Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours. Just not ghost ones.
In Creepy History 14, we looked at Tales of Superstition, an 1803 book published anonymously for Tegg and Castleman, London. It is a collection of ghost stories purporting to be true, although this kind of publication should of course be approached with a large pinch of salt in hand! For the final Creepy History this October, the following is another ‘true’ story from the same collection. Happy Halloween!
As a Mr. John Tornley was walking through King-street, Dublin, about ten o’clock on a Tuesday night, he met a lady who he perfectly knew, being his next-door neighbour; he accosted her with the usual compliments, and was answered with a smile, as was common with her: they walked to the end of the street, conversing all the way; she expressed herself very tired. Mr. Tornley asked her if she would ride, and, before he gave her time to answer, called a coach, when she got in, and he followed; and soon as he gave orders to the coachman, they began conversing on different subjects: she said that the coach made her head-ach; at which, Mr. Tornley put his head out of the coach, and told the man to stop; but great was his surprise, when, recovering his seat, the lady was gone! He jumped out of the coach, looked round him, but could see no appearance of any lady: and, what is still more remarkable, the coachman had never seen any lady get into the coach, and expressed his wonder at hearing Mr. Tornley say there was one got in; he said he had heard Mr. Tornley speak several times, but supposed it was to himself. Mr. Tornley then walked home; and to his great astonishment was told that his neighbour’s wife, the lady he had seen, was dead but a few minutes, and that before she died she wished much to see Mr. Tornley.
The above fact happened, as near as I can remember, in August, 1787.
Thank you for reading the Creepy History series. Normal service will be resumed for November, when I will be presenting the usual mix of journals and ‘snippets’.