Present At A Hanging
An old man named Daniel Baker, living near Lebanon, Iowa, was
suspected by his neighbors of having murdered a peddler who had
obtained permission to pass the night at his house. This was in
1853, when peddling was more common in ...
A Cold Greeting
This is a story told by the late Benson Foley of San Francisco:
"In the summer of 1881 I met a man named James H. Conway, a resident
of Franklin, Tennessee. He was visiting San Francisco for his
health, deluded man, and brought...
A Wireless Message
In the summer of 1896 Mr. William Holt, a wealthy manufacturer of
Chicago, was living temporarily in a little town of central New
York, the name of which the writer's memory has not retained. Mr.
Holt had had "trouble with his wi...
Having murdered his brother-in-law, Orrin Brower of Kentucky was a
fugitive from justice. From the county jail where he had been
confined to await his trial he had escaped by knocking down his
jailer with an iron bar, robbing him...
A Man With Two Lives
Here is the queer story of David William Duck, related by himself.
Duck is an old man living in Aurora, Illinois, where he is
universally respected. He is commonly known, however, as "Dead
"In the autumn of 1866 I was a...
Three And One Are One
In the year 1861 Barr Lassiter, a young man of twenty-two, lived
with his parents and an elder sister near Carthage, Tennessee. The
family were in somewhat humble circumstances, subsisting by
cultivation of a small and not very f...
A Baffled Ambuscade
Connecting Readyville and Woodbury was a good, hard turnpike nine or
ten miles long. Readyville was an outpost of the Federal army at
Murfreesboro; Woodbury had the same relation to the Confederate army
at Tullahoma. For months ...
Two Military Executions
In the spring of the year 1862 General Buell's big army lay in camp,
licking itself into shape for the campaign which resulted in the
victory at Shiloh. It was a raw, untrained army, although some of
its fractions had seen hard e...
The Isle Of Pines
For many years there lived near the town of Gallipolis, Ohio, an old
man named Herman Deluse. Very little was known of his history, for
he would neither speak of it himself nor suffer others. It was a
common belief among his nei...
A Fruitless Assignment
Henry Saylor, who was killed in Covington, in a quarrel with Antonio
Finch, was a reporter on the Cincinnati Commercial. In the year
1859 a vacant dwelling in Vine street, in Cincinnati, became the
center of a local excitement be...
A Vine On A House
About three miles from the little town of Norton, in Missouri, on
the road leading to Maysville, stands an old house that was last
occupied by a family named Harding. Since 1886 no one has lived in
it, nor is anyone likely to liv...
At Old Man Eckert's
Philip Eckert lived for many years in an old, weather-stained wooden
house about three miles from the little town of Marion, in Vermont.
There must be quite a number of persons living who remember him, not
unkindly, I trust, and k...
The Spook House
On the road leading north from Manchester, in eastern Kentucky, to
Booneville, twenty miles away, stood, in 1862, a wooden plantation
house of a somewhat better quality than most of the dwellings in
that region. The house was des...
The Other Lodgers
"In order to take that train," said Colonel Levering, sitting in the
Waldorf-Astoria hotel, "you will have to remain nearly all night in
Atlanta. That is a fine city, but I advise you not to put up at the
Breathitt House, one of ...
The Thing At Nolan
To the south of where the road between Leesville and Hardy, in the
State of Missouri, crosses the east fork of May Creek stands an
abandoned house. Nobody has lived in it since the summer of 1879,
and it is fast going to pieces. ...
The Difficulty Of Crossing A Field
One morning in July, 1854, a planter named Williamson, living six
miles from Selma, Alabama, was sitting with his wife and a child on
the veranda of his dwelling. Immediately in front of the house was
a lawn, perhaps fifty yards ...
An Unfinished Race
James Burne Worson was a shoemaker who lived in Leamington,
Warwickshire, England. He had a little shop in one of the by-ways
leading off the road to Warwick. In his humble sphere he was
esteemed an honest man, although like man...
Charles Ashmore's Trail
The family of Christian Ashmore consisted of his wife, his mother,
two grown daughters, and a son of sixteen years. They lived in
Troy, New York, were well-to-do, respectable persons, and had many
friends, some of whom, reading t...
The Empty House
Certain houses, like certain persons, manage somehow to proclaim at once
their character for evil. In the case of the latter, no particular
feature need betray them; they may boast an open countenance and an
ingenuous smile; and yet...
