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

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead


_A Double From Shipboard._

During my visit to Scotland in the month of October the subject of Ghosts naturally formed the constant topic of conversation, and many stories were told of all degrees of value bearing upon the subject. The following narrative came to me as follows: We had been visiting the Forth Bridge, driving down from Edinburgh in the public conveyance. Shortly before our visit three men had fallen from one of the piers of the bridge and been killed. The question was mooted as to whether or not they would haunt the locality, and from this the conversation naturally turned to apparitions of all kinds.

As we reached Edinburgh on our return a middle-aged passenger who had been seated on a seat in front turned round and said, "What do you make of this story, for the truth of which I can vouch:--A young sailor, whose vessel at that moment was lying at Limerick Harbour, appeared to his father, who at that time was at home with the rest of his family in Dublin. He appeared to him in the early morning. At breakfast his father told the rest of his family that he had seen his son, who had said to him: 'In my locker you will find a Bible in the pocket of my coat. In that Bible you will find a place-keeper which was given me by my sweetheart after I left home, and on it are the words, "Remember me."' That day at noon the young sailor, after making ready dinner for the crew, went up aloft, missed his footing, fell, and was killed. His effects were fastened up in his locker and sent through the Customs House to his father. When they arrived the locker was opened, and exactly as the apparition had described the Bible was found in the pocket of the coat, and in the Bible a place-keeper, which none of the family had seen, on which were the words 'Remember me.'" "But," said I to my fellow-passenger, "how do you know that the story is true?" "Because," he said, "the sailor was my brother, and I remember my father telling us about the vision at the breakfast-table."

Unfortunately I did not ask for the name and address of my informant. We were just alighting from the drag, and I contented myself with giving him my name and address, and asking him to write out an account with full particulars, dates, etc. with verification. This he promised to do, but, unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten his promise, and a story which, if fully verified, would be very valuable, can only be mentioned as a sample of the narratives which are reported on every hand if people show any disposition to receive them with interest, or, in fact, with anything but scornful contempt.

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