Short, scary ghost stories

short, scary Ghost Stories home | The Book of Dreams and Ghosts | Classic Ghost Stories

WANTED short, scary ghost stories - fiction or factual - for publication on this site.If published, we will be happy to list author's biographical details and a link back to your Web site.Copyright will remain with authors. Send submissions/outlines to abracad.

page 6 of 9 | page 7 | page 1 | table of contents

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang online

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang


"On the evening of the 13th of May (as far as I recollect) no account of Mr. Perceval's death was in the newspapers, but my second son, returning from Truro, came in a hurried manner into the room where I was sitting and exclaimed: 'O father, your dream has come true! Mr. Perceval has been shot in the lobby of the House of Commons; there is an account come from London to Truro written after the newspapers were printed.'

"The fact was Mr. Percival was assassinated on the evening of the 11th.

"Some business soon after called me to London, and in one of the print-shops I saw a drawing for sale, representing the place and the circumstances which attended Mr. Perceval's death. I purchased it, and upon a careful examination I found it to coincide in all respects with the scene which had passed through my imagination in the dream. The colours of the dresses, the buttons of the assassin's coat, the white waistcoat of Mr. Perceval, the spot of blood upon it, the countenances and attitudes of the parties present were exactly what I had dreamed.

"The singularity of the case, when mentioned among my friends and acquaintances, naturally made it the subject of conversation in London, and in consequence my friend, the late Mr. Rennie, was requested by some of the commissioners of the navy that they might be permitted to hear the circumstances from myself. Two of them accordingly met me at Mr. Rennie's house, and to them I detailed at the time the particulars, then fresh in my memory, which form the subject of the above statement.

"I forbear to make any comment on the above narrative, further than to declare solemnly that it is a faithful account of facts as they actually occurred.

(Signed) "JOHN WILLIAMS." {42}

When we come to dreams of the future, great historical examples are scarce indeed, that is, dreams respectably authenticated. We have to put up with curious trivialities. One has an odd feature.


Dr. Kinsolving, of the Church of the Epiphany in Philadelphia, dreamed that he "came across a rattlesnake," which "when killed had _two_ black-looking rattles and a peculiar projection of bone from the tail, while the skin was unusually light in colour". Next day, while walking with his brother, Dr. Kinsolving nearly trod on a rattlesnake, "the same snake in every particular with the one I had had in my mind's eye". This would be very well, but Dr. Kinsolving's brother, who helped to kill the unlucky serpent, says "_he had a single rattle_". The letters of these gentlemen were written without communication to each other. If Mr. Kinsolving is right, the real snake with _one_ rattle was _not_ the dream snake with _two_ rattles. The brothers were in a snaky country, West Virginia. {43}

The following is trivial, but good. It is written by Mr. Alfred Cooper, and attested by the dreamer, the Duchess of Hamilton.


Mr. Cooper says: "A fortnight before the death of the late Earl of L--- in 1882, I called upon the Duke of Hamilton, in Hill Street, to see him professionally. After I had finished seeing him, we went into the drawing-room, where the duchess was, and the duke said, 'Oh, Cooper, how is the earl?'

"The duchess said, 'What earl?' and on my answering 'Lord L---,' she replied: 'That is very odd. I have had a most extraordinary vision. I went to bed, but after being in bed a short time, I was not exactly asleep, but thought I saw a scene as if from a play before me. The actors in it were Lord L--- as if in a fit, with a man standing over him with a red beard. He was by the side of a bath, over which a red lamp was distinctly shown.