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Doctor Silas Weir Mitchell And The Ghostly Servant Girl- And Other Tales

Updated on March 17, 2017
Nell Rose profile image

Nell lives in England and writes about many subjects which include religion, Space, history, archaeology, psychic phenomenon and health.

Ghostly Goings On!

There are many people who don't believe in ghosts, but there are many ghostly encounters that argue to the contrary. The spooky tales below are as real as they can possibly be without photographs and real proof.

But the stories have endured down through the ages and we can see that at least some of the characters involved are not really the kind who would deliberately make up the story.Take the first one. A strange tale of a Mr. Silas Weir Mitchell, who was a celebrated Philadelphia Neurologist.

Doctor Silas Weir Mitchell and his ghostly girl visitor.
Doctor Silas Weir Mitchell and his ghostly girl visitor.

A Knocking On The Door

Doctor S.W. Mitchell was an eminent 19th Century nerve specialist, who lived in Philadelphia.

One night after a hard days work at his surgery, he fell asleep in his chair. He was soon awakened by the ringing of his front door bell, and, have asleep he managed to make his way to the door.

'Coming, i'm coming, hold on please' he said.

There on his doorstep stood a young girl standing shivering in the cold. She wore a thin dress and a threadbare old shawl.

'Please come, my mother's ill, I need you, please'. she pleaded with him. She turned and ran up the road, and the Doctor quickly grabbed his bag and hurried after her. Eventually they reached an old tenement block, and quickly climbed the stairs.

Please can you help my mother?  young girl wearing shawl 19th century
Please can you help my mother? young girl wearing shawl 19th century

There Are Her Shoes!

There, on the bed, lay the sick woman. As he got closer he recognized her as a former maid in his house.

After examining her, he diagnosed pneumonia, and sent for the medication that she needed. He then made her comfortable as possible, and told her that she had a wonderful daughter to run out in the cold like that.

The sick woman looked at him in surprise and said:

'My daughter died a month ago. Look, there are her shawl and shoes in the cupboard'!

When Doctor Mitchell went over to take a look, there right in front of his eyes were the same shawl and shoes that the little girl had been wearing. It was dry, folded and clean. There was no way that they could have been worn outside.

Turning around, he looked in the room, down the stairs and outside. But there was no sign of the little girl!

Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy

Dante's Ghost and The Divine Comedy

When the famous Dante Alighieri died in 1321, his famous manuscript The Divine Comedy wasn't complete. His sons Jacopo and Piero both knew that he had finished it, but after searching all over the house they couldn't figure out where on earth Dante could have hidden it.

Soon they gave up searching and after one more look sadly gave up the search.

But that night Jacopo had a dream. He saw his father dressed and bathed in a white ethereal light standing before him.

Jacopo asked the vision if the poem was complete and where had he put it? Dante's ghost nodded and pointed to a tiny secret place in his old chamber.

When he woke, Jacopo quickly asked a lawyer friend of Dante's to come and help find the missing papers. He wanted him as a witness to prove that he wasn't joking.

Jacopo went to the place that was indicated in the dream. There, behind a small blind fixed to the wall, they saw a small window.

Inside were the missing papers covered with mould and damp. Lifting them carefully out, they brushed of the mould and read out the words of Dante's Divine Comedy!

But for the sons dream, Dante's greatest work would have been lost to the world!

Lord Dufferin.
Lord Dufferin.

Lord Dufferin And The Ugly Ghost!

It was the 1880's and Lord Dufferin who was the British Ambassador to Paris, was on vacation at his friends country house in Ireland.

One night he woke suddenly, aware that something strange had disturbed him. He got up and padded over to the window to see what all the fuss was about, and realized that there wasn't anything to see out there apart from a man walking across the grass carrying something heavy.

But Lord Dufferin felt slightly uneasy and decided to go down and confront the man and ask what he was doing at that time of night.

In the moonlight he could see that the man was carrying a coffin! And as he got closer he suddenly reeled back in terror! The man was the ugliest he had ever seen! Mustering up courage, Lord Duffin asked;

'Where are you taking that coffin?'

The ugly man raised his wizened face and to Duffin's astonishment, totally disappeared in front of his eyes!


The real InterContinental Le Grand Hotel elevator foyer Paris France.
The real InterContinental Le Grand Hotel elevator foyer Paris France.

Saved By A Ghost?

The next morning he told the other members of the household, namely his host. And to their chagrin they had no idea who the man was!

Putting it to the back of his mind, he got on with his life. But a few years later, Lord Duffin went back to Paris to attend an international reception at the Grand Hotel.

As he and his secretary were about to enter the lift he suddenly exclaimed out loud and stepped back! As his secretary tried to make him go in, Dufferin refused to step inside.

There in front of him was the ugly man from a few years before. He was the lift operator!

Lord Dufferin stepped back and still refusing to enter the lift, turned and walked away. The lift ascended without him and his secretary. As he returned to the reception desk, he asked, who on earth is that man in the lift?

But once again the answer was no sorry, they didn't know who he was! Just as they were talking, they heard an almighty crash, and to their horror they heard the lift snap its cable and plunge to the bottom of the shaft, killing all who were inside.


The accident was reported in the News Papers, and also recorded by the British Society for Psychical Research.

Until this day, there is no record found of that little ugly man who saved Lord Duffins life.

Ghost or Angel? You decide!

Do You Believe In Ghosts?

