Creepy History 39. It’s October, and that means Creepy History month on Windows into History again! The following quote is taken from News from the Invisible World, a collection of anecdotes published in 1840.
The party in London of whom we relate, lived there with a merchant; and as he drove a considerable trade beyond sea, he established a factory, or as the language of trade calls it, a house, at a certain port in the English colonies in America, and sent over servants or apprentices thither, as is usual for merchants to do.
One of his said apprentices being fitted out, and ready to embark, his cargo being actually on board the ship, and the ship fallen down to Gravesend, his master was getting his letters and invoices and other dispatches, ready for him, he being to go down the river the same evening.
The hurry of dispatching him prevented his master from taking him up to dinner with him at the usual hour, and told him he must be content to stay in the counting-house till he came to relieve him.
Accordingly, dinner being over, he goes down to send him up to dinner. And when he came to the counting-house door, there sat his man with the book-keeper also, writing as he left them.
It happened just that moment, some occasion extra-ordinary obliged him to step back again, and go up stairs to the dining room, from whence he came; and intending not to stay, he did not speak to the young man, but left him in the counting-house, and went immediately up stairs.
It was not possible that he, or any one else except such as could walk invisibly, could go by, or pass him unseen: good manners would have hindered the young man from thrusting by his master upon the stairs, if he had been going up; but he is positive he did not, and could not pass without being seen.
But when he came to the top of the stairs, there sat the young man at dinner with the other servants; the room they dined in being a little parlour, which opened just against the stairs, so that he saw him all the way of the upper part of the stair case, and could not be deceived.
The master did not speak to him, which he was very sorry for afterwards; but the surprise made him pass by the room, and go into the dining room, which was to the right hand of it; but he sent one immediately to look, and he was there really at dinner; so that what he (the master) saw below in the counting-house, must be the apparition, as it certainly was.
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