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The Vision Of The Bride
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The Creaking Stair






A lady very well known to myself, and in literary society, lived as a
girl with an antiquarian father in an old house dear to an antiquary.
It was haunted, among other things, by footsteps. The old oak
staircase had two creaking steps, numbers seventeen and eighteen from
the top. The girl would sit on the stair, stretching out her arms,
and count the steps as they passed her, one, two, three, and so on to
seventeen and eighteen, _which always creaked_. {190} In this case
rats and similar causes were excluded, though we may allow for
"expectant attention". But this does not generally work. When people
sit up on purpose to look out for the ghost, he rarely comes; in the
case of the "Lady in Black," which we give later, when purposely
waited for, she was never seen at all.

Discounting imposture, which is sometimes found, and sometimes merely
fabled (as in the Tedworth story), there remains one curious
circumstance. Specially ghostly noises are attributed to the living
but absent.





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