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True Irish Ghost Stories: Haunted Houses, Banshees, Poltergeists, and Other Supernatural Phenomena (John D. Seymour) online

True Irish Ghost Stories: Haunted Houses, Banshees, Poltergeists, and Other Supernatural Phenomena by John D. Seymour


"Some time after, light was thrown on the subject. We had visitors staying with us, and in order to make room for them, my sister was asked to sleep in the parlour. She consented without a thought of ghosts, and went to sleep quite happily; but during the night she was awakened by some one opening the door, walking across the room, and disturbing the fireirons. She, supposing it to be the servant, called her by name, but got no answer: then the person seemed to come away from the fireplace, and walk out of the room. There was a fire in the grate, but though she heard the footsteps, she could see no one.

"The next thing was, that I was coming downstairs, and as I glanced towards the hall door I saw standing by it a man in a grey suit. I went to my father and told him. He asked in surprise who let him in, as the servant was out, and he himself had already locked, bolted, and chained the door an hour previously. None of us had let him in, and when my father went out to the hall the man had disappeared, and the door was as he had left it.

"Some little time after, I had a visit from a lady who knew the place well, and in the course of conversation she said:

"'This is the house poor Mr. ---- used to live in.'

"'Who is Mr. ----?' I asked.

"'Did you never hear of him?' she replied. 'He was a minister who used to live in this house quite alone, and was murdered in this very parlour. His landlord used to visit him sometimes, and one night he was seen coming in about eleven o'clock, and was seen again leaving about five o'clock in the morning. When Mr. ---- did not come out as usual, the door was forced open, and he was found lying dead in this room by the fender, with his head battered in with the poker.'

"We left the house soon after," adds our informant.

The following weird incidents occurred, apparently in the Co. Kilkenny, to a Miss K. B., during two visits paid by her to Ireland in 1880 and 1881. The house in which she experienced the following was really an old barrack, long disused, very old-fashioned, and surrounded with a high wall: it was said that it had been built during the time of Cromwell as a stronghold for his men. The only inhabitants of this were Captain C---- (a retired officer in charge of the place), Mrs. C----, three daughters, and two servants. They occupied the central part of the building, the mess-room being their drawing-room. Miss K. B.'s bedroom was very lofty, and adjoined two others which were occupied by the three daughters, E., G., and L.

"The first recollection I have of anything strange," writes Miss B., "was that each night I was awakened about three o'clock by a tremendous noise, apparently in the next suite of rooms, which was empty, and it sounded as if some huge iron boxes and other heavy things were being thrown about with great force. This continued for about half an hour, when in the room underneath (the kitchen) I heard the fire being violently poked and raked for several minutes, and this was immediately followed by a most terrible and distressing cough of a man, very loud and violent. It seemed as if the exertion had brought on a paroxysm which he could not stop. In large houses in Co. Kilkenny the fires are not lighted every day, owing to the slow-burning property of the coal, and it is only necessary to rake it up every night about eleven o'clock, and in the morning it is still bright and clear. Consequently I wondered why it was necessary for Captain C---- to get up in the middle of the night to stir it so violently."