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Shorthorn Bull
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An Idiot Ghost With Brass Buttons
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The Credulous Peasants
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The Hand Of Glory
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The Cock Lane Ghost
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Group Ii






We now come to some stories of apparitions seen some time after the hour
of death. Canon Ross-Lewin, of Limerick, furnishes the following incident
in his own family. "My uncle, John Dillon Ross-Lewin, lieutenant in the
30th Regiment, was mortally wounded at Inkerman on November 5, 1854, and
died on the morning of the 6th. He appeared that night to his mother, who
was then on a visit in Co. Limerick, intimating his death, and indicating
where the wound was. The strangest part of the occurrence is, that when
news came later on of the casualties at Inkerman, the first account as to
the wound did _not_ correspond with what the apparition indicated to his
mother, but the final account did. Mrs. Ross-Lewin was devoted to her
son, and he was equally attached to her; she, as the widow of a field
officer who fought at Waterloo, would be able to comprehend the battle
scene, and her mind at the time was centred on the events of the Crimean
War."

A clergyman, who desires that all names be suppressed, sends the
following: "In my wife's father's house a number of female servants were
kept, of whom my wife, before she was married, was in charge. On one
occasion the cook took ill with appendicitis, and was operated on in the
Infirmary, where I attended her as hospital chaplain. She died, however,
and was buried by her friends. Some days after the funeral my wife was
standing at a table in the kitchen which was so placed that any person
standing at it could see into the passage outside the kitchen, if the
door happened to be open. [The narrator enclosed a rough plan which made
the whole story perfectly clear.] She was standing one day by herself at
the table, and the door was open. This was in broad daylight, about
eleven o'clock in the morning in the end of February or beginning of
March. She was icing a cake, and therefore was hardly thinking of ghosts.
Suddenly she looked up from her work, and glanced through the open
kitchen door into the passage leading past the servants' parlour into the
dairy. She saw quite distinctly the figure of the deceased cook pass
towards the dairy; she was dressed in the ordinary costume she used to
wear in the mornings, and seemed in every respect quite normal. My wife
was not, at the moment, in the least shocked or surprised, but on the
contrary she followed, and searched in the dairy, into which she was just
in time to see her skirts disappearing. Needless to say, nothing was
visible."

Canon Courtenay Moore, M.A., Rector of Mitchelstown, contributes a
personal experience. "It was about eighteen years ago--I cannot fix the
exact date--that Samuel Penrose returned to this parish from the
Argentine. He was getting on so well abroad that he would have remained
there, but his wife fell ill, and for her sake he returned to Ireland. He
was a carpenter by trade, and his former employer was glad to take him
into his service again. Sam was a very respectable man of sincere
religious feelings. Soon after his return he met with one or two rather
severe accidents, and had a strong impression that a fatal one would
happen him before long; and so it came to pass. A scaffolding gave way
one day, and precipitated him on to a flagged stone floor. He did not die
immediately, but his injuries proved fatal. He died in a Cork hospital
soon after his admission: I went to Cork to officiate at his funeral.
About noon the next day I was standing at my hall door, and the form of
poor Sam, the upper half of it, seemed to pass before me. He looked
peaceful and happy--it was a momentary vision, but perfectly distinct.
The truncated appearance puzzled me very much, until some time after I
read a large book by F.W.H. Myers, in which he made a scientific analysis
and induction of such phenomena, and said that they were almost
universally seen in this half-length form. I do not profess to explain
what I saw: its message, if it had a message, seemed to be that poor Sam
was at last at rest and in peace."

