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Material For Farm Buildings
In a country like ours, containing within its soils and...

The Open Door
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Farm House Design Iv
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Every farm house and farm cottage, where a family of an...

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





The Apparition Investigated






In a village in one of the midland counties of Scotland, lived a widow,
distinguished among her neighbours for decency of manners, integrity,
and respect for religion. She affirmed that, for several nights
together, she had heard a supernatural voice exclaiming aloud, Murder!
Murder! This was immediately reported through the neighbourhood: all
were alarmed, and looked around them with solicitude for the detection
of the murder which they supposed to have been committed; and it was
not long till a discovery seemed actually to be made. It was reported,
that a gentleman, who had relations at no great distance, and had been
residing in the West Indies, had lately arrived with a considerable
fortune; that he had lodged at an inn about three miles off; and that he
had afterwards been seen entering a house in the village where the widow
lived, from which he had never returned. It was next affirmed, that a
tradesman, passing the church-yard about twelve at midnight, had seen
four men carry a dead corpse into that cemetery.

These three facts being joined together, seemed perfectly to agree, and
to confirm one another; and all believed some horrible murder had been
committed. The relations of the gentleman thought they were called upon
to make inquiry into the truth of these allegations: they accordingly
came first to the church-yard, where, in company with the sexton, they
examined all the graves with great care, in order to discover whether
any of them had lately been dug, or had the appearance of containing
more than one coffin. But this search was to no purpose, for no
alteration had been made upon the graves. It was next reported, that the
murdered man had been buried in a plantation about a mile distant from
the village. As the alarm was now very general, a number of the
inhabitants proposed, of their own accord, to explore it. They
accordingly spread themselves over the wood, and searched it with care;
but no grave, or new-dug earth, was found.

The matter did not rest here. The person who was said to have seen four
men carry a dead corpse into the church-yard at midnight, was summoned
to appear before a meeting of the justices of the peace. Upon
examination, he denied any knowledge of the affair; but referred the
court to another person, from whom he had received his information. This
person was examined, and the result was the same as the former. In
short, one person had heard it from another, who had received it from a
third, who had heard it from a fourth; but it had received a little
embellishment from every person who repeated it: it turned out to be the
same with Smollett's story of the three black crows, which somebody was
said to have vomited.

Upon inquiry at the inn, where it was said the West-India gentleman had
lodged, no such gentleman had been seen there; and it was found
afterwards, he had never left the West Indies.

Still, however, the veracity of the widow was not disputed; and some
dark and secret transaction was suspected. But the whole affair was at
length explained, by discovering that she was somewhat deranged by
melancholy; and the cries which she at first imagined she had heard,
were afterwards imitated by some roguish person, who was highly amused
with spreading terror among the credulous.





Next: The Benighted Traveller And Haunted Room

Previous: Supposed Supernatural Appearance



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