There is no end to the old houses, with resounding galleries, and dismal state-bedchambers, and haunted wings shut up for any years, through which we may ramble, with an agreeable creeping up our back, =and encounter any number of ghosts, but it is worthy of remark perhaps) reducible to a very few general types and classes; for, ghosts have little originality, and "walk" ina beaten track. Thus, it comes to pass, that a certain room in a certain old hall, where a certain bad lord, baronet, knight, or entleman, shot himself, has certain planks in the floor from which the blood WILL NOT be taken out. You may scrape and crape, as the present owner has done, or plane and plane, as his father did, or scrub and scrub, as his grandfather did, or burn nd burn with strong acids, as his great- grandfather did, but, there the blood will still be--no redder and no paler--no more and noless--always just the same. Thus, in such another house there is a haunted door, that never will keep open; or another door hat never will keep shut, or a haunted sound of a spinning-wheel, or a hammer, or a footstep, or a cry, or a sigh, or a horse's ramp, or the rattling of a chain. Or else, there is a turret-clock, which, at the midnight hour, strikes thirteen when the head of hefamily is going to die; or a shadowy, immovable black carriage which at such a time is always seen by somebody, waiting near the great gates in the stable-yard. Or thus, it came to pass how Lady Mary went to pay a visit at a large wild house in the Scottish Highlands, and, being fatigued with her long journey, retired to bed early, and innocently said, next morning, at the breakfast-table, "How odd, to have so late a party last night, in this remote place, and not to tell me of it, before I went to bed!" Then, every one asked Lady Mary what she meant? Then, Lady Mary replied, "Why, all night long, the carriages were driving round and round the terrace, underneath my window!" Then, the owner of the house turned pale, and so did his Lady, and harles Macdoodle of Macdoodle signed to Lady Mary to say no more, and every one was silent. After breakfast, Charles acdoodle told Lady Mary that it was a tradition in the family that those rumbling carriages on the terrace betokened death. And o it proved, for, two months afterwards, the Lady of the mansion died. And Lady Mary, who was a Maid of Honour at Court, ften old this story to the old Queen Charlotte; by this token that the old King always said, "Eh, eh? What, what? Ghosts, ghosts? of such thing, no such thing!" And never left off saying so, until he went to bed.
From "A Christmas Tree" by Charles Dickens.