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Farm House 5 Grounds Plantations And Surroundings
A house of this kind should never stand in vulgar and f...

The Lord Warden's Tomb
My companion had surprised me by a sudden change of d...

Ticonderoga"
Inverawe rose before dawn and went straight to the cave...

Mustapha
I Among the many hangers-on at the Hotel de l'Euro...

The Lost Cheque
Mr. A., a barrister, sat up one night to write letters,...

The Watseka Wonder
When the biography of the late Richard Hodgson is wri...

The Drunken Bucks And Chimney-sweep
On March the 19th, 1765, four bucks assembled at an i...

The Dancing Devil
On 16th November, 1870, Mr. Shchapoff, a Russian squire...

Style Of Building—miscellaneous
Diversified as are the features of our country in clim...





Haunted Houses In Or Near Dublin






Of all species of ghostly phenomena, that commonly known as "haunted
houses" appeals most to the ordinary person. There is something very
eerie in being shut up within the four walls of a house with a ghost. The
poor human being is placed at such a disadvantage. If we know that a
gateway, or road, or field has the reputation of being haunted, we can in
nearly every case make a detour, and so avoid the unpleasant locality.
But the presence of a ghost in a house creates a very different state of
affairs. It appears and disappears at its own sweet will, with a total
disregard for our feelings: it seems to be as much part and parcel of the
domicile as the staircase or the hall door, and, consequently, nothing
short of leaving the house or of pulling it down (both of these solutions
are not always practicable) will free us absolutely from the unwelcome
presence.

There is also something so natural, and at the same time so unnatural, in
seeing a door open when we know that no human hand rests on the knob, or
in hearing the sound of footsteps, light or heavy, and feeling that it
cannot be attributed to the feet of mortal man or woman. Or perhaps a
form appears in a room, standing, sitting, or walking--in fact, situated
in its three dimensions apparently as an ordinary being of flesh and
blood, until it proves its unearthly nature by vanishing before our
astonished eyes. Or perhaps we are asleep in bed. The room is shrouded
in darkness, and our recumbent attitude, together with the weight of
bed-clothes, hampers our movements and probably makes us more cowardly. A
man will meet pain or danger boldly if he be standing upright--occupying
that erect position which is his as Lord of Creation; but his courage
does not well so high if he be supine. We are awakened suddenly by the
feel that some superhuman Presence is in the room. We are transfixed with
terror, we cannot find either the bell-rope or the matches, while we
_dare_ not leap out of bed and make a rush for the door lest we should
encounter we know not what. In an agony of fear, we feel it moving
towards us; it approaches closer, and yet closer, to the bed, and--for
what may or may not then happen we must refer our readers to the pages of
this book.

But the sceptical reader will say: "This is all very well, but--there are
_no_ haunted houses. All these alleged strange happenings are due to a
vivid imagination, or else to rats and mice." (The question of deliberate
and conscious fraud may be rejected in almost every instance.) This
simple solution has been put forward so often that it should infallibly
have solved the problem long ago. But will such a reader explain how it
is that the noise made by rats and mice can resemble slow, heavy
footsteps, or else take the form of a human being seen by several
persons; or how our imagination can cause doors to open and shut, or else
create a conglomeration of noises which, physically, would be beyond the
power of ordinary individuals to reproduce? Whatever may be the ultimate
explanation, we feel that there is a great deal in the words quoted by
Professor Barrett: "In spite of all reasonable scepticism, it is
difficult to avoid accepting, at least provisionally, the conclusion that
there are, in a certain sense, haunted houses, _i.e._ that there are
houses in which similar quasi-human apparitions have occurred at
different times to different inhabitants, under circumstances which
exclude the hypothesis of suggestion or expectation."

We must now turn to the subject of this chapter. Mrs. G. Kelly, a lady
well known in musical circles in Dublin, sends as her own personal
experience the following tale of a most quiet haunting, in which the
spectral charwoman (!) does not seem to have entirely laid aside all her
mundane habits.

