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an instance of this, in Relation 17th, of a | have busied themselves in accounting for it, Dutch lieutenant who had the faculty of without once doubting the truth of the fact, seeing Ghosts; and who, being prevented mak Dogs too have the faculty of seeing spirits, as ing way for one which he mentioned to some is instanced in David Hunter's relation, above friends as coming towards them, was, with his quoted; but in that case they usually show companions, violently thrown down, and sorely signs of terror, by whining and creeping to bruised. We further learn, by Relation 16th, their master for protection : and it is generally that the hand of a Ghost is as cold as a clod.' supposed that they often see things of this na
“ The usual time at which ghosts make ture when their owner cannot; there being their appearance is midnight, and seldom some persons, particularly those born on a before it is dark; though some audacious Christmas Eve, who cannot see spirits. spirits bave been said to appear even by day "The coming of a spirit is announced some light: but of this there are few instances, and time before its appearance by a variety of those mostly Ghosts who have been laid, per-| loud and dreadful noises; sometimes rattling haps in the Red Sea (of which more hereafter), in the old hall like a coach and six, and and whose times of confinement were expired: | rumbling up and down the staircase like the these, like felons confined to the lighters, are trundling of bowls or cannon-balls. At length said to return more troublesome and daring the door flies open, and the spectre stalks than before. No Ghosts can appear on Christ- | slowly up to the bed's foot, and opening the mas Eve; this Shakspeare has put into the curtains, looks steadfastly at the person in bed mouth of one of his characters in Hamlet.' by whom it is seen; a Ghost being very rarely
“Ghosts," Grose adds,“ commonly appear in visible to more than one person, although the same dress they usually wore whilst living ; there are several in company. It is here though they are sometimes clothed all in necessary to observe, that it has been univerwhite; but that is chiefly the churchyard sally found by experience, as well as affirmed Ghosts, who have no particular business, but by divers Apparitions themselves, that a Ghost seem to appear pro bono publico, or to scare has not the power to speak till it has been first drunken rustics from tumbling over their spoken to : so that, notwithstanding the urgraves.
gency of the business on which it may come, “I cannot learn that Ghosts carry tapers in everything must stand still till the person their hands, as they are sometimes depicted, visited can find sufficient courage to speak to though the room in which they appear, if with | it: an event that sometimes does not take place out fire or candle, is frequently said to be as for many years. It has not been found that light as day. Dragging chains is not the female Ghosts are more loquacious than those fashion of English Ghosts; chains and black of the male sex, both being equally restrained vestments being chiefly the accoutrements of by this law. foreign spectres, seen in arbitrary governments: "The mode of addressing a Ghost is by dead or alive, English spirits are free. One commanding it, in the name of the three perinstance, however, of an English Ghost dressed sons of the Trinity, to tell you who it is, and in black is found in the celebrated ballad of what is its business : this it may be necessary • William and Margaret,' in the following to repeat three times; after which it will, in a lines :
low and hollow voice, declare its satisfaction And clay-cold was her lily hand,
at being spoken to, and desire the party adThat held her sable shrowd.'
dressing it not to be afraid, for it will do him
no harm. This being premised, it commonly ** This, however, may be considered as a poet enters into its narrative, which being comical licence, used, in all likelihood, for the pleted, and its request or commands given, -sake of the opposition of lily to sable.
