Short, scary ghost stories

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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang online

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang


"There is no maid in pink," said the host, and he asked both his other guests to corroborate him.

Both ladies, mother and daughter, were obliged to say that unless their eyes deceived them, they certainly _had_ seen a girl in pink attending on them, or, at least, moving about in the room. To this their entertainers earnestly replied that no such person was in their establishment, that they had no woman servant but the elderly cook and housekeeper, then present, who was neither a girl nor in pink. After luncheon the guests were taken all over the house, to convince them of the absence of the young woman whom they had seen, and assuredly there was no trace of her.

On returning to the town where they reside, they casually mentioned the circumstance as a curious illusion. The person to whom they spoke said, with some interest, "Don't you know that a girl is said to have been murdered in that house before your friends took it, and that she is reported to be occasionally seen, dressed in pink?"

They had heard of no such matter, but the story seemed to be pretty generally known, though naturally disliked by the occupant of the house. As for the percipients, they each and all remain firm in the belief that, till convinced of the impossibility of her presence, they were certain they had seen a girl in pink, and rather a pretty girl, whose appearance suggested nothing out of the common. An obvious hypothesis is discounted, of course, by the presence of the sister of the young gentleman who farmed the estate and occupied the house.

Here is another case, mild but pertinacious.


The author's friend, Mr. Rokeby, lives, and has lived for some twenty years, in an old house at Hammersmith. It is surrounded by a large garden, the drawing-room and dining-room are on the right and left of the entrance from the garden, on the ground floor. My friends had never been troubled by any phenomena before, and never expected to be. However, they found the house "noisy," the windows were apt to be violently shaken at night and steps used to be heard where no steps should be. Deep long sighs were audible at all times of day. As Mrs. Rokeby approached a door, the handle would turn and the door fly open. {196} Sounds of stitching a hard material, and of dragging a heavy weight occurred in Mrs. Rokeby's room, and her hair used to be pulled in a manner for which she could not account. "These sorts of things went on for about five years, when in October, 1875, about three o'clock in the afternoon, I was sitting" (says Mrs. Rokeby) "with three of my children in the dining-room, reading to them. I rang the bell for the parlour-maid, when the door opened, and on looking up I saw the figure of a woman come in and walk up to the side of the table, stand there a second or two, and then turn to go out again, but before reaching the door she seemed to dissolve away. She was a grey, short-looking woman, apparently dressed in grey muslin. I hardly saw the face, which seemed scarcely to be defined at all. None of the children saw her," and Mrs. Rokeby only mentioned the affair at the time to her husband.

Two servants, in the next two months, saw the same figure, alike in dress at least, in other rooms both by daylight and candle light. They had not heard of Mrs. Rokeby's experience, were accustomed to the noises, and were in good health. One of them was frightened, and left her place.