"My first encounter with a ghost occurred about twenty years ago. On that
occasion I was standing in the kitchen of my house in ---- Square, when a
woman, whom I was afterwards to see many times, walked down the stairs
into the room. Having heard the footsteps outside, I was not in the least
perturbed, but turned to look who it was, and found myself looking at a
tall, stout, elderly woman, wearing a bonnet and old-fashioned mantle.
She had grey hair, and a benign and amiable expression. We stood gazing
at each other while one could count twenty. At first I was not at all
frightened, but gradually as I stood looking at her an uncomfortable
feeling, increasing to terror, came over me. This caused me to retreat
farther and farther back, until I had my back against the wall, and then
the apparition slowly faded.

"This feeling of terror, due perhaps to the unexpectedness of her
appearance, always overcame me on the subsequent occasions on which I
saw her. These occasions numbered twelve or fifteen, and I have seen her
in every room in the house, and at every hour of the day, during a period
of about ten years. The last time she appeared was ten years ago. My
husband and I had just returned from a concert at which he had been
singing, and we sat for some time over supper, talking about the events
of the evening. When at last I rose to leave the room, and opened the
dining-room door, I found my old lady standing on the mat outside with
her head bent towards the door in the attitude of listening. I called
out loudly, and my husband rushed to my side. That was the last time I
have seen her."

"One peculiarity of this spectral visitant was a strong objection to
disorder or untidyness of any kind, or even to an alteration in the
general routine of the house. For instance, she showed her disapproval of
any stranger coming to sleep by turning the chairs face downwards on the
floor in the room they were to occupy. I well remember one of our guests,
having gone to his room one evening for something he had forgotten,
remarking on coming downstairs again, 'Well, you people have an
extraordinary manner of arranging your furniture! I have nearly broken my
bones over one of the bedroom chairs which was turned down on the floor.'
As my husband and I had restored that chair twice already to its proper
position during the day, we were not much surprised at his remarks,
although we did not enlighten him. The whole family have been disturbed
by a peculiar knocking which occurred in various rooms in the house,
frequently on the door or wall, but sometimes on the furniture, quite
close to where we had been sitting. This was evidently loud enough to be
heard in the next house, for our next-door neighbour once asked my
husband why he selected such curious hours for hanging his pictures.
Another strange and fairly frequent occurrence was the following. I had
got a set of skunk furs which I fancied had an unpleasant odour, as this
fur sometimes has; and at night I used to take it from my wardrobe and
lay it on a chair in the drawing-room, which was next my bedroom. The
first time that I did this, on going to the drawing-room I found, to my
surprise, my muff in one corner and my stole in another. Not for a moment
suspecting a supernatural agent, I asked my servant about it, and she
assured me that she had not been in the room that morning. Whereupon I
determined to test the matter, which I did by putting in the furs late at
night, and taking care that I was the first to enter the room in the
morning. I invariably found that they had been disturbed."

The following strange and pathetic incident occurred in a well-known
Square in the north side of the city. In or about a hundred years ago a
young officer was ordered to Dublin, and took a house there for himself
and his family. He sent on his wife and two children, intending to join
them in the course of a few days. When the latter and the nurse arrived,
they found only the old charwoman in the house, and she left shortly
after their arrival. Finding that something was needed, the nurse went
out to purchase it. On her return she asked the mother were the children
all right, as she had seen two ghostly forms flit past her on the
door-step! The mother answered that she believed they were, but on going
up to the nursery they found both the children with their throats cut.
The murderer was never brought to justice, and no motive was ever
discovered for the crime. The unfortunate mother went mad, and it is said
that an eerie feeling still clings to the house, while two little heads
are sometimes seen at the window of the room where the deed was
committed.

