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.
Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (M R James) online
_L.C.J._ What is the man talking about? Come to the matter, fellow! Do you think we sit here to look at your teeth?
_Th._ No, my lord, nor I would not you should do, God forbid! I know your honours have better employment, and better teeth, I would not wonder.
_L.C.J._ Good God, what a man is this! Yes, I _have_ better teeth, and that you shall find if you keep not to the purpose.
_Th._ I humbly ask pardon, my lord, but so it was. And I took upon me, thinking no harm, to ask Squire Martin to lend me his knife to cut my tobacco. And he felt first of one pocket and then of another and it was not there at all. And says I, 'What! have you lost your knife, Squire?' And up he gets and feels again and he sat down, and such a groan as he gave. 'Good God!' he says, 'I must have left it there.' 'But,' says I, 'Squire, by all appearance it is _not_ there. Did you set a value on it,' says I, 'you might have it cried.' But he sat there and put his head between his hands and seemed to take no notice to what I said. And then it was Mistress Arscott come tracking back out of the kitchen place.
Asked if he heard the voice singing outside the house, he said 'No,' but the door into the kitchen was shut, and there was a high wind: but says that no one could mistake Ann Clark's voice.
Then a boy, William Reddaway, about thirteen years of age, was called, and by the usual questions, put by the Lord Chief Justice, it was ascertained that he knew the nature of an oath. And so he was sworn. His evidence referred to a time about a week later.
_Att._ Now, child, don't be frighted: there is no one here will hurt you if you speak the truth.
_L.C.J._ Ay, if he speak the truth. But remember, child, thou art in the presence of the great God of heaven and earth, that hath the keys of hell, and of us that are the king's officers, and have the keys of Newgate; and remember, too, there is a man's life in question; and if thou tellest a lie, and by that means he comes to an ill end, thou art no better than his murderer; and so speak the truth.
_Att._ Tell the jury what you know, and speak out. Where were you on the evening of the 23rd of May last?
_L.C.J._ Why, what does such a boy as this know of days. Can you mark the day, boy?
_W._ Yes, my lord, it was the day before our feast, and I was to spend sixpence there, and that falls a month before Midsummer Day.
_One of the Jury._ My lord, we cannot hear what he says.
_L.C.J._ He says he remembers the day because it was the day before the feast they had there, and he had sixpence to lay out. Set him up on the table there. Well, child, and where wast thou then?
_W._ Keeping cows on the moor, my lord.
But, the boy using the country speech, my lord could not well apprehend him, and so asked if there was anyone that could interpret him, and it was answered the parson of the parish was there, and he was accordingly sworn and so the evidence given. The boy said:
'I was on the moor about six o'clock, and sitting behind a bush of furze near a pond of water: and the prisoner came very cautiously and looking about him, having something like a long pole in his hand, and stopped a good while as if he would be listening, and then began to feel in the water with the pole: and I being very near the water--not above five yards--heard as if the pole struck up against something that made a wallowing sound, and the prisoner dropped the pole and threw himself on the ground, and rolled himself about very strangely with his hands to his ears, and so after a while got up and went creeping away.'