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The Dog In The Haunted Room






The author's friend, Mr. Rokeby, lives, and has lived for some twenty
years, in an old house at Hammersmith. It is surrounded by a large
garden, the drawing-room and dining-room are on the right and left of
the entrance from the garden, on the ground floor. My friends had
never been troubled by any phenomena before, and never expected to be.
However, they found the house "noisy," the windows were apt to be
violently shaken at night and steps used to be heard where no steps
should be. Deep long sighs were audible at all times of day. As Mrs.
Rokeby approached a door, the handle would turn and the door fly open.
{196} Sounds of stitching a hard material, and of dragging a heavy
weight occurred in Mrs. Rokeby's room, and her hair used to be pulled
in a manner for which she could not account. "These sorts of things
went on for about five years, when in October, 1875, about three
o'clock in the afternoon, I was sitting" (says Mrs. Rokeby) "with
three of my children in the dining-room, reading to them. I rang the
bell for the parlour-maid, when the door opened, and on looking up I
saw the figure of a woman come in and walk up to the side of the
table, stand there a second or two, and then turn to go out again, but
before reaching the door she seemed to dissolve away. She was a grey,
short-looking woman, apparently dressed in grey muslin. I hardly saw
the face, which seemed scarcely to be defined at all. None of the
children saw her," and Mrs. Rokeby only mentioned the affair at the
time to her husband.

Two servants, in the next two months, saw the same figure, alike in
dress at least, in other rooms both by daylight and candle light.
They had not heard of Mrs. Rokeby's experience, were accustomed to the
noises, and were in good health. One of them was frightened, and left
her place.

A brilliant light in a dark room, an icy wind and a feeling of being
"watched" were other discomforts in Mrs. Rokeby's lot. After 1876,
only occasional rappings were heard, till Mr. Rokeby being absent one
night in 1883, the noises broke out, "banging, thumping, the whole
place shaking". The library was the centre of these exercises, and
the dog, a fine collie, was shut up in the library. Mrs. Rokeby left
her room for her daughter's, while the dog whined in terror, and the
noises increased in violence. Next day the dog, when let out, rushed
forth with enthusiasm, but crouched with his tail between his legs
when invited to re-enter.

This was in 1883. Several years after, Mr. Rokeby was smoking, alone,
in the dining-room early in the evening, when the dog began to bristle
up his hair, and bark. Mr. Rokeby looked up and saw the woman in
grey, with about half her figure passed through the slightly open
door. He ran to the door, but she was gone, and the servants were
engaged in their usual business. {198a}

Our next ghost offered many opportunities to observers.





Next: The Lady In Black

Previous: The Girl In Pink



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