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

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead

Chapter II. Warnings Given in Dreams.

"Early in March of that year, the _City of Glasgow_, with a valuable cargo and upwards of five hundred passengers on board, sailed under Morrison's command for Philadelphia; and all that was good and prosperous was confidently predicted of the voyage of so fine a ship under charge of so capable a commander. When sufficient time had expired, and there was still no word of the ship's arrival at Philadelphia, Angus came to enquire if we had heard anything about her. I could only reply that there was as yet no word of her, but that the owners, in reply to my inquiries, were confident of her safety--their theory being that something had gone wrong with her engines, and that she was probably proceeding under sail. 'Pray God it may be so!' said Angus, with the tears in his eyes; and then in his own emphatic language--_ach s'eagal leam, aon chuid dhuibhse na dhomhsa nach tig fios na forfhais oiree gu brath_--(but great is my fear that neither to you, sir, nor to me shall word of her safety, or message from her at all ever arrive). And it was even so: from the day she left the Mersey until this day no word of the _City of Glasgow_ has ever been heard. It was the opinion of those best able to offer a probable conjecture at the time, that she must have come into contact with an iceberg, and instantly gone down with all on board.

"I may add that Angus was a Catholic, and that Father Macdonald, his priest, told me shortly afterwards that Angus, before my messenger calling him to the Manse could have reached him, had communicated the thrice-repeated dream or vision to him in confession, and precisely in the same terms he used in describing it to me. When no hope of the safety of the _City of Glasgow_ could any longer be entertained, Angus emigrated to Australia, whence after the lapse of several years, he wrote me to say that he was well and doing well. Whether he is still in life, or gone over to the majority, I do not know."

_A Highlander's Dream of his Drowning._

Another story, which was sent me by my old friend the housekeeper of the Hon. Auberon Herbert's Highland retreat on the shores of Loch Awe, is an awful tale of destiny, the premonition of which only renders it more tragic.

They were all sitting round the fire one winter night each relating his best story. Each had told his story of the most wonderful things he had heard or seen in the Ghost line except Martin Barraw from Uist who sat silently listening to all.

"Come, Martin," said the man of the house "are you not going to tell a story, I am sure you know many?"

"Well yes," said Martin. "I know some and there is one strange one, running in my mind all this night, that I have never told to anyone yet, but I think I must tell it to-night."

"Oh, yes, do, Martin," cried all present.

"Well," said Martin, "you all I am sure remember the night of the fatal boat accident at Portroch ferry, when Murdoch McLane, big David the Gamekeeper, and Donald McRae, the ferryman were drowned and I was the only one saved of the four."

"Yes we do that Martin, remember it well," said the good man, "that was the night the Taybridge was blown down, it was a Sunday night the 28th of Dec. '79."

"Yes you are right that was the very night. Well you know Murdoch and I were Salmon watching down the other side of the Loch that winter. Well one night about the middle of November we were sitting by the side of Altanlarich, it would be about midnight, we had sat for some time without speaking I thought Murdoch was asleep and I was very nearly so, when suddenly Murdoch sprung to his feet with a jump that brought me to mine in a second.