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.

The prisoners were discharged on 13th September.  On 5th March, 1830, they were tried at the Buckingham Lent Assizes, were found guilty and were hanged, protesting their innocence, on 8th March, 1830.

“In the report of Mrs. Edden’s evidence (at the Assizes) no mention is made of the vision.” {144}

Here end our ghosts in courts of justice; the following ghost gave evidence of a murder, or rather, confessed to one, but was beyond the reach of human laws.

This tale of 1730 is still current in Highland tradition.  It has, however, been improved and made infinitely more picturesque by several generations of narrators.  As we try to be faithful to the best sources, the contemporary manuscript version is here reprinted from The Scottish Standard-Bearer, an organ of the Scotch Episcopalians (October and November, 1894).

THE DOG O’ MAUSE

Account of an apparition that appeared to William Soutar, {145a} in the Mause, 1730.

[This is a copy from that in the handwriting of Bishop Rattray, preserved at Craighall, and which was found at Meikleour a few years ago, to the proprietor of which, Mr. Mercer, it was probably sent by the Bishop.—­W.  W. H., 3rd August, 1846.]

“I have sent you an account of an apparition as remarkable, perhaps, as anything you ever heard of, and which, considered in all its circumstances, leaves, I think, no ground of doubt to any man of common-sense.  The person to whom it appeared is one William Soutar, a tenant of Balgowan’s, who lives in Middle Mause, within about half a mile from this place on the other side of the river, and in view from our windows of Craighall House.  He is about thirty-seven years of age, as he says, and has a wife and bairns.

“The following is an account from his own mouth; and because there are some circumstances fit to be taken in as you go along, I have given them with reference at the end, {145b} that I may not interrupt the sense of the account, or add anything to it.  Therefore, it begins:—­

“’In the month of December in the year 1728, about sky-setting, I and my servant, with several others living in the town (farm-steading) heard a scratching (screeching, crying), and I followed the noise, with my servant, a little way from the town (farm-steading throughout).  We both thought we saw what had the appearance to be a fox, and hounded the dogs at it, but they would not pursue it. {146a}

“’About a month after, as I was coming from Blair {146b} alone, about the same time of the night, a big dog appeared to me, of a dark greyish colour, between the Hilltown and Knockhead {146c} of Mause, on a lea rig a little below the road, and in passing by it touched me sonsily (firmly) on the thigh at my haunch-bane (hip-bone), upon which I pulled my staff from under my arm and let a stroke at it; and I had a notion at the time that I hit it, and my haunch was painful all that night.  However, I had no great thought of its being anything particular or extraordinary, but that it might be a mad dog wandering.  About a year after that, to the best of my memory, in December month, about the same time of the night and in the same place, when I was alone, it appeared to me again as before, and passed by me at some distance; and then I began to think it might be something more than ordinary.

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