Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Haunted Bacon

Another ghost story from John Aubrey. This one comes in the form of a letter from "the Reverend Mr. Andrew Paschal, B.D., Rector of Chedzoy in Somerset." It's all about a fellow named Francis Fry, who met a "Man-Spectre" with a "Pole in his Hand" and a ghostly "Gentlewoman" who sometimes appeared "in shapes more horrid, as of a Dog belching Fire." Boy, did these two cause Francis Fry some trouble! For example, they tore his "best Periwig... all to flitters... I should have told you the Fate of his Shoe-strings, one of which a Gentlewoman greater than all exception, assured me that she saw it come out of his Shoe, without any visible Hand, and fling itself to the farther end of the room." A maid grabbed the other shoelace, "which crisp'd and curl'd about her Hand like a living Eel... other fantastical Freeks have been very frequent... two Flitches of Bacon descending from the Chimney where they hung..." Finally poor Fry "was caught by the Woman Spectre by the Skirts of his Doublet, and carried into the Air... half an Hour after, Fry was heard Whistling and Singing in a kind of Quagmire."