A young woman has a peculiar and perhaps unique interaction with a wraith that wakes her in her bed.
For a while I’ve been compiling accounts where an apparition physically interacted with the witness – the scariest, of course, are those where the ghost assaults or otherwise physically harms a person. The following is an odd twist on twist on such stories. It comes from the latest book I’ve added to my ghostly collection, a lovely 1897 first edition of Andrew Lang’s Dreams and Ghosts in its art nouveau binding. As it happens, it’s the last story in the book. Lang states that it was related by a ‘correspondent of Notes and Queries (3rd Sept., 1864)’ and I quote it verbatim from Dreams and Ghosts:
“Emma S—, one of seven children, was sleeping alone, with her face towrds the west, at a large house near C—, in the Staffordshire moorlands. As she had given orders to her maid to call her at an early hour, she was not surprised at being awakened between three and four on a fine August morning in 1840 by a sharp tapping at her door, when in spite of a ‘thank you, I hear,’ to the first and second raps, with the third came a rush of wind, which caused the curtains to be drawn up in the centre of the bed. She became annoyed, and sitting up called out, ‘Marie, what are you about?’
“Instead, however, of her servant, she was astonished to see the face of an aunt by marriage peerign above and between the curtains, and at the same moment – whether unconsciously she threw forward her arms, or whether they were drawn forward, as it were, in a vortex of air, she cannot be sure – one of her thumbs was sensibly pressed between the teeth of the apparition, though no mark afterwards remained on it. All this notwithstanding, she remained collected and unalarmed; but instantly arose, dressed, and went downstairs, where she found not a creature stirring.
“Her father, on coming down shortly afterwards, naturally asked her what had made her rise so early; rallied her on the cause and soon afterwards went on to his siter-in-law’s house, where he found that she had just unexpectedly died. Coming back again, and not noticing his daughter’s presence in the room, in consequence of her being behind a screen near the fire, he suddenly announced the event to his wife, as being of so remarkable a charcter that he could in no way account for it. As may be anticipate, Emma, over hearing this unlooked for denouement of her dream, at once fell to the ground in a fainting condition.
“On one of the thumbs of the corpse was found a mark as if it had been bitten in the death agony.”