THE APPARITION IN OLD ROSS

From Legendary Fictions of the Irish Celts by Patrick Kennedy

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THE APPARITION IN OLD ROSS

An instance came under our own notice of the almost establishing of a ghost story that would have braved investigation and contradiction. A gentleman farmer, Mr. J------ of Old Ross, was returning home in company with his daughter, about eleven o'clock at night, from a visit paid in their neighbourhood. They were going up a steep hill, with a stiff breeze at their backs, and as they advanced they saw on the top of the ascent a headless man, perfectly motionless. The poor young woman was terribly frightened, and held convulsively by her father's arm. He was also terrified not a little, but his habitual piety came to his aid. "Don't fear, child," said he; "we are in God's presence, and under His protection. This thing, if it be evil, cannot harm us without His permission." So, though his heart beat violently, he advanced, supporting his daughter; and when they were at the proper distance, their apparition changed into a poor ass, who had selected that spot to face the wind, with legs firmly planted and head lowered. The poor young lady nearly fainted, but they managed to get home without further adventure. Had they turned on one side at the first glimpse of the dreadful sight, the hill would have been a haunted one to this day.

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