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ghost stories
Scary and exciting Ghost Stories from around the World . . .
 

Ghost Story Title : The Ghost in Two Halves Part-3 by Ronald Seth

 

Ghost Story:

'She must have come to me after she had visited you,' Simons remarked, 'otherwise I
should have heard you moving about. At least she spared you her burning kiss.'
'I'm certain she intended it,' Fetherstone said. 'I seemed to have frightened her when I
sat up in bed...Well, there you are, Herbert! Your castle is haunted by half a female ghost!'
'Exactly!' Wood replied. 'The question is-which half?'
Both men looked at him sharply.
'Which half?' exclaimed Simons. 'What do you mean? Fetherstone and I both saw the
top half.'
Wood glanced across to his wife with a faint smile. 'You'd better tell them your story,
my dear,' he said.
'Why, have you seen her, too?' Fetherstone asked Mrs. Wood.
'No, I have been spared that so far,' Mrs. Wood answered, 'but one day last week one of
the young housemaids ran screaming on the verge of hysterics into the still-room, where I was,
crying out that she had seen a ghost.'
'What time of day was it?' Fetherstone asked.
'Mid-morning,' Mrs. Wood replied. 'It was a bright morning, too, full daylight, and I
thought the simple girl had been frightened by a shadow, but when I had calmed her down she
declared that what she had seen had been the lower part of a woman; that is to say, from the waist
downwards, moving at speed along the north corridor leading from the tower. The lower part of
the gown which covered the legs, she said, was covered with blood at the waist, or where the
waist ought to have been.
'Somehow I managed to persuade her that she had been the victim of her imagination. I
say persuaded her, but I don't think I did, really, for she gave in her notice before the day was out.
'Naturally, it was impossible to keep this sort of thing from the ears of the other servants,
and I decided to warn my housekeeper what might be in store. She told me then that this was the
first time the apparition had made its appearance for some years, but that, on the other hand, there
were several among the older servants and people who lived in the glen who claim that they have
seen these ghostly legs not only wandering about the castle, but in the avenue of limes and in the
graveyard. I must say it is a slight relief to know that there is an upper half also.'
'Until this latest manifestation,' Herbert Wood put in, 'I had no idea at all that the castle
was supposed to be haunted.'
'The housemaid's experience,' Mrs. Wood went on, 'has, as I am sure you will
appreciate, unsettled the servants, and I'm afraid some may leave us. That was why I stopped you
when you seemed on the point of telling me what had happened to you during the night, Edward.'
'But you've lived here for five years now, Herbert,' Fetherstone commented. 'Had you
really heard nothing until now?'
'Not a whisper,' Wood told him.
'I suppose you've made inquiries, Herbert,' Simons said.
'No, I haven't,' Wood Answered. 'I thought it best to leave well alone. You know what
the folk up here are like. Start asking questions, and you'll let them know at once that something
has happened. Tongues will begin to wag, and before long the servants will be frightened off.
Situated as we are, we should never be able to replace them.'
He looked at his watch.
'Well, it's time for us to be moving off. I can rely on you both I know, not to talk to any
of the others about what has happened, and we must hope that the lady, whoever she is, will keep
her top half and her bottom half well out of the way.'
'Of course we'll say nothing,' both men agreed.
'Fortunately,' Mrs. Wood said, 'the Hawthornes are leaving today, so you will not have
to spend another night in the tower.'
Simons and Fetherstone protested that it was not necessary to move them, but Mrs. Wood
believed she detected a certain half-heartedness in their protests, and insisted.
'For my own peace of mind,' she said, 'I'll have your things brought down while you are
out.'
In the next few days Fetherstone's visit came to an end, but Simons stayed on for a week
or two. Before he left the castle, he was to have yet another experience with the Legless ghost.
It was late at night and the other guests and their hosts had already gone to bed. Simons,
however, wished to catch the next day's post, and went into the library to write his letters.
As he bent over the writing-table, presently he became aware that the atmosphere in the
room had become so cold that he was beginning to shiver a little. Yet when he glanced towards
the grate, a large log was blazing on a deep bed of glowing embers. And he became aware, too,
that there was beginning to envelope him, some of the sensations of terror that had made him so
uncomfortable during the night he had spent in the tower.
He glanced around the room, half-expecting to see the upper half of his former visitor.
She was not there, but his attention was attracted and held to the heavy studded door to the library
which was slowly and noiselessly opening.
As he stared at the door, unable to take his eyes from it, he saw pass down the corridor
outside the upper half of a woman's body go gliding by. With a tremendous effort of will, he put
down his pen, picked up the lamp by whose light he was writing, and frozen to the marrow he
forced himself to set out for his bedroom, with the intention of taking refuge there.
To get to the room, however, he had to pass down a long flagged passage on the ground
floor. The passage was lit by a single window, and as he passed it he saw peering in through the
glass a woman's beautiful face, upon which was an expression of infinite sadness.
He recognized it at once as the face he and Beaumont Fetherstone had seen on the night
they had spent in the tower. It brought him to a stop, but even the full beam of his lamp, which
fell fully upon it, did not seem to disturb it, for it remained looking in through the window long
enough for him to take a long look at its features. Then suddenly it was gone.
When he reported his experience to Herbert Wood next morning he begged him to let him
make discreet inquiries to try to discover whether any local tradition existed which might provide
an explanation for the haunting of the castle. Wood gave his permission on condition that Simons
would be really careful not to say or do anything which might increase the superstitious
misgivings with which, if the servants were a true guide, the inhabitants of Glen Lyon regarded
Meggernie Castle.




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