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Scottish Ghost Stories (Elliott O'Donnell) online
CASE X - "---- HOUSE," NEAR BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE, GLASGOW. THE HAUNTED BATH
From his wife he got little sympathy; her sarcasm was too deep for words, and she merely ordered her husband on no account to breathe a word of his "silliness" before either the children or the servants. The injunction, however, which was naturally carried out to the letter, was futile as a precaution, for, on running into the bathroom one morning when every one else was downstairs, the eldest boy, Ronald, saw, floating in the bath, the body of a hoary-headed old man. It was bloated and purplish blue, and had big, glassy eyes that stared at him in such a hideous, meaningless manner that he uttered a scream of terror and fled. Alarmed at the noise, most of the household ran to see what had happened. Only the Captain remained behind. He knew only too well, and he hid, letting his wife and the servants go upstairs alone. They entered the bathroom--there was nothing in the bath, not even water, but, as they were leaving, they ran into a dark, handsome, evil-eyed woman, clad in the most costly of dresses, and sparkling with jewellery. She glided past them with sly, silent footsteps, and vanished by the cupboard. Cured of scepticism, and throwing dignity to the wind, the Captain's wife raced downstairs, and, bursting into the drawing-room, flung herself on the sofa in hysterics.
Within a week the house was once again empty, and the rumour getting about that it was haunted, the landlord threatened the Smythes with an action for slander of title. But I do not think the case was taken to court, the Smythes agreeing to contradict the report they had originated. Astute inquiries, however, eventually led them to discover that a lady, answering to the description of the ghost they had seen, had once lived at ---- House. Of Spanish descent, she was young, beautiful, and gay; and was married to a man, an extremely wealthy man (people remembered how rich he was after he died), old enough to be her grandfather. They had nothing in common, the husband only wanting to be quiet, the wife to flirt and be admired. Their neighbours often heard them quarrel, and it was declared that the wife possessed the temper of a fiend. The man was eventually found dead in his bath, and there being no indications of violence, it was generally supposed that he had fainted, (his wife having been previously heard to declare that he often had fainting fits), and had thus been accidentally drowned. The beautiful young widow, who inherited all his money, left the house immediately and went abroad, and the neighbours, when questioned by the Smythes as to whether anything had been seen of her since, shook their heads dubiously, but refused to commit themselves.