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HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS

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Author Topic: HISTORIC GHOSTS AND GHOST HUNTERS  (Read 2198 times)
Porscha Campbell
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« Reply #105 on: November 15, 2009, 05:22:47 am »

Grandfather Schmidgall was an exceed[Pg 122]ingly superstitious old man, with a singular fondness for visiting solitary and gloomy places, particularly churchyards; and he soon began to take the little girl with him on such strolls. But he discovered, much to his amazement, that though she listened with avidity to the tales he told her of the romantic and mysterious events that had occurred within the somber ruins with which the countryside was liberally endowed, she was reluctant to explore those ruins or wander among the graves where he delighted to resort. At first he was inclined to ascribe her reluctance to weak and sentimental timidity, but he speedily found reason to adopt an altogether different view. He noticed that whenever he took her to graveyards or to churches in which there were graves, her frail form became greatly agitated, and at times she seemed rooted to the ground; and that there were certain places, especially an old kitchen in a nearby castle, which he could not persuade her to enter, and the mere sight of which caused her to quake and tremble. "The child," he told his wife, "feels the presence of the dead, and, mark you, she will end by seeing the dead."

[Pg 123]

He was, therefore, more alarmed than surprised when one midnight, long after he had fancied her in bed and asleep, she ran to his room and informed him that she had just beheld in the hall a tall, dark figure which, sighing heavily, passed her and disappeared in the vestibule. With awe, not unmixed with satisfaction, Schmidgall remembered that he had once seen the self-same apparition; but he prudently endeavored to convince her that she had been dreaming and sent her back to her room, which, thenceforward, he never allowed her to leave at night.

In this way Frederica Hauffe's mediumship began. But several years were to pass before she saw another ghost or gave evidence of possessing supernormal powers other than by occasional dreams of a prophetic and revelatory nature. In the meanwhile she rejoined her parents and moved with them from Prevorst to Oberstenfeld, where, in her nineteenth year, she was married. It was distinctly a marriage of convenience, arranged without regard to her wishes, and the moment the engagement was announced she secluded herself from her friends and passed her days and nights in weeping. For weeks together she[Pg 124] went without sleep, ate scarcely anything, and became thin, pale, and feeble. It was rumored that she had set her affections in another quarter: but her relatives angrily denied this and asserted that once married she would soon become herself again.
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