The Terror Of The Dark

The Terror Of The Dark
The Terror Of The Dark 

“All my life I have been afraid of the dark,” said an acquaintance to me the other day, when we were discussing psychical matters. “I know that it is childish,” he continued, “and I ought to have outgrown it years ago; but, as a matter of fact, I haven’t. After all, isn’t there some reason for the fears that we all feel, more or less, at that time? Doesn’t the Bible speak of ‘the terrors of the Dark;’ and are not all animals, and even insects, afraid of the dark—so much so that you cannot induce them to enter a dark place if they can help it? Light not only enables you to see what is around you; but it acts in a certain positive manner over ‘the powers of darkness,’ whatever they are, and prevents their operation.



All spirit mediums will tell you that materialization and manifestations of that character cannot take place in the light; it prevents their occurrence. So, after all, as I said, isn’t there some reasonable ground for one’s fear at such times?” I said nothing but gazed into the fire. After all, were not his arguments somewhat impressive? “But,” continued my friend, “it is not altogether because of these speculative reasons that I fear the dark; it is because of a terrible experience I once had, and which has left me terror-struck, ever since, whenever I am left without light even for an instant. I will tell you the story, and let you judge for yourself. “It was several years ago; in an old house we rented at that time, and from which we removed soon after the event I am about to relate. I was afraid of the dark, even then, and always left a nightlight burning by the side of my bed when I went to sleep. One night I woke up, feeling the springs of the bed on which I was lying vibrate in a peculiar manner, impossible to describe.

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“Looking up, I saw, standing by the side of my bed, a young man, dressed in rags, having a face ghastly white, and showing every indication of dissipation. He was regarding me intently. “I shall never forget the shock I received on beholding that figure; not only because of the unexpected appearance; but because of the fact that I could perceive the opposite wall and furniture through the body. I knew at once that I beheld a spirit, and my blood ran cold at the thought. What I had dreaded all my life was at last fulfilled! “My next thought was ‘I am so glad the night light is burning. What should I do if I were in darkness?’ As though the form read my thoughts, and was intent on torturing me to the limit of endurance, it leaned over, and the next instant had snuffed the candle! The phantom and I were alone in the black darkness!



“Words cannot describe my feelings at that instant. The blood froze in my veins and the tongue clave to the roof of my mouth. I tried to speak, but could not. I only held out one hand as if to ward off the awful presence by pressing it away. “The next instant I felt the bedclothes gently turned down on the further side of the bed and partly pulled off me. The springs of the bed were depressed, and I knew that the fearsome visitor was crawling into bed! It would lie down by my side; perhaps touch 5 me; perhaps—who could tell? The agony of mind I experienced in those few moments I shall never forget! My only wonder is that my reason did not give way! “Then a curious thing happened. Even in the state of mind, as I was in then, I could perceive that the bed was gradually rising up again into its normal position. The weight upon it was growing less and less. Finally, it was again level, and I felt the bedclothes carefully replaced over me. The phantom had withdrawn!

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“For hours I lay awake, not daring to move. After what seemed a century, the first faint shafts of light fell across the room, betokening the welcome morn. Finally, a glorious day broke. Glorious light! Hateful darkness! Cannot you see why I hate it so?” But, fortunately, this evil and horrible side of Ghostland are not universal. Ghosts do not always present themselves as so formidable and gruesome! Some of them prove helpful; others seem to wish to right a wrong; some even seem to have a sense of humor! So there are all sorts of ghosts, just as there are all sorts of people; and the variety is just as great in one case as in the other.

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