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.

“Other people had suffered many things in the same house, unknown to Dr. and Mrs. Gwynne, who gave up the place soon afterwards.”

In plenty of stories we hear of ghosts who draw curtains or open doors, and these apparent material effects are usually called part of the seer’s delusion.  But the night-light certainly went out under the figure’s hand, and was relit by Dr. Gwynne.  Either the ghost was an actual entity, not a mere hallucination of two people, or the extinction of the light was a curious coincidence. {186}


Haunted Houses.  Antiquity of Haunted Houses.  Savage Cases.  Ancient Egyptian Cases.  Persistence in Modern Times.  Impostures.  Imaginary Noises.  Nature of Noises.  The Creaking Stair.  Ghostly Effects produced by the Living but Absent.  The Grocer’s Cough.  Difficulty of Belief.  My Gillie’s Father’s Story.  “Silverton Abbey.”  The Dream that Opened the Door.  Abbotsford Noises.  Legitimate Haunting by the Dead.  The Girl in Pink.  The Dog in the Haunted Room.  The Lady in Black.  Dogs Alarmed.  The Dead Seldom Recognised.  Glamis.  A Border Castle.  Another Class of Hauntings.  A Russian Case.  The Dancing Devil.  The Little Hands.

Haunted houses have been familiar to man ever since he has owned a roof to cover his head.  The Australian blacks possessed only shelters or “leans-to,” so in Australia the spirits do their rapping on the tree trunks; a native illustrated this by whacking a table with a book.  The perched-up houses of the Dyaks are haunted by noisy routing agencies.  We find them in monasteries, palaces, and crofters’ cottages all through the Middle Ages.  On an ancient Egyptian papyrus we find the husband of the Lady Onkhari protesting against her habit of haunting his house, and exclaiming:  “What wrong have I done,” exactly in the spirit of the “Hymn of Donald Ban,” who was “sair hadden down by a bodach” (noisy bogle) after Culloden. {188a}

The husband of Onkhari does not say how she disturbed him, but the manners of Egyptian haunters, just what they remain at present, may be gathered from a magical papyrus, written in Greek.  Spirits “wail and groan, or laugh dreadfully”; they cause bad dreams, terror and madness; finally, they “practice stealthy theft,” and rap and knock.  The “theft” (by making objects disappear mysteriously) is often illustrated in the following tales, as are the groaning and knocking. {188b} St. Augustine speaks of hauntings as familiar occurrences, and we have a chain of similar cases from ancient Egypt to 1896.  Several houses in that year were so disturbed that the inhabitants were obliged to leave them.  The newspapers were full of correspondence on the subject.

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