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Apparitions, Wraiths, The Second Sight
The Winding Sheet


I WAS resolved to pay a visit to an English gentleman, Sir William Sacheverill, who had a commission from the English Court of Admiralty to give his best trial to find out gold or money, or any other thing of note, in one of the ships of the Spanish Armada, that was blown up in the bay of Topper-Mory, in the Sound of Mull. And having condescended upon the number of men that were to go with me, one of the number was a handsome boy that waited upon my own person; and, about an hour before I made sail, a woman, that was also one of my own servants, spoke to one of the seamen, and bade him to dissuade me to take that boy along with me, or if I did I should not bring him back alive; the seaman answered, he had not confidence to tell me such unwarrantable trifles. I took my voyage, and sailed the length of Topper-Mory; and having stayed two or three nights with that liberal and ingenuous gentleman, who himself had collected many observations of the Second Sight in the Isle of Man, and compared his notes and mine together, I then took leave of him. In the meantime my boy grew sick of a vehement bloody flux,—the winds turned cross, that I could neither sail nor row,—the boy died with me the eleventh night from his decumbiture. The next morning the wind made fair, and the seaman to whom the matter was foretold related the whole story when he saw it verified. I carried the boy’s corpse aboard with me, and after my arrival, and his burial, I called suddenly for the woman, and asked her what warrant she had to foretell the boy’s death. She said that she had no other warrant but that she saw, two days before I took my voyage, the boy walking with me in the fields, sewed up in his winding sheets from top to toe, and that she had never seen this in others but she found that they shortly thereafter died; and therefore concluded that he would die too, and that shortly.


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