with injunctions that they be immediately "If, during the time of an Apparition, there executed, it vanishes away, frequently in a is a lighted candle in the room, it will burn flash of light; in which case, some Ghosts have extremely blue: this is so universally ac- been so considerate as to desire the party to knowledged, that many eminent philosophers whom they appeared to shut their eyes : some
times its departure is attended with delightful times terrifying them, as in Glanvil's Rela. music. During the narration of its business, tion 26th, by appearing in many formidable a Ghost must by no means be interrupted by shapes, and sometimes even striking them a questions of any kind; so doing is extremely violent blow. Of blows given by Ghosts there dangerous : if any doubts arise, they must be are many instances, and some wherein they stated after the spirit has done its tale. Ques have been followed with an incurable lametions respecting its state, or the state of any of ness. their former acquaintance, are offensive, and not “ It should have been observed that Ghosts, often answered; spirits, perhaps, being restrain in delivering their commissions, in order to ed from divulging the secrets of their prison ensure belief, communicate to the persons house. Occasionally spirits will even conde employed some secret, known only to the parscend to talk on common occurrences, as is ties concerned and themselves, the relation of instanced by Glanvil in the Apparition of which always produces the effect intended. Major George Sydenham to Captain William The business being completed, Ghosts appear Dyke, Relation 10th. (%)
with a cheerful countenance, saying they shall " It is somewhat remarkable that Ghosts do now be at rest, and will never more disturb not go about their business like the persons of any one; and, thanking their agents, by way this world. In cases of murder, a Ghost, in of reward communicate to them something stead of going to the next justice of the peace relative to themselves, which they will never and laying its information, or to the nearest re reveal. lation of the person murdered, appears to some “Sometimes Ghosts appear, and disturb a poor labourer who knows none of the parties, house, without deigning to give any reason for draws the curtains of some decrepit nurse or so doing: with these, the shortest and only alms-woman, or hovers about the place where way is to exorcise (8) and eject them ; or, as his body is deposited. The same circuitous the vulgar term is, lay them. For this purmode is pursued with respect to redressing in pose there must be two or three clergymen, and jured orphans or widows : when it seems as if the ceremony must be performed in Latin; a the shortest and most certain way would be language that strikes the most audacious Ghost to go to the person guilty of the injustice, and with terror. A Ghost may be laid for any haunt him continually till he be terrified into term less than an hundred years, and in any a restitution. Nor are the pointing out lost place or body, full or empty; as, a solid oakwritings generally managed in a more sum the pommel of a sword-a barrel of beer, if a mary way; the Ghost commonly applying to yeoman or simple gentleman-or a pipe of a third person ignorant of the whole affair, and wine, if an esquire or a justice. But of all a stranger to all concerned. But it is pre places the most common, and what a Ghost sumutuous to scrutinize too far into these least likes, is the Red Sea; it being related in matters : Ghosts have undoubtedly forms and many instances, that Ghosts have most earnestly customs peculiar to themselves.
besought the exorcists not to confine them in “ If, after the first appearance, the persons that place. It is nevertheless considered as an employed neglect, or are prevented from, per indisputable fact, that there are an infinite forming the message or business committed to number laid there, perhaps from its being a their management, the Ghost appears continu safer prison than any other nearer at hand; ally to them, at first with a discontented, next though neither history nor tradition gives us an angry, and at length with a furious coun- | any instance of Ghosts escaping or returning tenance, threatening to tear them in pieces if from this kind of transportation before their the matter is not forthwith executed : some time."(*)
NOTES TO GHOSTS, OR APPARITIONS.
(1) The learned Moresin traces thus to its origin the popular superstition relative to the Coming again, as it is commonly called, or Walking of Spirits :
“ Animarum ad nos regressus ita est ex Manilio lib. i. Astron. cap. 7, de lacteo circulo: • An major densa stellarum turba corona. Contexit flammas, & crasso lumine candet, Et fulgore nitet collato clarior orbis. An fortes animæ, dignataque nomina cælo Corporibus resoluta suis, terræque remissa. Huc migrant ex orbe, suumque habitantia
cælum : Æthereos vivunt annos, mundoque fruuntur.'
“ Lege Palingenesiam Pythagoricam apud Ovid. in Metam. & est observatum Fabij Pont. Max. disciplina, ut atro die mauibus parentare non liceret, ne infesti manes fierent. Alex. ab Alex. lib. v. cap. 26. Hæc cum legerent papani, & his alia apud alios similia, voluerunt & suorum defunctorum animas ad eos reverti, & nunc certiores facere rerum earum, quæ tum in cælis, tum apud inferos geruntur, nunc autem terrere domesticos insanis artibus : sed quod sint fæminæ fæcundæ factæ his technis novit omnis mundus." Papatus, p. 11.
From the subsequent passage in Shakspeare the walking of spirits seems to have been enjoined by way of penance. The Ghost speaks thus in “ Hamlet :”
“I am thy Father's spirit,
There is a passage in the “Spectator," where he introduces the girls in his neighbourhood, and his landlady's daughters, telling stories of Spirits and Apparitions : how they stood, pale as ashes, at the foot of a bed, and walked over churchyards by moonlight : of their being conjured to the Red Sea, &c. He
wittily observes that one spirit raised another, and, at the end of every story, the whole company closed their ranks and crowded about the fire.”
