20090327

Molly Wesley's Account to her Brother John

August 27.

I have always thought it was in November, the rest of our family think it was the 1st of December 1716, when Nanny Marshall, who had a bowl of butter in her hand, ran to me and two or three more of my sisters in the dining-room, and told us she had heard several groans in the hall as of a dying man. We thought it was Mr. Turpine, who had the stone, and used sometimes to come and see us. About a fortnight after, when my sister Suky and I were going to bed, she told us how she was frightened in the dining-room the day before by a noise, first at the folding-door, and then overhead. I was reading at the table, and had scarce told her I believed nothing of it, when several knocks were given just under my feet. We both made haste into bed, and just as we laid down the warming-pan by the bedside jarred and rung, as did the latch of the door, which was lifted slowly up and down; presently a great chain seemed to fall on the outside of the door (we were in the best chamber), the door latch hinges, the warming-pan, and windows jarred, and the house shook from top to bottom.
A few days after, between five and six in the evening, I wag by myself in the dining-room. The door seemed to open, though it was still shut, and somebody walked in, a nightgown trailing upon the ground (nothing appearing), and seemed to go leisurely round me. I started up and ran upstairs to my mother's chamber, and told the story to her and my sister Emily. A few nights after my father ordered me to light him to his study. Just as he had unlocked it the latch was lifted up for him. The same (after we blew the horn) was often done to me, as well by day as by night. Of many other things all the family as well as me were witnesses.
My father went into the nursery from the matted chamber, where we were, by himself in the dark. It knocked very loud on the press bed head. He adjured it to tell him why it came, but it seemed to take no notice; at which he was very angry, spoke sharply, called it "deaf and dumb devil," and repeated his adjuration. My sisters were terribly afraid it would speak. When he had done, it knocked his knock on the bed's head so exceedingly violently, as if it would break it to shivers, and from that time we heard nothing till near a month after.

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