
Mr. Chang's establishment full of buckets of water for extinguishing
the sudden fires.  Mrs. Chang's daughter-in-law was now possessed, and
"drank wine in large quantities, though ordinarily she would not touch
it".  She was staring and tossing her arms wildly; a service was held,
and she soon became her usual self.

In the afternoon, when the devils went out of the ladies, the fowls
flew into a state of wild excitement, while the swine rushed furiously
about and tried to climb a wall.

The family have become Christians, the fires have ceased; Mr. Chang is
an earnest inquirer, but opposed, for obvious reasons, to any public
profession of our religion. {233b}

In Mr. Niu's case "strange noises and rappings were frequently heard
about the house.  The buildings were also set on fire in different
places in some mysterious way."  The Christians tried to convert Mr.
Niu, but as the devil now possessed his female slave, whose success in
fortune-telling was extremely lucrative, Mr. Niu said that he
preferred to leave well alone, and remained wedded to his idols. {234}

We next offer a recent colonial case, in which the symptoms, as Mr.
Pecksniff said, were "chronic".


On 13th February, 1888, Mr. Walter Hubbell, an actor by profession,
"being duly sworn" before a Notary Public in New York, testified to
the following story:--

In 1879 he was acting with a strolling company, and came to Amherst,
in Nova Scotia.  Here he heard of a haunted house, known to the local
newspapers as "The Great Amherst Mystery".  Having previously
succeeded in exposing the frauds of spiritualism Mr. Hubbell
determined to investigate the affair of Amherst.  The haunted house
was inhabited by Daniel Teed, the respected foreman in a large shoe
factory.  Under his roof were Mrs. Teed, "as good a woman as ever
lived"; little Willie, a baby boy; and Mrs. Teed's two sisters,
Jennie, a very pretty girl, and Esther, remarkable for large grey
eyes, pretty little hands and feet, and candour of expression.  A
brother of Teed's and a brother of Mrs. Cox made up the family.  They
were well off, and lived comfortably in a detached cottage of two
storys.  It began when Jennie and Esther were in bed one night.
Esther jumped up, saying that there was a mouse in the bed.  Next
night, a green band-box began to make a rustling noise, and then rose
a foot in the air, several times.  On the following night Esther felt
unwell, and "was a swelling wisibly before the werry eyes" of her
alarmed family.  Reports like thunder peeled through her chamber,
under a serene sky.  Next day Esther could only eat "a small piece of
bread and butter, and a large green pickle".  She recovered slightly,
in spite of the pickle, but, four nights later, all her and her
sister's bed-clothes flew off, and settled down in a remote corner.
At Jennie's screams, the family rushed in, and found Esther "fearfully
swollen".  Mrs. Teed replaced the bed-clothes, which flew off again,
the pillow striking John Teed in the face.  Mr. Teed then left the
room, observing, in a somewhat unscientific spirit, that "he had had
enough of it".  The others, with a kindness which did them credit, sat
on the edges of the bed, and repressed the desire of the sheets and
blankets to fly away.  The bed, however, sent forth peels like
thunder, when Esther suddenly fell into a peaceful sleep.

Next evening Dr. Carritte arrived, and the bolster flew at his head,
_and then went back again under Esther's_.  While paralysed by this
phenomenon, unprecedented in his practice, the doctor heard a metal
point scribbling on the wall.  Examining the place whence the sound
proceeded, he discovered this inscription:--

Esther Cox!  You are mine
to kill.

Mr. Hubbell has verified the inscription, and often, later, recognised
the hand, in writings which "came out of the air and fell at our
feet".  Bits of plaster now gyrated in the room, accompanied by peels
of local thunder.  The doctor admitted that his diagnosis was at
fault.  Next day he visited his patient when potatoes flew at him.  He
exhibited a powerful sedative, but pounding noises began on the roofs
and were audible at a distance of 200 yards, as the doctor himself
told Mr. Hubbell.

The clergy now investigated the circumstances, which they attributed
to electricity.  "Even the most exclusive class" frequented Mr. Teed's
house, till December, when Esther had an attack of diphtheria.  On
recovering she went on to visit friends in Sackville, New Brunswick,
where nothing unusual occurred.  On her return the phenomena broke
forth afresh, and Esther heard a voice proclaim that the house would
be set on fire.  Lighted matches then fell from the ceiling, but the
family extinguished them.  The ghost then set a dress on fire,
apparently as by spontaneous combustion, and this kind of thing
continued.  The heads of the local fire-brigade suspected Esther of
these attempts at arson, and Dr. Nathan Tupper suggested that she
should be flogged.  So Mr. Teed removed Esther to the house of a Mr.

In about a month "all," as Mrs. Nickleby's lover said, "was gas and
gaiters".  The furniture either flew about, or broke into flames.
Worse, certain pieces of iron placed as an experiment on Esther's lap
"became too hot to be handled with comfort," and then flew away.

Mr. Hubbell himself now came on the scene, and, not detecting
imposture, thought that "there was money in it".  He determined to
"run" Esther as a powerful attraction, he lecturing, and Esther
sitting on the platform.

It did not pay.  The audience hurled things at Mr. Hubbell, and these
were the only volatile objects.  Mr. Hubbell therefore brought Esther
back to her family at Amherst, where, in Esther's absence, his
umbrella and a large carving knife flew at him with every appearance
of malevolence.  A great arm-chair next charged at him like a bull,
and to say that Mr. Hubbell was awed "would indeed seem an inadequate
expression of my feelings".  The ghosts then thrice undressed little
Willie in public, in derision of his tears and outcries.  Fire-raising
followed, and that would be a hard heart which could read the tale
unmoved.  Here it is, in the simple eloquence of Mr. Hubbell:--

"This was my first experience with Bob, the demon, as a fire-fiend;
and I say, candidly, that until I had had that experience I never
fully realised what an awful calamity it was to have an invisible
monster, somewhere within the atmosphere, going from place to place
about the house, gathering up old newspapers into a bundle and hiding
it in the basket of soiled linen or in a closet, then go and steal
matches out of the match-box in the kitchen or somebody's pocket, as
he did out of mine, and after kindling a fire in the bundle, tell
Esther that he had started a fire, but would not tell where; or
perhaps not tell her at all, in which case the first intimation we
would have was the smell of the smoke pouring through the house, and
then the most intense excitement, everybody running with buckets of
water.  I say it was the most truly awful calamity that could possible
befall any family, infidel or Christian, that could be conceived in
the mind of man or ghost.

"And how much more terrible did it seem in this little cottage, where
all were strict members of church, prayed, sang hymns and read the
Bible.  Poor Mrs. Teed!"

On Mr. Hubbell's remarking that the cat was not tormented, "she was
instantly lifted from the floor to a height of five feet, and then
dropped on Esther's back. . . .  I never saw any cat more frightened;
she ran out into the front yard, where she remained for the balance
(rest) of the day."  On 27th June "a trumpet was heard in the house
all day".

The Rev. R. A. Temple now prayed with Esther, and tried a little
amateur exorcism, including the use of slips of paper, inscribed with
Habakkuk ii. 3.  The ghosts cared no more than Voltaire for ce coquin

Things came to such a pass, matches simply raining all round, that Mr.
Teed's landlord, a Mr. Bliss, evicted Esther.  She went to a Mr. Van
Amburgh's, and Mr. Teed's cottage was in peace.

Some weeks later Esther was arrested for incendiarism in a barn, was
sentenced to four months' imprisonment, but was soon released in
deference to public opinion.  She married, had a family; and ceased to
be a mystery.

This story is narrated with an amiable simplicity, and is backed, more
or less, by extracts from Amherst and other local newspapers.  On
making inquiries, I found that opinion was divided.  Some held that
Esther was a mere impostor and fire-raiser; from other sources I
obtained curious tales of the eccentric flight of objects in her
neighbourhood.  It is only certain that Esther's case is identical
with Madame Shchapoff's, and experts in hysteria may tell us whether
that malady ever takes the form of setting fire to the patient's
wardrobe, and to things in general. {239a}

After these modern cases of disturbances, we may look at a few old, or
even ancient examples.  It will be observed that the symptoms are
always of the same type, whatever the date or country.  The first is
Gaelic, of last century.


It is fully a hundred years ago since there died in Lochaber a man
named Donald Ban, sometimes called "the son of Angus," but more
frequently known as Donald Ban of the Bocan.  This surname was derived
from the troubles caused to him by a bocan--a goblin--many of whose
doings are preserved in tradition.

Donald drew his origin from the honourable house of Keppoch, and was
the last of the hunters of Macvic-Ronald.  His home was at Mounessee,
and later at Inverlaire in Glenspean, and his wife belonged to the
MacGregors of Rannoch.  He went out with the Prince, and was present
at the battle of Culloden.  He fled from the field, and took refuge in
a mountain shieling, having two guns with him, but only one of them
was loaded.  A company of soldiers came upon him there, and although
Donald escaped by a back window, taking the empty gun with him by
mistake, he was wounded in the leg by a shot from his pursuers.  The
soldiers took him then, and conveyed him to Inverness, where he was
thrown into prison to await his trial.  While he was in prison he had
a dream; he saw himself sitting and drinking with Alastair MacCholla,
and Donald MacRonald Vor.  The latter was the man of whom it was said
that he had two hearts; he was taken prisoner at Falkirk and executed
at Carlisle.  Donald was more fortunate than his friend, and was
finally set free.

It was after this that the bocan began to trouble him; and although
Donald never revealed to any man the secret of who the bocan was (if
indeed he knew it himself), yet there were some who professed to know
that it was a "gillie" of Donald's who was killed at Culloden.  Their
reason for believing this was that on one occasion the man in question
had given away more to a poor neighbour than Donald was pleased to
spare.  Donald found fault with him, and in the quarrel that followed
the man said, "I will be avenged for this, alive or dead".

It was on the hill that Donald first met with the bocan, but he soon
came to closer quarters, and haunted the house in a most annoying
fashion.  He injured the members of the household, and destroyed all
the food, being especially given to dirtying the butter (a thing quite
superfluous, according to Captain Burt's description of Highland
butter).  On one occasion a certain Ronald of Aberardair was a guest
in Donald's house, and Donald's wife said, "Though I put butter on the
table for you tonight, it will just be dirtied".  "I will go with you
to the butter-keg," said Ronald, "with my dirk in my hand, and hold my
bonnet over the keg, and he will not dirty it this night."  So the two
went together to fetch the butter, but it was dirtied just as usual.

Things were worse during the night and they could get no sleep for the
stones and clods that came flying about the house.  "The bocan was
throwing things out of the walls, and they would hear them rattling at
the head of Donald's bed."  The minister came (Mr. John Mor MacDougall
was his name) and slept a night or two in the house, but the bocan
kept away so long as he was there.  Another visitor, Angus MacAlister
Ban, whose grandson told the tale, had more experience of the bocan's
reality.  "Something seized his two big toes, and he could not get
free any more than if he had been caught by the smith's tongs.  It was
the bocan, but he did nothing more to him."  Some of the clergy, too,
as well as laymen of every rank, were witnesses to the pranks which
the spirit carried on, but not even Donald himself ever saw him in any
shape whatever.  So famous did the affair become that Donald was
nearly ruined by entertaining all the curious strangers who came to
see the facts for themselves.

In the end Donald resolved to change his abode, to see whether he
could in that way escape from the visitations.  He took all his
possessions with him except a harrow, which was left beside the wall
of the house, but before the party had gone far on the road the harrow
was seen coming after them.  "Stop, stop," said Donald; "if the harrow
is coming after us, we may just as well go back again."  The mystery
of the harrow is not explained, but Donald did return to his home, and
made no further attempt to escape from his troubles in this way.

If the bocan had a spite at Donald, he was still worse disposed
towards his wife, the MacGregor woman.  On the night on which he last
made his presence felt, he went on the roof of the house and cried,
"Are you asleep, Donald Ban?"  "Not just now," said Donald.  "Put out
that long grey tether, the MacGregor wife," said he.  "I don't think
I'll do that tonight," said Donald.  "Come out yourself, then," said
the bocan, "and leave your bonnet."  The good-wife, thinking that the
bocan was outside and would not hear her, whispered in Donald's ear as
he was rising, "Won't you ask him when the Prince will come?"  The
words, however, were hardly out of her mouth when the bocan answered
her with, "Didn't you get enough of him before, you grey tether?"

Another account says that at this last visit of the bocan, he was
saying that various other spirits were along with him.  Donald's wife
said to her husband:  "I should think that if they were along with him
they would speak to us"; but the bocan answered, "They are no more
able to speak than the sole of your foot".  He then summoned Donald
outside as above.  "I will come," said Donald, "and thanks be to the
Good Being that you have asked me."  Donald was taking his dirk with
him as he went out, but the bocan said, "leave your dirk inside,
Donald, and your knife as well".

