Open main menu

Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/35

This page needs to be proofread.

and hung there as a star, but unbaptized children's souls became wills-o'-the-wisp. So also those of men who have moved their neighbours' landmarks. Above graves blue flames are seen to dance. Even unborn children are luminous, and this has been the occasion of many horrible murders of women expecting to become mothers, by men who desired to get hold of a hand of such an unborn, unbaptized child, by means of which they believed themselves able to send to sleep all in a house into which they entered for the purpose of robbery. We are distinctly told that it was the luminous character of the unborn that gave them this value.

A curious story is told in a letter from a German pastor in Elsass to the editor of Magikon (iv. p.349). He had gone to Freiburg and was on his way home by night, and early in the morning, at 4 a.m., reached the first outlying houses of his village. The moon was in its last quarter, not a soul was stirring, when, in the road at about twenty or thirty paces from him, he saw a ball of fire burning in the middle of the way. The light given Out was pale like that of spirits of wine. He halted and looked at it for some moments and then went forward, when the ball of fire rose with undiminished brightness