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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 2309 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #90 on: November 15, 2009, 05:17:14 am »

Here was something tangible, and Knight went to work with a will to refute the terrible charge brought by the invisible accuser. As reported in The Daily Gazetteer, which had promised that "the reader may expect to be enlightened from time to time to the utmost of our power in this intricate and dark affair," the maid Carrots was found, and from her was procured a sworn statement that Mrs. Knight had said not a word to her about being poisoned; that, indeed, she had become unconscious twelve hours before her death and remained unconscious to the end. The[Pg 93] physician and apothecary who had attended her made affidavit to the same effect, and described the fatal nature of her illness. It was further shown that her death at most benefited Knight by not more than a hundred pounds, of which he had no need, as he was of independent means.

Altogether, he would seem to have cleared himself effectually. Still the knocking continued, and night after night the accusation was repeated. He now resorted, therefore, to a radical step to convince the public that he was the victim of a monstrous fraud.

Asserting that little Miss Parsons herself produced the mysterious sounds, and that she did so at the instigation of her father, he secured an order for her removal to the house of a friend of his, a Clerkenwell clergyman. Here a decisive failure was recorded against the ghost. It had promised that it would knock on the coffin containing Mrs. Knight's remains; and about one o'clock in the morning, after hours of silent watching, during which the spirit gave not a sign of its presence, the entire company adjourned to the church. Only one member was found of sufficient boldness to plunge with Knight into the gloomy depths[Pg 94] where the dead lay entombed; and that one bore out his statement that never a knock had been heard. The girl was urged to confess, but persisted in her assertions that the ghost was in nowise of her making.

Afterward, when the knocking had been resumed under more favorable auspices, word came from the unseen world that the fiasco in the church was ascribable to the very good reason that Knight had caused his wife's coffin to be secretly removed. "I will show them!" cried the desperate man. With clergyman, sexton, and undertaker, he visited the vaults once more and not only identified but opened the coffin.

Meanwhile all London was flocking to **** Lane as to a raree-show, on foot, on horseback, in vehicles of every description. Some, like the celebrated Dr. Johnson who took part in the coffin opening episode in Clerkenwell, were animated by scientific zeal; but idle curiosity inspired the great majority. The gossiping Walpole, in a letter to his friend Montagu, has left a graphic picture of the stir created by the newspaper reports.
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