Donald then went outside, and the bocan led him on through rivers and
a birch-wood for about three miles, till they came to the river Fert.
There the bocan pointed out to Donald a hole in which he had hidden
some plough-irons while he was alive.  Donald proceeded to take them
out, and while doing so the two eyes of the bocan were causing him
greater fear than anything else he ever heard or saw.  When he had got
the irons out of the hole, they went back to Mounessie together, and
parted that night at the house of Donald Ban.

Donald, whether naturally or by reason of his ghostly visitant, was a
religious man, and commemorated his troubles in some verses which bear
the name of "The Hymn of Donald Ban of the Bocan".  In these he speaks
of the common belief that he had done something to deserve all this
annoyance, and makes mention of the "stones and clods" which flew
about his house in the night time.  Otherwise the hymn is mainly
composed of religious sentiments, but its connection with the story
makes it interesting, and the following is a literal translation of


O God that created me so helpless,
Strengthen my belief and make it firm.
Command an angel to come from Paradise,
And take up his abode in my dwelling,
To protect me from every trouble
That wicked folks are putting in my way;
Jesus, that did'st suffer Thy crucifixion,
Restrain their doings, and be with me Thyself.

Little wonder though I am thoughtful--
_Always at the time when I go to bed
The stones and the clods will arise--
How could a saint get sleep there_?
I am without peace or rest,
Without repose or sleep till the morning;
O Thou that art in the throne of grace,
Behold my treatment and be a guard to me.

Little wonder though I am troubled,
So many stories about me in every place.
Some that are unjust will be saying,
"It is all owing to himself, that affair".
Judge not except as you know,
Though the Son of God were awaking you;
No one knows if I have deserved more
Than a rich man that is without care.

Although I am in trouble at this time,
Verily, I shall be doubly repaid;
When the call comes to me from my Saviour,
I shall receive mercy and new grace;
I fear no more vexation,
When I ascend to be with Thy saints;
O Thou that sittest on the throne,
Assist my speaking and accept my prayer.

O God, make me mindful
Night and day to be praying,
Seeking pardon richly
For what I have done, on my knees.
Stir with the spirit of Truth
True repentance in my bosom,
That when Thou sendest death to seek me,
Christ may take care of me.

The bocan was not the only inhabitant of the spirit-world that Donald
Ban encountered during his lifetime.  A cousin of his mother was said
to have been carried off by the fairies, and one night Donald saw him
among them, dancing away with all his might.  Donald was also out
hunting in the year of the great snow, and at nightfall he saw a man
mounted on the back of a deer ascending a great rock.  He heard the
man saying, "Home, Donald Ban," and fortunately he took the advice,
for that night there fell eleven feet of snow in the very spot where
he had intended to stay.

We now take two modern Icelandic cases, for the purpose of leading up
to the famous Icelandic legend of Grettir and Glam the Vampire, from
the Grettis Saga.  It is plain that such incidents as those in the two
modern Icelandic cases (however the effects were produced) might
easily be swollen into the prodigious tale of Glam in the course of
two or three centuries, between Grettir's time and the complete
formation of his Saga.


The sheriff writes:  "The Devil at Hjalta-stad was outspoken enough
this past winter, although no one saw him.  I, along with others, had
the dishonour to hear him talking for nearly two days, during which he
addressed myself and the minister, Sir Grim, with words the like of
which 'eye hath not seen nor ear heard'.  As soon as we reached the
front of the house there was heard in the door an iron voice saying:
'So Hans from Eyrar is come now, and wishes to talk with me, the ---
idiot'.  Compared with other names that he gave me this might be
considered as flattering.  When I inquired who it was that addressed
me with such words, he answered in a fierce voice, 'I was called
Lucifer at first, but now I am called Devil and Enemy'.  He threw at
us both stones and pieces of wood, as well as other things, and broke
two windows in the minister's room.  He spoke so close to us that he
seemed to be just at our side.  There was an old woman there of the
name of Opia, whom he called his wife, and a 'heavenly blessed soul,'
and asked Sir Grim to marry them, with various other remarks of this
kind, which I will not recount.

"I have little liking to write about his ongoings, which were all
disgraceful and shameful, in accordance with the nature of the actor.
He repeated the 'Pater Noster' three times, answered questions from
the Catechism and the Bible, said that the devils held service in
hell, and told what texts and psalms they had for various occasions.
He asked us to give him some of the food we had, and a drink of tea,
etc.  I asked the fellow whether God was good.  He said, 'Yes'.
Whether he was truthful.  He answered, 'Not one of his words can be
doubted'.  Sir Grim asked him whether the devil was good-looking.  He
answered:  'He is far better-looking than you, you --- ugly snout!'  I
asked him whether the devils agreed well with each other.  He answered
in a kind of sobbing voice:  'It is painful to know that they never
have peace'.  I bade him say something to me in German, and said to
him Lass uns Teusc redre (sic), but he answered as if he had
misunderstood me.

"When we went to bed in the evening he shouted fiercely in the middle
of the floor, 'On this night I shall snatch you off to hell, and you
shall not rise up out of bed as you lay down'.  During the evening he
wished the minister's wife good-night.  The minister and I continued
to talk with him during the night; among other things we asked him
what kind of weather it was outside.  He answered:  'It is cold, with
a north wind'.  We asked if he was cold.  He answered:  'I think I am
both hot and cold'.  I asked him how loud he could shout.  He said,
'So loud that the roof would go off the house, and you would all fall
into a dead faint'.  I told him to try it.  He answered:  'Do you
think I am come to amuse you, you --- idiot?'  I asked him to show us
a little specimen.  He said he would do so, and gave three shouts, the
last of which was so fearful that I have never heard anything worse,
and doubt whether I ever shall.  Towards daybreak, after he had parted
from us with the usual compliments, we fell asleep.

"Next morning he came in again, and began to waken up people; he named
each one by name, not forgetting to add some nickname, and asking
whether so-and-so was awake.  When he saw they were all awake, he said
he was going to play with the door now, and with that he threw the
door off its hinges with a sudden jerk, and sent it far in upon the
floor.  The strangest thing was that when he threw anything it went
down at once, and then went back to its place again, so it was evident
that he either went inside it or moved about with it.

"The previous evening he challenged me twice to come out into the
darkness to him, and this in an angry voice, saying that he would tear
me limb from limb.  I went out and told him to come on, but nothing
happened.  When I went back to my place and asked him why he had not
fulfilled his promise, he said, 'I had no orders for it from my
master'.  He asked us whether we had ever heard the like before, and
when we said 'Yes,' he answered, 'That is not true:  the like has
never been heard at any time'.  He had sung 'The memory of Jesus'
after I arrived there, and talked frequently while the word of God was
being read.  He said that he did not mind this, but that he did not
like the 'Cross-school Psalms,' and said it must have been a great
idiot who composed them.  This enemy came like a devil, departed as
such, and behaved himself as such while he was present, nor would it
befit any one but the devil to declare all that he said.  At the same
time it must be added that I am not quite convinced that it was a
spirit, but my opinions on this I cannot give here for lack of time."

In another work {249} where the sheriff's letter is given with some
variations and additions, an attempt is made to explain the story.
The phenomena were said to have been caused by a young man who had
learned ventriloquism abroad.  Even if this art could have been
practised so successfully as to puzzle the sheriff and others, it
could hardly have taken the door off its hinges and thrown it into the
room.  It is curious that while Jon Espolin in his Annals entirely
discredits the sheriff's letter, he yet gives a very similar account
of the spirit's proceedings.

A later story of the same kind, also printed by Jon Arnason (i., 311),
is that of the ghost at Garpsdal as related by the minister there, Sir
Saemund, and written down by another minister on 7th June, 1808.  The
narrative is as follows:--


In Autumn, 1807, there was a disturbance by night in the outer room at
Garpsdal, the door being smashed.  There slept in this room the
minister's men-servants, Thorsteinn Gudmundsson, Magnus Jonsson, and a
child named Thorstein.  Later, on 16th November, a boat which the
minister had lying at the sea-side was broken in broad daylight, and
although the blows were heard at the homestead yet no human form was
visible that could have done this.  All the folks at Garpsdal were at
home, and the young fellow Magnus Jonsson was engaged either at the
sheep-houses or about the homestead; the spirit often appeared to him
in the likeness of a woman.  On the 18th of the same month four doors
of the sheep-houses were broken in broad daylight, while the minister
was marrying a couple in the church; most of his people were present
in the church, Magnus being among them.  That same day in the evening
this woman was noticed in the sheep-houses; she said that she wished
to get a ewe to roast, but as soon as an old woman who lived at
Garpsdal and was both skilled and wise (Gudrun Jons-dottir by name)
had handled the ewe, its struggles ceased and it recovered again.
While Gudrun was handling the ewe, Magnus was standing in the door of
the house; with that one of the rafters was broken, and the pieces
were thrown in his face.  He said that the woman went away just then.
The minister's horses were close by, and at that moment became so
scared that they ran straight over smooth ice as though it had been
earth, and suffered no harm.

On the evening of the 20th there were great disturbances, panelling
and doors being broken down in various rooms.  The minister was
standing in the house door along with Magnus and two or three girls
when Magnus said to him that the spirit had gone into the sitting-
room.  The minister went and stood at the door of the room, and after
he had been there a little while, talking to the others, a pane of
glass in one of the room windows was broken.  Magnus was standing
beside the minister talking to him, and when the pane broke he said
that the spirit had gone out by that.  The minister went to the
window, and saw that the pane was all broken into little pieces.  The
following evening, the 21st, the spirit also made its presence known
by bangings, thumpings, and loud noises.

On the 28th the ongoings of the spirit surpassed themselves.  In the
evening a great blow was given on the roof of the sitting-room.  The
minister was inside at the time, but Magnus with two girls was out in
the barn.  At the same moment the partition between the weaving-shop
and the sitting-room was broken down, and then three windows of the
room itself--one above the minister's bed, another above his writing-
table, and the third in front of the closet door.  A piece of a table
was thrown in at one of these, and a spade at another.  At this the
household ran out of that room into the loft, but the minister sprang
downstairs and out; the old woman Gudrun who was named before went
with him, and there also came Magnus and some of the others.  Just
then a vessel of wash, which had been standing in the kitchen, was
thrown at Gudrun's head.  The minister then ran in, along with Magnus
and the girls, and now everything that was loose was flying about,
both doors and splinters of wood.  The minister opened a room near the
outer door intending to go in there, but just then a sledge hammer
which lay at the door was thrown at him, but it only touched him on
the side and hip, and did him no harm.  From there the minister and
the others went back to the sitting-room, where everything was dancing
about, and where they were met with a perfect volley of splinters of
deal from the partitions.  The minister then fled, and took his wife
and child to Muli, the next farm, and left them there, as she was
frightened to death with all this.  He himself returned next day.

On the 8th of December, the woman again made her appearance in broad
daylight.  On this occasion she broke the shelves and panelling in the
pantry, in presence of the minister, Magnus, and others.  According to
Magnus, the spirit then went out through the wall at the minister's
words, and made its way to the byre-lane.  Magnus and Gudrun went
after it, but were received with throwings of mud and dirt.  A stone
was also hurled at Magnus, as large as any man could lift, while
Gudrun received a blow on the arm that confined her to her bed for
three weeks.

On the 26th of the month the shepherd, Einar Jonsson, a hardy and
resolute fellow, commanded the spirit to show itself to him.
Thereupon there came over him such a madness and frenzy, that he had
to be closely guarded to prevent him from doing harm to himself.  He
was taken to the house, and kept in his bed, a watch being held over
him.  When he recovered his wits, he said that this girl had come
above his head and assailed him.  When he had completely got over
this, he went away from Garpsdal altogether.

Later than this the minister's horse was found dead in the stable at
Muli, and the folks there said that it was all black and swollen.

These are the most remarkable doings of the ghost at Garpsdal,
according to the evidence of Sir Saemund, Magnus, Gudrun, and all the
household at Garpsdal, all of whom will confirm their witness with an
oath, and aver that no human being could have been so invisible there
by day and night, but rather that it was some kind of spirit that did
the mischief.  From the story itself it may be seen that neither
Magnus nor any other person could have accomplished the like, and all
the folk will confirm this, and clear all persons in the matter, so
far as they know.  In this form the story was told to me, the
subscriber, to Samuel Egilsson and Bjarni Oddsson, by the minister
himself and his household, at Garpsdal, 28th May, 1808.  That this is
correctly set down, after what the minister Sir Saemund related to me,
I witness here at Stad on Reykjanes, 7th June, 1808.


* * * * *

Notwithstanding this declaration, the troubles at Garpsdal were
attributed by others to Magnus, and the name of the "Garpsdale Ghost"
stuck to him throughout his life.  He was alive in 1862, when Jon
Arnason's volume was published.

These modern instances lead up to "the best story in the world," the
old Icelandic tale of Glam.

The Story of Glam.  The Foul Fords.


There was a man named Thorhall, who lived at Thorhall-stead in
Forsaela-dala, which lies in the north of Iceland.  He was a fairly
wealthy man, especially in cattle, so that no one round about had so
much live-stock as he had.  He was not a chief, however, but an honest
and worthy yeoman.

