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The Alleged Haunting of B[allechin] House

The following is from The Alleged Haunting of B[allechin] House:

Appendix II

Barisal Guns (See page 221)

Readers not acquainted with this phenomenon may be referred to an interesting correspondence in the pages of Nature (Oct. 1895, and Seq.), opened by Professor G.H. Darwin--

"In the delta of the Ganges," he says, "dull sounds, more or less resembling distant artillery, are often heard. These are called Barisal guns, but I do not know the meaning of the term."

The same sounds have been recorded by M. Rutot of the Geological Survey along the Belgian coast, and are alleged to be pretty common in the North of France. M. van der Broeck, Conservator of the Museum of Natural History of Belgium, says--

"I have constantly noticed these sounds in the plain of Limburg since 1880;--more than ten of my personal acquaintances have observed the fact. The detonations are dull and distant, and are repeated a dozen times or more at irregular intervals. They are usually heard in the daytime, when the sky is clear, and especially towards evening after a very hot day. The noise does not at all resemble artillery, blasting in mines, or the growling of distant thunder."

M. van der Broeck elsewhere refers to "similar noises heard on Dartmoor, and in some parts of Scotland." Readers of Blackmore's story of "Lorna Doone" will remember, among other valuable observations of out-door life, his accounts of "the hollow moaning sound" during the intense cold of the winter, of which he gives so graphic an account. It was "ever present in the air, morning, noon, and night time, and especially at night, whether any wind was stirring or whether it were a perfect calm" (Chap. xlvi.).

Another correspondent in Nature refers to remarkable noises among the hills of Cheshire: "When the wind is easterly, and nearly calm on the flats, a hollow moaning sound is heard, popularly termed the Soughing of the Wind, which Sir Walter Scott, in his glossary to 'Guy Mannering,' interprets as a hollow blast or whisper."

Another writer quotes experiences in East Anglia, tending to show that such sounds may be reports arising from the process of "faulting" going on, on a small scale, at a great depth, and not of sufficient intensity to produce a perceptible vibration at the earth's surface.

It would seem that in districts such as Comrie in Perthshire, East Hadden in Connecticut, Pignerol in Piedmont, Meleda in the Adriatic, &c., sounds without shocks are common during intervals, which may last for several years. Remarkable sounds, not apparently accounted for, are reported to proceed from Lough Neagh in Ireland.

See Nature, Oct. 1895, and following numbers; articles by M. van der Broeck in Ciel et Terre (Belgium), Dec. 1, 1895, and following numbers, also Geol. Mag., vol. ix. 1892, pp. 208-18.

Conspectus of Audile Phenomena at B[allechin] House Recorded in Journal

Recorded under Date.

Heard in Room.

Witness.

Description of Sound.

Feb. 4

No. I.

Miss Freer 
Miss Moore

Loud clanging sound, as of metal struck with wood
Voices in conversation

No. III.

"Mac," the maid

Voices, footsteps, things dragged about

Feb. 5

Attics

Two housemaids

Continuous reading

Feb. 7

No. VII.

Miss Moore

Reverberating bang close to bed

Drawing-room Hall

Mac
Miss Moore

Noises and footsteps
Clanging sound upstairs

Feb. 8

"Butler's room"

Mac

Footsteps and sounds on door

No. VII.

Miss Moore

Reverberating bang

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Noises percussive or explosive

The Glen

Miss Freer 
Mr. C覧

Voices in conversation

Feb. 9

No. VII.

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Noises percussive or explosive

Feb. 10

No. I.

Miss Moore

Clangs. Voices in conversation

No. V.

Mr. W覧

Knockings.

No. VIII.

Colonel Taylor

Footsteps overhead

Feb.13

No. I.

Miss Moore

Clanging noise

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Crash

No. V.

Mrs. W覧

Knockings

Feb. 15

No. IV.

