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Clifton Park, Linton


The following account of a strange experience is taken from 'The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain' by John Ingram (1897), though it was originally printed in 'Signs Before Death: And Authenticated Apparitions' by Horace Welby (1825).

"One morning in the summer of 1745, Mrs. Jane Lowe, housekeeper to Mr. Pringle, of Clifton Park, in the south of Scotland, beheld the apparition of a lady walking in the avenue, on the margin of a rivulet, which runs into Kale water. The form resembled a daughter of her master who had long been absent from the family, at the distance of about a hundred miles south of Paris. As Mrs. Lowe walked down the avenue and approached the rivulet, this resemblance impressed her so strongly that, seeing her master in an enclosure adjoining, she went and told him what she had seen. Mr. Pringle laughed, and said, 'You simple woman! that lady is Miss Chattow, of Morebattle.' However, Mrs. Lowe prevailed upon him to accompany her to the place, which they had nearly reached, when the apparition sprang into the water and instantly disappeared.

"Mr. Pringle and Mrs. Lowe, on returning to the hall, apprised the family of the vision, and for their pains were heartily laughed at. The Rev. Mr. Turnbull, minister of Linton, happened to breakfast that morning with Mr. Pringle, his lady, and two young daughters, who joined in the laugh. About three months afterwards, the same reverend gentleman honoured the family with his company; when, standing at a window in the lower room, he observed a poor, ragged, lame, lean man slowly approaching the house. 'Here comes another apparition' cried Mr. Turnbull, with a kind of contemptuous smile. This drew the immediate attention of all present, and Mr. Pringle quickly recognised the person to be his second son, whom he had not seen for above ten years.

"On his arrival, he soon convinced them that he was not an apparition, declaring that he had narrowly escaped with his life from Tunis, in the vicinity of which he had been a slave to the Algerines seven years, but had happily been ransomed at the critical moment when he was ordered to be put to death for mutiny. He added, that on his return home through France, he called at the place where he had heard that his sister resided, and to his unspeakable grief found that she died on the 25th of May, the same summer, about five o'clock in the morning, which he recollected to have been the precise time when he was saved from the jaws of death, and when he thought he beheld his sister. Mrs. Lowe, who was present in the room, on hearing his declaration, added her testimony by affirming that the day alluded to was that on which she had shown Mr. Pringle the apparition; and this was confirmed by the Reverend Mr. Turnbull, in whose study this narrative was found after his death'


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