"Now this man's place was greatly haunted, so that he could scarcely
get a shepherd to stay with him, and although he asked the opinion of
many as to what he ought to do, he could find none to give him advice
of any worth.

"One summer at the Althing, or yearly assembly of the people, Thorhall
went to the booth of Skafti, the law man, who was the wisest of men
and gave good counsel when his opinion was asked.  He received
Thorhall in a friendly way, because he knew he was a man of means, and
asked him what news he had.

"'I would have some good advice from you,' said Thorhall.

'"I am little able to give that,' said Skafti; 'but what is the

"'This is the way of it,' said Thorhall, 'I have had very bad luck
with my shepherds of late.  Some of them get injured, and others will
not serve out their time; and now no one that knows how the case
stands will take the place at all.'

"'Then there must be some evil spirit there,' said Skafti, 'when men
are less willing to herd your sheep, than those of others.  Now since
you have asked my advice, I will get a shepherd for you.  Glam is his
name, he belongs to Sweden, and came out here last summer.  He is big
and strong, but not very well liked by most people.'

"Thorhall said that he did not mind that, if he looked well after the
sheep.  Skafti answered that there was no hope of other men doing it,
if Glam could not, seeing he was so strong and stout-hearted.  Their
talk ended there, and Thorhall left the booth.

"This took place just at the breaking up of the assembly.  Thorhall
missed two of his horses, and went to look for them in person, from
which it may be seen that he was no proud man.  He went up to the
mountain ridge, and south along the fell that is called Armann's fell.
There he saw a man coming down from the wood, leading a horse laden
with bundles of brushwood.  They soon met each other and Thorhall
asked his name.  He said he was called Glam.  He was tall of body, and
of strange appearance; his eyes were blue and staring, and his hair
wolf-grey in colour.  Thorhall was a little startled when he saw him,
and was certain that this was the man he had been told about.

"'What work are you best fitted for?' he asked.  Glam said that he was
good at keeping sheep in winter.

"'Will you look after _my_ sheep?' said Thorhall.  'Skafti has put you
into my hands.'

"'On this condition only will I take service with you,' said Glam,
'that I have my own free will, for I am ill-tempered if anything does
not please me.'

"'That will not harm me,' said Thorhall, 'and I should like you to
come to me.'

"'I will do so,' said Glam; 'but is there any trouble at your place?'

"'It is believed to be haunted,' said Thorhall.

"'I am not afraid of such bug-bears,' said Glam, 'and think that it
will be all the livelier for that.'

"'You will need all your boldness,' said Thorhall, 'It is best not to
be too frightened for one's self there.'

"After this they made a bargain between them, and Glam was to come
when the winter nights began.  Then they parted, and Thorhall found
his horses where he had just newly looked for them, and rode home,
after thanking Skafti for his kindness.

"The summer passed, and Thorhall heard nothing of the shepherd, nor
did any one know the least about him, but at the time appointed he
came to Thorhall-stead.  The yeoman received him well, but the others
did not like him, and the good-wife least of all.  He began his work
among the sheep which gave him little trouble, for he had a loud,
hoarse voice, and the flock all ran together whenever he shouted.
There was a church at Thorhall-stead, but Glam would never go to it
nor join in the service.  He was unbelieving, surly, and difficult to
deal with, and ever one felt a dislike towards him.

"So time went on till it came to Christmas eve.  On that morning Glam
rose early and called for his food.  The good-wife answered:  'It is
not the custom of Christian people to eat on this day, for to-morrow
is the first day of Christmas, and we ought to fast to-day'.  Glam
replied:  'You have many foolish fashions that I see no good in.  I
cannot see that men are any better off now than they were when they
never troubled themselves about such things.  I think it was a far
better life when men were heathens; and now I want my food, and no
nonsense.'  The good-wife answered:  'I am sure you will come to
sorrow to-day if you act thus perversely'.

"Glam bade her bring his food at once, or it would be the worse for
her.  She was afraid to refuse, and after he had eaten he went out in
a great rage.

"The weather was very bad.  It was dark and gloomy all round;
snowflakes fluttered about; loud noises were heard in the air, and it
grew worse and worse as the day wore on.  They heard the shepherd's
voice during the forenoon, but less of him as the day passed.  Then
the snow began to drift, and by evening there was a violent storm.
People came to the service in church, and the day wore on to evening,
but still Glam did not come home.  There was some talk among them of
going to look for him, but no search was made on account of the storm
and the darkness.

"All Christmas eve Glam did not return, and in the morning men went to
look for him.  They found the sheep scattered in the fens, beaten down
by the storm, or up on the hills.  Thereafter they came to a place in
the valley where the snow was all trampled, as if there had been a
terrible struggle there, for stones and frozen earth were torn up all
round about.  They looked carefully round the place, and found Glam
lying a short distance off, quite dead.  He was black in colour, and
swollen up as big as an ox.  They were horrified at the sight, and
shuddered in their hearts.  However, they tried to carry him to the
church, but could get him no further than to the edge of a cleft, a
little lower down; so they left him there and went home and told their
master what had happened.

"Thorhall asked them what had been the cause of Glam's death.  They
said that they had traced footprints as large as though the bottom of
a cask had been set down in the snow leading from where the trampled
place was up to the cliffs at the head of the valley, and all along
the track there were huge blood-stains.  From this they guessed that
the evil spirit which lived there must have killed Glam, but had
received so much hurt that it had died, for nothing was ever seen of
it after.

"The second day of Christmas they tried again to bring Glam to the
church.  They yoked horses to him, but after they had come down the
slope and reached level ground they could drag him no further, and he
had to be left there.

"On the third day a priest went with them, but Glam was not be found,
although they searched for him all day.  The priest refused to go a
second time, and the shepherd was found at once when the priest was
not present.  So they gave over their attempts to take him to the
church, and buried him on the spot.

"Soon after this they became aware that Glam was not lying quiet, and
great damage was done by him, for many that saw him fell into a swoon,
or lost their reason.  Immediately after Yule men believed that they
saw him about the farm itself, and grew terribly frightened, so that
many of them ran away.  After this Glam began to ride on the house-top
by night, {259} and nearly shook it to pieces, and then he walked
about almost night and day.  Men hardly dared to go up into the
valley, even although they had urgent business there, and every one in
the district thought great harm of the matter.

"In spring, Thorhall got new men, and started the farm again, while
Glam's walkings began to grow less frequent as the days grew longer.
So time went on, until it was mid-summer.  That summer a ship from
Norway came into Huna-water (a firth to the north of Thorhall-stead),
and had on board a man called Thorgaut.  He was foreign by birth, big
of body, and as strong as any two men.  He was unhired and unmarried,
and was looking for some employment, as he was penniless.  Thorhall
rode to the ship, and found Thorgaut there.  He asked him whether he
would enter his service.  Thorgaut answered that he might well do so,
and that he did not care much what work he did.

"'You must know, however,' said Thorhall, 'that it is not good for any
faint-hearted man to live at my place, on account of the hauntings
that have been of late, and I do not wish to deceive you in any way.'

"'I do not think myself utterly lost although I see some wretched
ghosts,' said Thorgaut.  'It will be no light matter for others if _I_
am scared, and I will not throw up the place on that account.'

"Their bargain was quickly made, and Thorgaut was to have charge of
the sheep during the winter.  The summer went past, and Thorgaut began
his duties with the winter nights, and was well liked by every one.
Glam began to come again, and rode on the house-top, which Thorgaut
thought great sport, and said that the thrall would have to come to
close quarters before he would be afraid of him.  Thorhall bade him
not say too much about it.  'It will be better for you,' said he, 'if
you have no trial of each other.'

"'Your courage has indeed been shaken out of you,' said Thorgaut, 'but
I am not going to fall dead for such talk.'

"The winter went on till Christmas came again, and on Christmas eve
the shepherd went out to his sheep.  'I trust,' said the good-wife,
'that things will not go after the old fashion.'

"'Have no fear of that, good-wife,' said Thorgaut; 'there will be
something worth talking about if I don't come back.'

"The weather was very cold, and a heavy drift blowing.  Thorgaut was
in the habit of coming home when it was half-dark, but on this
occasion he did not return at his usual time.  People came to church,
and they now began to think that things were not unlikely to fall out
as they had done before.  Thorhall wished to make search for the
shepherd, but the church-goers refused, saying that they would not
risk themselves in the hands of evil demons by night, and so no search
was made.

"After their morning meal on Christmas day they went out to look for
the shepherd.  They first made their way to Glam's cairn, guessing
that he was the cause of the man's disappearance.  On coming near to
this they saw great tidings, for there they found the shepherd with
his neck broken and every bone in his body smashed in pieces.  They
carried him to the church, and he did no harm to any man thereafter.
But Glam began to gather strength anew, and now went so far in his
mischief that every one fled from Thorhall-stead, except the yeoman
and his wife.

"The same cattleman, however, had been there for a long time, and
Thorhall would not let him leave, because he was so faithful and so
careful.  He was very old, and did not want to go away either, for he
saw that everything his master had would go to wreck and ruin, if
there was no one to look after it.

"One morning after the middle of winter the good-wife went out to the
byre to milk the cows.  It was broad daylight by this time, for no one
ventured to be outside earlier than that, except the cattleman, who
always went out when it began to grow clear.  She heard a great noise
and fearful bellowing in the byre, and ran into the house again,
crying out and saying that some awful thing was going on there.
Thorhall went out to the cattle and found them goring each other with
their horns.  To get out of their way, he went through into the barn,
and in doing this he saw the cattleman lying on his back with his head
in one stall and his feet in another.  He went up to him and felt him
and soon found that he was dead, with his back broken over the upright
stone between two of the stalls.

"The yeoman thought it high time to leave the place now, and fled from
his farm with all that he could remove.  All the live-stock that he
left behind was killed by Glam, who then went through the whole glen
and laid waste all the farms up from Tongue.

"Thorhall spent the rest of the winter with various friends.  No one
could go up into the glen with horse or dog, for these were killed at
once; but when spring came again and the days began to lengthen,
Glam's walkings grew less frequent, and Thorhall determined to return
to his homestead.  He had difficulty in getting servants, but managed
to set up his home again at Thorhall-stead.  Things went just as
before.  When autumn came, the hauntings began again, and now it was
the yeoman's daughter who was most assailed, till in the end she died
of fright.  Many plans were tried, but all to no effect, and it seemed
as if all Water-dale would be laid waste unless some remedy could be

"All this befell in the days of Grettir, the son of Asmund, who was
the strongest man of his day in Iceland.  He had been abroad at this
time, outlawed for three years, and was only eighteen years of age
when he returned.  He had been at home all through the autumn, but
when the winter nights were well advanced, he rode north to Water-
dale, and came to Tongue, where lived his uncle Jokull.  His uncle
received him heartily, and he stayed there for three nights.  At this
time there was so much talk about Glam's walkings, that nothing was so
largely spoken of as these.  Grettir inquired closely about all that
had happened, and Jokull said that the stories told no more than had
indeed taken place; 'but are you intending to go there, kinsman?' said
he.  Grettir answered that he was.  Jokull bade him not do so, 'for it
is a dangerous undertaking, and a great risk for your friends to lose
you, for in our opinion there is not another like you among the young
men, and "ill will come of ill" where Glam is.  Far better it is to
deal with mortal men than with such evil spirits.'

"Grettir, however, said that he had a mind to fare to Thorhall-stead,
and see how things had been going on there.  Jokull replied:  'I see
now that it is of no use to hold you back, but the saying is true that
"good luck and good heart are not the same'".  Grettir answered:
'"Woe stands at one man's door when it has entered another's house".
Think how it may go with yourself before the end.'

"'It may be,' said Jokull, 'that both of us see some way into the
future, and yet neither of us can do anything to prevent it.'

"After this they parted, and neither liked the other's forebodings.

"Grettir rode to Thorhall-stead, and the yeoman received him heartily.
He asked Grettir where he was going, who said that he wished to stay
there all night if he would allow him.  Thorhall said that he would be
very glad if he would stay, 'but few men count it a gain to be guests
here for long.  You must have heard how matters stand, and I shall be
very unwilling for you to come to any harm on my account.  And even
although you yourself escape safe and sound, I know for certain that
you will lose your horse, for no man that comes here can keep that

"Grettir answered that there were horses enough to be got, whatever
might happen to this one.  Thorhall was delighted that he was willing
to stay, and gave him the heartiest reception.  The horse was strongly
secured in an out-house; then they went to sleep, and that night
passed without Glam appearing.

"'Your coming here,' said Thorhall, 'has made a happy change, for Glam
is in the habit of riding the house every night, or breaking up the
doors, as you may see for yourself.'

"'Then one of two things will happen,' said Grettir; 'either he will
not restrain himself for long, or the hauntings will cease for more
than one night.  I shall stay for another night, and see how things

"After this they went to look at Grettir's horse, and found that he
had not been meddled with, so the yeoman thought that everything was
going on well, Grettir stayed another night, and still the thrall did
not come about them.  Thorhall thought that things were looking
brighter, but when he went to look to Grettir's horse he found the
out-house broken up, the horse dragged outside, and every bone in it
broken.  He told Grettir what had happened, and advised him to secure
his own safety, 'for your death is certain if you wait for Glam'.

