Page:Notes on the folk-lore of the northern counties of England and the borders.djvu/351
THE GHOST OF DALTON HILL HEAD.
pings and knockings by unknown hands. The only thing alleged in explanation was, that a former proprietor and inhabitant of the house was a very wicked man.
From the Rev. J. F. Bigge I learn a few particulars respecting another haunted house—Dalton Hill Head, once belonging to the family of Hedley, of Newcastle, but purchased from them by Mr. Collingwood, of Dissington. Some years ago a woman, named Mary Henderson (a connection, it appears, of George Stephenson, the engineer), had sole charge of the house; but the gardener lived close by, and kept a mastiff, called “Ball.” Against the advice of the gardener, she pried into a hidden closet, and discovered in it a quantity of children’s bones, some in hat-boxes, some wrapped in articles of clothing. She begged for the dog as a companion through the night, closed the house, and went to bed, but was soon awakened by strange sounds of dancing and singing up stairs. Being a bold woman, she got up to investigate into the matter, but the dog was terrified, and unwilling to accompany her. She took him in her arms, and went round the house. All was still and empty, but an attic window stood open. We are not informed whether the disturbances continued after this investigation.One of my clerical friends, an incumbent in Yorkshire, has been good enough to communicate to me a family legend of an apparition witnessed by one of his aunts, and often told by her. This lady used, when a girl, to visit at the house of a gentleman near Ripon, and on one occasion, when about thirteen or fourteen years old, was spending the afternoon there. She was playing in the garden with his children, young people of about her own age, when one of them exclaimed, “Why, there is brother —— walking at the bottom of the garden.” She looked up, and recognised the form and features of the young man, who was then in India. His figure appeared with perfect distinctness upon a gravel path which led round the garden, but not to any other place. One of the children, a young girl, ran into the house and told her father what they had seen. He bade her run away and go on playing—it must be a mistake. However, he took out his