True Ghost Stories

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Transcript of True Ghost Stories

  • Presented to the


    by the



  • True Ghost Storied*



    Author of "The 'Physical 'Phenomena of Spiritualism," "The ComingScience,

    ""Death: its Causes and 'Phenomena.


    "Death Deferred."



    ^ t NEW YORK



  • Copyright, 1915, by





    CHAPTER IWhat is a Ghost? 13The Terror of the Dark 14What is a Ghost? 18Historic Investigations 20

    Death Coincidences 21Are They Due to Chance? 24The Explanation 26Experimental Apparitions 27

    Telepathic Hallucinations 32

    Ghosts Which Move Material Objects 37Photographs of Ghosts 38The "Double" and the Spiritual Body 40What Happens at the Moment of Death 43How the Soul May Leave the Body 47Theories of Haunted Houses 51The Clothes of Ghosts 55Telepathy from the Dead 57The Psychic Atmosphere 59Forms Created by Will 60Physical Manifestations 62Can Haunted Houses be "Cured"? 63

    CHAPTER IIPhantasms of the Dead I 65A Russian Ghost 65Grasped by a Spirit Hand 71"I Am Shot!" 74"Heave the Lead!" 75The Rescue at Sea 78How Ghosts Influence Us 86How a Ghost Warned the King 90The Stains of Blood 93Face to Face 96"Julia, Darling!" 98The Cut Across the Cheek 99The Invisible Hand ... 100

  • 6 CONTENTSThe Apparition of the Radiant Boy 104Fisher's Ghost 106Harriet Hosmer's Vision 109The Apparition of the Murdered Boy 112The Ghost in Yellow Calico 116

    CHAPTER IIIMore Phantasms of the Dead II 120Compacts to Appear after Death 120Lord Brougham's Vision 122The Tyrone Ghost 125Dead or Alive! 128The Scratch on the Cheek 135A Ghost in Hampton Court 139Half-Past One O'clock 147My Own True Ghost Story 155

    CHAPTER IVHaunted Houses 163The Record of a Haunted House 165B House 170Willington Mill 174The Great Amherst Mystery 176Brook House 186

    CHAPTER VGhost Stories of a More Dramatic Nature 194Disease-Phantoms 194The Tale of a Mummy


    198Face Slapped by a Ghost 204Alone with a Ghost in Church 207A Haunted House in France 210A Haunted House in Georgia 213Shaken by a Ghost 220The House and the Brain 221

    APPENDIX AHistorical Ghosts 230

    APPENDIX BThe Phantom Armies Seen in France 236

    APPENDIX CBibliography 245


    HEREWARD CARRINGTON, author of "True Ghost Sto-ries," is well known in this country, and in Europe, as a

    prominent scientific writer on psychical and occult sub-

    jects. He has been a member of both the English andAmerican Societies of Psychical Research for more than

    15 years; has written over a dozen books on the subject

    a number of which has been translated into foreign lan-

    guages (such as Japanese and Arabic), and he has lectured

    in London, Par's, Rome, Venice, Milan, Genoa, Turin, etc.

    before scientific organizations. His writings are well

    known, and have earned him a high place in psychical cir-

    cles. He "s a late member of the Council of the AmericanScientific Society, of the American Geographical Society,and of the American Health League. He collaborated inthe "American Encyclopaedia," "The Standard Dictionary,"etc. His experience in the investigation of psychical mys-teries is unrivalled. He has travelled all over the countryinvestigating "cases," spending nights in "haunted houses,"

    and accounts of his investigations have appeared in the

    Reports of the various Psychical Societies, and also in his

    own publications.In "True Ghost Stories," Mr. Carrington presents a num-

    ber of startling cases of this character; but they are not

    the ordinary "ghost stories" based on pure fiction, and

    having no foundation in reality. Here we have a well-ar-ranged collection of incidents, all thoroughly investigatedand vouched for, and the testimony obtained first-hand andcorroborated by others. The chapter on "Haunted Houses"is particularly striking. The first chapter deals with the

    interesting question, "What is a Ghost?" and attempts toanswer this question in the light of the latest scientifictheories which have been advanced to explain these super-natural happenings and visitants. It is a book of absorb-

    ing interest, and cannot fail to grip and hold the attentionof every reader no matter whether he be a student of

    these questions, or one merely in search of hair-raisinganecdotes and stories. He will find them here a-plenty!