"Grettir answered:  'The least I can get for my horse is to see the
thrall'.  Thorhall replied that it would do him no good to see him,
'for he is unlike anything in human shape; but I am fain of every hour
that you are willing to stay here'.

"The day wore on, and when it was bed-time Grettir would not take off
his clothes, but lay down on the floor over against Thorhall's bed-
closet.  He put a thick cloak above himself, buttoning one end beneath
his feet, and doubling the other under his head, while he looked out
at the hole for the neck.  There was a strong plank in front of the
floored space, and against this he pressed his feet.  The door-
fittings were all broken off from the outer door, but there was a
hurdle set up instead, and roughly secured.  The wainscot that had
once stretched across the hall was all broken down, both above and
below the cross-beam.  The beds were all pulled out of their places,
and everything was in confusion.

"A light was left burning in the hall, and when the third part of the
night was past Grettir heard loud noises outside.  Then something went
up on top of the house, and rode above the hall, beating the roof with
its heels till every beam cracked.  This went on for a long time; then
it came down off the house and went to the door.  When this was opened
Grettir saw the thrall thrust in his head; ghastly big he seemed, and
wonderfully huge of feature.  Glam came in slowly, and raised himself
up when he was inside the doorway, till he loomed up against the roof.
Then he turned his face down the hall, laid his arms on the cross-
beam, and glared all over the place.  Thorhall gave no sign during all
this, for he thought it bad enough to hear what was going on outside.

"Grettir lay still and never moved.  Glam saw that there was a bundle
lying on the floor, and moved further up the hall and grasped the
cloak firmly.  Grettir placed his feet against the plank, and yielded
not the least.  Glam tugged a second time, much harder than before,
but still the cloak did not move.  A third time he pulled with both
his hands, so hard that he raised Grettir up from the floor, and now
they wrenched the cloak asunder between them.  Glam stood staring at
the piece which he held in his hands, and wondering greatly who could
have pulled so hard against him.  At that moment Grettir sprang in
under the monster's hands, and threw his arms around his waist,
intending to make him fall backwards.  Glam, however, bore down upon
him so strongly that Grettir was forced to give way before him.  He
then tried to stay himself against the seat-boards, but these gave way
with him, and everything that came in their path was broken.

"Glam wanted to get him outside, and although Grettir set his feet
against everything that he could, yet Glam succeeded in dragging him
out into the porch.  There they had a fierce struggle, for the thrall
meant to have him out of doors, while Grettir saw that bad as it was
to deal with Glam inside the house it would be worse outside, and
therefore strove with all his might against being carried out.  When
they came into the porch Glam put forth all his strength, and pulled
Grettir close to him.  When Grettir saw that he could not stay himself
he suddenly changed his plan, and threw himself as hard as he could
against the monster's breast, setting both his feet against an earth-
fast stone that lay in the doorway.  Glam was not prepared for this,
being then in the act of pulling Grettir towards him, so he fell
backwards and went crashing out through the door, his shoulders
catching the lintel as he fell.  The roof of the porch was wrenched in
two, both rafters and frozen thatch, and backwards out of the house
went Glam, with Grettir above him.

"Outside there was bright moonshine and broken clouds, which sometimes
drifted over the moon and sometimes left it clear.  At the moment when
Glam fell the cloud passed off the moon, and he cast up his eyes
sharply towards it; and Grettir himself said that this was the only
sight he ever saw that terrified him.  Then Grettir grew so helpless,
both by reason of his weariness and at seeing Glam roll his eyes so
horribly, that he was unable to draw his dagger, and lay well-nigh
between life and death.

"But in this was Glam's might more fiendish than that of most other
ghosts, that he spoke in this fashion:  'Great eagerness have you
shown to meet me, Grettir, and little wonder will it be though you get
no great good fortune from me; but this I may tell you, that you have
now received only half of the strength and vigour that was destined
for you if you had not met with me.  I cannot now take from you the
strength you have already gained, but this I can see to, that you will
never be stronger than you are now, and yet you are strong enough, as
many a man shall feel.  Hitherto you have been famous for your deeds,
but henceforth you shall be a manslayer and an outlaw, and most of
your deeds will turn to your own hurt and misfortune.  Outlawed you
shall be, and ever have a solitary life for your lot; and this, too, I
lay upon you, ever to see these eyes of mine before your own, and then
you will think it hard to be alone, and that will bring you to your

"When Glam had said this the faintness passed off Grettir, and he then
drew his dagger, cut off Glam's head, and laid it beside his thigh.
Thorhall then came out, having put on his clothes while Glam was
talking, but never venturing to come near until he had fallen.  He
praised God, and thanked Grettir for overcoming the unclean spirit.
Then they set to work, and burned Glam to ashes, which they placed in
a sack, and buried where cattle were least likely to pasture or men to
tread.  When this was done they went home again, and it was now near

"Thorhall sent to the next farm for the men there, and told them what
had taken place.  All thought highly of the exploit that heard of it,
and it was the common talk that in all Iceland there was no man like
Grettir Asnundarson for strength and courage and all kinds of bodily
feats.  Thorhall gave him a good horse when he went away, as well as a
fine suit of clothes, for the ones he had been wearing were all torn
to pieces.  The two then parted with the utmost friendship.

"Thence Grettir rode to the Ridge in Water-dale, where his kinsman
Thorvald received him heartily, and asked closely concerning his
encounter with Glam.  Grettir told him how he had fared, and said that
his strength was never put to harder proof, so long did the struggle
between them last.  Thorvald bade him be quiet and gentle in his
conduct, and things would go well with him, otherwise his troubles
would be many.  Grettir answered that his temper was not improved; he
was more easily roused than ever, and less able to bear opposition.
In this, too, he felt a great change, that he had become so much
afraid of the dark that he dared not go anywhere alone after night
began to fall, for then he saw phantoms and monsters of every kind.
So it has become a saying ever since then, when folk see things very
different from what they are, that Glam lends them his eyes, or gives
them glam-sight.

"This fear of solitude brought Grettir, at last, to his end."

Ghosts being seldom dangerous to human life, we follow up the
homicidal Glam with a Scottish traditional story of malevolent and
murderous sprites.


"About 1820 there lived a Farrier of the name of Keane in the village
of Longformacus in Lammermoor.  He was a rough, passionate man, much
addicted to swearing.  For many years he was farrier to the Eagle or
Spottiswood troop of Yeomanry.  One day he went to Greenlaw to attend
the funeral of his sister, intending to be home early in the
afternoon.  His wife and family were surprised when he did not appear
as they expected and they sat up watching for him.  About two o'clock
in the morning a heavy weight was heard to fall against the door of
the house, and on opening it to see what was the matter, old Keane was
discovered lying in a fainting fit on the threshold.  He was put to
bed and means used for his recovery, but when he came out of the fit
he was raving mad and talked of such frightful things that his family
were quite terrified.  He continued till next day in the same state,
but at length his senses returned and he desired to see the minister

"After a long conversation with him he called all his family round his
bed, and required from each of his children and his wife a solemn
promise that they would none of them ever pass over a particular spot
in the moor between Longformacus and Greenlaw, known by the name of
'The Foul Fords' (it is the ford over a little water-course just east
of Castle Shields).  He assigned no reason to them for this demand,
but the promise was given and he spoke no more, and died that evening.

"About ten years after his death, his eldest son Henry Keane had to go
to Greenlaw on business, and in the afternoon he prepared to return
home.  The last person who saw him as he was leaving the town was the
blacksmith of Spottiswood, John Michie.  He tried to persuade Michie
to accompany him home, which he refused to do as it would take him
several miles out of his way.  Keane begged him most earnestly to go
with him as he said he _must_ pass the Foul Fords that night, and he
would rather go through hell-fire than do so.  Michie asked him why he
said he _must_ pass the Foul Fords, as by going a few yards on either
side of them he might avoid them entirely.  He persisted that he
_must_ pass them and Michie at last left him, a good deal surprised
that he should talk of going over the Foul Fords when every one knew
that he and his whole family were bound, by a promise to their dead
father, never to go by the place.

"Next morning a labouring man from Castle Shields, by name Adam
Redpath, was going to his work (digging sheep-drains on the moor),
when on the Foul Fords he met Henry Keane lying stone dead and with no
mark of violence on his body.  His hat, coat, waistcoat, shoes and
stockings were lying at about 100 yards distance from him on the
Greenlaw side of the Fords, and while his flannel drawers were off and
lying with the rest of his clothes, his trousers were on.  Mr. Ord,
the minister of Longformacus, told one or two persons what John Keane
(the father) had said to him on his deathbed, and by degrees the story
got abroad.  It was this.  Keane said that he was returning home
slowly after his sister's funeral, looking on the ground, when he was
suddenly roused by hearing the tramping of horses, and on looking up
he saw a large troop of riders coming towards him two and two.  What
was his horror when he saw that one of the two foremost was the sister
whom he had that day seen buried at Greenlaw!  On looking further he
saw many relations and friends long before dead; but when the two last
horses came up to him he saw that one was mounted by a dark man whose
face he had never seen before.  He led the other horse, which, though
saddled and bridled, was riderless, and on this horse the whole
company wanted to compel Keane to get.  He struggled violently, he
said, for some time, and at last got off by promising that one of his
family should go instead of him.

"There still lives at Longformacus his remaining son Robert; he has
the same horror of the Foul Fords that his brother had, and will not
speak, nor allow any one to speak to him on the subject.

"Three or four years ago a herd of the name of Burton was found dead
within a short distance of the spot, without any apparent cause for
his death." {272}

The Marvels at Froda

The following tale has all the direct simplicity and truth to human
nature which mark the ancient literature of Iceland.  Defoe might have
envied the profusion of detail; "The large chest with a lock, and the
small box," and so on.  Some of the minor portents, such as the
disturbances among inanimate objects, and the appearance of a glow of
mysterious light, "the Fate Moon," recur in modern tales of haunted
houses.  The combination of Christian exorcism, then a novelty in
Iceland, with legal proceedings against the ghosts, is especially


During that summer in which Christianity was adopted by law in Iceland
(1000 A.D.), it happened that a ship came to land at Snowfell Ness.
It was a Dublin vessel, manned by Irish and Hebrideans, with few
Norsemen on board.  They lay there for a long time during the summer,
waiting for a favourable wind to sail into the firth, and many people
from the Ness went down to trade with them.  There was on board a
Hebridean woman named Thorgunna, of whom her shipmates said that she
owned some costly things, the like of which would be difficult to find
in Iceland.  When Thurid, the housewife at Froda, heard of this she
was very curious to see the articles, for she was a woman that was
fond of show and finery.  She went to the ship and asked Thorgunna
whether she had any woman's apparel that was finer than the common.
Thorgunna said that she had nothing of the kind to sell, but had some
good things of her own, that she might not be affronted at feasts or
other gatherings.  Thurid begged a sight of these, and Thorgunna
showed her treasures.  Thurid was much pleased with them, and thought
them very becoming, though not of high value.  She offered to buy
them, but Thorgunna would not sell.  Thurid then invited her to come
and stay with her, because she knew that Thorgunna was well provided,
and thought that she would get the things from her in course of time.

Thorgunna answered, "I am well pleased to go to stay with you, but you
must know that I have little mind to pay for myself, because I am well
able to work, and have no dislike to it, though I will not do any
dirty work.  I must be allowed to settle what I shall pay for myself
out of such property as I have."

Although Thorgunna spoke in this fashion, yet Thurid would have her to
go with her, and her things were taken out of the ship; these were in
a large chest with a lock and a small box, and both were taken home to
Froda.  When Thorgunna arrived there she asked for her bed to be shown
her, and was given one in the inner part of the hall.  Then she opened
up the chest, and took bed-clothes out of it:  they were all very
beautiful, and over the bed she spread English coverlets and a silken
quilt.  Out of the chest she also brought a bed-curtain and all the
hangings that belonged to it, and the whole outfit was so fine that
folk thought they had never seen the like of it.

Then said Thurid the housewife:  "Name the price of all your bed-
clothes and hangings".

Thorgunna answered, "I will not lie among straw for you, although you
are so stately, and bear yourself so proudly".

Thurid was ill pleased at this, and offered no more to buy the things.

Thorgunna worked at cloth-making every day when there was no hay-
making, but when the weather was dry she worked among the dry hay in
the home field, and had a rake made for herself which she alone was to
use.  Thorgunna was a big woman, both broad and tall, and very stout;
she had dark eyebrows, and her eyes were close set; her hair brown and
in great abundance.  She was well-mannered in her daily life, and went
to church every day before beginning her work, but she was not of a
light disposition nor of many words.  Most people thought that
Thorgunna must be in the sixties, yet she was a very active woman.

