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The Dog In The Haunted Room

Categories: Haunted Houses
Scary Books: The Book Of Dreams And Ghosts
: Andrew Lang

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

haken 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.