A Haunted Island
The following events occurred on a small island of isolated position in
a large Canadian lake, to whose cool waters the inhabitants of Montreal
and Toronto flee for rest and recreation in the hot months. It is only
to be regretted t...
* * * * *
There was a faint sound of rattling at the brass knob, and the door was
pushed open a couple of inches. A pause of a few seconds, and it was
pushed open still further. Without a sound of footsteps that was
appreciable to my ears, the ...
A Case Of Eavesdropping
Jim Shorthouse was the sort of fellow who always made a mess of things.
Everything with which his hands or mind came into contact issued from
such contact in an unqualified and irremediable state of mess. His
college days were a mes...
Keeping His Promise
It was eleven o'clock at night, and young Marriott was locked into his
room, cramming as hard as he could cram. He was a "Fourth Year Man" at
Edinburgh University and he had been ploughed for this particular
examination so often tha...
With Intent To Steal
To sleep in a lonely barn when the best bedrooms in the house were at
our disposal, seemed, to say the least, unnecessary, and I felt that
some explanation was due to our host.
But Shorthouse, I soon discovered, had seen to all th...
The Wood Of The Dead
One summer, in my wanderings with a knapsack, I was at luncheon in the
room of a wayside inn in the western country, when the door opened and
there entered an old rustic, who crossed close to my end of the table
and sat himself down...
Smith: An Episode In A Lodging-house
"When I was a medical student," began the doctor, half turning towards
his circle of listeners in the firelight, "I came across one or two very
curious human beings; but there was one fellow I remember particularly,
for he caused me...
A Suspicious Gift
Blake had been in very low water for months--almost under water part of
the time--due to circumstances he was fond of saying were no fault of
his own; and as he sat writing in his room on "third floor back" of a
New York boarding-ho...
The Strange Adventures Of A Private Secretary In New York
It was never quite clear to me how Jim Shorthouse managed to get his
private secretaryship; but, once he got it, he kept it, and for some
years he led a steady life and put money in the savings bank.
One morning his employer sent for hi...
Visions Of The Dead In Sleep
In most of the Greek and Roman stories that survive, the wraiths of the
dead are represented as revisiting their friends on earth in sleep.
These instances I have not, as a rule, troubled to collect, for they
cannot strictly be clas...
The Power Of The Dead To Return To Earth
Though there is no period at which the ancients do not seem to have
believed in a future life, continual confusion prevails when they come
to picture the existence led by man in the other world, as we see from
the sixth book of the ...
The Belief In Ghosts In Greece And Rome
Ghost stories play a very subordinate part in classical literature, as
is only to be expected. The religion of the hard-headed, practical Roman
was essentially formal, and consisted largely in the exact performance
of an elaborate r...
Stories Of Haunting
In a letter to Sura the younger Pliny gives us what may be taken as
a prototype of all later haunted-house stories. At one time in Athens
there was a roomy old house where nobody could be induced to live. In
the dead of night th...
The belief that it was possible to call up the souls of the dead by
means of spells was almost universal in antiquity. We know that even
Saul, who had himself cut off those that had familiar spirits and the
wizards out of the land, ...
Apparitions Of The Dead
Among the tall stories in Lucian's _Philopseudus_ is an amusing
account of a man whose wife, whom he loved dearly, appeared to him after
she had been dead for twenty days. He had given her a splendid funeral,
and had burnt every...
"Halloa! Below there!"
When he heard a voice thus calling to him, he was standing at the
door of his box, with a flag in his hand, furled round its short
pole. One would have thought, considering the nature of the ground,
The Haunted House - The Mortals In The House
Under none of the accredited ghostly circumstances, and environed by
none of the conventional ghostly surroundings, did I first make
acquaintance with the house which is the subject of this Christmas
piece. I saw it in the daylig...
The Trial For Murder
I have always noticed a prevalent want of courage, even among
persons of superior intelligence and culture, as to imparting their
own psychological experiences when those have been of a strange
sort. Almost all men are afraid t...
The Fall Of The House Of Usher
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the
year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been
passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of
country; and at...
Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow;
(This--all this--was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed an...
Wanderers in that happy valley
Through two luminous windows saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute's well tuned law,
Round about a throne, where sitting
In state his glory well befi...
And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
And sparkling evermore,
A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of s...
And travellers now within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows, see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
While, like a rapid ghastly river,
Through the pale door,
As if in the superhuman energy of his utterance there had been found the
potency of a spell--the huge antique panels to which the speaker
pointed, threw slowly back, upon the instant, their ponderous and ebony
jaws. It was the work of...