At this time one Thorir "wooden-leg" and his wife Thorgrima "charm-
cheek" were being maintained at Froda, and there was little love
between them and Thorgunna.  The person that she had most ado with was
Kjartan, the son of the house; him she loved much, but he was rather
cold towards her, and this often vexed her.  Kjartan was then fifteen
years old, and was both big of body and manly in appearance.

The summer that year was very wet, but in the autumn there came dry
days.  By this time the hay-work at Froda was so far advanced that all
the home field was mown, and nearly the half of it was quite dry.
There came then a fine dry day, clear and bright, with not a cloud to
be seen in all the sky.  Thorodd, the yeoman, rose early in the
morning and arranged the work of each one; some began to cart off the
hay, and some to put it into stalks, while the women were set to toss
and dry it.  Thorgunna also had her share assigned to her, and the
work went on well during the day.  When it drew near to three in the
afternoon, a mass of dark clouds was seen rising in the north which
came rapidly across the sky and took its course right above the farm.
They thought it certain that there was rain in the cloud and Thorodd
bade his people rake the hay together; but Thorgunna continued to
scatter hers, in spite of the orders that were given.  The clouds came
on quickly, and when they were above the homestead at Froda there came
such darkness with them that the people could see nothing beyond the
home field; indeed, they could scarcely distinguish their own hands.
Out of the cloud came so much rain that all the hay which was lying
flat was quite soaked.  When the cloud had passed over and the sky
cleared again, it was seen that blood had fallen amid the rain.  In
the evening there was a good draught, and the blood soon dried off all
the hay except that which Thorgunna had been working at; it did not
dry, nor did the rake that she had been using.

Thurid asked Thorgunna what she supposed this marvel might portend.
She said that she did not know, "but it seems to me most likely that
it is an evil omen for some person who is present here".  In the
evening Thorgunna went home and took off her clothes, which had been
stained with the blood; then she lay down in her bed and breathed
heavily, and it was found that she was taken with sickness.  The
shower had not fallen anywhere else than at Froda.

All that evening Thorgunna would taste no food.  In the morning
Thorodd came to her and asked about her sickness, and what end she
thought it would have.  She answered that she did not expect to have
any more illnesses.  Then she said:  "I consider you the wisest person
in the homestead here, and so I shall tell you what arrangements I
wish to make about the property that I leave behind me, and about
myself, for things will go as I tell you, though you think there is
nothing very remarkable about me.  It will do you little good to
depart from my instructions, for this affair has so begun that it will
not pass smoothly off, unless strong measures are taken in dealing
with it."

Thorodd answered:  "There seems to me great likelihood that your
forebodings will come true; and therefore," said he, "I shall promise
to you not to depart from your instructions".

"These are my arrangements," said Thorgunna, "that I will have myself
taken to Skalholt if I die of this sickness, for my mind forbodes me
that that place will some time or other be the most glorious spot in
this land.  I know also that by now there are priests there to sing
the funeral service over me.  So I ask you to have me carried thither,
and for that you shall take so much of my property that you suffer no
loss in the matter.  Of my other effects, Thurid shall have the
scarlet cloak that I own, and I give it her so that she may readily
consent to my disposing of all the rest as I please.  I have a gold
ring, and it shall go to the church with me; but as for my bed and
bed-hangings, I will have them burned with fire, because they will be
of service to no one.  I do not say this because I grudge that any one
should possess these treasures, if I knew that they would be of use to
them; rather am I so earnest in the matter, because I should be sorry
for folk to fall into such trouble for me, as I know will be the case
if my words are not heeded."

Thorodd promised to do as she asked him, and after this Thorgunna's
sickness increased, so that she lay but few days before she died.  The
body was first taken to the church, and Thorodd had a coffin made for
it.  On the following day Thorodd had all the bed-clothes carried out
into the open air, and made a pile of wood beside them.  Then Thurid
the housewife came up, and asked what he was going to do with the bed-
clothes.  He answered that he was to burn them with fire, as Thorgunna
had directed him.  "I will not have such treasures burned," said
Thurid.  Thorodd answered:  "She declared strongly that it would not
do to depart from what she said".  "That was mere jealousy," said
Thurid; "she grudged any other person the use of them, and that was
why she gave these orders; but nothing terrible will happen though her
words are set aside."  "I doubt," said he, "whether it will be well to
do otherwise than as she charged me."

Then Thurid laid her arms round his neck, and besought him not to burn
the furnishings of the bed, and so much did she press him in this that
his heart gave way to her, and she managed it so that Thorodd burned
the mattresses and pillows, while she took for herself the quilt and
coverlets and all the hangings.  Yet neither of them was well pleased.

After this the funeral was made ready; trustworthy men were sent with
the body, and good horses which Thorodd owned.  The body was wrapped
in linen, but not sewed up in it, and then laid in the coffin.  After
this they held south over the heath as the paths go, and went on until
they came to a farm called Lower Ness, which lies in the Tongues of
Staf-holt.  There they asked leave to stay over night, but the farmer
would give them no hospitality.  However, as it was close on
nightfall, they did not see how they could go on, for they thought it
would be dangerous to deal with the White River by night.  They
therefore unloaded their horses, and carried the body into an out-
house, after which they went into the sitting-room and took off their
outer clothes, intending to stay there over night without food.

The people of the house were going to bed by daylight, and after they
were in bed a great noise was heard in the kitchen.  Some went to see
whether thieves had not broken in, and when they reached the kitchen
they saw there a tall woman.  She was quite naked, with no clothes
whatever upon her, and was busy preparing food.  Those who saw her
were so terrified that they dared not go near her at all.  When the
funeral party heard of this they went thither, and saw what the matter
was--Thorgunna had come there, and it seemed advisable to them all not
to meddle with her.  When she had done all that she wanted, she
brought the food into the room, set the tables and laid the food upon
them.  Then the funeral party said to the farmer:  "It may happen in
the end, before we part, that you will think it dearly bought that you
would show us no hospitality".  Both the farmer and the housewife
answered:  "We will willingly give you food, and do you all other
services that you require".

As soon as the farmer had offered them this, Thorgunna passed out of
the room into the kitchen, and then went outside, nor did she show
herself again.  Then a light was kindled in the room, and the wet
clothes of the guests were taken off, and dry ones given them in their
place.  After this they sat down at table, and blessed their food,
while the farmer had holy water sprinkled over all the house.  The
guests ate their food, and it harmed no man, although Thorgunna had
prepared it.  They slept there that night, and were treated with great

In the morning they continued their journey, and things went very
smoothly with them; wherever this affair was heard of, most people
thought it best to do them all the service that they required, and of
their journey no more is to be told.  When they came to Skalholt, they
handed over the precious things which Thorgunna had sent thither:  the
ring and other articles, all of which the priests gladly received.
Thorgunna was buried there, while the funeral party returned home,
which they all reached in safety.

At Froda there was a large hall with a fireplace in the midde, and a
bed-closet at the inner end of it, as was then the custom.  At the
outer end were two store-closets, one on each side; dried fish were
piled in one of these, and there was meal in the other.  In this hall
fires were kindled every evening, as was the custom, and folk sat
round these fires for a long while before they went to supper.  On
that evening on which the funeral party came home, while the folk at
Froda were sitting round the fires, they saw a half-moon appear on the
panelling of the hall, and it was visible to all those who were
present.  It went round the room backwards and against the sun's
course, nor did it disappear so long as they sat by the fires.
Thorodd asked Thorir Wooden-leg what this might portend.  "It is the
Moon of Fate," said Thorir, "and deaths will come after it."  This
went on all that week that the Fate-Moon came in every evening.

The next tidings that happened at Froda were that the shepherd came in
and was very silent; he spoke little, and that in a frenzied manner.
Folk were most inclined to believe that he had been bewitched, because
he went about by himself, and talked to himself.  This went on for
some time, but one evening, when two weeks of winter had passed, the
shepherd came home, went to his bed, and lay down there.  When they
went to him in the morning he was dead, and was buried at the church.

Soon after this there began great hauntings.  One night Thorir Wooden-
leg went outside and was at some distance from the door.  When he was
about to go in again, he saw that the shepherd had come between him
and the door.  Thorir tried to get in, but the shepherd would not
allow him.  Then Thorir tried to get away from him, but the shepherd
followed him, caught hold of him, and threw him down at the door.  He
received great hurt from this, but was able to reach his bed; there he
turned black as coal, took sickness and died.  He was also buried at
the church there, and after this both the shepherd and Thorir were
seen in company, at which all the folk became full of fear, as was to
be expected.

This also followed upon the burial of Thorir, that one of Thorodd's
men grew ill, and lay three nights before he died; then one died after
another, until six of them were gone.  By this time the Christmas fast
had come, although the fast was not then kept in Iceland.  The store-
closet, in which the dried fish were kept, was packed so full that the
door could not be opened; the pile reached nigh up to the rafters, and
a ladder was required to get the fish off the top of it.  One evening
while the folk were sitting round the fires, the fish were torn, but
when search was made no living thing could be found there.

During the winter, a little before Christmas, Thorodd went out to Ness
for the fish he had there; there were six men in all in a ten-oared
boat, and they stayed out there all night.  The same evening that
Thorodd went from home, it happened at Froda, when folk went to sit by
the fires that had been made, that they saw a seal's head rise up out
of the fireplace.  A maid-servant was the first who came forward and
saw this marvel; she took a washing-bat which lay beside the door, and
struck the seal's head with this, but it rose up at the blow and gazed
at Thorgunna's bed-hangings.  Then one of the men went up and beat the
seal, but it rose higher at every blow until it had come up above the
fins; then the man fell into a swoon, and all those who were present
were filled with fear.  Then the lad Kjartan sprang forward, took up a
large iron sledge-hammer and struck at the seal's head; it was a heavy
blow, but it only shook its head, and looked round.  Then Kjartan gave
it stroke after stroke, and the seal went down as though he were
driving in a stake.  Kjartan hammered away till the seal went down so
far that he beat the floor close again above its head, and during the
rest of the winter all the portents were most afraid of Kjartan.

Next morning, while Thorodd and the others were coming in from Ness
with the fish, they were all lost out from Enni; the boat and the fish
drove on shore there, but the bodies were never found.  When the news
of this reached Froda, Kjartan and Thurid invited their neighbours to
the funeral banquet, and the ale prepared for Christmas was used for
this purpose.  The first evening of the feast, however, after the folk
had taken their seats, there came into the hall Thorodd and his
companions, all dripping wet.  The folk greeted Thorodd well, thinking
this a good omen, for at that time it was firmly believed that drowned
men, who came to their own funeral feast, were well received by Ran,
the sea-goddess; and the old beliefs had as yet suffered little,
though folk were baptised and called Christians.

Thorodd and his fellows went right along the hall where the folk sat,
and passed into the one where the fires were, answering no man's
greeting.  Those of the household who were in the hall ran out, and
Thorodd and his men sat down beside the fires, where they remained
till they had fallen into ashes; then they went away again.  This
befel every evening while the banquet lasted, and there was much talk
about it among those who were present.  Some thought that it would
stop when the feast was ended.  When the banquet was over the guests
went home, leaving the place very dull and dismal.

On the evening after they had gone, the fires were kindled as usual,
and after they had burned up, there came in Thorodd with his company,
all of them wet.  They sat down by the fire and began to wring their
clothes; and after they had sat down there came in Thorir Wooden-leg
and his five companions, all covered with earth.  They shook their
clothes and scattered the earth on Thorodd and his fellows.  The folk
of the household rushed out of the hall, as might be expected, and all
that evening they had no light nor any warmth from the fire.

Next evening the fires were made in the other hall, as the dead men
would be less likely to come there; but this was not so, for
everything happened just as it had done on the previous evening, and
both parties came to sit by the fires.

On the third evening Kjartan advised that a large fire should be made
in the hall, and a little fire in another and smaller room.  This was
done, and things then went on in this fashion, that Thorodd and the
others sat beside the big fire, while the household contented
themselves with the little one, and this lasted right through

By this time there was more and more noise in the pile of fish, and
the sound of them being torn was heard both by night and day.  Some
time after this it was necessary to take down some of the fish, and
the man who went up on the pile saw this strange thing, that up out of
the pile there came a tail, in appearance like a singed ox-tail.  It
was black and covered with hair like a seal.  The man laid hold of it
and pulled, and called on the others to come and help him.  Others
then got up on the heap, both men and women, and pulled at the tail,
but all to no purpose.  It seemed to them that the tail was dead, but
while they tugged at it, it flew out of their hands taking the skin
off the palms of those who had been holding it hardest, and no more
was ever seen of the tail.  The fish were then taken up and every one
was found to be torn out of the skin, yet no living thing was to be
found in the pile.

Following upon this, Thorgrima Charm-cheek, the wife of Thorir Wooden-
leg, fell ill, and lay only a little while before she died, and the
same evening that she was buried she was seen in company with her
husband Thorir.  The sickness then began a second time after the tail
had been seen, and now the women died more than the men.  Another six
persons died in this attack, and some fled away on account of the
ghosts and the hauntings.  In the autumn there had been thirty in the
household, of whom eighteen were dead, and five had run away, leaving
only seven behind in the spring.

