Dying man meets mistreated boys
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination
There are two options here. Either the man did communicate with the disembodied souls of the two boys he had wronged, or his composer was construcitng hallucinations for him as a form of punishment, in the hope he would make some sort of reparation before he died.
A description of the experience
Marchioness Townshend & Maude Ffoulkes True Ghost Stories
TRUE GHOST STORIES
In due time Grandpapa died, and when I next came to Brighton, White kept her promise.
"It's the horriblest thing that's ever happened in this house, but it must not cross your lips, miss, until there's none of us old people living. Listen, Miss Maude, your Grandpapa was fetched away by that poor boy he mishandled so shamefully years ago. It's gospel truth, and Mr. William came along to be company for his brother, though why he should mix himself up in it, beats me!
"Three months ago, every evening, towards eight o'clock, the Master began to get fidgety. 'White,' says he, 'is Mrs. Craven in the dressing-room? I hear someone moving about.'
"'No,' I tells him, reproving. 'At this hour, as well you know, the ladies is sitting in the morning-room.' "Well, Master would have it that two people were in the dressing-room. At first we put it down to 'fancies', but one evening when I came upstairs from my supper, I found Master carrying on like a raving lunatic, with the dressing-room door standing wide open.
"'It's them!' shouted Master. 'Alfred and William are waiting for me. They came to the bedside, and Alfred asked me if I remembered beating him, and William said, did I know that I had acted dishonestly to his widow and child' (meaning you, miss). 'But Mrs. William 'was always Madam Hoighty-Toighty,' says Master, 'and my actions don't concern William - he's dead these many years. Lock the door, White - keep Alfred out. I don't like the look of him. Then sit down and read me the twenty-third psalm.' "In walks the Mistress. 'I've seen Alfred and William,' Master tells her. 'Both of 'em say I've got to go with them.'
"The Mistress looks at him. 'Strange, most strange.' Then she says to me: 'You see how it is, White ; don't mention this downstairs.' And she stood staring at Master. 'I wonder,' she whispered, 'I wonder if it is the justice of God.'
"'Well, miss, this sort of thing went on regular ever since that night: we tried giving Master sleeping draughts but 'tweren't no good, and he always declared that his sons were waiting to fetch him away.
"The night before Master died, he called me, and says, quite natural-like, 'White, I am going to die tomorrow night. . . . But I'm quite prepared,' says Master. 'I want to see the green pastures and the still waters. I'm a very tired old man.'
"I hadn't the heart to tell him different, but I don't think Master has got to them green pastures yet."
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
References and further reading
Townshend, G. & FFoulkes, M., (1936) True Ghost Stories, London:Senate
Observation contributed by: Monica Van Rossem