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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/279

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Ghost Lights of the West Highlands. 255

and there were seen like red chucky-stones. Possibly ' shooting ' would be the proper word to use in describing its flight, but it was so bright, and it was at such a distance from the earth, that the idea of speed was not presented to one's mind so much as that of a gradual moving or floating nearer and nearer till it fell. It did not come like a flash, we saw it too far away for that, and had time to watch its approach."

Another description I take from the Scotsman of the 14th of December, 1895, in a letter signed M. C. T., dating from the Manse of Lumphanan :

"At 6.47 p.m. [on a December night — the letter is dated 1 2th December] I was walking eastward at an elevation of about 887 feet above sea level and over snow at least five feet deep, when suddenly, in the slightly frosty, moonless, but starlight night, my path was lit up as if a machine with more than usually powerful lights had come up behind me. I turned to see, so as to protect myself, when crossing the heavens in a straight line from west to east was a most brilliant meteor. Its head was, in size and shape, a doubly enlarged goose's ^%^,- Its tail was fan-shape and fish-shape, the colour of the tail lurid. In the rear of the tail were numerous sparks like stars. It was visible for about two seconds, and seemed to drop in Aberdeen."

One final example, in which the light apparently shone from the face of the person to be warned of the approach- ing death, brings this lengthy paper to a close :

" There was a girl in Tiree who was on one occasion spinning in a farmer's house, and having continued work- ing till rather late, one of the farmer's sons went to see her safely home. All at once the lad saw her as if she were quite white, and a light shining upon her. They were both alarmed, but she went home, and the lad returned home also. The next morning, however, before eight o'clock, the same girl came running to the farmer's house with the news of her father's death. It had come very suddenly.