A most weird experience fell to the lot of Major Macgregor, and was
contributed by him to _Real Ghost Stories_, the celebrated Christmas
number of the _Review of Reviews_. He says: "In the end of 1871 I went
over to Ireland to visit a relative living in a Square in the north side
of Dublin. In January 1872 the husband of my relative fell ill. I sat up
with him for several nights, and at last, as he seemed better, I went to
bed, and directed the footman to call me if anything went wrong. I soon
fell asleep, but some time after was awakened by a push on the left
shoulder. I started up, and said, 'Is there anything wrong?' I got no
answer, but immediately received another push. I got annoyed, and said
'Can you not speak, man! and tell me if there is anything wrong.' Still
no answer, and I had a feeling I was going to get another push when I
suddenly turned round and caught a human hand, warm, plump, and soft. I
said, 'Who are you?' but I got no answer. I then tried to pull the person
towards me, but could not do so. I then said, 'I _will_ know who you
are!' and having the hand tight in my right hand, with my left I felt the
wrist and arm, enclosed, as it seemed to me, in a tight-fitting sleeve of
some winter material with a linen cuff, but when I got to the elbow all
trace of an arm ceased. I was so astounded that I let the hand go, and
just then the clock struck two. Including the mistress of the house,
there were five females in the establishment, and I can assert that the
hand belonged to none of them. When I reported the adventure, the
servants exclaimed, 'Oh, it must have been the master's old Aunt Betty,
who lived for many years in the upper part of that house, and had died
over fifty years before at a great age.' I afterwards heard that the room
in which I felt the hand had been considered haunted, and very curious
noises and peculiar incidents occurred, such as the bed-clothes torn off,
&c. One lady got a slap in the face from some invisible hand, and when
she lit her candle she saw as if something opaque fell or jumped off

the bed. A general officer, a brother of the lady, slept there two
nights, but preferred going to a hotel to remaining the third night. He
never would say what he heard or saw, but always said the room was
uncanny. I slept for months in the room afterwards, and was never in the
least disturbed."

A truly terrifying sight was witnessed by a clergyman in a school-house a
good many years ago. This cleric was curate of a Dublin parish, but
resided with his parents some distance out of town in the direction of
Malahide. It not infrequently happened that he had to hold meetings in
the evenings, and on such occasions, as his home was so far away, and as
the modern convenience of tramcars was not then known, he used to sleep
in the schoolroom, a large bare room, where the meetings were held. He
had made a sleeping-apartment for himself by placing a pole across one
end of the room, on which he had rigged up two curtains which, when drawn
together, met in the middle. One night he had been holding some meeting,
and when everybody had left he locked up the empty schoolhouse, and went
to bed. It was a bright moonlight night, and every object could be seen
perfectly clearly. Scarcely had he got into bed when he became conscious
of some invisible presence. Then he saw the curtains agitated at one end,
as if hands were grasping them on the outside. In an agony of terror he
watched these hands groping along outside the curtains till they reached
the middle. The curtains were then drawn a little apart, and a Face
peered in--an awful, evil Face, with an expression of wickedness and hate
upon it which no words could describe. It looked at him for a few
moments, then drew back again, and the curtains closed. The clergyman
had sufficient courage left to leap out of bed and make a thorough
examination of the room, but, as he expected, he found no one. He dressed
himself as quickly as possible, walked home, and never again slept a
night in that schoolroom.

The following tale, sent by Mr. E. B. de Lacy, contains a most
extraordinary and unsatisfactory element of mystery. He says: "When I was
a boy I lived in the suburbs, and used to come in every morning to school
in the city. My way lay through a certain street in which stood a very
dismal semi-detached house, which, I might say, was closed up regularly
about every six months. I would see new tenants coming into it, and then
in a few months it would be 'To let' again. This went on for eight or
nine years, and I often wondered what was the reason. On inquiring one
day from a friend, I was told that it had the reputation of being
haunted.

"A few years later I entered business in a certain office, and one day it
fell to my lot to have to call on the lady who at that particular period
was the tenant of the haunted house. When we had transacted our business
she informed me that she was about to leave. Knowing the reputation of
the house, and being desirous of investigating a ghost-story, I asked her
if she would give me the history of the house as far as she knew it,
which she very kindly did as follows:

"About forty years ago the house was left by will to a gentleman
named ----. He lived in it for a short time, when he suddenly went mad,
and had to be put in an asylum. Upon this his agents let the house to a
lady. Apparently nothing unusual happened for some time, but a few months
later, as she went down one morning to a room behind the kitchen, she
found the cook hanging by a rope attached to a hook in the ceiling. After
the inquest the lady gave up the house.

