The Ghostly Bell

A midway exposition of mysteries, curiosities and folklore
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The Ghostly Bell

Post by Timothy » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:36 am

In 'The Ghostly Bell' (chapter XVI) from The Story Girl, Peter Craig claims to have heard a mysterious bell sounding:

"There's–something–in the house, ringing a bell," said Peter, in a shaking voice. Not the Story Girl herself could have invested that "something" with more of creepy horror. We all drew close together. I felt a crinkly feeling along my back which I had never known before. If Peter had not been so manifestly frightened we might have thought he was trying to "pass a joke" on us. But such abject terror as his could not be counterfeited.

The ghostly bell ended up being Grandfather King's old clock striking. In the Alpine Path, Montgomery attributes this story to an event that occured with childhood friend Dave Nelson:

One evening Dave came down to me in the apple orchard at dusk, with his eyes nearly starting out of his head, and whispered that he had heard a bell ringing in the then deserted house. To be sure, the marvellous edge was soon taken off this by the discovery that the noise was simply a newly-cleaned clock striking the hours, which it had never done before. This furnished the foundation of the "Ghostly Bell" chapter in The Story Girl.

Recently, I read a similiarly eerie story, The Tolling of the Bell- retold by S.E. Schlosser, based in Charlottetown, P.E.I. in 1859...

In the wee hours of Friday morning, October 7, 1859, when all the good residents of Charlottetown should still be sleeping in their beds, a deep bell tone was heard from the bell tower in St. James Church... As they entered the church yard, the bell tolled for the sixth time, and the front doors of the church swung open with a windy blast. Framed in the doorway were three glowing women dressed all in white. The men gasped, unsure if they were seeing real women, or angels...

Makes me wonder if Dave Nelson was influenced by this folktale.

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