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The Slaying Of Sergeant Davies
We now examine a ghost with a purpose; he wanted to hav...

Notre Dame Des Eaux
West of St. Pol de Leon, on the sea-cliffs of Finiste...

The Red Lamp
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The Haunted Bed-room
A young gentleman, going down from London to the west...

The Pig In The Dining-room
Mrs. Atlay, wife of a late Bishop of Hereford, dreamed ...

The Bright Scar
In 1867, Miss G., aged eighteen, died suddenly of chole...


...

What May Happen In A Field Of Wild Oats
". . . The sun had hardly risen when we left the house....

The Prior Of Tynemouth
Prior Olaf stood on the central merlon of the gate to...

The Gardener's Ghost
Perhaps the latest ghost in a court of justice (except ...





A Man With His Head On Fire And Covered With Blood






The following singular adventure is related by a military captain.

"I was coming home one night on horseback, from a visit I had been
making to a number of the neighbouring villages, where I had quartered
my recruits. It happened there had fallen a deal of rain that day, since
noon, and during all the evening, which had broken up the roads, and it
was raining still with equal violence; but, being forced to join my
company next morning, I set out, provided with a lanthorn, having to
pass a strait defile between two mountains. I had cleared it, when a
gust of wind took off my hat, and carried it so far, that I despaired of
getting it again, and therefore gave the matter up. By great good
fortune, I had with me my red cloak. I covered my head and shoulders
with it, leaving nothing but a little hole to see my way, and breathe
through; and, for fear the wind should take a fancy to my cloak, as well
as my hat, I passed my right arm round my body to secure it: so that,
riding on in this position, you may easily conceive my lanthorn, which
I held in my right hand, was under my left shoulder. At the entrance of
a village on a hill, I met three travellers, who no sooner saw me than
they ran away as fast as possible. For my part, I went on upon the
gallop; and when I came into the town, alighted at an inn, where I
designed to rest myself a little. Soon after, who should enter, but my
three poltroons, as pale as death itself. They told the landlord and his
people, trembling as they spoke, that in the road they had encountered a
great figure of a man all over blood, whose head was like a flame of
fire, and to increase the wonder, placed beneath his shoulder. He was
mounted on a dreadful horse, said they, quite black behind, and grey
before; which, notwithstanding it was lame, he spurred and whipped right
up the mountain with extraordinary swiftness. Here they ended their
relation. They had taken care to spread the alarm as they were flying
from this wondrous apparition, and the people had come with them to the
inn in such a drove, that upwards of an hundred were all squeezed
together, opening both their mouths and ears at this tremendous story.
To make up in some sort for my dismal journey, I resolved to laugh a
little, and be merry at their cost, intending to cure them of such
fright, by shewing them their folly in the present instance. With this
view, I got upon my horse again, behind the inn, and went round about
till I had rode the distance of a mile or thereabouts; when, turning, I
disposed of my accoutrements, that is to say, my cloak and lanthorn, as
before, and on I came upon a gallop towards the inn. You should have
seen the frighted mob of peasants, how they hid their faces at the
sight, and got into the passage. There was no one but the host had
courage to remain, and keep his eye upon me. I was now before the door,
on which I shifted the position of my lanthorn, let my cloak drop down
upon my shoulders, and appeared the figure he had seen me by his kitchen
fire. It was not without real difficulty, we could bring the simple
people who had crowded in for safety from their terror: the three
travellers, in particular, as the first impression was still strong
within them, they could not credit what they saw. We finished by a
hearty laugh at their expence, and by drinking to the man whose head was
like a flame of fire, and placed beneath his shoulder."





Next: The Innocent Devil Or Agreeable Disappointment

Previous: Giles The Shepherd And Spectre



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