"It was then closed up for some time, but was again advertised 'To let,'
and a caretaker, a woman, was put into it. One night about one o'clock, a
constable going his rounds heard some one calling for help from the
house, and found the caretaker on the sill of one of the windows holding
on as best she could. He told her to go in and open the hall door and let
him in, but she refused to enter the room again. He forced open the door
and succeeded in dragging the woman back into the room, only to find she
had gone mad.

"Again the house was shut up, and again it was let, this time to a lady,
on a five-years' lease. However, after a few months' residence, she
locked it up, and went away. On her friends asking her why she did so,
she replied that she would rather pay the whole five years' rent than
live in it herself, or allow anyone else to do so, but would give no
other reason.

"'I believe I was the next person to take this house,' said the lady who
narrated the story to me (_i.e._ Mr. de Lacy). 'I took it about eighteen
months ago on a three years' lease in the hopes of making money by taking
in boarders, but I am now giving it up because none of them will stay
more than a week or two. They do not give any definite reason as to why
they are leaving; they are careful to state that it is not because they
have any fault to find with me or my domestic arrangements, but they
merely say _they do not like the rooms_! The rooms themselves, as you can
see, are good, spacious, and well lighted. I have had all classes of
professional men; one of the last was a barrister, and he said that he
had no fault to find except that _he did not like the rooms_! I myself do
not believe in ghosts, and I have never seen anything strange here or
elsewhere; and if I had known the house had the reputation of being
haunted, I would never have rented it."

Marsh's library, that quaint, old-world repository of ponderous tomes, is
reputed to be haunted by the ghost of its founder, Primate Narcissus
Marsh. He is said to frequent the inner gallery, which contains what was
formerly his own private library: he moves in and out among the cases,
taking down books from the shelves, and occasionally throwing them down
on the reader's desk as if in anger. However, he always leaves things in
perfect order. The late Mr. ----, who for some years lived in the
librarian's rooms underneath, was a firm believer in this ghost, and said
he frequently heard noises which could only be accounted for by the
presence of a nocturnal visitor; the present tenant is more sceptical.
The story goes that Marsh's niece eloped from the Palace, and was married
in a tavern to the curate of Chapelizod. She is reported to have written
a note consenting to the elopement, and to have then placed it in one of
her uncle's books to which her lover had access, and where he found it.
As a punishment for his lack of vigilance, the Archbishop is said to be
condemned to hunt for the note until he find it--hence the ghost.

The ghost of a deceased Canon was seen in one of the Dublin cathedrals
by several independent witnesses, one of whom, a lady, gives her own
experience as follows: "Canon ---- was a personal friend of mine, and
we had many times discussed ghosts and spiritualism, in which he was a
profound believer, having had many supernatural experiences himself.
It was during the Sunday morning service in the cathedral that I saw
my friend, who had been dead for two years, sitting inside the
communion-rails. I was so much astonished at the flesh-and blood
appearance of the figure that I took off my glasses and wiped them with
my handkerchief, at the same time looking away from him down the church.
On looking back again he was still there, and continued to sit there for
about ten or twelve minutes, after which he faded away. I remarked a
change in his personal appearance, which was, that his beard was longer
and whiter than when I had known him--in fact, such a change as would
have occurred _in life_ in the space of two years. Having told my
husband of the occurrence on our way home, he remembered having heard
some talk of an appearance of this clergyman in the cathedral since his
death. He hurried back to the afternoon service, and asked the robestress
if anybody had seen Canon ----'s ghost. She informed him that _she_ had,
and that he had also been seen by one of the sextons in the cathedral. I
mention this because in describing his personal appearance she had
remarked the same change as I had with regard to the beard."