A story somewhat similar to the above was related to us, in which the
apparition seems certainly to have been sent with a definite purpose. Two
maiden ladies, whom we shall call Miss A. X. and Miss B. Y., lived
together for a good many years. As one would naturally expect, they were
close friends, and had the most intimate relations with each other, both
being extremely religious women. In process of time Miss B. Y. died, and
after death Miss A. X. formed the impression, for some unknown reason,
that all was not well with her friend--that, in fact, her soul was not at
rest. This thought caused her great uneasiness and trouble of mind. One
day she was sitting in her armchair thinking over this, and crying
bitterly. Suddenly she saw in front of her a brilliant light, in the
midst of which was her friend's face, easily recognisable, but
transfigured, and wearing a most beatific expression. She rushed towards
it with her arms outstretched, crying, "Oh! B., why have you come?" At
this the apparition faded away, but ever after Miss A. N. was perfectly
tranquil in mind with respect to her friend's salvation.

This group may be brought to a conclusion by a story sent by Mr. T.
MacFadden. It is not a personal experience, but happened to his father,
and in an accompanying letter he states that he often heard the latter
describe the incidents related therein, and that he certainly saw the
ghost.

"The island of Inishinny, which is the scene of this story, is one of the
most picturesque islands on the Donegal coast. With the islands of Gola
and Inismaan it forms a perfectly natural harbour and safe anchorage for
ships during storms. About Christmas some forty or fifty years ago a
small sailing-ship put into Gola Roads (as this anchorage is called)
during a prolonged storm, and the captain and two men had to obtain
provisions from Bunbeg, as, owing to their being detained so long, their
supply was almost exhausted. They had previously visited the island on
several occasions, and made themselves at home with the people from the
mainland who were temporarily resident upon it.

"The old bar at its best was never very safe for navigation, and this
evening it was in its element, as with every storm it presented one
boiling, seething mass of foam. The inhabitants of the island saw the
frail small boat from the ship securely inside the bar, and prophesied
some dire calamity should the captain and the two sailors venture to
return to the ship that night. But the captain and his companions, having
secured sufficient provisions, decided (as far as I can remember the
story), even in spite of the entreaties of those on shore, to return to
the ship. The storm was increasing, and what with their scanty knowledge
of the intricacies of the channel, and the darkness of the night, certain
it was the next morning their craft was found washed ashore on the
island, and the body of the captain was discovered by the first man who
made the round of the shore looking for logs of timber, or other useful
articles washed ashore from wrecks. The bodies of the two sailors were
never recovered, and word was sent immediately to the captain's wife in
Derry, who came in a few days and gave directions for the disposal of her
husband's corpse.

"The island was only temporarily inhabited by a few people who had cattle
and horses grazing there for some weeks in the year, and after this
catastrophe they felt peculiarly lonely, and sought refuge from their
thoughts by all spending the evening together in one house. This
particular evening they were all seated round the fire having a chat,
when they heard steps approaching the door. Though the approach was
fine, soft sand, yet the steps were audible as if coming on hard ground.
They knew there was no one on the island save the few who were sitting
quietly round the fire, and so in eager expectation they faced round to
the door. What was their _amazement_ when the door opened, and a tall,
broad-shouldered man appeared and filled the whole doorway--and that man
the captain who had been buried several days previously. He wore the
identical suit in which he had often visited the island and even the
"cheese-cutter" cap, so common a feature of sea-faring men's apparel, was
not wanting. All were struck dumb with terror, and a woman who sat in a
corner opposite the door, exclaimed in Irish in a low voice to my father:

"'O God! Patrick, there's the captain.'

"My father, recovering from the first shock, when he saw feminine courage
finding expression in words, said in Irish to the apparition:

"'Come in!'

"They were so certain of the appearance that they addressed him in his
own language, as they invariably talked Irish in the district in those
days. But no sooner had he uttered the invitation than the figure,
without the least word or sign, moved back, and disappeared from their
view. They rushed out, but could discover no sign of any living
person within the confines of the island. Such is the true account of an
accident, by which three men lost their lives, and the ghostly sequel, in
which one of them appeared to the eyes of four people, two of whom are
yet alive, and can vouch for the accuracy of this narrative."





Next: Group Iii

Previous: Group I



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