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Apparitions, Wraiths, The Second Sight
The Straw-Rope Garters


BARBARA M’PHERSON, relict of the deceased Mr. Alexander M’Leod, late minister of St Kilda, informed me the natives of that island have a particular kind of the second-sight, which is always a fore-runner of their approaching end. Some months before they sicken they are haunted with an apparition resembling themselves in all respects as to their person, features, or clothing. This image (seemingly animated) walks with them in the fields in broad daylight; and if they are employed in delving, harrowing, seed-sowing, or any other occupation, they are at the same time mimicked by this ghostly visitant. My informer added further, that having visited a sick person, one of the inhabitants, she had the curiosity to inquire of him if at any time he had seen any resemblance of himself as above described? He answered in the affirmative, and told her that, to make further trial, as he was going out of his house on a morning, he put on straw-rope garters, instead of those he formerly used, and having gone to the fields, his other self appeared in such garters. The conclusion was, the sick man died of that ailment, and she no longer questioned the truth of those remarkable presages.


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