When these marvels had reached this pitch, it happened one day that
Kjartan went to Helga-fell to see his uncle Snorri, and asked his
advice as to what should be done.  There had then come to Helga-fell a
priest whom Gizurr the white had sent to Snorri, and this priest
Snorri sent to Froda along with Kjartan, his son Thord, and six other
men.  He also gave them this advice, that they should burn all
Thorgunna's bed-hangings and hold a law court at the door, and there
prosecute all those men who were walking after death.  He also bade
the priest hold service there, consecrate water, and confess the
people.  They summoned men from the nearest farms to accompany them,
and arrived at Froda on the evening before Candlemas, just at the time
when the fires were being kindled.  Thurid the housewife had then
taken the sickness after the same fashion as those who had died.
Kjartan went in at once, and saw that Thorodd and the others were
sitting by the fire as usual.  He took down Thorgunna's bed-hangings,
went into the hall, and carried out a live coal from the fire:  then
all the bed-gear that Thorgunna had owned was burned.

After this Kjartan summoned Thorir Wooden-leg, and Thord summoned
Thorodd, on the charge of going about the homestead without leave, and
depriving men of both health and life; all those who sat beside the
fire were summoned in the same way.  Then a court was held at the
door, in which the charges were declared, and everything done as in a
regular law court; opinions were given, the case summed up, and
judgment passed.  After sentence had been pronounced on Thorir Wooden-
leg, he rose up and said:  "Now we have sat as long as we can bear".
After this he went out by the other door from that at which the court
was held.  Then sentence was passed on the shepherd, and when he heard
it he stood up and said:  "Now I shall go, and I think it would have
been better before".  When Thorgrima heard sentence pronounced on her,
she rose up and said:  "Now we have stayed while it could be borne".
Then one after another was summoned, and each stood up as judgment was
given upon him; all of them said something as they went out, and
showed that they were loath to part.  Finally sentence was passed on
Thorodd himself, and when he heard it, he rose and said:  "Little
peace I find here, and let us all flee now," and went out after that.
Then Kjartan and the others entered and the priest carried holy water
and sacred relics over all the house.  Later on in the day he held
solemn service, and after this all the hauntings and ghost-walkings at
Froda ceased, while Thurid recovered from her sickness and became well


Spiritualistic Floating Hands.  Hands in Haunted Houses.  Jerome
Cardan's Tale.  "The Cold Hand."  The Beach-comber's Tale.  "The Black
Dogs and the Thumbless Hand."  The Pakeha Maori and "The Leprous
Hand".  "The Hand of the Ghost that Bit."


Nothing was more common, in the seances of Home, the "Medium," than
the appearance of "Spirit hands".  If these were made of white kid
gloves, stuffed, the idea, at least, was borrowed from ghost stories,
in which ghostly hands, with no visible bodies, are not unusual.  We
see them in the Shchapoff case, at Rerrick, and in other haunted
houses.  Here are some tales of Hands, old or new.


[Jerome Cardan, the famous physician, tells the following anecdote in
his De Rerum Varietate, lib. x., 93.  Jerome only once heard a rapping
himself, at the time of the death of a friend at a distance.  He was
in a terrible fright, and dared not leave his room all day.]

A story which my father used often to tell:  "I was brought up," he
said, "in the house of Joannes Resta, and therein taught Latin to his
three sons; when I left them I supported myself on my own means.  It
chanced that one of these lads, while I was studying medicine, fell
deadly sick, he being now a young man grown, and I was called in to be
with the youth, partly for my knowledge of medicine, partly for old
friendship's sake.  The master of the house happened to be absent; the
patient slept in an upper chamber, one of his brothers and I in a
lower room, the third brother, Isidore, was not at home.  Each of the
rooms was next to a turret; turrets being common in that city.  When
we went to bed on the first night of my visit, I heard a constant
knocking on the wall of the room.

"'What is that?' I said.

"'Don't be afraid, it is only a familiar spirit,' said my companion.
'They call them follets; it is harmless enough, and seldom so
troublesome as it is now:  I don't know what can be the matter with

"The young fellow went to sleep, but I was kept awake for a while,
wondering and observing.  After half an hour of stillness I felt a
thumb press on my head, and a sense of cold.  I kept watching; the
forefinger, the middle finger, and the rest of the hand were next laid
on, the little finger nearly reaching my forehead.  The hand was like
that of a boy of ten, to guess by the size, and so cold that it was
extremely unpleasant.  Meantime I was chuckling over my luck in such
an opportunity of witnessing a wonder, and I listened eagerly.

"The hand stole with the ring finger foremost over my face and down my
nose, it was slipping into my mouth, and two finger-tips had entered,
when I threw it off with my right hand, thinking it was uncanny, and
not relishing it inside my body.  Silence followed and I lay awake,
distrusting the spectre more or less.  In about half an hour it
returned and repeated its former conduct, touching me very lightly,
yet very chilly.  When it reached my mouth I again drove it away.
Though my lips were tightly closed, I felt an extreme icy cold in my
teeth.  I now got out of bed, thinking this might be a friendly visit
from the ghost of the sick lad upstairs, who must have died.

"As I went to the door, the thing passed before me, rapping on the
walls.  When I was got to the door it knocked outside; when I opened
the door, it began to knock on the turret.  The moon was shining; I
went on to see what would happen, but it beat on the other sides of
the tower, and, as it always evaded me, I went up to see how my
patient was.  He was alive, but very weak.

"As I was speaking to those who stood about his bed, we heard a noise
as if the house was falling.  In rushed my bedfellow, the brother of
the sick lad, half dead with terror.

"'When you got up,' he said, 'I felt a cold hand on my back.  I
thought it was you who wanted to waken me and take me to see my
brother, so I pretended to be asleep and lay quiet, supposing that you
would go alone when you found me so sound asleep.  But when I did not
feel you get up, and the cold hand grew to be more than I could bear,
I hit out to push your hand away, and felt your place empty--but warm.
Then I remembered the follet, and ran upstairs as hard as I could put
my feet to the ground:  never was I in such a fright!'

"The sick lad died on the following night."

Here Carden the elder stopped, and Jerome, his son, philosophised on
the subject.

Miss Dendy, on the authority of Mr. Elijah Cope, an itinerant
preacher, gives this anecdote of similar familiarity with a follet in

* * * * *

"Fairies!  I went into a farmhouse to stay a night, and in the evening
there came a knocking in the room as if some one had struck the table.
I jumped up.  My hostess got up and 'Good-night,' says she, 'I'm off'.
'But what was it?' says I.  'Just a poor old fairy,' says she; 'Old
Nancy.  She's a poor old thing; been here ever so long; lost her
husband and her children; it's bad to be left like that, all alone.  I
leave a bit o' cake on the table for her, and sometimes she fetches
it, and sometimes she don't."


[Some years ago I published in a volume of tales called The Wrong
Paradise, a paper styled "My Friend the Beach-comber".  This contained
genuine adventures of a kinsman, my oldest and most intimate friend,
who has passed much of his life in the Pacific, mainly in a foreign
colony, and in the wild New Hebrides.  My friend is a man of
education, an artist, and a student of anthropology and ethnology.
Engaged on a work of scientific research, he has not committed any of
his innumerable adventures, warlike or wandering, to print.  The
following "yarn" he sent to me lately, in a letter on some points of
native customs.  Of course the description of the Beach-comber, in the
book referred to, is purely fictitious.  The yarn of "The Thumbless
Hand" is here cast in a dialogue, but the whole of the strange
experience described is given in the words of the narrator.  It should
be added that, though my friend was present at some amateur seances,
in a remote isle of the sea, he is not a spiritualist, never was one,
and has no theory to account for what occurred, and no belief in
"spooks" of any description.  His faith is plighted to the theories of
Mr. Darwin, and that is his only superstition.  The name of the
principal character in the yarn is, of course, fictitious.  The real
name is an old but not a noble one in England.]

"Have the natives the custom of walking through fire?" said my friend
the Beach-comber, in answer to a question of mine.  "Not that I know
of.  In fact the soles of their feet are so thick-skinned that they
would think nothing of it."

"Then have they any spiritualistic games, like the Burmans and
Maories?  I have a lot of yarns about them."

"They are too jolly well frightened of bush spirits to invite them to
tea," said the Beach-comber.  "I knew a fellow who got a bit of land
merely by whistling up and down in it at nightfall. {292}  They think
spirits whistle.  No, I don't fancy they go in for seances.  But we
once had some, we white men, in one of the islands.  Not the Oui-ouis"
(native name for the French), "real white men.  And that led to
Bolter's row with me."

"What about?"

"Oh, about his young woman.  I told her the story; it was thoughtless,
and yet I don't know that I was wrong.  After all, Bolter could not
have been a comfortable fellow to marry."

In this opinion readers of the Beach-comber's narrative will probably
agree, I fancy.

"Bad moral character?"

"Not that I know of.  Queer fish; kept queer company.  Even if she was
ever so fond of dogs, I don't think a girl would have cared for
Bolter's kennel.  Not in her bedroom anyway."

"But she could surely have got him to keep them outside, however doggy
he was?"

"He was not doggy a bit.  I don't know that Bolter ever saw the black
dogs himself.  He certainly never told me so.  It is that beastly
Thumbless Hand, no woman could have stood it, not to mention the
chance of catching cold when it pulled the blankets off."

"What on earth are you talking about?  I can understand a man attended
by black dogs that nobody sees but himself.  The Catholics tell it of
John Knox, and of another Reformer, a fellow called Smeaton.
Moreover, it is common in delirium tremens.  But you say Bolter didn't
see the dogs?"

"No, not so far as he told me, but I did, and other fellows, when with
Bolter.  Bolter was asleep; he didn't see anything.  Also the Hand,
which was a good deal worse.  I don't know if he ever saw it.  But he
was jolly nervous, and he had heard of it."

The habits of the Beach-comber are absolutely temperate, otherwise my
astonishment would have been less, and I should have regarded all
these phenomena as subjective.

"Tell me about it all, old cock," I said.

"I'm sure I told you last time I was at home."

"Never; my memory for yarns is only too good.  I hate a chestnut."

"Well, here goes!  Mind you I don't profess to explain the thing; only
I don't think I did wrong in telling the young woman, for, however you
account for it, it was not nice."

"A good many years ago there came to the island, as a clerk, un nomme
Bolter, English or Jew."

"His name is not Jewish."

"No, and I really don't know about his breed.  The most curious thing
about his appearance was his eyes:  they were large, black, and had a
peculiar dull dead lustre."

"Did they shine in the dark?  I knew a fellow at Oxford whose eyes
did.  Chairs ran after him."

"I never noticed; I don't remember.  'Psychically,' as you
superstitious muffs call it, Bolter was still more queer.  At that
time we were all gone on spirit-rapping.  Bolter turned out a great
acquisition, 'medium,' or what not.  Mind you, I'm not saying Bolter
was straight.  In the dark he'd tell you what you had in your hand,
exact time of your watch, and so on.  I didn't take stock in this, and
one night brought some photographs with me, and asked for a
description of them.  This he gave correctly, winding up by saying,
'The one nearest your body is that of ---'"

Here my friend named a person well known to both of us, whose name I
prefer not to introduce here.  This person, I may add, had never been
in or near the island, and was totally unknown to Bolter.

"Of course," my friend went on, "the photographs were all the time
inside my pocket.  Now, really, Bolter had some mystic power of seeing
in the dark."

"Hyperaesthesia!" said I.

"Hypercriticism!" said the Beach-comber.

"What happened next _might_ be hyperaesthesia--I suppose you mean
abnormal intensity of the senses--but how could hyperaesthesia see
through a tweed coat and lining?"

"Well, what happened next?"

"Bolter's firm used to get sheep by every mail from ---, and send them
regularly to their station, six miles off.  One time they landed late
in the afternoon, and yet were foolishly sent off, Bolter in charge.
I said at the time he would lose half the lot, as it would be dark
long before he could reach the station.  He didn't lose them!

"Next day I met one of the niggers who was sent to lend him a hand,
and asked results.

"'Master,' said the nigger, 'Bolter is a devil!  He sees at night.
When the sheep ran away to right or left in the dark, he told us where
to follow.'"

"He _heard_ them, I suppose," said I.

"Maybe, but you must be sharp to have sharper senses than these
niggers.  Anyhow, that was not Bolter's account of it.  When I saw him
and spoke to him he said simply, 'Yes, that when excited or interested
to seek or find anything in obscurity the object became covered with a
dim glow of light, which rendered it visible'.  'But things in a
pocket.'  'That also,' said he.  'Curious isn't it?  Probably the
Rontgen rays are implicated therein, eh?'"

"Did you ever read Dr. Gregory's Letters on Animal Magnetism?"

"The cove that invented Gregory's Mixture?"


"Beast he must have been.  No, I never read him."

"He says that Major Buckley's hypnotised subjects saw hidden objects
in a blue light--mottoes inside a nut, for example."

