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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