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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


"However, he had scarcely covered himself in the bed when suddenly something heavy leaped upon it, growling like a dog. The curtains were torn back, and the clothes stripped from the bed. Supposing that some of his companions were playing tricks, he called out that he would shoot them, and seizing a pistol he fired up the chimney, lest he should wound one of them. He then struck a light and searched the room diligently, but found no sign or mark of anyone, and the door locked as he had left it on retiring to rest. Next day he informed his hosts how he had been annoyed, but they could only say that they would not have put him in that room if they had had any other to offer him.

"Years passed on, when the Marquis of Ely went to the Hall to spend some time there. His valet was put to sleep in the tapestry chamber. In the middle of the night the whole family was aroused by his dreadful roars and screams, and he was found lying in another room in mortal terror. After some time he told them that, soon after he had lain himself down in bed, he was startled by the rattling of the curtains as they were torn back, and looking up he saw a tall lady by the bedside dressed in stiff brocaded silk; whereupon he rushed out of the room screaming with terror.

"Years afterwards I was brought by my father with the rest of the family to the Hall for the summer bathing. Attracted by the quaint look of the tapestry room, I at once chose it for my bedroom, being utterly ignorant of the stories connected with it. For some little time nothing out of the way happened. One night, however, I sat up much later than usual to finish an article in a magazine I was reading. The full moon was shining clearly in through two large windows, making all as clear as day. I was just about to get into bed, and, happening to glance towards the door, to my great surprise I saw it open quickly and noiselessly, and as quickly and noiselessly shut again, while the tall figure of a lady in a stiff dress passed slowly through the room to one of the curious closets already mentioned, which was in the opposite corner. I rubbed my eyes. Every possible explanation but the true one occurred to my mind, for the idea of a ghost did not for a moment enter my head. I quickly reasoned myself into a sound sleep and forgot the matter.

"The next night I again sat up late in my bedroom, preparing a gun and ammunition to go and shoot sea-birds early next morning, when the door again opened and shut in the same noiseless manner, and the same tall lady proceeded to cross the room quietly and deliberately as before towards the closet. I instantly rushed at her, and threw my right arm around her, exclaiming 'Ha! I have you now!' To my utter astonishment my arm passed through her and came with a thud against the bedpost, at which spot she then was. The figure quickened its pace, and as it passed the skirt of its dress lapped against the curtain and I marked distinctly the pattern of her gown--a stiff brocaded silk.

"The ghostly solution of the problem did not yet enter my mind. However, I told the story at breakfast next morning. My father, who had himself suffered from the lady's visit so long before, never said a word, and it passed as some folly of mine. So slight was the impression it made on me at the time that, though I slept many a night after in the room, I never thought of watching or looking out for anything.