Two Ghostly Mysteries

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Two Ghostly Mysteries

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Title: Two Ghostly Mysteries A

Chapter in
the History of a Tyrone Family; and The Murdered Cousin
Author: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu
Release Date: July 6, 2004 [EBook #12828]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1

Produced by Suzanne Shell, Cathy Smith and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team



Two stories by J.S. LeFanu

Chapter in
the History was first published in 1836. The Murdered Cousin was first
published in 1851.


Being a Tenth Extract from the Legacy of the Late Francis Purcell, P.P.
of Drumcoolagh
INTRODUCTION. In the following narrative, I have endeavoured to
give as nearly as possible the "_ipsissima verba_" of the valued friend
from whom I received it, conscious that any aberration from her mode
of telling the tale of her own life, would at once impair its accuracy and
its effect. Would that, with her words, I could also bring before you her
animated gesture, her expressive countenance, the solemn and thrilling
air and accent with which she related the dark passages in her strange
story; and, above all, that I could communicate the impressive
consciousness that the narrator had seen with her own eyes, and
personally acted in the scenes which she described; these
accompaniments, taken with the additional circumstance, that she who
told the tale was one far too deeply and sadly impressed with religious
principle, to misrepresent or fabricate what she repeated as fact, gave to
the tale a depth of interest which the events recorded could hardly,
themselves, have produced. I became acquainted with the lady from
whose lips I heard this narrative, nearly twenty years since, and the
story struck my fancy so much, that I committed it to paper while it
was still fresh in my mind, and should its perusal afford you
entertainment for a listless half hour, my labour shall not have been
bestowed in vain. I find that I have taken the story down as she told it,
in the first person, and, perhaps, this is as it should be. She began as

My maiden name was Richardson,[A] the designation of a family of
some distinction in the county of Tyrone. I was the younger of two
daughters, and we were the only children. There was a difference in our
ages of nearly six years, so that I did not, in my childhood, enjoy that
close companionship which sisterhood, in other circumstances,
necessarily involves; and while I was still a child, my sister was
married. The person upon whom she bestowed her hand, was a Mr.
Carew, a gentleman of property and consideration in the north of
England. I remember well the eventful day of the wedding; the
thronging carriages, the noisy menials, the loud laughter, the merry
faces, and the gay dresses. Such sights were then new to me, and
harmonized ill with the sorrowful feelings with which I regarded the
event which was to separate me, as it turned out, for ever, from a sister
whose tenderness alone had hitherto more than supplied all that I
wanted in my mother's affection. The day soon arrived which was to
remove the happy couple from Ashtown-house. The carriage stood at
the hall-door, and my poor sister kissed me again, and again, telling me
that I should see her soon. The carriage drove away, and I gazed after it
until my eyes filled with tears, and, returning slowly to my chamber, I
wept more bitterly, and so, to speak more desolately, than ever I had
done before. My father had never seemed to love, or to take an interest
in me. He had desired a son, and I think he never thoroughly forgave
me my unfortunate sex. My having come into the world at all as his
child, he regarded as a kind of fraudulent intrusion, and, as his
antipathy to me had its origin in an imperfection of mine, too radical
for removal, I never even hoped to stand high in his good graces. My
mother was, I dare say, as fond of me as she was of any one; but she
was a woman of a masculine and a worldly cast of mind. She had no
tenderness or sympathy for the weaknesses, or even for the affections
of woman's nature, and
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