(February 27, 1872 - May 8, 1965) was an early 20th Century Ghosthunter.
Haunted Houses of England & Wales
is a 1908 collection of supposedly true ghost stories and is quite suitable reading for Halloween. A few stories aren't very good, but some are quite memorable.
Uses English spelling and some slightly archaic phrases. Also likes to use ALL CAPS for effect.
Those of us who have ever ridden on horseback by night across some dreary wilderness, or along a lonely road have doubtless had occasion to observe a strange alteration in the behaviour of our beast; its psychic propensities have been suddenly and mysteriously awakened; it fights shy of some particular tree, or stone, or gap in the hedge; its ears twitch, its flanks quiver, it is all on the tremble, the slightest sound would now make it take the bit between its teeth and bolt; it is afraid not necessarily of what it has seen, but what it fears may be there! And—to an anomalous species of terror I found myself a bounden slave.
I dreaded to think of the effect even the most trivial sound or incident might now produce on my agitated mind. Had I been able, I would have risked the displeasure of my hostess and left the room, but I COULD NOT; every atom of strength seemed to have quitted my body—I was pro tempore cataleptic— paralysed.
A faint and almost imperceptible movement suddenly attracted my attention to a square patch of light on the carpet immediately before me.
To my horror something was coming THROUGH the floor. Slowly, very slowly, first of all a head, a head surmounted with long dishevelled black hair, then a FACE! God save me from seeing the like again—a face that might have once been beautiful, or plain, or ugly, but was now— nothing —nothing —I won't describe—nothing but the grave; then shoulders, bust, what was once a body, legs. Held in its arms in close embrace—was the figure of a baby—in a like state of nudity and decay.
For a moment, only for a moment, they stood swaying silently to and fro in the moonlight, and then with a snakelike movement of her body the phantom of the woman glided across the room, vanishing in the recess containing the large bay window.
After the subsidation of intense terror at this hideous spectacle I had been compelled to witness, the pulsating of my heart once again becoming normal, I was able to reflect with comparative calmness on what I had seen.
I don't have an epub e-reader, but I made an epub as part of the process of making a file for my Kindle so I thought I might as well post it. It looks okay in Calibre's built in reader, anyway.
Update Oct 16 2010:
After reading it again, I noticed I missed some stuff. Fixed about a dozen errors, mostly spaces but a couple OCR artifacts.
Should be all. I've now read it 5 times, that's good enough for now.