An Excerpt from ‘Forerunners’ chapter in Bluenose Ghosts

“A Man Walking Beside Himself” (capture from studio experiments)

Forerunners come sometimes as a kindly form of preparation where the shock of sudden death might be too great. An Amherst couple, for instance, lived happily together, and both were in excellent health. There was no reason to suppose and change would come to alter their unruffled lives. The house they lived in was very old and had bolts to fasten the doors. One night Rachel and her husband went to their room and he bolted the door as he always did. They were no sooner settled than she asked him to shut the door. He said, “I did.” She said, “It’s open,” so he got up and closed it a second time. Once more they prepared themselves for sleep when again Rachel pointed out that the door was open. This time after closing it he got back in bed, but crawled in beside her and shivered and shook. She said, “What did you see?” but he refused to tell her. Finding him so greatly upset, and not being able to discover the reason, she appealed to her brother for help. “No,” her husband said, “I won’t tell you now, but if it ever comes to pass I’ll tell you then.”

The next day Rachel took sick and a few days later she died and it was all very sudden and distressing. She was laid out in a white dress and, when her husband saw her like that he said, “There, that’s what I saw. Yes, I saw her laid out in her grave clothes.” Sometimes it is puzzling to know why a man will not try to avoid his fate, and some stories leave us with many questions unanswered.

— Helen Creighton, Bluenose Ghosts, pg. 12


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