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 7 of 8 | page 8 | page 1 | table of contents

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang online

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang


"The next morning the dying woman told her mother that she had been at home with her children. . . . 'I was with them last night when I was asleep.'

"The nurse at Rochester, widow Alexander by name, affirms, and says she will take her oath on't before a Magistrate and receive the sacrament upon it, that a little before two o'clock that morning she saw the likeness of the said Mary Goffe come out of the next chamber (where the elder child lay in a bed by itself) the door being left open, and stood by her bedside for about a quarter of an hour; the younger child was there lying by her. Her eyes moved and her mouth went, but she said nothing. The nurse, moreover, says that she was perfectly awake; it was then daylight, being one of the longest days in the year. She sat up in bed and looked steadfastly on the apparition. In that time she heard the bridge clock strike two, and a while after said, 'In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, what art thou?' Thereupon the apparition removed and went away; she slipped on her clothes and followed, but what became on't she cannot tell.

"Mrs. Alexander then walked out of doors till six, when she persuaded some neighbours to let her in. She told her adventure; they failed to persuade her that she had dreamed it. On the same day the neighbour's wife, Mrs. Sweet, went to West Mulling, saw Mrs. Goffe before her death, and heard from Mrs. Goffe's mother the story of the daughter's dream of her children, Mrs. Sweet not having mentioned the nurse's story of the apparition." That poor Mrs. Goffe walked to Rochester and returned undetected, a distance of eighteen miles is difficult to believe.

Goethe has an obiter dictum on the possibility of intercommunion without the aid of the ordinary senses, between the souls of lovers. Something of the kind is indicated in anecdotes of dreams dreamed in common by husband and wife, but, in such cases, it may be urged that the same circumstance, or the same noise or other disturbing cause, may beget the same dream in both. A better instance is


Colonel Meadows Taylor writes, in The Story of my Life (vol. ii., p. 32): "The determination (to live unmarried) was the result of a very curious and strange incident that befel me during one of my marches to Hyderabad. I have never forgotten it, and it returns to this day to my memory with a strangely vivid effect that I can neither repel nor explain. I purposely withhold the date of the year. In my very early life I had been deeply and devotedly attached to one in England, and only relinquished the hope of one day winning her when the terrible order came out that no furlough to Europe would be granted.

"One evening I was at the village of Dewas Kudea, after a very long afternoon and evening march from Muktul, and I lay down very weary; but the barking of village dogs, the baying of jackals and over- fatigue and heat prevented sleep, and I was wide awake and restless. Suddenly, for my tent door was wide open, I saw the face and figure so familiar to me, but looking older, and with a sad and troubled expression; the dress was white and seemed covered with a profusion of lace and glistened in the bright moonlight. The arms were stretched out, and a low plaintive cry of 'Do not let me go! Do not let me go!' reached me. I sprang forward, but the figure receded, growing fainter and fainter till I could see it no more, but the low plaintive tones still sounded. I had run barefooted across the open space where my tents were pitched, very much to the astonishment of the sentry on guard, but I returned to my tent without speaking to him. I wrote to my father. I wished to know whether there were any hope for me. He wrote back to me these words: 'Too late, my dear son--on the very day of the vision you describe to me, A. was married'."