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

REAL GHOST STORIES by William T. Stead

Chapter III. Aimless Doubles.

_Two Dundee Doubles._

Mr. Robert Kidd, of Gray Street, Broughty Ferry, who has filled many offices in Dundee, having been twenty-five years a police commissioner and five years a magistrate there, sends me the following report of two cases of the double:--

"A few years ago I had a shop on the High Street of Dundee--one door and one window, a cellar underneath, the entrance to which was at one corner of the shop. There was no way of getting in or out of the cellar but by that stair in the corner. It was lighted from the street by glass, but to protect that there was an iron grating, which was fixed down. Well, I had an old man, a servant, named Robert Chester. I sent him a message one forenoon about 12 o'clock; he was in no hurry returning. I remarked to my daughter, who was a book-keeper, whose desk was just by the trap-door, that he was stopping long. Just as I spoke he passed the window, came in at the door, carrying a large dish under his arm, went right past me, past my daughter, who looked at him, and went down into the cellar. After a few minutes, as I heard no noise, I wondered what he could be about, and went down to see. There was no Robert there. I cannot tell what my sensations were when I realized this; there was no possibility of his getting out, and we both of us saw and heard him go down. Well, in about twenty minutes he re-passed the window, crossed the floor, and went downstairs, exactly as he had the first time. There was no hallucination on our part. My daughter is a clever, highly-gifted woman; I am seventy-eight years of age, and have seen a great deal of the world, a great reader, etc., etc., and not easily deceived or apt to be led away by fancy, and I can declare that his first appearance to us was a reality as much as the second; We concluded, and so did all his relations, that it portended his death, but he is still alive, over eighty years of age. I give this just as it occurred, without any varnish or exaggeration whatever. The following narrative I firmly believe, as I knew the parties well, and that every means were used to prove its truthfulness.

"Mr. Alexander Drummond was a painter, who had a big business and a large staff of men. His clerk was Walter Souter, his brother-in-law, whose business it was to be at the shop (in Northgate, Dundee) sharp at six o'clock in the morning, to take an account of where the men were going, quantity of material, etc. In this he was assisted by Miss Drummond. One morning he did not turn up at the hour, but at twenty past six he came in at the door and appeared very much excited; but instead of stepping to the desk, where Mr. and Miss Drummond were awaiting him, he went right through the front shop and out at a side door. This in sight of Mr. and Miss D----, and also in sight of a whole squad of workmen. Well, exactly in another twenty minutes he came in, also very much excited, and explained that it was twenty minutes past six when he awakened, and that he had run all the way from his house (he lived a mile from the place of business). He was a very exemplary, punctual man, and when Mr. Drummond asked him where he went to when he came first, he was dumbfounded, and could not comprehend what was meant. To test his truthfulness, Mr. D---- went out to his wife that afternoon, when she told him the same story; that it was twenty past six o'clock when he awoke, and that he was very much excited about it, as it was the first time he had slept in. This story I believe as firmly as in my own case, as it was much talked about at the time, and I have just told it as it was told to me by all the parties. Of course I am a total stranger to you, and you may require to know something about me before believing my somewhat singular stories. I am well known about here, have filled many offices in Dundee, and have been twenty-five years a police commissioner, and five years a magistrate in this place, am very well known to the Right Honourable C. Ritchie, and also to our county member, Mr. Barclay. If this little story throws any light upon our wondrous being I shall be glad."