    The following little book endeavors to bringtogether a number of "ghost stories" of the more

    startling and dramatic type, but stories, never-

    theless, which seem to be well authenticated ; andwhich have been obtained, in most instances, at

    first hand, from the original witnesses; andoften contain corroborative testimony from

    others who also experienced the ghostly phe-nomena. Some of these incidents, indeed, riseto the dignity of scientific evidence; others are

    less well authenticated cases, but interestingfor all that. These have been grouped in various

    Chapters, according to their evidential value.

    Chapters II. and III. contain well-evidenced

    cases, some of which have been taken from the

    Proceedings and Journals of the Society for

    Psychical Research (S. P. E.), or from Phan-

    tasms of the Living, or from other scientific

    books, in which narratives of this character re-

    ceive serious consideration. Chapter V., on the

    contrary, contains a number of incidents which,

    striking and dramatic as they are, cannot be

    included in the two earlier Chapters, as present-

    ing real evidence of Ghosts; but are publishedrather as startling and interesting ghost stories.

  • 10 PREFACE

    Chapter IV., devoted to "Haunted Houses," con-tains brief accounts of the most famous Haunted

    Houses, and of the phenomena which have beenwitnessed within them. Appendix A gives a listof a few of the important "Historical Ghosts,"

    Appendix B describes the "Phantom Armies"lately seen by the Allied troops in Francewhile Appendix C lists a number of books ofGhost Stories which the interested reader maycare to peruse. A short Glossary, at the begin-ning of the book, explains the meaning of certain

    terms used, which are not, perhaps, ordinarilymet with in books of this character.In the Introductory Chapter, I have endeav-

    ored to explain, very briefly, the nature and

    character of Ghosts; what they are; and therarious scientific theories which have been

    brought forward, of late years, to explainGhosts. I hope that this may prove of interestto the reader; in case it does not do so, he is

    invited to "skip" directly to Chapter II., which

    begins our account of "True Ghost Stories."

    I wish to express my thanks in this place tothe Council of the English S. P. R. for special

    permission to quote and to summarize several

    striking cases here reproduced; also to Miss

    Estelle Stead, for permission to utilize several

    cases previously printed at length in Mr. Wm. T.Stead's collections of Ghost Stories. H. C.


    AGENT The person who, in thought-transference experiments, endeavors to impress his

    thoughts upon the "percipient" or "receiver."

    DEATH-COINCIDENCE A case in which an ap-parition or other ghostly phenomenon has taken

    place, at the moment of the death of the personrepresented by the phantom.GHOST An apparition, a phantom. Some con-

    tend that all ghosts are "subjective" or purelymental (hallucinations) ; others that some

    ghosts are "objective" that is, space-occuping

    entities, which exist apart from the seer, whosees them. These points will be found fully dis-

    cussed in this book.

    HALLUCINATION A mental experience, inwhich a phantom is seen, a voice heard, etc.,when there is no real external cause for this see-

    ing or hearing. Hallucinations are more com-

    plete than mere "illusions."

    PACT An agreement, entered into beforedeath, between two persons, that, whichever one

    dies first, shall appear to the other one. These

    are here called "Pact Cases." [A Pact may alsomean an agreement between a necromancer of


    some spirit-intelligence, as in Magic; but theword is not used in that sense in this book.]PERCIPIENT The receiver of the telepathic or

    other message. The one who experiences the

    phenomenon.PHANTASM A phantom; an apparition; a

    "ghost." The word is more inclusive than anyof the words suggested; and is used by prefer-ence, by most psychic students.

    TELEPATHY Mind-reading ; thought-transfer-ence.




    Ghosts have been believed in by every nation,at every time and at every stage of the world's

    evolution. No matter where we may go, we findthem stalking through the pages of history ;* and

    even in our own cynical and materialistic age,we not only find "ghosts'


    still;but the evidence

    for their existence is stronger than ever! It is

    nonsense to say that "no sensible person be-

    lieves in ghosts," because many thousands ofthem do. Why do they believe? Would they be-lieve if they had no cause to do so?

    The "terror of the dark," which we all havemore or less, from which every child suffers ( how

    intensely!) during its early years a terror

    which is, to a certain extent, shared by animals

    and even insects does all this signify nothing?Those who have looked into this question thor-

    oughly, believe that there is,