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 3 of 11 | page 4 | page 1 | table of contents

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang online

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang


After a long and desperate struggle, lasting in fact nearly four hours, General Abercromby gave orders for a retreat. The troops could hardly be prevailed upon to retire, and it was not till the order had been given for the third time that the Highlanders withdrew from the hopeless encounter. The loss sustained by the regiment was as follows: eight officers, nine sergeants and 297 men killed; seventeen officers, ten sergeants and 306 men wounded.

Inverawe, after having fought with the greatest courage, received at length his death wound. Colonel Grant hastened to the dying man's side, who looked reproachfully at him, and said: "You deceived me; this is Ticonderoga, for I have seen him". Inverawe never spoke again. Inverawe's son, an officer in the same regiment, also lost his life at Ticonderoga.

On the very day that these events were happening in far-away America, two ladies, Miss Campbell of Ederein and her sister, were walking from Kilmalieu to Inveraray, and had reached the then new bridge over the Aray. One of them happened to look up at the sky. She gave a call to her sister to look also. They both of them saw in the sky what looked like a siege going on. They saw the different regiments with their colours, and recognised many of their friends among the Highlanders. They saw Inverawe and his son fall, and other men whom they knew. When they reached Inveraray they told all their friends of the vision they had just seen. They also took down the names of those they had seen fall, and the time and date of the occurrence. The well-known Danish physician, Sir William Hart, was, together with an Englishman and a servant, walking round the Castle of Inveraray. These men saw the same phenomena, and confirmed the statements made by the two ladies. Weeks after the gazette corroborated their statements in its account of the attempt made on Ticonderoga. Every detail was correct in the vision, down to the actual number of the killed and wounded.

But there was sorrow throughout Argyll long before the gazette appeared.

* * * * *

We now give the best attainable version of a yet more famous legend, "The Tyrone Ghost".

The literary history of "The Tyrone Ghost" is curious. In 1802 Scott used the tale as the foundation of his ballad, The Eve of St. John, and referred to the tradition of a noble Irish family in a note. In 1858 the subject was discussed in Notes and Queries. A reference was given to Lyon's privately printed Grand Juries of Westmeath from 1751. The version from that rare work, a version dated "Dublin, August, 1802," was published in Notes and Queries of 24th July, 1858. In December, 1896, a member of the Beresford family published in The Nines (a journal of the Wiltshire regiment), the account which follows, derived from a MS. at Curraghmore, written by Lady Betty Cobbe, granddaughter of the ghost-seer, Lady Beresford. The writer in The Nines remembers Lady Betty. The account of 1802 is clearly derived from the Curraghmore MS., but omits dates; calls Sir Tristram Beresford "Sir Marcus "; leaves out the visit to Gill Hall, where the ghost appeared, and substitutes blanks for the names of persons concerned. Otherwise the differences in the two versions are mainly verbal.


"There is at Curraghmore, the seat of Lord Waterford, in Ireland, a manuscript account of the tale, such as it was originally received and implicitly believed in by the children and grandchildren of the lady to whom Lord Tyrone is supposed to have made the supernatural appearance after death. The account was written by Lady Betty Cobbe, the youngest daughter of Marcus, Earl of Tyrone, and granddaughter of Nicola S., Lady Beresford. She lived to a good old age, in full use of all her faculties, both of body and mind. I can myself remember her, for when a boy I passed through Bath on a journey with my mother, and we went to her house there, and had luncheon. She appeared to my juvenile imagination a very appropriate person to revise and transmit such a tale, and fully adapted to do ample justice to her subject- matter. It never has been doubted in the family that she received the full particulars in early life, and that she heard the circumstances, such as they were believed to have occurred, from the nearest relatives of the two persons, the supposed actors in this mysterious interview, viz., from her own father, Lord Tyrone, who died in 1763, and from her aunt, Lady Riverston, who died in 1763 also.