"Rontgen rays, for a fiver!  But Bolter said nothing about seeing
_blue_ light.  Well, after three or four seances Bolter used to be
very nervous and unwilling to sleep alone, so I once went with him to
his one-roomed hut.  We turned into the same bed.  I was awakened
later by a noise and movement in the room.  Found the door open; the
full moon streaming in, making light like day, and the place full of
great big black dogs--well, anyhow there were four or five!  They were
romping about, seemingly playing.  One jumped on the bed, another
rubbed his muzzle on mine! (the bed was low, and I slept outside).
Now I never had anything but love for dogs of any kind, and as--n'est-
ce pas?--love casts out fear, I simply got up, turned them all out,
shut the door, and turned in again myself.  Of course my idea was that
they were flesh and blood, and I allude to physical fear.

"I slept, but was anew awakened by a ghastly feeling that the blanket
was being dragged and creeping off the bed.  I pulled it up again, but
anew began the slow movement of descent.

"Rather surprised, I pulled it up afresh and held it, and must have
dozed off, as I suppose.  Awoke, to feel it being pulled again; it was
slipping, slipping, and then with a sudden, violent jerk it was thrown
on the floor.  Il faut dire that during all this I had glanced several
times at Bolter, who seemed profoundly asleep.  But now alarmed I
tried to wake him.  In vain, he slept like the dead; his face, always
a pasty white, now like marble in the moonlight.  After some
hesitation I put the blanket back on the bed and held it fast.  The
pulling at once began and increased in strength, and I, by this time
thoroughly alarmed, put all my strength against it, and hung on like
grim death.

"To get a better hold I had taken a turn over my head (or perhaps
simply to hide), when suddenly I felt a pressure outside on my body,
and a movement like fingers--they gradually approached my head.  Mad
with fear I chucked off the blanket, grasped a Hand, gazed on it for
one moment in silent horror, and threw it away!  No wonder, it was
attached to no arm or body, it was hairy and dark coloured, the
fingers were short, blunt, with long, claw-like nails, and it was
minus a thumb!  Too frightened to get up I had to stop in bed, and, I
suppose, fell to sleep again, after fresh vain attempts to awaken
Bolter.  Next morning I told him about it.  He said several men who
had thus passed the night with him had seen this hand.  'But,' added
he, 'it's lucky you didn't have the big black dogs also.'  Tableau!

"I was to have slept again with him next night to look further into
the matter, but a friend of his came from --- that day, so I could not
renew the experiment, as I had fully determined to do.  By-the-bye, I
was troubled for months after by the same feeling that the clothes
were being pulled off the bed.

"And that's the yarn of the Black Dogs and the Thumbless Hand."

"I think," said I, "that you did no harm in telling Bolter's young

"I never thought of it when I told her, or of her interest in the
kennel; but, by George, she soon broke off her engagement."

"Did you know Manning, the Pakeha Maori, the fellow who wrote Old New

"No, what about him?"

"He did not put it in his book, but he told the same yarn, without the
dogs, as having happened to himself.  He saw the whole arm, and _the
hand was leprous_."

"Ugh!" said the Beach-comber.

"Next morning he was obliged to view the body of an old Maori, who had
been murdered in his garden the night before.  That old man's hand was
the hand he saw.  I know a room in an old house in England where
plucking off the bed-clothes goes on, every now and then, and has gone
on as long as the present occupants have been there.  But I only heard
lately, and _they_ only heard from me, that the same thing used to
occur, in the same room and no other, in the last generation, when
another family lived there."

"Anybody see anything?"

"No, only footsteps are heard creeping up, before the twitches come

"And what do the people do?"

"Nothing!  We set a camera once to photograph the spook.  He did not

"It's rum!" said the Beach-comber.  "But mind you, as to spooks, I
don't believe a word of it." {299}


The idiot Scotch laird in the story would not let the dentist put his
fingers into his mouth, "for I'm feared ye'll bite me".  The following
anecdote proves that a ghost may entertain a better founded alarm on
this score.  A correspondent of Notes and Queries (3rd Sept., 1864) is
responsible for the narrative, given "almost verbatim from the lips of
the lady herself," a person of tried veracity.

"Emma S---, one of seven children, was sleeping alone, with her face
towards the west, at a large house near C---, in the Staffordshire
moorlands.  As she had given orders to her maid to call her at an
early hour, she was not surprised at being awakened between three and
four on a fine August morning in 1840 by a sharp tapping at her door,
when in spite of a "thank you, I hear," to the first and second raps,
with the third came a rush of wind, which caused the curtains to be
drawn up in the centre of the bed.  She became annoyed, and sitting up
called out, "Marie, what are you about?"

Instead, however, of her servant, she was astonished to see the face
of an aunt by marriage peering above and between the curtains, and at
the same moment--whether unconsciously she threw forward her arms, or
whether they were drawn forward, as it were, in a vortex of air, she
cannot be sure--one of her thumbs was sensibly pressed between the
teeth of the apparition, though no mark afterwards remained on it.
All this notwithstanding, she remained collected and unalarmed; but
instantly arose, dressed, and went downstairs, where she found not a
creature stirring.  Her father, on coming down shortly afterwards,
naturally asked what had made her rise so early; rallied her on the
cause, and soon afterwards went on to his sister-in-law's house, where
he found that she had just unexpectedly died.  Coming back again, and
not noticing his daughter's presence in the room, in consequence of
her being behind a screen near the fire, he suddenly announced the
event to his wife, as being of so remarkable a character that he could
in no way account for it.  As may be anticipated, Emma, overhearing
this unlooked-for denouement of her dream, at once fell to the ground
in a fainting condition.

_On one of the thumbs of the corpse was found a mark as if it had been
bitten in the death agony_. {300}

We have now followed the "ghostly" from its germs in dreams, and
momentary hallucinations of eye or ear, up to the most prodigious
narratives which popular invention has built on bases probably very
slight.  Where facts and experience, whether real or hallucinatory
experience, end, where the mythopoeic fancy comes in, readers may
decide for themselves.


{0a}  Principles of Psychology, vol. ii., p. 115.  By Professor
William James, Harvard College, Macmillan's, London, 1890.  The
physical processes believed to be involved, are described on pp. 123,
124 of the same work.

{0b}  Op. cit., ii., 130.

{4}  Story received from Miss ---; confirmed on inquiry by Drumquaigh.

{5a}  Phantasms of the Living, ii., 382.

{5b}  To "send" a dream the old Egyptians wrote it out and made a cat
swallow it!

{8}  See "Queen Mary's Jewels" in chapter ii.

{10}  Narrated by Mrs. Herbert.

{11a}  Story confirmed by Mr. A.

{11b}  This child had a more curious experience.  Her nurse was very
ill, and of course did not sleep in the nursery.  One morning the
little girl said, "Macpherson is better, I saw her come in last night
with a candle in her hand.  She just stooped over me and then went to
Tom" (a younger brother) "and kissed him in his sleep."   Macpherson
had died in the night, and her attendants, of course, protested
ignorance of her having left her deathbed.

{11c}  Story received from Lady X.  See another good case in
Proceedings of the Psychical Society, vol. xi., 1895, p. 397.  In this
case, however, the finder was not nearer than forty rods to the person
who lost a watch in long grass.  He assisted in the search, however,
and may have seen the watch unconsciously, in a moment of absence of
mind.  Many other cases in Proceedings of S.P.R.

{13}  Story received in a letter from the dreamer.

{16}  Augustine.  In Library of the Fathers, XVII.  Short Treatises,
pp. 530-531.

{18}  St. Augustine, De Cura pro Mortuis.

{20}  The professor is not sure whether he spoke English or German.

{24}  From Some Account of the Conversion of the late William Hone,
supplied by some friend of W. H. to compiler.  Name not given.

{28}  What is now called "mental telegraphy" or "telepathy" is quite
an old idea.  Bacon calls it "sympathy" between two distant minds,
sympathy so strong that one communicates with the other without using
the recognised channels of the senses.  Izaak Walton explains in the
same way Dr. Donne's vision, in Paris, of his wife and dead child.
"If two lutes are strung to an exact harmony, and one is struck, the
other sounds," argues Walton.  Two minds may be as harmoniously
attuned and communicate each with each.  Of course, in the case of the
lutes there are actual vibrations, physical facts.  But we know
nothing of vibrations in the brain which can traverse space to another

Many experiments have been made in consciously transferring thoughts
or emotions from one mind to another.  These are very liable to be
vitiated by bad observation, collusion and other causes.  Meanwhile,
intercommunication between mind and mind without the aid of the
recognised senses--a supposed process of "telepathy"--is a current
explanation of the dreams in which knowledge is obtained that exists
in the mind of another person, and of the delusion by virtue of which
one person sees another who is perhaps dying, or in some other crisis,
at a distance.  The idea is popular.  A poor Highland woman wrote to
her son in Glasgow:  "Don't be thinking too much of us, or I shall be
seeing you some evening in the byre".  This is a simple expression of
the hypothesis of "telepathy" or "mental telegraphy".

{31}  Perhaps among such papers as the Casket Letters, exhibited to
the Commission at Westminster, and "tabled" before the Scotch Privy

{35a}  To Joseph himself she bequeathed the ruby tortoise given to her
by his brother.  Probably the diamonds were not Rizzio's gift.

{35b}  Boismont was a distinguished physician and "Mad Doctor," or
"Alienist".  He was also a Christian, and opposed a tendency, not
uncommon in his time, as in ours, to regard all "hallucinations" as a
proof of mental disease in the "hallucinated".

{39a}  S.P.R., v., 324.

{39b}  Ibid., 324.

{42}  Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. v., pp.
324, 325.

{43}  Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. xi., p. 495.

{45a}  Signed by Mr. Cooper and the Duchess of Hamilton.

{45b}  See Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty, p. 91.

{48}  Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. xi., p. 522.

{50}  The case was reported in the Herald (Dubuque) for 12th February,
1891.  It was confirmed by Mr. Hoffman, by Mr. George Brown and by
Miss Conley, examined by the Rev. Mr. Crum, of Dubuque.--Proceedings,
S.P.R., viii., 200-205.  Pat Conley, too, corroborated, and had no
theory of explanation.  That the girl knew beforehand of the dollars
is conceivable, but she did not know of the change of clothes.

{56a}  Told by the nobleman in question to the author.

{56b}  The author knows some eight cases among his friends of a
solitary meaningless hallucination like this.

{58}  As to the fact of such visions, I have so often seen crystal
gazing, and heard the pictures described by persons whose word I could
not doubt, men and women of unblemished character, free from
superstition, that I am obliged to believe in the fact as a real
though hallucinatory experience.  Mr. Clodd attributes it to disorder
of the liver.  If no more were needed I could "scry" famously!

{60a}  Facts attested and signed by Mr. Baillie and Miss Preston.

{60b}  Story told to me by both my friends and the secretary.

{62}  Memoires, v., 120.  Paris, 1829.

{66}  Readers curious in crystal-gazing will find an interesting
sketch of the history of the practice, with many modern instances, in
Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. v., p. 486, by "Miss X.".  There are also
experiments by Lord Stanhope and Dr. Gregory in Gregory's Letters on
Animal Magnetism, p. 370 (1851).  It is said that, as sights may be
seen in a glass ball, so articulate voices, by a similar illusion, can
be heard in a sea shell, when

"It remembers its august abodes,
And murmurs as the ocean murmurs there".

{68}  A set of scientific men, as Lelut and Lombroso, seem to think
that a hallucination stamps a man as _mad_.  Napoleon, Socrates,
Pascal, Jeanne d'Arc, Luther were all lunatics.  They had lucid
intervals of considerable duration, and the belief in their lunacy is
peculiar to a small school of writers.

{69a}  A crowd of phantom coaches will be found in Messrs. Myers and
Gurney's Phantasms of the Living.

{69b}  See The Slaying of Sergeant Davies of Guise's.

{70}  Principles of Psychology, by Prof. James of Harvard, vol. ii.,
p. 612.  Charcot is one of sixteen witnesses cited for the fact.

{74}  Story written by General Barter, 28th April, 1888.  (S.P.R.)
Corroborated by Mrs. Barter and Mr. Stewart, to whom General Barter
told his adventure at the time.

{75}  Statement by Mr. F. G., confirmed by his father and brother, who
were present when he told his tale first, in St. Louis.  S.P.R.
Proceedings, vol. vi., p. 17.

{76}  S.P.R., viii., p. 178.

{77}   Mrs. M. sent the memorandum to the S.P.R.  "March 13, 1886.
Have just seen visions on lawn--a soldier in general's uniform, a
young lady kneeling to him, 11.40 p.m."

{78}  S.P.R., viii., p. 178.  The real names are intentionally

{80a}  Corroborated by Mr. Elliot.  Mrs. Elliot nearly fainted.
S.P.R., viii., 344-345.

{80b}  Oddly enough, maniacs have many more hallucinations of hearing
than of sight.  In sane people the reverse is the case.

{82}  Anecdote by the lady.  Boston Budget, 31st August, 1890.
S.P.R., viii., 345.

