The Book of Dreams and Ghosts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 292 pages of information about The Book of Dreams and Ghosts.
and when we said ‘Yes,’ he answered, ’That is not true:  the like has never been heard at any time’.  He had sung ‘The memory of Jesus’ after I arrived there, and talked frequently while the word of God was being read.  He said that he did not mind this, but that he did not like the ‘Cross-school Psalms,’ and said it must have been a great idiot who composed them.  This enemy came like a devil, departed as such, and behaved himself as such while he was present, nor would it befit any one but the devil to declare all that he said.  At the same time it must be added that I am not quite convinced that it was a spirit, but my opinions on this I cannot give here for lack of time.”

In another work {249} where the sheriff’s letter is given with some variations and additions, an attempt is made to explain the story.  The phenomena were said to have been caused by a young man who had learned ventriloquism abroad.  Even if this art could have been practised so successfully as to puzzle the sheriff and others, it could hardly have taken the door off its hinges and thrown it into the room.  It is curious that while Jon Espolin in his Annals entirely discredits the sheriff’s letter, he yet gives a very similar account of the spirit’s proceedings.

A later story of the same kind, also printed by Jon Arnason (i., 311), is that of the ghost at Garpsdal as related by the minister there, Sir Saemund, and written down by another minister on 7th June, 1808.  The narrative is as follows:—­


In Autumn, 1807, there was a disturbance by night in the outer room at Garpsdal, the door being smashed.  There slept in this room the minister’s men-servants, Thorsteinn Gudmundsson, Magnus Jonsson, and a child named Thorstein.  Later, on 16th November, a boat which the minister had lying at the sea-side was broken in broad daylight, and although the blows were heard at the homestead yet no human form was visible that could have done this.  All the folks at Garpsdal were at home, and the young fellow Magnus Jonsson was engaged either at the sheep-houses or about the homestead; the spirit often appeared to him in the likeness of a woman.  On the 18th of the same month four doors of the sheep-houses were broken in broad daylight, while the minister was marrying a couple in the church; most of his people were present in the church, Magnus being among them.  That same day in the evening this woman was noticed in the sheep-houses; she said that she wished to get a ewe to roast, but as soon as an old woman who lived at Garpsdal and was both skilled and wise (Gudrun Jons-dottir by name) had handled the ewe, its struggles ceased and it recovered again.  While Gudrun was handling the ewe, Magnus was standing in the door of the house; with that one of the rafters was broken, and the pieces were thrown in his face.  He said that the woman went away just then.  The minister’s horses were close by, and at that moment became so scared that they ran straight over smooth ice as though it had been earth, and suffered no harm.

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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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