The Old Nurse's Story
I set out one evening for the cottage of my old nurse, to bid her
good-bye for many months, probably years. I was to leave the next day
for Edinburgh, on my way to London, whence I had to repair by coach to
my new abode--almost...
The Superstitious Man's Story
"There was something very strange about William's death--very strange
indeed!" sighed a melancholy man in the back of the van. It was the
seedman's father, who had hitherto kept silence.
"And what might that have been?" asked M...
A Story Of Ravenna
Ravenna being a very ancient city in Romagna, there dwelt sometime a
great number of worthy gentlemen, among whom I am to speak of one more
especially, named Anastasio, descended from the family of Onesti, who by
the death of his...
Teig O'kane And The Corpse
There was once a grown-up lad in the County Leitrim, and he was strong
and lively, and the son of a rich farmer. His father had plenty of
money, and he did not spare it on the son. Accordingly, when the boy
grew up he liked spo...
The Haunted And The Haunters: Or The House And The Brain
A friend of mine, who is a man of letters and a philosopher, said to me
one day, as if between jest and earnest--"Fancy! since we last met, I
have discovered a haunted house in the midst of London."
"Really haunted?--and by wha...
The Botathen Ghost
The legend of Parson Rudall and the Botathen Ghost will be recognised by
many Cornish people as a local remembrance of their boyhood.
It appears from the diary of this learned master of the
grammar-school--for such was his offi...
The Ghost Of Lord Clarenceux
In the chair which stood before the writing-table in the middle of the
room sat the figure of Lord Clarenceux. The figure did not move as I
went in; its back was towards me. At the other end of the room was the
doorway, which led...
Dr Duthoit's Vision
I knew a fine specimen of an English abbe when I was at school at
Hereford. This was Dr Duthoit, Prebendary of _Consumpta per Sabulum_ in
Hereford Cathedral, Rector of St Owen's, bookworm and, chiefly,
rose-grower. He was a middl...
The Seven Lights
John M'Pherson was a farmer and grazier in Kintyre--a genuine
Highlander. In person, though of rather low stature than otherwise, he
was stout, athletic, and active; bold and fearless in disposition, warm
in temper, friendly, and...
The Spectral Coach Of Blackadon
"You have heard of such a spirit, and well you know
The superstitious, idle-headed eld
Received and did deliver to our age
This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth."
_Merry Wives of Windsor._
The old vi...
Sir Francis Drake--who appears to have been especially befriended by his
demon--is said to drive at night a black hearse drawn by headless
horses, and urged on by running devils and yelping, headless dogs,
through Jump, on the ro...
The Spectre Bridegroom
Long, long ago a farmer named Lenine lived in Boscean. He had but one
son, Frank Lenine, who was indulged into waywardness by both his
parents. In addition to the farm servants, there was one, a young girl,
Nancy Trenoweth, who e...
The Pool In The Graveyard
By this corner of the graveyard the red dawn discovered to Jonas a
little pool of clear water, with mosses and parsley-ferns all around it,
and so clear and cool-looking that he must drink. The larger part of it
was still shadowe...
The Lianhan Shee
One summer evening Mary Sullivan was sitting at her own well-swept
hearthstone, knitting feet to a pair of sheep's-grey stockings for
Bartley, her husband. It was one of those serene evenings in the month
of June when the decline...
The Haunted Cove
Commonplace in itself and showing positive vulgarity in the style in
which its pleasure-grounds are laid out, Clyffe, near Berwick-on-Tweed,
has yet one delightful feature of its own,--to wit, a private bay to
which access is obt...
Wandering Willie's Tale
Ye maun have heard of Sir Robert Redgauntlet of that Ilk, who lived in
these parts before the dear years. The country will lang mind him; and
our fathers used to draw breath thick if ever they heard him named. He
was out wi' the ...
"The Castle of Glamis, a venerable and majestic pile of buildings," says
an old Scots Gazetteer, "is situate about one mile north from the
village, on the flat grounds at the confluence of the Glamis Burn and
the Dean. There is a...
It had been for some time reported in the neighbourhood that a poor
unmarried woman, who was a member of the Methodist society; and had
become serious under their ministry, had seen and conversed with the
apparition of a gentlema...
"Fisher," said the Captain, "may sound a very plebeian name, but this
family is of very ancient lineage, and for many hundreds of years they
have possessed a very curious old place in Cumberland, which bears the
weird name of Cro...
