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Animal Ghosts or Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter by Elliott O'Donnell


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Animal Hauntings and the Hereafter

"Nothing loth, Tristram gave in to him, and before many minutes had elapsed both men had fallen into a deep sleep.

"On the stroke of two Tristram awoke, perspiring horribly. The room was once again aglow with a phosphorescent light, and he felt the presence next to him of something cold and clammy.

"Unable to look elsewhere, he was again compelled to gaze in the mirror, where he saw, to his consternation and horror, no Heriot, but in his place the man with the bronzed face and bushy beard.

"He had hardly recovered from the shock occasioned by this discovery when the door surreptitiously opened, and the figure of the ape glided noiselessly in.

"Again he was temporarily paralysed, his limbs losing all their power of action and his tongue cleaving to the roof of his mouth.

"The movements of the phantasm were entirely repetitionary of the previous night. Approaching the bed on 'all-fours,' it leapt on its victim, the tragedy being accompanied this time by the most realistic chokings and gurgles, to all of which Tristram was obliged to listen in an agony of doubt and terror. The drama ended, Tristram was overcome by a sudden fit of drowsiness, and sinking back on to his pillow, slept till broad daylight.

"Anxious to question Heriot as to whether he, too, had been a witness of the ghostly transaction he touched him lightly on the shoulder. There was no reply. He touched him again, and still no answer. He touched him yet a third time, and as there was still no response, he leaned over his shoulder and peered into his face.

"Heriot was dead!"

* * * * *

"'This is the fourth death in that bed within the last twelve months that I can swear to,' the English doctor remarked to Tristram, as they walked down the street together, 'and always from the same cause, failure of the heart due to a sudden shock. If you take my advice, you'll clear out of the place at once.'

"Tristram thought so too, but before he went he had a talk with the girl in the red stockings.

"'I can't tell you all I know,' she said to him, as he kissed her; 'but I wouldn't sleep a night in that room for a fortune, though I believe it's quite safe if you keep on the right side of the bed. I wish your friend had done so, he was so handsome,' and Tristram, not a little hurt, let go her hand, and made arrangements for the funeral."

* * * * *

"And is that all?" I asked, as Tristram's material body paused.

"It may be," was the reply, "but that is why I've come to you. Don't be gulled by Tristram into any investigations in that house. Enthusiasm for his research work makes him unconsciously callous, and if he once got you there he might, even against your better judgment, persuade you to sleep on the left side! Good night!"

I shook hands with him and he departed. The following evening I heard it all again from Tristram himself--the real Tristram.

Needless to say, his concluding remarks differed essentially. With unbounded cordiality he urged me to accompany him back again to Bruges, and I--declined!

* * * * *

He wrote to me afterwards to say that he had discovered the history of the house--a man, a music-hall artist, answering to the description of the figure in the bed--had once lived there with a performing ape, an orang-outang, and happening to annoy the animal one day, the latter had killed him. The brute was eventually shot!

"This experience of mine," Tristram added, "is of the greatest value, for it has thoroughly convinced me of one thing at least--and that--that apes have spirits! And if that be so, so must all other kinds of animals. Of course they must."

_Phantasms of Cat and Baboon_

A sister of a well-known author tells me there used to be a house called "The Swallows," standing in two acres of land, close to a village near Basingstoke.