Some years ago a family had very uncanny experiences in a house in
Rathgar, and subsequently in another in Rathmines. These were
communicated by one of the young ladies to Mrs. M. A. Wilkins, who
published them in the _Journal_ of the American S.P.R.,[1] from which
they are here taken. The Rathgar house had a basement passage leading to
a door into the yard, and along this passage her mother and the children
used to hear dragging, limping steps, and the latch of the door rattling,
but no one could ever be found when search was made. The house-bells were
old and all in a row, and on one occasion they all rang, apparently of
their own accord. The lady narrator used to sleep in the back drawing
room, and always when the light was put out she heard strange noises, as
if some one was going round the room rubbing paper along the wall, while
she often had the feeling that a person was standing beside her bed. A
cousin, who was a nurse, once slept with her, and also noticed these
strange noises. On one occasion this room was given up to a very
matter-of-fact young man to sleep in, and next morning he said that the
room was very strange, with queer noises in it.

[Footnote 1: For September 1913.]

Her mother also had an extraordinary experience in the same house. One
evening she had just put the baby to bed, when she heard a voice calling
"mother." She left the bedroom, and called to her daughter, who was in a
lower room, "What do you want?" But the girl replied that she had _not_
called her; and then, in her turn, asked her mother if _she_ had been in
the front room, for she had just heard a noise as if some one was trying
to fasten the inside bars of the shutters across. But her mother had been
upstairs, and no one was in the front room. The experiences in the
Rathmines house were of a similar auditory nature, _i.e._ the young
ladies heard their names called, though it was found that no one in the
house had done so.

Occasionally it happens that ghosts inspire a law-suit. In the
seventeenth century they were to be found actively urging the adoption of
legal proceedings, but in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries they
play a more passive part. A case about a haunted house took place in
Dublin in the year 1885, in which the ghost may be said to have won. A
Mr. Waldron, a solicitor's clerk, sued his next-door neighbour, one
Mr. Kiernan, a mate in the merchant service, to recover £500 for damages
done to his house.

Kiernan altogether denied the charges, but asserted that Waldron's house
was notoriously haunted. Witnesses proved that every night, from August
1884 to January 1885, stones were thrown at the windows and doors, and
extraordinary and inexplicable occurrences constantly took place.

Mrs. Waldron, wife of the plaintiff, swore that one night she saw one of
the panes of glass of a certain window cut through with a diamond, and a
white hand inserted through the hole. She at once caught up a bill-hook
and aimed a blow at the hand, cutting off one of the fingers. This finger
could not be found, nor were any traces of blood seen.

A servant of hers was sorely persecuted by noises and the sound of
footsteps. Mr. Waldron, with the aid of detectives and policemen,
endeavoured to find out the cause, but with no success. The witnesses
in the case were closely cross-examined, but without shaking their
testimony. The facts appeared to be proved, so the jury found for
Kiernan, the defendant. At least twenty persons had testified on oath to
the fact that the house had been known to have been haunted.[2]

[Footnote 2: See _Sights and Shadows_, p. 42 ff.]

Before leaving the city and its immediate surroundings, we must relate
the story of an extraordinary ghost, somewhat lacking in good manners,
yet not without a certain distorted sense of humour. Absolutely
incredible though the tale may seem, yet it comes on very good authority.
It was related to our informant, Mr. D., by a Mrs. C., whose daughter he
had employed as governess. Mrs. C., who is described as "a woman of
respectable position and good education," heard it in her turn from her
father and mother. In the story the relationship of the different persons
seems a little involved, but it would appear that the initial A belongs
to the surname both of Mrs. C.'s father and grandfather.

This ghost was commonly called "Corney" by the family, and he answered to
this though it was not his proper name. He disclosed this latter to Mr.
C.'s mother, who forgot it. Corney made his presence manifest to the
A---- family shortly after they had gone to reside in ---- Street in the
following manner. Mr. A---- had sprained his knee badly, and had to use a
crutch, which at night was left at the head of his bed. One night his
wife heard some one walking on the lobby, thump, thump, thump, as if
imitating Mr. A----. She struck a match to see if the crutch had been
removed from the head of the bed, but it was still there.

