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The Benighted Traveller And Haunted Room






A gentleman was benighted, while travelling alone, in a remote part of
the highlands of Scotland, and was compelled to ask shelter for the
evening at a small lonely hut. When he was conducted to his bed-room,
the landlady observed, with mysterious reluctance, that he would find
the window very insecure. On examination, part of the wall appeared to
have been broken down, to enlarge the opening.

After some inquiry, he was told, that a pedlar, who had lodged in the
room a short time before, had committed suicide, and was found hanging
behind the door in the morning. According to the superstition of the
country, it was deemed improper to remove the body through the door of
the house; and to convey it through the window was impossible, without
removing part of the wall. Some hints were dropped, that the room had
been subsequently haunted by the poor man's spirit.

The gentleman laid his arms, properly prepared against intrusion of any
kind, by the bed-side, and retired to rest, not without some degree of
apprehension. He was visited, in a dream, by a frightful apparition;
and, awaking in agony, found himself sitting up in bed, with a pistol
grasped in his right hand. On casting a fearful glance round the room,
he discovered, by the moonlight, a corpse, dressed in a shroud, reared
erect against the wall, close by the window. With much difficulty, he
summoned up resolution to approach the dismal object, the features of
which, and the minutest parts of its funereal apparel, he perceived
distinctly: he passed one hand over it, felt nothing, and staggered back
to the bed. After a long interval, and much reasoning with himself, he
renewed his investigation, and at length discovered that the object of
his terror was produced by the moonbeams forming a long bright image
through the broken window, on which his fancy, impressed by his dream,
had pictured, with mischievous accuracy, the lineaments of a body
prepared for interment. Powerful associations of terror, in this
instance, had excited the recollected images with uncommon force and
effect.





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