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.

“I think,” said I, “that you did no harm in telling Bolter’s young woman.”

“I never thought of it when I told her, or of her interest in the kennel; but, by George, she soon broke off her engagement.”

“Did you know Manning, the Pakeha Maori, the fellow who wrote Old New Zealand?”

“No, what about him?”

“He did not put it in his book, but he told the same yarn, without the dogs, as having happened to himself.  He saw the whole arm, and the hand was leprous.”

“Ugh!” said the Beach-comber.

“Next morning he was obliged to view the body of an old Maori, who had been murdered in his garden the night before.  That old man’s hand was the hand he saw.  I know a room in an old house in England where plucking off the bed-clothes goes on, every now and then, and has gone on as long as the present occupants have been there.  But I only heard lately, and they only heard from me, that the same thing used to occur, in the same room and no other, in the last generation, when another family lived there.”

“Anybody see anything?”

“No, only footsteps are heard creeping up, before the twitches come off.”

“And what do the people do?”

“Nothing!  We set a camera once to photograph the spook.  He did not sit.”

“It’s rum!” said the Beach-comber.  “But mind you, as to spooks, I don’t believe a word of it.” {299}


The idiot Scotch laird in the story would not let the dentist put his fingers into his mouth, “for I’m feared ye’ll bite me”.  The following anecdote proves that a ghost may entertain a better founded alarm on this score.  A correspondent of Notes and Queries (3rd Sept., 1864) is responsible for the narrative, given “almost verbatim from the lips of the lady herself,” a person of tried veracity.

“Emma S—–­, one of seven children, was sleeping alone, with her face towards the west, at a large house near C—–­, in the Staffordshire moorlands.  As she had given orders to her maid to call her at an early hour, she was not surprised at being awakened between three and four on a fine August morning in 1840 by a sharp tapping at her door, when in spite of a “thank you, I hear,” to the first and second raps, with the third came a rush of wind, which caused the curtains to be drawn up in the centre of the bed.  She became annoyed, and sitting up called out, “Marie, what are you about?”

Instead, however, of her servant, she was astonished to see the face of an aunt by marriage peering above and between the curtains, and at the same moment—­whether unconsciously she threw forward her arms, or whether they were drawn forward, as it were, in a vortex of air, she cannot be sure—­one of her thumbs was sensibly pressed between the teeth of the apparition, though no mark afterwards remained on it.  All this notwithstanding, she remained collected and unalarmed;

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