From that on Corney commenced to talk, and he spoke every day from his
usual habitat, the coal-cellar off the kitchen. His voice sounded as if
it came out of an empty barrel.

He was very troublesome, and continually played practical jokes on the
servants, who, as might be expected, were in terror of their lives of
him; so much so that Mrs. A---- could hardly induce them to stay with
her. They used to sleep in a press-bed in the kitchen, and in order to
get away from Corney, they asked for a room at the top of the house,
which was given to them. Accordingly the press-bed was moved up there.
The first night they went to retire to bed after the change, the doors of
the press were flung open, and Corney's voice said, "Ha! ha! you devils,
I am here before you! I am not confined to any particular part of this
house."

Corney was continually tampering with the doors, and straining locks
and keys. He only manifested himself in material form to two persons;
to ----, who died with the fright, and to Mr. A---- (Mrs. C.'s father)
when he was about seven years old. The latter described him to his mother
as a naked man, with a curl on his forehead, and a skin like a
clothes-horse(!).

One day a servant was preparing fish for dinner. She laid it on the
kitchen table while she went elsewhere for something she wanted. When she
returned the fish had disappeared. She thereupon began to cry, fearing
she would be accused of making away with it. The next thing she heard was
the voice of Corney from the coal-cellar saying, "There, you blubbering
fool, is your fish for you!" and, suiting the action to the word, the
fish was thrown out on the kitchen floor.

Relatives from the country used to bring presents of vegetables, and
these were often hung up by Corney like Christmas decorations round the
kitchen. There was one particular press in the kitchen he would not allow
anything into. He would throw it out again. A crock with meat in pickle
was put into it, and a fish placed on the cover of the crock. He threw
the fish out.

Silver teaspoons were missing, and no account of them could be got until
Mrs. A---- asked Corney to confess if he had done anything with them. He
said, "They are under the ticking in the servants' bed." He had, so he
said, a daughter in ---- Street, and sometimes announced that he was
going to see her, and would not be here to-night.

On one occasion he announced that he was going to have "company" that
evening, and if they wanted any water out of the soft-water tank, to take
it before going to bed, as he and his friends would be using it.
Subsequently that night five or six distinct voices were heard, and next
morning the water in the tank was as black as ink, and not alone that,
but the bread and butter in the pantry were streaked with the marks of
sooty fingers.

A clergyman in the locality, having heard of the doings of Corney, called
to investigate the matter. He was advised by Mrs. A---- to keep quiet,
and not to reveal his identity, as being the best chance of hearing
Corney speak. He waited a long time, and as the capricious Corney
remained silent, he left at length. The servants asked, "Corney, why did
you not speak?" and he replied, "I could not speak while that good man
was in the house." The servants sometimes used to ask him where he was.
He would reply, "The Great God would not permit me to tell you. I was a
bad man, and I died the death." He named the room in the house in which
he died.

Corney constantly joined in any conversation carried on by the people of
the house. One could never tell when a voice from the coal-cellar would
erupt into the dialogue. He had his likes and dislikes: he appeared to
dislike anyone that was not afraid of him, and would not talk to them.
Mrs. C.'s mother, however, used to get good of him by coaxing. An uncle,
having failed to get him to speak one night, took the kitchen poker, and
hammered at the door of the coal-cellar, saying, "I'll make you speak";
but Corney wouldn't. Next morning the poker was found broken in two. This
uncle used to wear spectacles, and Corney used to call him derisively,
"Four-eyes." An uncle named Richard came to sleep one night, and
complained in the morning that the clothes were pulled off him. Corney
told the servants in great glee, "I slept on Master Richard's feet all
night."

Finally Mr. A---- made several attempts to dispose of his lease, but with
no success, for when intending purchasers were being shown over the house
and arrived at Corney's domain, the spirit would begin to speak and
the would-be purchaser would fly. They asked him if they changed house
would he trouble them. He replied, "No! but if they throw down this
house, I will trouble the stones."

