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The Female Sprites

Scary Books: Apparitions; Or, The Mystery Of Ghosts, Hobgoblins, And Haunted Houses

In September 1764, the following extraordinary incident happened in the

family of a clergyman then living in Bartholomew Close.

The gentleman and his wife returning home about eleven o'clock from a

friend's house, where they had been to spend the evening, desired the

maid to get them warm water to mix with some wine. There being no fire

in the parlour, they went into the kitchen; and while the water was

ating, the gentleman ordered the maid to get a pan of coals, and warm

the bed. The servant had not long been gone up stairs, when the

gentleman and his wife heard an uncommon noise over their heads, like

persons walking without shoes: and, presently after, a woman enters the

kitchen, without any other clothes on than her shift and cap. Their

astonishment at such a sight so greatly frightened them, that they had

neither of them power to speak a word: and while they were thus absorbed

in amazement, another woman entered the room in like manner. Just at

this time the maid came down from warming the bed; and, though greatly

surprised at so unexpected an appearance, had the courage to ask them

who they were? and what they wanted? To which they replied, that they

were servants at their next-door neighbour's, and, being awakened out of

their sleep by their master's calling out, Fire and thieves! ran up

stairs, and entering the garret window, came down, to preserve

themselves from danger, and procure assistance. Upon this, inquiry being

made, the gentleman's daughter at the adjoining house was found in

violent fits, which occasioned his calling the maids hastily to her

assistance; and this caused an alarm that had nearly proved fatal to the

clergyman's wife, who was, at that time, far gone with child.