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Canon Alberic's Scrap-book
St Bertrand de Comminges is a decayed town on the spurs...

An Explanation From The Tomb
In the diary of the late Hugh Morgan are certain intere...

An Apiary Or Bee-house
Every farmer should keep bees—provided he have pasturag...

Denis Misanger
On Friday, the first day of May 1705, about five o...

The Red Book Of Appin
Once upon a time, there lived a man at Appin, Argy...

The Rival Ghosts
The good ship sped on her way across the calm Atla...

Sir George Villiers' Ghost
The variations in the narratives of Sir George Villiers...

The Spectre Bridegroom
Long, long ago a farmer named Lenine lived in Bosc...

The Spectre Of The Broken
The following observations on that singular phenomeno...

The Withered Arm
THOMAS HARDY A Lorn Milkmaid It was an eighty-c...





The Bright Scar






In 1867, Miss G., aged eighteen, died suddenly of cholera in St.
Louis. In 1876 a brother, F. G., who was much attached to her, had
done a good day's business in St. Joseph. He was sending in his
orders to his employers (he is a commercial traveller) and was smoking
a cigar, when he became conscious that some one was sitting on his
left, with one arm on the table. It was his dead sister. He sprang
up to embrace her (for even on meeting a stranger whom we take for a
dead friend, we never realise the impossibility in the half moment of
surprise) but she was gone. Mr. G. stood there, the ink wet on his
pen, the cigar lighted in his hand, the name of his sister on his
lips. He had noted her expression, features, dress, the kindness of
her eyes, the glow of the complexion, and what he had never seen
before, _a bright red scratch on the right side of her face_.

Mr. G. took the next train home to St. Louis, and told the story to
his parents. His father was inclined to ridicule him, but his mother
nearly fainted. When she could control herself, she said that,
unknown to any one, she had accidentally scratched the face of the
dead, apparently with the pin of her brooch, while arranging something
about the corpse. She had obliterated the scratch with powder, and
had kept the fact to herself. "She told me she _knew_ at least that I
had seen my sister." A few weeks later Mrs. G. died. {75}

Here the information existed in one living mind, the mother's, and if
there is any "mental telegraphy," may thence have been conveyed to Mr.
F. G.

Another kind of cases which may be called veracious, occurs when the
ghost seer, after seeing the ghost, recognises it in a portrait not
previously beheld. Of course, allowance must be made for fancy, and
for conscious or unconscious hoaxing. You see a spook in Castle
Dangerous. You then recognise the portrait in the hall, or elsewhere.
The temptation to recognise the spook rather more clearly than you
really do, is considerable, just as one is tempted to recognise the
features of the Stuarts in the royal family, of the parents in a baby,
or in any similar case.

Nothing is more common in literary ghost stories than for somebody to
see a spectre and afterwards recognise him or her in a portrait not
before seen. There is an early example in Sir Walter Scott's
Tapestried Chamber, which was told to him by Miss Anna Seward.
Another such tale is by Theophile Gautier. In an essay on Illusions
by Mr. James Sully, a case is given. A lady (who corroborated the
story to the present author) was vexed all night by a spectre in
armour. Next morning she saw, what she had not previously observed, a
portrait of the spectre in the room. Mr. Sully explains that she had
seen the portrait _unconsciously_, and dreamed of it. He adds the
curious circumstance that other people have had the same experience in
the same room, which his explanation does not cover. The following
story is published by the Society for Psychical Research, attested by
the seer and her husband, whose real names are known, but not
published. {76}





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