At last Mrs. A---- appealed to him to keep quiet, and not to injure
people who had never injured him. He promised that he would do so, and
then said, "Mrs. A----, you will be all right now, for I see a lady in
black coming up the street to this house, and she will buy it." Within
half an hour a widow called and purchased the house. Possibly Corney is
still there, for our informant looked up the Directory as he was writing,
and found the house marked "Vacant."

Near Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin, is a house, occupied at present, or up
to very recently, by a private family; it was formerly a monastery, and
there are said to be secret passages in it. Once a servant ironing in the
kitchen saw the figure of a nun approach the kitchen window and look in.
Our informant was also told by a friend (now dead), who had it from the
lady of the house, that once night falls, no doors can be kept closed.
If anyone shuts them, almost immediately they are flung open again with
the greatest violence and apparent anger. If left open there is no
trouble or noise, but light footsteps are heard, and there is a vague
feeling of people passing to and fro. The persons inhabiting the house
are matter-of-fact, unimaginative people, who speak of this as if it were
an everyday affair. "So long as we leave the doors unclosed they don't
harm us: why should we be afraid of them?" Mrs. ---- said. Truly a most
philosophical attitude to adopt!

A haunted house in Kingstown, Co. Dublin, was investigated by Professor
W. Barrett and Professor Henry Sidgwick. The story is singularly well
attested (as one might expect from its being inserted in the pages of the
_Proceedings S.P.R._[3]), as the apparition was seen on three distinct
occasions, and by three separate persons who were all personally known to
the above gentlemen. The house in which the following occurrences took
place is described as being a very old one, with unusually thick walls.
The lady saw her strange visitant in her bedroom. She says: "Disliking
cross-lights, I had got into the habit of having the blind of the back
window drawn and the shutters closed at night, and of leaving the blind
raised and the shutters opened towards the front, liking to see the trees
and sky when I awakened. Opening my eyes now one morning, I saw right
before me (this occurred in July 1873) the figure of a woman, stooping
down and apparently looking at me. Her head and shoulders were wrapped in
a common woollen shawl; her arms were folded, and they were also wrapped,
as if for warmth, in the shawl. I looked at her in my horror, and dared
not cry out lest I might move the awful thing to speech or action. Behind
her head I saw the window and the growing dawn, the looking-glass upon
the toilet-table, and the furniture in that part of the room. After what
may have been only seconds--of the duration of this vision I cannot
judge--she raised herself and went backwards towards the window, stood at
the toilet-table, and gradually vanished. I mean she grew by degrees
transparent, and that through the shawl and the grey dress she wore I saw
the white muslin of the table-cover again, and at last saw that only in
the place where she had stood." The lady lay motionless with terror until
the servant came to call her. The only other occupants of the house at
the time were her brother and the servant, to neither of whom did she
make any mention of the circumstance, fearing that the former would laugh
at her, and the latter give notice.

[Footnote 3: July 1884, p. 141.]

Exactly a fortnight later, when sitting at breakfast, she noticed
that her brother seemed out of sorts, and did not eat. On asking
him if anything were the matter, he answered, "I have had a horrid
nightmare--indeed it was no nightmare: I saw it early this morning, just
as distinctly as I see you." "What?" she asked. "A villainous-looking
hag," he replied, "with her head and arms wrapped in a cloak, stooping
over me, and looking like this--" He got up, folded his arms, and put
himself in the exact posture of the vision. Whereupon she informed him of
what she herself had seen a fortnight previously.

About four years later, in the same month, the lady's married sister and
two children were alone in the house. The eldest child, a boy of about
four or five years, asked for a drink, and his mother went to fetch it,
desiring him to remain in the dining-room until her return. Coming back
she met the boy pale and trembling, and on asking him why he left the
room, he replied, "Who is that woman--who is that woman?" "Where?" she
asked. "That old woman who went upstairs," he replied. So agitated was
he, that she took him by the hand and went upstairs to search, but no one
was to be found, though he still maintained that a woman went upstairs. A
friend of the family subsequently told them that a woman had been killed
in the house many years previously, and that it was reported to be
haunted.





Next: Haunted Houses In Conn's Half




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