“I hear that the morning the late S—— of B—— left home for the last time, spirits came and rapped to him in his room—doubtless to warn him—so that his death was really owing to the cruel superstition which had prevented him allowing them to be communicated with.”
Lord Bute’s informant appears to have been the Rev. Sir David Hunter Blair, as the journal mentions his arrival at Falkland on that day, and none of the other guests in the house were people who were likely to have heard anything about it.
Mr. S—— was succeeded by his eldest son, Captain S——, who showed no hesitation in throwing the house into the public market, with its 4400 acres of shooting. The alleged haunting was not mentioned beforehand to the first tenant, as it afterwards was to Colonel Taylor.
This tenant was Mr. J.R. H—— of K—— Court, C——, in G——shire, and the following is the account of experiences during his visit, as given by his butler:—
ON THE TRAIL OF A GHOST
To the Editor of “The Times"
“SIR,—In your issue of the 8th, under the above heading, ’A Correspondent’ tries at some length to describe what he calls a most impudent imposture. I having lived at B—— for three months in the autumn of last year as butler to the house, I thought perhaps my experience of the ghost of B—— might be of interest to many of your readers, and as the story has now become public property, I shall not be doing any one an injury by telling what I know of the mystery.
“On July 15, 1896, I was sent by Mr. H——, with two maidservants, to take charge of B—— from Mr. S——’s agents. I was there three days before the arrival of any one of the family, and during that time I heard nothing to disturb me in any way; but on the morning after the arrival of two of the family, Master and Miss H——, they came down with long faces, giving accounts of ghostly noises they had heard during the night, but I tried to dissuade them from such nonsense, as I then considered it to be; but on the following two or three nights the same kind of noises were heard by them, and also by the maidservants, who slept in the rooms above, and they all became positively frightened. I heard nothing whatever, though the noises, as they described them, would have been enough to wake any one much farther away than where I slept, for the noises they heard were made immediately over my room. I suggested the hot-water pipes or the twigs of ivy knocking against the windows, but no—nothing would persuade them but that the house was haunted; but as the noises continued to be heard nightly, I suggested that I should sit up alone, and without a light, outside their bedroom doors, where the footsteps and other rustling noises were heard. I think one other member of the family, or two young gentlemen, had arrived at this time, and they had also heard the noises. I told them of my intention to sit