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Ghost Stories From The North Of England
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Piffle Prospector
Joined: 02 Aug 2001
Total posts: 5751
Location: Manchester, UK
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PostPosted: 10-11-2013 13:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swifte was eighty-three in 1876, when his story was the subject of an enquiry in Notes & Queries. He responded in person with a first person account which adds a few details to the version above from some ten years before.

It is clearly transcribed on this blog. so I won't paste it here.

He explicitly addresses the matter of being in his "anecdotage" in his introduction. Smile

edit: additional thought, in case I haven't already done this one to death.

The story is unusual to say the least but a part of its appeal was the early nineteenth century date - the year of Northanger Abbey. Yet it seems to have remained a personal or family memory until the 1860s when the fashion for ghost stories was well-established in the magazines. The 1840s was the key decade, spanned by A Christmas Carol in 1843 and the Fox Sisters' spiritualist experiments in 1848. Mr Swifte seems to have been unusually patient in holding out so long.

So far as I can tell, he did not have a stock of ghostly stories and the details of this one do not shift far between tellings. The later version is framed as a tale of the witching hour and the author's assurances about his veracity may be an expected part of the performance. Undoubtedly, he had his earlier account to hand. Leaving aside the question of how true or real the vision could have been in 1817, we are left with a narrative from the 1860s and 1870s.
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PostPosted: 27-12-2013 13:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

To return to the topic! I'm a Northern lad too and I got this book for Christmas. I really enjoyed it and nearly all the tales were new to me as well.
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