The Ghost Of Major Sydenham
Concerning the apparition of the Ghost of Major George Sydenham, (late
of Dulverton in the County of Somerset) to Captain William Dyke, late of
Skilgate in this County also, and now likewise deceased: Be pleased to
take the Relat...
The Miraculous Case Of Jesch Claes
In the year 1676, about the 13th or 14th of this Month October, in the
Night, between one and two of the Clock, this _Jesch Claes_, a cripple,
being in bed with her Husband, who was a Boatman, she was three times
pulled by her Ar...
The Radiant Boy Of Corby Castle
The haunted room forms part of the old house, with windows looking into
the court. It adjoins a tower built for defence, for Corby was,
properly, more a border tower than a castle of any consideration. There
is a winding staircas...
Clerk Saunders and May Margaret
Walked owre yon garden green;
And sad and heavy was the love
That fell them twa between.
And thro' the dark, and thro' the mirk,
And thro' the leaves o' green,
A schoolboy named Bligh, who went to Launceston Grammar School, of which
the Rev. John Ruddle was headmaster, from being a lad of bright parts
and no common attainments, became on a sudden moody, dejected, and
melancholy. His fri...
It was Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe, the antiquary, who furnished this
account of Pearlin Jean's hauntings at Allanbank.
"In my youth," he says, "Pearlin Jean was the most remarkable ghost in
Scotland, and my terror when a child....
The Denton Hall Ghost
A day or two after my arrival at Denton Hall, when all around was yet
new to me, I had accompanied my friends to a ball given in the
neighbourhood, and returned heartily fatigued. At this time I need not
blush, nor you smile, whe...
The Goodwood Ghost Story
My wife's sister, Mrs M----, was left a widow at the age of thirty-five,
with two children, girls, of whom she was passionately fond. She carried
on the draper's business at Bognor, established by her husband. Being
still a very ...
In the month of September 1857 Captain German Wheatcroft, of the 6th
(Inniskilling) Dragoons, went out to India to join his regiment.
His wife remained in England, residing at Cambridge. On the night
between the 14th and 15th o...
The Iron Cage
[As you express a wish to know what credit is to be attached to a tale
sent forth after a lapse of between thirty and forty years, I will state
the facts as they were recalled last year by a daughter of Sir William
Sir James, my mother, with myself and my brother Charles, went abroad
towards the end of the year 1786. After trying several different places,
we determined to settle at Lille, where we had letters of introduction
to several of the be...
The Ghost Of Rosewarne
"Ezekiel Grosse, gent., attorney-at-law," bought the lands of Rosewarne
from one of the De Rosewarnes, who had become involved in debt by
endeavouring, without sufficient means, to support the dignity of his
family. There is reas...
The Iron Chest Of Durley
Mr _John Bourne_, for his Skill, Care and Honesty, was made by his
Neighbour _John Mallet_, Esq., of _Enmore_, the chief of his Trustees,
for his Son _John Mallet_ (Father to Elizabeth, now Countess Dowager of
_Rochester_) and th...
The Strange Case Of M Bezuel
"In 1695," said M. Bezuel, "being a schoolboy of about fifteen years of
age, I became acquainted with the two children of M. Abaquene, attorney,
schoolboys like myself. The eldest was of my own age, the second was
The Marquis De Rambouillet
The Marquis de Rambouillet, eldest brother of the Duchess of Montauzier,
and the Marquis de Precy, eldest son of the family of Nantouillet, both
of them between twenty and thirty, were intimate friends, and went to
the wars, as i...
The Altheim Revenant
A monk of the Abbey of Toussaints relates that on the 9th of September
1625 a man named John Steinlin died at a place called Altheim, in the
diocese of Constance. Steinlin was a man in easy circumstances, and a
Sertorius And His Hind
So soone as Sertorius arriued from Africa, he straight leauied men of
warre, and with them subdued the people of Spaine fronting upon his
marches, of which the more part did willingly submit themselues, upon
the bruit that ran of...
When Sextus sought Erichtho he chose his time in the depth of the night,
when the sun is at its lowermost distance from the upper sky. He took
for companions the associates of his crimes. Wandering among broken
graves and crumbli...
Then there came unto him the ghost of poor Patroklos, in all things like
unto the very man, in stature, and fair eyes, and voice; and he was
arrayed in vesture such as in life he wore. He stood above the hero's
head and challenge...
