The Book of Dreams and Ghosts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about The Book of Dreams and Ghosts.

Thus the clothes of ghosts, their properties, and their actions affecting physical objects, are not more difficult to explain than a naked ghost would be, they are all the “stuff that dreams are made of”.  But occasionally things are carried to a great pitch, as when a ghost drives off in a ghostly dogcart, with a ghostly horse, whip and harness.  Of this complicated kind we give two examples; the first reckons as a “subjective,” the second as a veracious hallucination.

THE OLD FAMILY COACH

A distinguished and accomplished country gentleman and politician, of scientific tastes, was riding in the New Forest, some twelve miles from the place where he was residing.  In a grassy glade he discovered that he did not very clearly know his way to a country town which he intended to visit.  At this moment, on the other side of some bushes a carriage drove along, and then came into clear view where there was a gap in the bushes.  Mr. Hyndford saw it perfectly distinctly; it was a slightly antiquated family carriage, the sides were in that imitation of wicker work on green panel which was once so common.  The coachman was a respectable family servant, he drove two horses:  two old ladies were in the carriage, one of them wore a hat, the other a bonnet.  They passed, and then Mr. Hyndford, going through the gap in the bushes, rode after them to ask his way.  There was no carriage in sight, the avenue ended in a cul-de-sac of tangled brake, and there were no traces of wheels on the grass.  Mr. Hyndford rode back to his original point of view, and looked for any object which could suggest the illusion of one old-fashioned carriage, one coachman, two horses and two elderly ladies, one in a hat and one in a bonnet.  He looked in vain—­and that is all!

Nobody in his senses would call this appearance a ghostly one.  The name, however, would be applied to the following tale of

RIDING HOME FROM MESS

In 1854, General Barter, C.B., was a subaltern in the 75th Regiment, and was doing duty at the hill station of Murree in the Punjaub.  He lived in a house built recently by a Lieutenant B., who died, as researches at the War Office prove, at Peshawur on 2nd January, 1854.  The house was on a spur of the hill, three or four hundred yards under the only road, with which it communicated by a “bridle path,” never used by horsemen.  That path ended in a precipice; a footpath led into the bridle path from Mr. Barter’s house.

One evening Mr. Barter had a visit from a Mr. and Mrs. Deane, who stayed till near eleven o’clock.  There was a full moon, and Mr. Barter walked to the bridle path with his friends, who climbed it to join the road.  He loitered with two dogs, smoking a cigar, and just as he turned to go home, he heard a horse’s hoofs coming down the bridle path.  At a bend of the path a tall hat came into view, then

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