In the “Statistical Account of Scotland," vol. xxi. (8vo. Edinb. 1799) p. 148, parish of Monquihitter, in the additional Communications from the Rev. A. Jobnstone, we read : “ In opinion, an amazing alteration has been produced by education and social intercourse. Few of the old being able to read, and fewer still to write, their minds were clouded by ignorance. The mind being uncultivated, the imagination readily admitted the terrors of superstition. The appearance of Ghosts and Demons too frequently engrossed the conversation of the young and the old. The old man's fold, where the Druid sacrificed to the demon for his corn and cattle, could not be violated by the ploughshare. Lucky and unlucky days, dreams, and omens, were most religiously attended to, and reputed witches, by their spells and their prayers, were artful enough to lay every parish under contribution. In short, a system of mythology fully as absurd and amusing as the mythology of Homer obtained general belief. But now, Ghosts and Demons are no longer visible. The old man's fold is reduced to tillage. The sagacious old woman, who has survived her friends and means, is treated with humanity, in spite of the grisly bristles which adorn her mouth: and, in the minds of the young, cultivated by education, a steady pursuit of the arts of life has banished the chimeras of fancy. Books, trade, manufacture, foreign and domestic news, now engross the conversation; and the topic of the day is always warmly, if not ingenuously, discussed. From believing too much, many, particularly in the higher walks of life, have rushed to the opposite extreme of believing too little; so that, even in this remote corner, scepticism may but too justly boast of her votaries."
The following finely written conversation on the subject of Ghosts, between the servants in Addison's comedy of the “Drummer, or
Haunted House,” will be thought much to Night-roaming Ghosts by saucer-eyeballs our purpose.
known, “ Gardener. I marvel, John, how he (the
The common spectres of each country spirit) gets into the house when all the gates
town." are shut.
(Gay.) Butler. Why, look ye, Peter, your spirit
Shakspeare's Ghosts excel all others. The will creep you into an augre hole. He'll whisk ye through a key-hole, without so much
terrible indeed is his forte. How awful is
that description of the dead time of night, the as justling against one of the wards. Coachman. I verily believe I saw him last
season of their perambulation! night in the Town-close.
“ 'Tis now the very witching time of night, Gard. How did he appear?
When churchyards yawn, and Hell itself Coachm. Like a white horse.
breathes out Butl. Pho, Robin, I tell ye he has never Contagion to the world." appeared yet but in the shape of the sound of a drum.
Thus also in Home's “ Douglas :". Coachm. This makes one almost afraid of “ In such a place as this, at such an hour, one's own shadow. As I was walking from If ancestry can be in aught believ’d, the stable t'other night without my lanthorn, Descending spirits have convers'd with man, I fell across a beam, and I thought I had And told the secrets of the world unknown." stumbled over a spirit. Butl. Thou might'st as well have stumbled
Gay has left us a pretty tale of an Appariover a straw. Why a spirit is such a little
tion. The golden mark being found in bed thing, that I have heard a man, who was a
is indeed after the indelicate manner of Swift, great scholar, say, that he'll dance ye a Lan
but yet is one of those happy strokes that cashire Hornpipe upon the point of a needle.
rival the felicity of that dash of the sponge As I sat in the pantry last night counting my
which (as Pliny tells us) hit off so well the spoons, the candle methought burnt blue, and
expression of the froth in Protogenes's dog. the spayed bitch looked as if she saw some.
It is impossible not to envy the author the
conception of a thought which we know not Gard. Ay I warrant ye, she hears him
whether to call more comical or more pointmany a time and often when we don't.”
edly satirical. The “Spectator,” accounting for the rise
* “ Wherein the Major reproved the and progress of ancient superstition, tells us
Captain for suffering a sword he had given our forefathers looked upon nature with more
him to grow rusty ; saying, “Captain, Capreverence and horror before the world was en
tain, this sword did not use to be kept after lightened by learning and philosophy, and
this manner when it was mine. This attenloved to astonish themselves with the appre
tion to the state of arms was a remnant of the hensions of witchcraft, prodigies, charms, and
Major's professional duty when living." enchantments. There was not a village in
) The following is from Moresini " PapaEngland that had not a Ghost in it. The
tus," p. 7: “Apud alios tum Poetas, tum churchyards were all haunted. Every com
Historiographos, de magicis incantationibus, mon had a circle of fairies belonging to it,
exorcismis, & curatione tam hominum quam and there was scarce a shepherd to be met
belluarum per carmina haud pauca habentur, with who had not seen a spirit. Hence
sed horum impietatem omnium superat longe
hac in re Papismus, hic enim supra Dei potes- " Those tales of vulgar sprites tatem posse carmina, posse exorcismos affirmat, Which frighten'd boys relate on winter ita ut nihil sit tam obstrusum in Cælis . nights,
quod exorcismis non pateat, nihil tam abdiHow cleanly milkmaids meet the fairy train, tum in inferno quod non eruatur, nihil in How headless horses drag the clinking terrarum silentio inclusum quod non eliciatur, chain :
nihil in hominum pectoribus conditum quod
non reveletur, nihil ablatum quod non resti- | dori Patavini ad Dæmones et Maleficia de tuatur, & nihil quod habet orbis, sive insit, Christi Fidelibus expellendum :" 12mo. Vesive non, è quo dæmon norr ejiciatur."
