Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/266

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242 Ghost Lights of the West Highlands.

saw a dreug above Lochandaal. It came gradually along

until it passed over 's house, and disappeared in the

moss behind the house. That was just a little before

's son, the only son he ever had, died, and it was

his dreug." The reciter of this last, speaking of ghost- lights in general, said : " People will be making out that they see lights before the death of good people, but it is made out that the lights they see are good angels waiting to take away their spirits after death."

While pointing out discrepancies and variations in the view of the reciters, we must not forget that all the evidence is in favour of their having an honest belief in what they narrate. Talking of a thorough Gael, a well-educated man of the peasant class, so far as literary attainment is concerned, above the usual crofter or small farmer, a collector says : " He appears to believe firmly in all these things, and speaks with awe when referring to any of them. He has seen those who saw a dreug and has heard it described, but says he has never seen one himself."

The first dreug that will be described is copied from the Christmas number competition of the People' s Journal, November 23rd, 1895; the name attached to it is Anna J. Grant, Dingwall. It is a well told and doubtless a veracious narrative of its class.

" About fifty years ago, Eppie Baxter, a deeply religious woman, lived with her granddaughter in a remote Suther- landshire parish. One day, about a week before her death, Eppie was sitting on a hillock before her little two-roomed house, when she heard the treading of feet and the sound of voices, as if going along beneath her, at the foot of the brae. She stood up to see who was passing, but was surprised to find that no living thing was within sight. Then quite distinctly she heard the cry of * relief,' the word used at Highland funerals when the bier-holders are about to be relieved. After a slight halt the procession seemed to move on, and silence again