Vision Of Cromwell
A vision that I had presently after the king's death--I thought that I
was in a great hall, like the king's hall, or the castle in Winchester,
and there was none there but a judge that sat upon the bench and myself;
and as I turn...
Lord Strafford's Warning
In the Rev. John Mastin's _History of Naseby_ is cited a story of an
apparition that was supposed to have appeared to Charles the First at
Daintree, near Naseby, previous to the famous battle of that name.
The army of Charles, ...
Kotter's Red Circle
Kotter's first vision was detailed by him, on oath, before the
magistrates of Sprottaw, in 1619. While he was travelling on foot, in
open daylight, in June 1616, a man appeared to him, who ordered him to
inform the civil and eccl...
The Vision Of Charles Xi Of Sweden
The authenticity of the following narrative rests upon a
_proces-verbal_, drawn out in form, and attested by the signatures of
four credible witnesses.
Charles XI. was one of the most despotic and, at the same time, one of
Ben Jonson's Prevision
Ben Jonson told Drummond of Hawthornden that "when the king came to
England, about the time that plague was in London, he being in the
country, at Sir Robert Cotton's house with old Cambden, he saw in a
vision his eldest son, the...
Queen Ulrica And The Countess Steenbock
When Queen Ulrica was dead, her corpse was placed in the usual way in an
open coffin, in a room hung with black and lighted with numerous wax
candles; a company of the king's guards did duty in the ante-room. One
afternoon, the c...
On Friday, the first day of May 1705, about five o'clock in the evening,
Denis Misanger de la Richardiere, eighteen years of age, was attacked
with an extraordinary malady, which began by a sort of lethargy. They
gave him every a...
The Pied Piper
The following instance is so extraordinary, that I should not repeat it
if the account were not attested by more than one writer, and also
preserved in the public monuments of a considerable town of Upper
Saxony; this town is Ham...
Upon her trial, as it is repeated by Chartier, she spoke with the utmost
simplicity and firmness of her visions: "Que souvent alloit a une belle
fontaine au pays de Lorraine, laquelle elle nommoit bonne fontaine aux
Fees Nostre S...
In the year 1680, at Lumley, a hamlet near Chester-le-Street in the
county of Durham, there lived one Walker, a man well to do in the world,
and a widower. A young relation of his, whose name was Anne Walker, kept
his house, to t...
The Hand Of Glory
One evening, between the years 1790 and 1800, a traveller, dressed in
woman's clothes, arrived at the Old Spital Inn, the place where the mail
coach changed horses, in High Spital, on Bowes Moor. The traveller
begged to stay all ...
The Bloody Footstep
On the threshold of one of the doors of Smithills Hall there is a bloody
footstep impressed into the door-step, and ruddy as if the bloody foot
had just trodden there; and it is averred that, on a certain night of
the year, and a...
The Ghostly Warriors Of Worms
The abbot of Ursperg, in his Chronicle, year 1123, says that in the
territory of Worms they saw during many days a multitude of armed men,
on foot and on horseback, going and coming with great noise, like people
who are going to ...
The Wandering Jew In England
When on the weary way to Golgotha, Christ fainting, and overcome under
the burden of the cross, asked Salathiel, as he was standing at his
door, for a cup of water to cool His parched throat, he spurned the
supplication, and bade...
Bendith Eu Mammau
They appeared diverse ways, but their most frequent way of appearing was
like dancing-companies with musick, or in the form of funerals. When
they appeared like dancing-companies, they were desirous to entice
persons into their c...
The Red Book Of Appin
Once upon a time, there lived a man at Appin, Argyllshire, and he took
to his house an orphan boy. When the boy was grown up, he was sent to
herd; and upon a day of days, and him herding, there came a fine
gentleman where he was,...
The Good O'donoghue
In an age so distant that the precise period is unknown, a chieftain
named O'Donoghue ruled over the country which surrounds the romantic
Lough Lean, now called the Lake of Killarney. Wisdom, beneficence, and
A woman, who had lived in Ludgvan, was executed at Bodmin for the murder
of her husband. There was but little doubt that she had been urged on to
the diabolical deed by a horse-dealer, known as Yorkshire Jack, with
whom, for a lo...
The Fascination Of The Ghost Story
What is the fascination we feel for the mystery of the ghost story?
Is it of the same nature as the fascination which we feel for the
mystery of the detective story?
Of the latter fascination, the late Paul Armstrong used to ...