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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Porscha Campbell
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« on: November 15, 2009, 03:18:25 am »

Project Gutenberg's Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters, by H. Addington Bruce

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org


Title: Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters

Author: H. Addington Bruce

Release Date: May 6, 2009 [EBook #28699]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS **
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2009, 03:19:20 am »

Produced by Irma Spehar, S.D., and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2009, 03:19:42 am »

HISTORIC GHOSTS
AND
GHOST HUNTERS
HISTORIC GHOSTS
AND
GHOST HUNTERS

BY
H. ADDINGTON BRUCE
Author of "The Riddle of Personality"

NEW YORK
MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY
1908
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2009, 03:20:07 am »

Copyright, 1908, by
MOFFAT, YARD & COMPANY
NEW YORK

Published, September, 1908

The Plimpton Press Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

To
THE MEMORY OF MY FRIEND
JOHN J. HENRY
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 03:20:30 am »

CONTENTS

      PAGE
   Preface    ix

I.    The Devils of Loudun    1
II.    The Drummer of Tedworth    17
III.    The Haunting of the Wesleys    36
IV.    The Visions of Emanuel Swedenborg    56
V.    The **** Lane Ghost    81
VI.    The Ghost Seen by Lord Brougham    102
VII.    The Seeress of Prevorst    120
VIII.    The Mysterious Mr. Home    143
IX.    The Watseka Wonder    171
X.    A Medieval Ghost Hunter    198
XI.    Ghost Hunters of Yesterday and To-Day    216
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009, 03:24:28 am »

PREFACE

The following pages represent in the main a discussion of certain celebrated mysteries, as viewed in the light of the discoveries set forth in the writer's earlier work "The Riddle of Personality."

That dealt, it may briefly be recalled, with the achievements of those scientists whose special endeavor it is to illumine the nature of human personality. On the one hand, it reviewed the work of the psychopathologists, or investigators of abnormal mental life; and, on the other hand, the labors of the psychical researchers, those enthusiastic and patient explorers of the seemingly supernormal in human experience. Emphasis was laid on the fact that the two lines of inquiry are more closely interrelated than is commonly supposed, and that the discoveries made in each aid in the solution of problems apparently belonging exclusively in the other.
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2009, 03:24:44 am »

To this phase of the subject the writer now returns. The problems under examination[Pg x] are, all of them, problems in psychical research: yet, as will be found, the majority in no small measure depend for elucidation on facts brought to light by the psychopathologists. Of course, it is not claimed that the last word has here been said with respect to any one of these human enigmas. But it is believed that, thanks to the knowledge gained by the investigations of the past quarter of a century, approximately correct solutions have been reached; and that, in any event, it is by no means imperative to regard the phenomena in question as inexplicable, or as explicable only on a spiritistic basis.

Before attempting to solve the problems, it manifestly was necessary to state them. In doing this the writer has sought to present them in a readable and attractive form, but without any distortion or omission of material facts.

H. Addington Bruce.

Brookline, N. H., July, 1908.
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2009, 03:25:41 am »

I

The Devils of Loudun

Loudun is a small town in France about midway between the ancient and romantic cities of Tours and Poitiers. To-day it is an exceedingly unpretentious and an exceedingly sleepy place; but in the seventeenth century it was in vastly better estate. Then its markets, its shops, its inns, lacked not business. Its churches were thronged with worshipers. Through its narrow streets proud noble and prouder ecclesiastic, thrifty merchant and active artisan, passed and repassed in an unceasing stream. It was rich in points of interest, preëminent among which were its castle and its convent. In the castle the stout-hearted Loudunians found a refuge and a stronghold against the ambitions of the feudal lords and the tyranny of the crown. To its convent, pleasantly situated in a grove of time-honored trees, they sent their children to be educated.
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2009, 03:26:04 am »

It is to the convent that we must turn our steps; for it was from the convent that the devils were let loose to plague the good people of Loudun. And in order to understand the course of events, we must first make ourselves acquainted with its history. Very briefly, then, it, like many other institutions of its kind, was a product of the Catholic counter-reformation designed to stem the rising tide of Protestantism. It came into being in 1616, and was of the Ursuline order, which had been introduced into France not many years earlier. From the first it proved a magnet for the daughters of the nobility, and soon boasted a goodly complement of nuns.

