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"put Out The Light!"

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

The Rev. D. W. G. Gwynne, M.D., was a physician in holy orders. In

1853 he lived at P--- House, near Taunton, where both he and his wife

"were made uncomfortable by auditory experiences to which they could

find no clue," or, in common English, they heard mysterious noises.

"During the night," writes Dr. Gwynne, "I became aware of a draped

figure passing across the foot of the bed towards the fireplace. I

had the impr
ssion that the arm was raised, pointing with the hand

towards the mantel-piece on which a night-light was burning. Mrs.

Gwynne at the same moment seized my arm, _and the light was

extinguished_! Notwithstanding, I distinctly saw the figure returning

towards the door, and being under the impression that one of the

servants had found her way into our room, I leaped out of bed to

intercept the intruder, but found and saw nothing. I rushed to the

door and endeavoured to follow the supposed intruder, and it was not

until I found the door locked, as usual, that I was painfully

impressed. I need hardly say that Mrs. Gwynne was in a very nervous

state. She asked me what I had seen, and I told her. She had seen

the same figure," "but," writes Mrs. Gwynne, "I distinctly _saw the

hand of the figure placed over the night-light, which was at once

extinguished_". "Mrs. Gwynne also heard the rustle of the 'tall man-

like figure's' garments. In addition to the night-light there was

moonlight in the room."

"Other people had suffered many things in the same house, unknown to

Dr. and Mrs. Gwynne, who gave up the place soon afterwards."

In plenty of stories we hear of ghosts who draw curtains or open

doors, and these apparent material effects are usually called part of

the seer's delusion. But the night-light certainly went out under the

figure's hand, and was relit by Dr. Gwynne. Either the ghost was an

actual entity, not a mere hallucination of two people, or the

extinction of the light was a curious coincidence. {186}