net. 1606. From this last, Bourne's form has Gay, in imitation of the style of our old been taken. Ennius, Chaucer, gives us a fine description St. Chrysostom is said to have insulted of one of these haunted houses :
some African conjurers of old with this humi“Now there spreaden a rumour that everich
liating and singular observation : “Miserable night
and woful creatures that we are, we cannot so The rooms ihaunted been by many a sprite,
much as expel fleas, much less devils.” The miller avoucheth, and all thereabout
“ Obsession of the Devil is distinguished from That they full oft hearen the hellish rout;
possession in this. In possession the Evil One Some saine they hear the gingling of chains,
was said to enter into the body of the man. In And some hath heard the psautries straines,
obsession, without entering into the body of the At midnight some the heedless horse imeet,
person, he was thought to besiege and torment And some espien a corse in a white sheet,
him without. To be lifted up into the air, And oother things, faye, elfin, and elfe,
and afterwards to be thrown down on the And shapes that Fear createn to itself.”
ground violently, without receiving any hurt;
to speak strange languages that the person had The learned Selden observes, on this occa never learned ; not to be able to come near sion, that there was never a merry world since holy things or the sacraments, but to have an the fairies left dancing and the parson left aversion to them; to know and foretell secret conjuring. The opinion of the latter kept things ; to perform things that exceed the thieves (a) in awe, and did as much good in a person's strength; to say or do things that the country as a justice of peace.
person would not or durst not say, if he were Bourne, chap. ii., has preserved the form not externally moved to it; were the antient of exorcising a haunted house, a truly tedious marks and criterions of possessions."'(a) Cal. process, for the expulsion of demons, who, it met, in Bailey's Dictionary. should seem, have not been easily ferreted out Allan Ramsay, in his Poems (4to. Edinb. of their quarters, if one may judge of their 1721), p. 27, mentions, as common in Scotunwillingness to depart by the prolixity of land, the vulgar notion that a Ghost will not this removal warrant.
be laid to rest till some priest speak to it, and One smiles at Bourne's zeal in honour of get account of what disturbs it : his Protestant brethren, at the end of his tenth chapter. The Vulgar, he says, think them no (1) In Dr. Jorden's Dedication of his curious conjurers, and say none can lay spirits but treatise “Of the Suffocation of the Mother,” 4to. popish priests : he wishes to undeceive them,
Lond. 1603, to the College of Physicians in London,
he says, “It behoveth us, as to be zealous in the however, and to prove at least negatively that
truth, so to be wise in discerning truth from coun. our own clergy know full as much of the terfeiting, and naturall causes from supernatural Black Art as the others do.
power. I doe not deny but there may be both
possessions, and obsessions, and witchcraft, &c., and Upon the subject of exorcising, the follow
dispossession also through the prayers and suppliing books may be consulted with advantage : cations of God's servants, which is the only meanes “ Fustis Dæmonum, cui adjicitur Flagellum left unto us for our reliefe in that case. But such Dæmonum," 12mo. Venet. 1608: (a pro
examples being verye rare now a-dayes, I would in
the feare of God advise men to be very circumspect hibited book among the Roman Catholics :)
in pronouncing of a possession ; both because the and “ Practica Exorcistarum F. Valerii Poli im postures be many, and the effects of naturall
diseases be strange to such as have not looked tho
roughly into them." (1) See several curious charms against thieves in Baxter, in his “ World of Spirits," p. 223, obScot's Discovery of Witchcraft," b. ii. c. 17, and
serves that "Devils have a greater game to play in. particularly St, Adelbert's curse against them. That visibly than by Apparitions. O happy world, if they celebrated ourse in "Tristram Shandy," which is an did not do a hundred thousand times more hurt by original one, still remaining in Rochester Cathedral, the baits of pleasure, lust, and honour, and by pride, is nothing to this, which is perhaps the most com and love of money, and sensuality, than they do by plete of its kind.