In “True Ghost Stories,” Mr. Carrington presents a number of startling cases of this character; but they are not the ordinary “ghost stories”—based on pure fiction, and having no foundation in reality. Here we have a well-arranged collection of incidents, all thoroughly investigated and vouched for, and the testimony obtained first-hand and corroborated by others. The chapter on “Haunted Houses” is particularly striking. The first chapter deals with the interesting question, “What is a Ghost?” and attempts to answer this question in the light of the latest scientific theories which have been advanced to explain these supernatural happenings and visitants. It is a book of absorbing interest, and cannot fail to grip and hold the attention of every reader—no matter whether he be a student of these questions, or one merely in search of hair-raising anecdotes and stories. He will find them here a-plenty!
The following little book endeavors to bring together a number of “ghost stories” of the more startling and dramatic type,—but stories, nevertheless, which seem to be well authenticated; and which have been obtained, in most instances, at first hand, from the original witnesses; and often contain corroborative testimony from others who also experienced the ghostly phenomena. Some of these incidents, indeed, rise to the dignity of scientific evidence; others are less well authenticated cases,—but interesting for all that. These have been grouped in various Chapters, according to their evidential value.
Chapters II. and III. contain well-evidenced cases, some of which have been taken from the Proceedings and Journals of the Society for Psychical Research (S. P. R.), or from Phantasms of the Living, or from other scientific books, in which narratives of this character receive serious consideration. Chapter V., on the contrary, contains a number of incidents which,—striking and dramatic as they are,—cannot be included in the two earlier Chapters, as presenting real evidence of Ghosts; but are published rather as startling and interesting ghost stories.
Chapter IV., devoted to “Haunted Houses,” contains brief accounts of the most famous Haunted Houses, and of the phenomena which have been witnessed within them.
Appendix A gives a list of a few of the important “Historical Ghosts,” Appendix B describes the “Phantom Armies” lately seen by the Allied troops in France—while Appendix C lists a number of books of Ghost Stories which the interested reader may care to peruse. A short Glossary, at the beginning of the book, explains the meaning of certain terms used,—which are not, perhaps, ordinarily met with in books of this character.
In the Introductory Chapter, I have endeavored to explain, very briefly, the nature and character of Ghosts; what they are; and the various scientific theories which have been brought forward, of late years, to explain Ghosts. I hope that this may prove of interest to the reader; in case it does not do so, he is invited to “skip” directly to Chapter II., which begins our account of “True Ghost Stories.”
I wish to express my thanks in this place to the Council of the English S. P. R. for special permission to quote and to summarize several striking cases here reproduced; also to Miss Estelle Stead, for permission to utilize several cases previously printed at length in Mr. Wm. T. Stead’s collections of Ghost Stories.
H. C. [Author]