Some years ago, while visiting relatives who live in an old hall in the north of England, I had a strange and weird experience. The house, Darkwater Hall by name, built in 1600, was long and rambling, with one room opening into another, and with secret cupboards let into the panels of the walls. A lovely old world garden surrounded the house, and beyond the garden was a moat.
I had always heard from childhood that the hall was reputed to be haunted, but which was the haunted room, and what form the ghost took I had never been told; and when I received an invitation to stay a few days in this fascinating old place I accepted with pleasure.
The bedroom allotted to me was on the first floor, a large, low-ceilinged room, and the most noteworthy piece of furniture it contained was a huge four poster bed.
The first two nights of my stay passed without incident, and the thought that I might be in the haunted room never entered my mind. The third night I retired about 11 o’clock, and soon fell asleep. How long I slept I do not know, but the sound of the extinguisher on the china candlestick (which was standing on a small table at the right side of my bed) being lifted and dropped again, awakened me.
I listened for a moment, and then suddenly I felt that something was being pressed over my mouth, and that I was being suffocated. I could not move or cry out, and felt that I was losing consciousness.
After what seemed hours to me, but could not have been many moments, the terrible feeling passed, and I lay very still, waiting for the dawn.
No sooner had my mind resumed a restful state, that I noticed something thin and eel-like slithering against the wall nearest my bed-side. Turning quickly, I beheld the most hideous figure of a woman that ever claimed the sex. While her brow hung in heavy folds, the skin of her face was drawn back tightly over the cheek bones, her ferocious eyes and prongs of teeth making her altogether like a wild beast. Continue reading