At their head, as mother superior, was a certain Jeanne de Belfiel, of noble birth and many attractive qualities, but with characteristics which, as the sequel will show, wrought much woe to others as well as to the poor gentlewoman herself. Whatever her defects, however, she labored tirelessly in the interests of the convent, and in this respect was ably seconded by its father confessor, worthy Father Moussaut, a man of rare good sense and possessing a firm hold on the consciences and affections of the nuns.
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2009, 03:28:27 am »

Conceive their grief, therefore, when he suddenly sickened and died. Now ensued an anxious time pending the appointment of his successor. Two names were foremost for consideration—that of Jean Mignon, chief canon of the Church of the Holy Cross, and that of Urbain Grandier, curé of Saint Peter's of Loudun. Mignon was a zealous and learned ecclesiastic, but belied his name by being cold, suspicious, and, some would have it, unscrupulous. Grandier, on the contrary, was frank and ardent and generous, and was idolized by the people of Loudun. But he had serious failings. He was most unclerically gallant, was tactless, was overready to take offense, and, his wrath once fully roused, was unrelenting. Accordingly, little surprise was felt when the choice ultimately fell, not on him but on Mignon.
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2009, 03:28:56 am »

With Mignon the devils entered the Ursuline convent. Hardly had he been installed when rumors began to go about of strange doings within its quiet walls; and that there was something in these rumors became evident on the night of October 12, 1632, when two magistrates of Loudun, the bailie and the civil lieutenant, were hurriedly summoned to[Pg 4] the convent to listen to an astonishing story. For upwards of a fortnight, it appeared, several of the nuns, including Mother Superior Belfiel, had been tormented by specters and frightful visions. Latterly they had given every evidence of being possessed by evil spirits. With the assistance of another priest, Father Barré, Mignon had succeeded in exorcising the demons out of all the afflicted save the mother superior and a Sister Claire.
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2009, 03:29:12 am »

In their case every formula known to the ritual had failed. The only conclusion was that they were not merely possessed but bewitched, and much as he disliked to bring notoriety on the convent, the father confessor had decided it was high time to learn who was responsible for the dire visitation. He had called the magistrates, he explained, in order that legal steps might be taken to apprehend the wizard, it being well established that "devils when duly exorcised must speak the truth," and that consequently there could be no doubt as to the identity of the offender, should the evil spirits be induced to name the source of their authority.

Without giving the officials time to recover from their amazement, Mignon led them to[Pg 5] an upper room, where they found the mother superior and Sister Claire, wan-faced and fragile looking creatures on whose countenances were expressions of fear that would have inspired pity in the most stony-hearted. About them hovered monks and nuns. At sight of the strangers, Sister Claire lapsed into a semi-comatose condition; but the mother superior uttered piercing shrieks, and was attacked by violent convulsions that lasted until the father confessor spoke to her in a commanding tone. Then followed a startling dialogue, carried on in Latin between Mignon and the soi-disant demon possessing her.
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2009, 03:29:38 am »

"Why have you entered this maiden's body?"

"Because of hatred."

"What sign do you bring?"

"Flowers."

"What flowers?"

"Roses."

"Who has sent them?"

A moment's hesitation, then the single word—"Urbain."

"Tell us his surname?"

"Grandier."
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2009, 03:29:58 am »

In an instant the room was in an uproar.[Pg 6] But the magistrates did not lose their heads. To the bailie in especial the affair had a suspicious look. He had heard the devil "speak worse Latin than a boy of the fourth class," he had noted the mother superior's hesitancy in pronouncing Grandier's name, and he was well aware that deadly enmity had long existed between Grandier and Mignon. So he placed little faith in the latter's protestation that the naming of his rival had taken him completely by surprise. Consulting with his colleague, he coldly informed Mignon that before any arrest could be made there must be further investigation, and, promising to return next day, bade them good night.
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2009, 03:30:34 am »

Next day found the convent besieged by townspeople, indignant at the accusation against the popular priest, and determined to laugh the devils out of existence. Grandier himself, burning with rage, hastened to the bailie and demanded that the nuns be separately interrogated, and by other inquisitors than Mignon and Barré. In these demands the bailie properly acquiesced; but, on attempting in person to enforce his orders to that effect, he was denied admittance to the convent. Excitement ran high; so high that,[Pg 7] fearful for his personal safety, Mignon consented to accept as exorcists two priests appointed, not by the bailie, but by the Bishop of Poitiers—who, it might incidentally be mentioned, had his own reasons for disliking Grandier.
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