{85a}  Tom Sawyer, Detective.

{85b}  Phantasms of the Living, by Gurney and Myers.

{85c}  The story is given by Mr. Mountford, one of the seers.

{86}  Journal of Medical Science, April, 1880, p. 151.

{88}  Catholic theology recognises, under the name of "Bilocation,"
the appearance of a person in one place when he is really in another.

{91a}  Phantasms, ii., pp. 671-677.

{91b}  Phantasms of the Living.

{91c}  Mr. E. B. Tylor gives a Maori case in Primitive Culture.
Another is in Phantasms, ii., 557.  See also Polack's New Zealand for
the prevalence of the belief.

{92}  Gurney, Phantasms, ii., 6.

{93}  The late Surgeon-Major Armand Leslie, who was killed at the
battle of El Teb, communicated the following story to the Daily
Telegraph in the autumn of 1881, attesting it with his signature.

{95a}  This is a remarkably difficult story to believe.  "The morning
bright and calm" is lit by the rays of the moon.  The woman (a Mrs.
Gamp) must have rushed past Dr. Leslie.  A man who died in Greece or
Russia "that morning" would hardly be arrayed in evening dress for
burial before 4 a.m.  The custom of using goloshes as "hell-shoes"
(fastened on the Icelandic dead in the Sagas) needs confirmation.  Men
are seldom buried in eye-glasses--never in tall white hats.--Phantasms
of the Living, ii., 252.

{95b}  From a memorandum, made by General Birch Reynardson, of an oral
communication made to him by Sir John Sherbrooke, one of the two

{101}  This is an old, but good story.  The Rev. Thomas Tilson,
minister (non-conforming) of Aylesford, in Kent, sent it on 6th July,
1691, to Baxter for his Certainty of the World of Spirits.  The woman
Mary Goffe died on 4th June, 1691.  Mr. Tilson's informants were her
father, speaking on the day after her burial; the nurse, with two
corroborative neighbours, on 2nd July; the mother of Mary Goffe; the
minister who attended her, and one woman who sat up with her--all
"sober intelligent persons".  Not many stories have such good evidence
in their favour.

{103}  Phantasms, ii., 528.

{111}  "That which was published in May, 1683, concerning the Daemon,
or Daemons of Spraiton was the extract of a letter from T. C.,
Esquire, a near neighbour to the place; and though it needed little
confirmation further than the credit that the learning and quality of
that gentleman had stampt upon it, yet was much of it likewise known
to and related by the Reverend Minister of Barnstaple, of the vicinity
to Spraiton.  Having likewise since had fresh testimonials of the
veracity of that relation, and it being at first designed to fill this
place, I have thought it not amiss (for the strangeness of it) to
print it here a second time, exactly as I had transcribed it then."--

{118}  Shchapoff case of "The Dancing Devil" and "The Great Amherst

{121}  Additional MSS., British Museum, 27,402, f. 132.

{122} Really 1628, unless, indeed, the long-continued appearances
began in the year before Buckingham's death; old style.

{127}  It may fairly be argued, granting the ghost, his advice and his
knowledge of a secret known to the countess, that he was a
hallucination unconsciously wired on to old Towse by the mind of the
anxious countess herself!

{129a}  Hamilton's Memoirs.

{129b}  Mrs. Thrale's Diary, 28th November, 1779.

{129c}  Diary of Lady Mary Coke, 30th November, 1779.

{130a}  See Phantasms, ii., 586.

{130b}  The difficulty of knowing whether one is awake or asleep, just
about the moment of entering or leaving sleep is notorious.  The
author, on awaking in a perfectly dark room, has occasionally seen it
in a dim light, and has even been aware, or seemed to be aware, of the
pattern of the wall paper.  In a few moments this effect of light
disappears, and all is darkness.  This is the confused mental state
technically styled "Borderland," a haunt of ghosts, who are really
flitting dreams.

{131}  Life of Lockhart.

{132}  The author has given authorities in Blackwood's Magazine March,
1895.  A Mr. Coulton (not Croker as erroneously stated) published in
the Quarterly Review, No. 179, an article to prove that Lyttelton
committed suicide, and was Junius.  See also the author's Life of

{140}  A prominent name among the witnesses at the trial.

{141}  The report of the trial in the Scots Magazine of June, 1754
(magazines appeared at the end of the month), adds nothing of
interest.  The trial lasted from 7 a.m. of June 11 till 6 a.m. of June
14.  The jury deliberated for two hours before arriving at a verdict.

{142}  Sydney, no date.

{144}  Phantasms, ii., 586, quoting (apparently) the Buckingham
Gazette of the period.

{145a}  Oddly enough a Mr. William Soutar, of Blairgowrie, tells a
ghost story of his own to the S.P.R.!

{145b}  I put them for convenience at the foot.--W. L. L.

{146a}  The dogs in all these towns (farms) of Mause are very well
accustomed with hunting the fox.

{146b}  Blair (Blairgowrie) is the kirk-town of that parish, where
there is also a weekly market:  it lies about a mile below Middle
Mause on the same side of the river.

{146c}  Knockhead is within less than half a mile of Middle Mause, and
the Hilltown lies betwixt the two.  We see both of them from our
window of Craighall House.

{148a}  This George Soutar died about two or three years ago, and was
very well known to William.

{148b}  The Isle is a spot of ground in the wood of Rychalzie, about a
mile above Middle Mause, on the same side of the river.

{149a}  Glasclune is a gentleman of the name of Blair, whose house
lies about three-quarters of a mile south-west from Middle Mause.

{149b}  He said the voice answered him as if it had been some distance
without the door.

{150}  Besides the length of time since the murder was committed,
there is another reason why all the bones were not found, viz., that
there is a little burn or brook which had run for the space of twenty
years, at least, across upon the place when the bones were found, and
would have carried them all away had it not been that the bush, at the
side of which they were buried, had turned the force of the stream a
little from off that place where they lay, for they were not more than
a foot, or at most a foot and a half, under ground, and it is only
within these three years that a water-spate has altered the course of
the burn.

{151}  The course of the river (the Ericht) is from north to south.
Middle Mause lies on the west side of it, and Craighall on the east.

{155a}  With reference to the last statement in Mr. Newton's notes see
the Journal of Sir Walter Scott (edit., 1891, p. 210) under date 13th
June, 1826.

{155b}  L'Homme Posthume.

{155c}  Denny's Folklore of China.

{156}  Story received in a letter from Lieutenant --- of H.M.S gunboat ---.

{157}  He fought at Culloden, of course for King George, and was
appealed to for protection by old Glengarry.

{158a}  Fox's hole.

{158b}  How did Inverawe get leave to wear the Highland dress?

{160}  In every version of the story that I have heard or read
Ticonderoga is called St. Louis, and Inverawe was ignorant of its
other name.  Yet in all the histories of the war that I have seen, the
only name given to the place is Ticonderoga.  There is no mention of
its having a French name.  Even if Inverawe knew the fort they were to
storm was called Ticonderoga, he cannot have known it when the ghost
appeared to him in Scotland.  At that time there was not even a fort
at Ticonderoga, as the French only erected it in 1756.  Inverawe had
told his story to friends in Scotland before the war broke out in
America, so even if in 1758 he did know the real name of the fort that
the expedition was directed against, I don't see that it lessens the
interest of the story.--E. A. C.

The French really called the place Fort Carillon, which disguised the
native name Ticonderoga.  See Memoirs of the Chevalier Johnstone.--A.

{162}  Abercromby's force consisted of the 27th, 42nd, 44th, 46th,
55th, and battalions of the 60th Royal Americans, with about 9000
Provincials and a train of artillery.  The assault, however, took
place before the guns could come up, matters having been hastened by
the information that M. de Levy was approaching with 3000 French
troops to relieve Ticonderoga garrison.

{177a}  I know one inveterate ghost produced in an ancient Scottish
house by these appliances.--A. L.

{177b}  Such events are common enough in old tales of haunted houses.

{177c}  This lady was well known to my friends and to Dr. Ferrier.  I
also have had the honour to make her acquaintance.

{179}  Apparently on Thursday morning really.

{182}  She gave, not for publication, the other real names, here
altered to pseudonyms.

{186}  Phantasms, ii., 202.

{188a}  Maspero, Etudes Egyptiennes, i., fascic. 2.

{188b}  Examples cited in Classical Review, December, 1896, pp. 411,

{188c}  Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. xii., p. 45-116.

{189}  See "Lord St. Vincent's Story".

{190}  Anecdote received from the lady.

{191}  Story at second-hand.

{192}  See The Standard for summer, 1896.

{196}  I have once seen this happen, and it is a curious thing to see,
when on the other side of the door there is nobody.

{198a}  S.P.R., iii., 115, and from oral narrative of Mr. and Mrs.
Rokeby.  In 1885, when the account was published, Mr. Rokeby had not
yet seen the lady in grey.  Nothing of interest is known about the
previous tenants of the house.

{198b}  Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. viii., p. 311.

{199}  Letter of 31st January, 1884.

{200}  Six separate signed accounts by other witnesses are given.
They add nothing more remarkable than what Miss Morton relates.  No
account was published till the haunting ceased, for fear of lowering
the letting value of Bognor House.

{201}  Mr. A. H. Millar's Book of Glamis, Scottish History Society.

{202}  This account is abridged from Mr. Walter Leaf's translation of
Aksakoff's Predvestniki Spiritizma, St. Petersburg, 1895.  Mr.
Aksakoff publishes contemporary letters, certificates from witnesses,
and Mr. Akutin's hostile report.  It is based on the possibility of
imitating the raps, the difficulty of locating them, and the fact that
the flying objects were never seen to start.  If Mrs. Shchapoff threw
them, they might, perhaps, have occasionally been seen to start.
S.P.R., vol. xii., p. 298.  Precisely similar events occurred in
Russian military quarters in 1853.  As a quantity of Government
property was burned, official inquiries were held.  The reports are
published by Mr. Aksakoff.  The repeated verdict was that no suspicion
attached to any subject of the Czar.

{205}  The same freedom was taken, as has been said, with a lady of
the most irreproachable character, a friend of the author, in a
haunted house, of the usual sort, in Hammersmith, about 1876.

{206}  Proceedings, S.P.R., vol. xii., p. 49.

{212}  John Wesley, however, places Hetty as next in seniority to Mary
or Molly.  We do not certainly know whether Hetty was a child, or a
grown-up girl, but, as she always sat up till her father went to bed,
the latter is the more probable opinion.  As Hetty has been accused of
causing the disturbances, her age is a matter of interest.  Girls of
twelve or thirteen are usually implicated in these affairs.  Hetty was
probably several years older.

{220}  30th January, 1717.

{221}  Glanvil's Sadducismus Triumphatus, 1726.  Preface to part ii.,
Mompesson's letters.

{222}  Gentleman's Magazine, November, December, 1872.

{223}  This happened, to a less degree, in the Wesley case, and is not
uncommon in modern instances.  The inference seems to be that the
noises, like the sights occasionally seen, are hallucinatory, not
real.  Gentleman's Magazine, Dec., 1872, p. 666.

{229}  S.P.R. Proceedings, vol. xii., p. 7.

{232}  Demon Possession in China, p. 399.  By the Rev. John L. Nevius,
D.D.  Forty years a missionary in China.  Revel, New York, 1894.

{233a}  Translated from report of Hsu Chung-ki, Nevius, p. 61.

{233b}  Nevius, pp. 403-406.

{234}  Op. cit., p. 415.  There are other cases in Mr. Denny's
Folklore of China.

{239a}  The Great Amherst Mystery, by Walter Hubbell.  Brentano, New
York, 1882.  I obtained some additional evidence at first hand
published in Longman's Magazine.

{239b}  The sources for this tale are two Gaelic accounts, one of
which is printed in the Gael, vol. vi., p. 142, and the other in the
Glenbard Collection of Gaelic Poetry, by the Rev. A. Maclean Sinclair,
p. 297 ff.  The former was communicated by Mr. D. C. Macpherson from
local tradition; the latter was obtained from a tailor, a native of
Lochaber, who emigrated to Canada when about thirty years of age.
When the story was taken down from his lips in 1885, he was over
eighty years old, and died only a few months later.

{246}  John Arnason, in his Icelandic Folklore and Fairy Tales (vol.
i., p. 309), gives the account of this as written by the Sheriff Hans
Wium in a letter to Bishop Haldorr Brynjolfsson in the autumn of 1750.

{249}  Huld, part 3, p. 25, Keykjavik, 1893.

{259}  As at Amherst!

{272}  Written out from tradition on 24th May, 1852.  The name of the
afflicted family is here represented by a pseudonym.

{273}  From Eyrbyggja Saga, chaps, l.-lv.  Froda is the name of a farm
on the north side of Snaefell Ness, the great headland which divides
the west coast of Iceland.

{292}  Fact.

{299}  Cornhill Magazine, 1896.

{300}  This story should come under the head of "Common Deathbed
Wraiths," but, it is such an uncommon one!

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