Trinity Poltergeist

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  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Trinity Poltergeist
    DANGEROUS GHOSTS (1954) Elliott O’Donnell

    In 1835 Captain Molesworth rented a house at Trinity, near Edinburgh, which belonged to a Mr. Webster. After he had been in the house for about two months he began to complain of extraordinary noises, and accused Mr. Webster, who lived next door, of making them. Mr. Webster indignantly repudiated the charge.

    The noises continued, and Captain Molesworth not only took up the boards in the room in which the noises were worst, but bored holes in one of the walls which divided his residence from that of Mr. Webster, in order to detect the culprit.

    His efforts were fruitless; the disturbances became worse; there were footsteps made by invisible feet, knockings, scratchings and the rustling of dresses. Sometimes the knocker seemed to be trying to play a tune, and if asked a question would respond by so many knocks.

    Alarming things happened. Beds were raised during the night as if someone was underneath them, and the knockings were so violent at times that the walls shook.

    Captain Molesworth had had two daughters, one of whom was named Matilda, the other one Jane. Matilda had died recently. Jane, who was between twelve and thirteen years of age, was frequently ill in bed. The fact that the noises were generally most frequent and loudest in her room made some people think that she made them. Other people thought that it was the ghost of Matilda, warning Jane that she was doomed to die very shortly.

    Sheriff’s officers, masons, magistrates, army officers and friends and relatives of Captain Molesworth spent nights in the house, in the hope of solving the mystery. Jane was bound, in order to prevent her playing any tricks. All to no purpose. The disturbances continued and grew worse and worse.

    At length, unable to stand the haunting any longer, Captain Molesworth left the house. Mr. Webster brought an action against him for the damages committed by taking up the boards, breaking the walls and firing bullets at the wainscoting, as well as for slander of title, declaring that the house was defamed through spreading the report that it was haunted. The law-suit lasted for two years, and numerous witnesses were examined. I have been unable to find out how it ended.

    Jane Molesworth died soon after she left the house, and the people who subsequently took it never complained of any mysterious disturbances. *

    * Satan’s Invisible World, by Prof. G. Sinclair.