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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Oh Say It Isn't So!

New Discoveries in Ghosts ("Wide awake and alone in the broad daylight, I have heard the voices of two nobodies gravely conversing, after the absurd dream fashion, in my room. Then as for spectral sights: During the cholera of 1832, I, then a boy, walking in Holborn, saw in the sky, the veritable flaming sword which I had learned by heart out of a picture in an old folio of “Paradise Lost.” And round the fiery sword there was a regular oval of blue sky to be seen through parted clouds. It was a fact not unimportant, that this phantom sword did not move with my eye, but remained for some time, apparently, only in one part of the heavens. I looked aside and lost it. When I looked back there was the image still. There are hallucinations which arise from a disordered condition of the nervous system; they are the seeing or the hearing of what is not, and they are not by any means uncommon. Out of these there must, undoubtedly, arise a large number of well-attested stories of ghosts, seen by one person only. Such ghosts ought to excite no more terror than a twinge of rheumatism, or a nervous headache."


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