The Rival Ghosts by Brander Matthews (1896)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror September 23, 2014
Rival Ghosts is one of the most adorable ghost stories. Uncle Larry shares with us a charming tale in the old tradition of storytelling.
We are on a cruise ship in the Atlantic, snuggled in deckchairs and warmed under blankets against the chilly sea breezes as the ship heads toward Fire Island. Uncle Larry tells the story of Baron Eliphalet Duncan, half Scotch and half Yankee, who encounters a family ghost and a house ghost. Dueling ghosts? Spirit lore, banchees and bogies, tambourines and banjos all play a role in this humorous spoof. There is a lovely romance too as we visit their house in Salem.
“You know,” resumed Uncle Larry, “that two waves of light or of sound may interfere and produce darkness or silence. So it was with these rival spooks. They interfered, but they did not produce silence or darkness. On the contrary, as soon as Eliphalet and the officer went into the house, there began at once a series of spiritualistic manifestations—a regular dark séance.”
Author Brander Matthews is considered to be a rather undistinguished and forgotten writer who was friends with Twain and Kipling. He wrote short stories, novels, plays, essays and was a professor of dramatic literature at Columbia College, New York City.
Read The Rival Ghosts at Gutenberg.org (scroll down to page 93)
Listen to Rival Ghosts at Librivox: Humorous Ghost Stories Chapter Eight in two parts:
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