See results

© 2017 Nell Rose

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    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 8 days ago

      The little girl would have been so concerned over her mother that her "spirit" continued to "keep watch" and "do the needful" when the situation called for it.

      The spirit could have generated vision and sound in the doctor's senses to make him take the action that was required of him.

      I have heard similar stories and I would not refer to the saviors as ghosts, but as concerned spirits or even as angels.

      As for ghosts, I don't believe in them. I don't trust them either!

      Cheers!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 8 days ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and got me thinking a lot about ghosts.

      I have never made ghosts part of my life.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 8 days ago from Olympia, WA

      You love the scary, don't you?

      So do I!

      Great read, Nell. Glad I read it in the daylight.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 8 days ago from England

      Thanks Bill, they say write what you like, lol! thanks as always.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 8 days ago from England

      Thanks Devika, I just find it fascinating, lol! thanks for reading.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 8 days ago from England

      Thanks Quicksand, yes you may well be right! thanks so much for reading.

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 8 days ago

      Very interesting stories, I hadn't heard any of those before. I could understand the Dante's poem one of a reminder maybe from the son as a child seeing his father put the manuscript there but the others do not have any kind of similar explanation!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 8 days ago from England

      Yes I did think that RoadMonkey, probably was a memory, but really weird though wasn't it? thanks for reading, nell

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 8 days ago from South Africa

      Amazing! I believe that people could be warned by "ghosts".

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 8 days ago from England

      Thanks Martie, yes I totally believe it, it happened to me a few years ago, long story. Thanks for reading, nell

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 days ago from USA

      Very entertaining ghost stories. There are lots of old ghost stories in my area (I live within 15 minutes of old plantation homes). It's interesting to consider the possibility.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 7 days ago from Spain

      Hi Nell.

      I do like your ghostly tales as you know.

      Please can you add " Have you ever sensed a ghostly presence" to your poll, Nell. Then I can vote too.

      Cheers dear :-)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 7 days ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Nell, Just once, a short while after my sister's passing, very early one morning, I had a profound and somewhat jolting experience. As I was in my kitchen, making coffee, I felt compelled to look out the glass door onto my deck.

      I saw, as clear as day, my sister, identical to her appearance in life, (including her clothing & shoes) sitting at a table, with head down, pencil to paper, a very familiar scenario of her as she sat doing crossword puzzles. This flash of her was so real and vanished as quickly as it appeared.

      I stood fairly frozen in place as my heart pounded nearly out of my chest. When I gained composure, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, yet this had startled me. In attempting to make sense of it, I attributed it to my all-consuming grief. To this day, I just don't know......This is a fabulous piece of work, Nell. Paula ( OH! By the way, she was seated at a table, which in fact was not actually on my deck at all ).

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 7 days ago from The Caribbean

      Nell, I like your conclusion. Why not think that these mysterious figures could be ministering angels? They could have been running errands for God in the interest of mankind.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 7 days ago

      These stories are highly interesting. I have no problem believing that miracles happen. Consequently, I ascribe these type of incidents to angelic beings, as opposed to ghosts. My feeling is that ghosts may be imprints which remain on earth, due to exceptionally sad lives or tragic deaths. But what do I know. Ha!

      Anyway, a great read, Nell.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 7 days ago from England

      Thanks Yves! glad you liked it, yes I totally agree with you! Angels are totally different to ghosts, but they all fascinate me, thanks as always.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 days ago from Southern Illinois

      As usual, you gave me loads to think about. There are so many stories out there about spirits/ghosts. I believe in angels, why not ghosts? Another paranormal tale that makes me wonder?

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 6 days ago from England

      Thanks Ruby, glad you liked it.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 6 days ago from England

      You never know, you may well be right Dora! its a fascinating subject isn't it? thanks.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 6 days ago from England

      Wow! Paula, that is amazing and awesome! I do believe you saw a glimpse of the other side, I do hope so! thanks as always.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 6 days ago from England

      Thanks Anne, I will do that for you, and good to see you!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 6 days ago from England

      Wow! now I bet they are haunted Flourish! amazing! thanks as always.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 days ago from Oakley, CA

      All very interesting, Nell! You have a knack for finding these fascinating tales. I do believe in the spirit realm; in fact, we have a few that reside on our property. ;-)

      One is active, the others are just residuals.

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 6 days ago from England

      Thanks Lizzy, sounds fascinating! you know I love all this stuff, always on the go trying to find those hidden spooks! LOL! thanks as always

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 6 days ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting article, Nell. I enjoy reading ghost stories. I love to think of the possibilities!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 days ago from England

      Thanks Linda, glad you liked it!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 days ago from New Delhi, India

      Very interesting read that kept the interest till the end. And I agree with you in the concluding part. The stories of ghosts are so exciting and engrossing but I do not believe in their existence as such.

      Thanks for sharing another of your wonderful hub on this subject!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 days ago from United Kingdom

      I do love a ghost story. Have you researched ghost stories in St. Ives in Cornwall. Those are really spooky.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 days ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Nell. I believe in unearthly earthly tales...there is so much that exists beyond our day-to-day perceptions. A fascinating read.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 2 days ago from England

      Hi Genna, thanks so much for reading, yes you are so right. We have no idea what is out there, but its interesting isn't it?

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 2 days ago from England

      Hi phoenix, no, I will have to go take a look, thanks as always for reading! :)

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 2 days ago from England

      Thanks Chitrangada, glad you liked it, yes I agree it can be hard to believe in them, still not sure to be honest! lol!

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