Miss Langton

A loud crash

Feb. 16

The Glen

Miss Langton
Miss Freer
Miss Moore

Voices in conversation

Feb. 17

Drawing-room

Mrs. W覧
Miss Langton
Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Footsteps overhead in disused room

Drawing-room

Col. Taylor
Mrs. W覧
Miss Langton
Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Clanging noise, four times repeated

Feb. 18

No. VIII.

Miss Freer

Banging sounds

No. VIII.

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Sounds as of an animal's movements in the room in daylight

The Glen

Miss Langton
Miss Freer

Voices in conversation

The Glen

Miss Langton (later)

Voices in conversation

Feb. 19

The Glen

Miss Langton

Voices in conversation and footsteps

Feb. 20

No. VIII.

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Sounds of active movement of an animal in the room

Feb. 21

No. VIII.

Miss Moore

Footsteps of an old man shuffling in slippers

Miss Moore
Miss Freer
Dog

Movements of animal

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Bang on wall near No VII.

Feb. 25

Wing

Mr. "Endell"

Clang noise "like a pavior's hammer dropped"

No. I.

Mr. Garford

Violent banging on door of Nos. I. and II.

No. III.

Mr. "Q."

Groans; "a greatly magnified edition of sounds I have several times heard in the drawing-room"

Feb. 26

No. I.

Mr. Garford

Detonating or percussive noise like "a wheel-barrow on a hard road"

March 1

No. IV.

Mr. MacP覧

Loud clanging sound in the room

March 2

No. VIII.

Miss Freer
Miss Moore

Movements of animal in the room

Miss Freer
Miss Moore

Heavy fall

No. III.

Miss "N."

Thud, sounding from below

March 5

No. VIII.

Miss Moore

Movements of animal in the room

Attics

Two maids

Monotonous reading

No. I.

Mrs. B.C.

Monotonous reading (also mentioned by Mr. Garford as occurring in No. I.)

Mrs. B.C.

Bang on door of room

Attics

Mrs. Robinson (cook)

Voices in conversation
Bangs on the wall of room

March 7

Attics

Robinson (butler)

Heavy body falling in the room

No. II.

Mr. C覧

Movements of heavy body in the room
Footsteps as if descending stairs
Loud rapping on doors of Nos. I. and II.

March 8

No. II.

Mr. C覧

Noises in No. I. (empty room)

March 10

No. VIII.

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Animal moving in the room
Heavy fall

March 13

No. VIII.

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Loud bangs

Attics

Robinson, and Mrs. Robinson

Loud bangs

No. IV.

Miss Langton

Loud bangs

March 15

No. VIII.

Miss Moore
Miss Freer

Vibrating bang

No. IV.

Miss Langton

Vibrating bang

Wing

Colonel Taylor

Vibrating bang

[Miss Freer was absent for four nights, and no Journal was kept.]

March 20

No. I.

Miss Moore
Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Metallic sound in room "like the 'giving' of a large tin box"

March 22

No. IV.

Mr. MacP覧

Heavy footsteps overhead

No. III.

Miss "Duff"

Resounding crash at door
Resounding crash in room

March 23

Drawing-room

Miss "Duff"

Monotonous reading (also mentioned as occurring in No. III.)

March 24

No. V.

Miss Freer

Crash of something falling under dome

No. VIII.

Colonel C覧

Loud thump on door of room

No. I.

Mr. W覧

Explosive noises
Crash of something falling under dome

Attics

Two housemaids and kitchen-maid

Loud knockings

Butler's room on ground floor

Mrs. Robinson

Footsteps and knocking on door of No. III.

No. III.

Miss "Duff"

Shuffling foot steps outside room

No. II.

Miss "Duff"
Miss Langton

Fall against door of No. I.

March 25

No. II.

Miss Langton

Loud thump on door between I. and II.

March 27

Attics

Carter (housemaid)
Under-housemaid
Kitchen-maid

Monotonous reading

March 29

Library

Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Footsteps in locked-up room overhead

March 30

Library

Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Footsteps in locked-up room overhead

Corridor

Mr. and Mrs. M覧
Miss Langton
Miss Freer

Rappings in No. II. (empty).
(See Mr. M覧's account)

March 31

No. VIII.

