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Apparitions; or, The Mystery of Ghosts, Hobgoblins, and Haunted Houses Developed   By:

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First Page:

APPARITIONS;

OR,

THE MYSTERY OF

Ghosts, Hobgoblins,

AND

HAUNTED HOUSES,

DEVELOPED .

"Animum rege."

"This Collection of Stories is well chosen, and affords a fund of amusement that is cheap at the price of five shillings. By putting such a book as this into the hands of children, parents will more effectually guard their minds against weak credulity, than by grave philosophic admonition." Monthly Review, October 1814.

Printed by Macdonald and Son, Cloth Fair, Smithfield

[Illustration:

H Corbould delint C Knight sculpt 1814

The Haunted Beach. ]

APPARITIONS;

OR, THE MYSTERY OF Ghosts, Hobgoblins , and Haunted Houses , DEVELOPED.

BEING A COLLECTION OF ENTERTAINING STORIES, FOUNDED ON FACT , And selected for the purpose of

ERADICATING THOSE FEARS, WHICH THE IGNORANT, THE WEAK, AND THE SUPERSTITIOUS, ARE BUT TOO APT TO ENCOURAGE, FOR WANT OF PROPERLY EXAMINING INTO THE CAUSES OF SUCH ABSURD IMPOSITIONS.

BY JOSEPH TAYLOR.

[Illustration]

SECOND EDITION, ENLARGED.

London: PRINTED FOR LACKINGTON, ALLEN, AND CO. FINSBURY SQUARE.

1815.

INTRODUCTION.

The subsequent little Work owes its rise and progress to very trifling circumstances.

In the early part of my life, having read many books in favour of Ghosts and Spectral Appearances, the recollection remained so strong in my mind, that, for years after, the dread of phantoms bore irresistible sway. This dread continued till about my twenty third year, when the following simple affair fully convinced me, how necessary it was thoroughly to investigate every thing that tended to supernatural agency, lest idle fear should gain a total ascendancy over my mind.

About this period, I had apartments in a large old fashioned country mansion. From my bed chamber was a secret door leading to a private staircase, which communicated with some of the lower rooms. This door was fastened both within and without; consequently all fear of intrusion from that quarter was entirely removed. However, at times, I could not help ruminating on the malpractices that might have been committed by evil disposed persons, through this communication; and "busy meddling fancy" was fertile in conjuring up imaginary horrors. Every thing, however, was quiet, and agreeable to my wishes, for some months after my arrival. One moonlight night, in the month of June, I retired to my bed, full of thought, but slept soundly till about one o'clock; when I awoke, and discovered, by the help of the moon which shone full in my room, a tall figure in white, with arms extended, at the foot of my bed. Fear and astonishment overpowered me for a few seconds; I gazed on it with terror, and was afraid to move. At length I had courage to take a second peep at this disturber of my rest, and still continued much alarmed, and irresolute how to act. I hesitated whether to speak to the figure, or arouse the family. The first idea I considered as a dangerous act of heroism; the latter, as a risk of being laughed at, should the subject of my story not prove supernatural. Therefore, after taking a third view of the phantom, I mustered up all my resolution, jumped out of bed, and boldly went up to the figure, grasped it round and round, and found it incorporeal. I then looked at it again, and felt it again; when, reader, judge of my astonishment this ghostly spectre proved to be nothing more than a large new flannel dressing gown which had been sent home to me in the course of the day, and which had been hung on some pegs against the wainscot at the foot of my bed. One arm accidentally crossed two or three of the adjoining pegs, and the other was nearly parallel by coming in contact with some article of furniture which stood near. Now the mystery was developed: this dreadful hobgoblin, which a few minutes before I began to think was an aƫrial being, or sprite, and which must have gained admission either through the key hole, or under the door, turned out to be my own garment... Continue reading book >>




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