J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 5 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 82 pages of information about J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 5.
ashes, and the clusters of worms into little wriggling knots of sparks such as we see running over the residuum of a burnt sheet of paper.  And so with the strong draught caused by the fire, and the current of air from the window, which was rattling in the storm, the feet seemed to be drawn into the fire-place, and the whole figure, light as ashes, floated away with them, and disappeared with a whisk up the capacious old chimney.

It seemed to my uncle that the fire suddenly darkened and the air grew icy cold, and there came an awful roar and riot of tempest, which shook the old house from top to base, and sounded like the yelling of a blood-thirsty mob on receiving a new and long-expected victim.

Good Uncle Watson used to say, “I have been in many situations of fear and danger in the course of my life, but never did I pray with so much agony before or since; for then, as now, it was clear beyond a cavil that I had actually beheld the phantom of an evil spirit.”

CONCLUSION

Now there are two curious circumstances to be observed in this relation of my uncle’s, who was, as I have said, a perfectly veracious man.

First—­The wax candle which he took from the press in the parlour and burnt at his bedside on that horrible night was unquestionably, according to the testimony of the old deaf servant, who had been fifty years at Wauling, that identical piece of “holy candle” which had stood in the fingers of the poor lady’s corpse, and concerning which the old Irish crone, long since dead, had delivered the curious curse I have mentioned against the Captain.

Secondly—­Behind the drawer under the looking-glass, he did actually discover a second but secret drawer, in which were concealed the identical papers which he had suspected the attorney of having made away with.  There were circumstances, too, afterwards disclosed which convinced my uncle that the old man had deposited them there preparatory to burning them, which he had nearly made up his mind to do.

Now, a very remarkable ingredient in this tale of my Uncle Watson was this, that so far as my father, who had never seen Captain Walshawe in the course of his life, could gather, the phantom had exhibited a horrible and grotesque, but unmistakeable resemblance to that defunct scamp in the various stages of his long life.

Wauling was sold in the year 1837, and the old house shortly after pulled down, and a new one built nearer to the river.  I often wonder whether it was rumoured to be haunted, and, if so, what stories were current about it.  It was a commodious and stanch old house, and withal rather handsome; and its demolition was certainly suspicious.

THE CHILD THAT WENT WITH THE FAIRIES

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J. S. Le Fanu's Ghostly Tales, Volume 5 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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