STATEMENTS SUPPLIED TO JOHN WESLEY
MRS. SAMUEL WESLEY'S STATEMENT TO HER SON JOHN
August 27, 1726.
About ten days after Nanny Marshall had heard unusual groans at the dining-room door, Emily came and told me that the servants and children had been several times frighted with strange groans and knockings about the house. I answered that the rats John Maw had frighted from his house by blowing a horn there were come into ours, and ordered that one should be sent for. Molly was much displeased at it, and said, if it was anything supernatural, it certainly would be very angry and more troublesome. However, the horn was blown in the garrets; 'and the effect was, that whereas before the noises were always in the night, from this time they were heard at all hours, day and night.
Soon after, about seven in the morning, Emily came and desired me to go into the nursery, where I should be convinced they were not startled at nothing. On my coming thither I heard a knocking at the feet, and quickly after at the head of the bed. I desired if it was a spirit it would answer me, and knocking several times with my foot on the ground with several pauses, it repeated under the sole of my feet exactly the same number of strokes, with the very same intervals. Kezzy, then six or seven years old, said, let it answer me too if it can, and stamping, the same sounds were returned that she made, many times, successively.
Upon my looking under the bed something ran out pretty much like a badger, and seemed to run directly underneath Emily's petticoats, who sat opposite to me on the other side. I went out, and one or two nights afterwards, when we were just got to bed, I heard nine strokes, three by three, on the other side of the bed, as if one had struck violently on a chest with a large stick. Mr. Wesley leapt up, called Hetty, who alone was up in the house, and searched every room in the house, but to no purpose. It continued from this time to knock and groan frequently at all hours, day and night; only I earnestly desired it might not disturb me between five and six in the evening, and there never was any noise in my room after during that time.
At other times I have often heard it over my mantel tree, and once, coming up after dinner, a cradle seemed to be strongly rocked in my chamber. When I went in the sound seemed to be in the nursery. When I was in the nursery it seemed to be in my chamber again. One night Mr. W. and I were waked by some one running down the garret stairs, then down the broad stairs, then up the narrow ones, then up the garret stairs, then down again, and so the same round. The rooms trembled as it passed along, and the doors shook exceedingly, so that the clattering of the latches was very loud.
Mr. W. proposing to rise, I rose with him, and went down the broad stairs, hand in hand, to light a candle. Near the foot of them a large pot of money seemed to be poured out at my waist, and to run jingling down my nightgown to my feet. Presently after we heard the noise as of a vast stone thrown among several dozen of bottles which lay under the stairs, but upon our looking no hurt was done. In the hall the mastiff met us, crying, and striving to get between us. We returned up into the nursery, where the noise was very great. The children were all asleep, but panting, trembling, and sweating extremely.
Shortly after, on Mr. Wesley's invitation, Mr. Hoole staid a night with us. As we were all sitting round the fire in the matted chamber, he asked whether that gentle knocking was it. I told him yes, and it continued the sound, which was much lower than usual. This was observable whilst we were talking loud in the same room; the noise, seemingly lower than any of our voices, was distinctly heard above them all. These were the most remarkable passages I remember, except such as were common to all the family.
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