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REAL GHOST STORIES (Collected and Edited by William T. Stead) online

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead


_A Royal Deathbed in France seen in Scotland._

The above case is remarkable because the voice was transmitted as well as the spectacle. In the next story the ear heard nothing, but the scene itself was very remarkable. A correspondent of the Psychical Research Society writes that whilst staying with her mother's cousin, Mrs. Elizabeth Broughton, wife of Mr. Edward Broughton, Edinburgh, and daughter of the late Colonel Blanckley, in the year 1844, she told her the following strange story:--

"She awoke one night and aroused her husband, telling him that something dreadful had happened in France. He begged her to go to sleep again and not to trouble him. She assured him that she was not asleep when she saw what she insisted on then telling him--what she saw, in fact, was; First, a carriage accident--which she did not actually see, but what she saw was the result--a broken carriage, a crowd collected, a figure gently raised and carried into the nearest house, then a figure lying on a bed, which she then recognised as the Duke of Orleans. Gradually friends collecting round the bed--among them several members of the French royal family--the queen, then the king, all silently, tearfully watching the evidently dying duke. One man (she could see his back, but did not know who he was) was a doctor. He stood bending over the duke, feeling his pulse, his watch in the other hand. And then all passed away; she saw no more. As soon as it was daylight she wrote down in her journal all that she had seen. From that journal she read this to me. It was before the days of electric telegraph, and two or more days passed before the _Times_ announced 'The Death of the Duke of Orleans.' Visiting Paris a short time afterwards, she saw and recognised the place of the accident and received the explanation of her impression. The doctor who attended the dying duke was an old friend of hers, and as he watched by the bed his mind had been constantly occupied with her and her family." (Vol. II. p. 160.)

* * *

The doctor's sympathy may have been the key to the secret camera of Nature, but it in no wise "explains" how a lady in Edinburgh could see what went on inside a house in Paris so clearly as to know what had happened two days before the intelligence reached the _Times_.

_An African Event Seen in England._

Here is another story where the event occurred in Africa and was seen in England. A correspondent from Wadhurst, West Dulwich, S.E., says:--

"My late husband dreamt a certain curious dream about his brother, Mr. Ralph Holden, who was at that time travelling in the interior of Africa. One morning, in June or July, 1861, my husband woke me with the announcement, 'Ralph is dead.' I said, 'You must be dreaming.' 'No, I am not dreaming now; but I dreamt twice over that I saw Ralph lying on the ground supported by a man.' They learnt afterwards that Ralph must have died about the time when his brother dreamt about him and that he had died in the arms of his faithful native servant, lying under a large tree, where he was afterwards buried. The Holden family have sketches of the tree and the surroundings, and, on seeing it, my husband said, 'Yes, that is exactly the place where I saw Ralph in my dream, dying or dead.'" (Vol. I. p. 141.)