BLTC Press Titles

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Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

True Ghost Stories

by Hereward Carrington


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 find them 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 believes in ghosts," because many thousands of them do. Why do they believe? Would they believe if they had no cause to do so?

The "terror of the dark," which we all have more 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 thoroughly, believe that there is, in every truth, a

*See Appendix A


terrible reality justifying this instinctive fear; that evil and horrible things lurk about us in the still, wierd hours of the night; that there are truly "powers and principalities" with which we often toy, without knowing or realizing the frightful dangers which result from this tampering with the unseen world. Yes; there is a true "tyranny of the dark." Phenomena and ghostly manifestations take place in darkness which would never occur in light; and which cease when a light is struck.* All ghostly phenomena are associated with darkness, and the "wee small hours of the night."

All this is exemplified in the following interesting narrative, which I may entitle:


"All my life I have been afraid of the dark," said .in acquaintance to me the other day, when we were discussing psychical matters. "I know that it is childish," he continued, "and I ought to have outgrown it years ago; but, as a matter of fact, I haven't. After all, isn't there some reason for the fears that we all feel, more or less, at that time? Doesn't the Bible speak of 'the terrors of the Dark;' and are not all animals, and even insects, afraid of the dark—so much so


that you cannot induce them to enter a dark place if they can help it? Light not only enables you to see what is around you; but it acts in a certain positive manner over 'the powers of darkness,' whatever they are, and prevents their operation. All spirit mediums will tell you that materialization and manifestations of that character cannot take place in the light; it prevents their occurrence. So, after all, as I said, isn't there some reasonable ground for one's fear at such times?"

I said nothing; but gazed into the fire. After all, were not his arguments somewhat impressive?

"But," continued my friend, "it is not altogether because of these speculative reasons that I fear the dark; it is because of a terrible experience I once had, and which has left me terrorstruck, ever since, whenever I am left without light even for an instant. I will tell you the story, and let you judge for yourself.

"It was several years ago; in an old house we rented at that time, and from which we removed soon after the event I am about to relate. I was afraid of the dark, even then, and always left a night-light burning by the side of my bed when I went to sleep. One night I woke up, feeling the springs of the bed on which I was lying vibrate in a peculiar manner, impossible to describe.

"Looking up, I saw, standing by the side of my bed, a young man, dressed in rags, having a face ghastly white, and showing every indication of dissipation. He was regarding me intently.

"I shall never forget the shock I received on beholding that figure; not only because of the unexpected appearance; but because of the fact that I could perceive the opposite wall and furniture through the body. I knew at once that I beheld a spirit; and my blood ran cold at the thought. What I had dreaded all my life was at last fulfilled!

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