Friday, February 19, 2010

Some Strange Experience:
The Reminiscences of a Ghost-Seer

Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904)
From Lafcadio Hearn: American Writings

A world traveler who lived in the United States for nearly two decades, Lafcadio Hearn earned a reputation in Cincinnati and New Orleans as a journalist who portrayed colorful local inhabitants and reported on sensational, violent crimes. Shortly after he was fired from the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer for marrying Alathea Foley, a black woman and former slave, he went to work for the Cincinnati Commercial , where he published his articles either anonymously or under the pseudonym Ozias Midwinter (after a character in the Wilkie Collins novel Armadale). The following is one of his early articles for the Commercial, an interview with a reluctant “medium” whose “gift of conversation” brings to life recollections of a lifetime of frightful experiences.

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“They do say the dead never come back again,” she observed half dreamingly; “but then I have seen such queer things!” . . . If you don't see the full selection below, click here (PDF) or click here (Google Docs) to read it—free!

This selection may be photocopied and distributed for classroom or educational use.