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

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead

Chapter III. Premonitory Warnings.

Mrs. Dean, of 44, Oxford Street, writes as follows:--

"Early this summer, in sleep, I saw my mother very ill in agony, and woke, repeating the words, 'Mother is dying.' I looked anxiously for a letter in the morning, but no sign of one; and to several at breakfast I told my dream, and still felt anxious as the day wore on. In the afternoon, about three o'clock, a telegram came, saying, 'Mother a little better; wait another wire.' About an hour afterwards came a letter with a cheque enclosed for my fare, urging me to come home at once, 'for mother, we fear, is dying.' My mother recovered; but upon going home a short time after, I saw my mother just as she then was at that time, and my stepfather used the words just as I received them--'Mother is dying.' They live in Liverpool, and I am in London."

The following is from the diary of the Rev. Henry Kendall, from which I have frequently quoted:--

"Mr. Marley related this evening a curious incident that occurred to himself long ago. When he was a young man at home with his parents, residing at Aycliffe, he was lying wide awake one morning at early dawn in the height of summer when his father came into his bedroom dressed just as he was accustomed to dress--red waistcoat, etc.--but with the addition of a tasselled nightcap which he sometimes kept on during the day. His father had been ailing for some time, and said to him, 'Crawford, I want you to make me a promise before I die.' His son replied, 'I will, father; what is it?' 'That you will take care of your mother.' 'Father, I promise you.' 'Then,' said the father, 'I can die happy,' and went out at the window. This struck Mr. M. as an exceedingly odd thing; he got out of bed and looked about the room and satisfied himself that he had made no mistake, but that he had really talked with his father and seen him go out at the window. In the morning, when he entered his father's room, the first words he heard were, 'Crawford, I want you to make me a promise before I die.' Mr. M. replied, 'Father, I will; what is it?' 'That you will take care of your mother.' 'Father, I promise you.' 'Then I can die happy.' Thus the conversation that took place during the night under such singular circumstances was repeated verbatim in the morning; and while it implied that the father had been previously brooding over the subject of his wife's comfort after he should be taken away, it also supplied important evidence that the strange affair of the night was not mere imagination on the part of the son. The father died soon afterwards."

_A Spectral Postman._

Of a somewhat similar nature, although in this case it was visible and not audible, is that told me by the Rev. J. A. Dalane, of West Hartlepool, who, on August 14th, 1886, about three o'clock in the morning, saw a hand very distinctly, as in daylight, holding a letter addressed in the handwriting of an eminent Swedish divine. Both the hand and the letter appeared very distinctly for the space of about two minutes. Then he saw a similar hand holding a sheet of foolscap paper on which he saw some writing, which he, however, was not able to read. After a few minutes this gradually faded and vanished away. This was repeated three different times. As soon as it had disappeared the third time he got up, lighted the gas, and wrote down the facts. Six hours afterwards, at nine o'clock, the post brought a letter which in every particular corresponded to the spectral letter which had been three times shown to him in the early morning.