Miss Langton

Shuffling footsteps in the room
Knock near the wardrobe

No. I.

Mrs. M覧
Mr. M覧

Metallic clangs in the room like "tuning a kettle-drum"; later, "terrific noise," "like treble rap on a hollow panel,"--like "the lid of a heavy coal-scuttle let fall"

Drawing-room

Mrs. M覧

Voices in library
Detonating noise (like a distant cannon)

April 1

No. VIII.

Mr. M覧
Mrs. M覧

Voices and footsteps in room overhead (empty)

Drawing-room

Mrs. M覧

Voices and footsteps overhead

In the garden

Mrs. M覧
Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Detonating noise

Drawing-room

Mrs. M覧
Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Limping footsteps overhead
Voices of a man and woman

April 2

Library

Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Heavy blow on table

Mrs. M覧
Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Heavy blow on table (heard in dining-room)

Dining-room

Miss Freer
Miss Langton
Robinson (butler)

Footsteps overhead in empty room

April 3

Library

Miss Langton

Violent hammering on door in daylight

Dining-room

Miss Freer
Miss Langton
Mr. T覧
Robinson (butler)

Footsteps overhead in empty room

April 4

No. V.

Miss Freer
Miss Langton

Crash under dome

April 5

No. I.

Mr. T覧

Monotonous reading

April 6

No. I.

Mr. T覧

Thuds on floor above, and on door of room
Voices in conversation

April 7

No. V.

Miss Freer

Crash under dome

No. I.

Mr. T覧

Crash under dome
Voices in conversation
Raps at foot of door

April 8

Various parts of the house

Household generally

Crashes and bangs and footsteps heard during the day

Smoking-room

Miss Freer
Miss Langton
Mr. T覧
Dog

Shuffling footsteps in the room
Voices outside door

No. IV.

Miss Freer

Crash under dome

No. VIII.

Miss Langton

Shuffling footsteps

No. I.

Mr. T覧

Voices

No. IV.

Miss Freer

Thuds on lowest panels of door
Footsteps of many persons

[No Journal kept between April 8 and April 29. During this period Professor Lodge's notes testify to "knocks on the wall, a sawing noise, a droning and a wailing, ... some whistling, and apparent attempts at a whisper, all up in the attic.]

May 3

No. I.

Mme. Boisseaux

Monotonous voice from No. III.
Voices in argument

No. V.

Mrs. "F."

Knocks at door

May 4

No. V.

Mme. Boisseaux

Knocks at door

May 5

Drawing-room

Mme. Boisseaux
Mrs. "F."
Mrs. M覧
Miss Freer
Rev. MacL覧

Detonating noise in empty room overhead (No. I.) in daylight

Billiard-room

Gardener, butler, cook and others

Crash in the room

May 6

No. V.

Mme. Boisseaux

"Room resounded with knocks"

Library

Miss Freer
Miss Moore

Bangs on table

May 13

No. I.

Mr. "Etienne"

[?] Detonating noise

Notes

[Compare Plan of House]

1. The rooms spoken of in the text as "the library," and the "upstairs," or "wing" smoking-room, are those marked in the Plan as the "morning-room," and the bedroom to the extreme east in the wing.

2. Most of the maid-servants slept in rooms Y and Z, over 1 and 2, until the alarm of March 25, when they moved to the rooms on the other side the house (X and W), thus leaving those over Nos. 1 and 2 empty.

3. Robinson and Mrs. Robinson (butler and cook) occupied room W till March 13, when both moved into the butler's room off the hall, which during the first month had been occupied by Mac the maid, who became ill and returned south.

4. Opinions regarding the noises, and experiments as to their origin, will be found on the under-mentioned pages of the Journal.

Opinions, pp. 92, 111, 113, 120, 124, 128, 133, 143, 144, 147, 153, 154, 159, 162, 166, 168, 173, 179, 187, 198, 201, 207, 215, 219, 234, 242.

Experiments, pp. 109, 129, 140, 160, 175, 180, 218, 220.

Index


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