Tuesday 23 March 1668/69

Up, and to my office to do a little business there, and so, my things being all ready, I took coach with Commissioner Middleton, Captain Tinker, and Mr. Huchinson, a hackney coach, and over the bridge, and so out towards Chatham, and; dined at Dartford, where we staid an hour or two, it being a cold day; and so on, and got to Chatham just at night, with very good discourse by the way, but mostly of matters of religion, wherein Huchinson his vein lies. After supper, we fell to talk of spirits and apparitions, whereupon many pretty, particular stories were told, so as to make me almost afeard to lie alone, but for shame I could not help it; and so to bed and, being sleepy, fell soon to rest, and so rested well.

23 Mar 2012, 11:32 p.m. - Terry Foreman

"After supper, we fell to talk of spirits and apparitions, whereupon many pretty, particular stories were told" L&M note there had been said to be a ghost at Hill House, Chatham http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1661/04/08/

24 Mar 2012, 12:12 a.m. - Robert Gertz

"Ah!!!...Sam'l? What the devil are you doing home and in our bed? You're supposed to be in Chatham tonight..." "I can ride back early tomorrow...Middleton and company will never know I left." "But...Oh..." smile. "Did they tell ghost stories again?" "Yeah...But Bess..." "Hmmn?..." "I dreamed you died...And your ghost was not too happy with me." 'Sam'l...If I died, I'd be mad but I'd forgive you." "Swear?" "For Deb Willet, yes." "Oh...Ummn...Perfect then..." "Sam'l? Why are your teeth chattering?"

24 Mar 2012, 2:41 a.m. - Jenny

Entries like this are the reason I love the diary so much. Telling ghost stories, which are great fun at the time, but not so much fun when you go all alone to your bed.

24 Mar 2012, 3:05 p.m. - Terry Foreman

Jenny, I wonder whether these "many pretty, particular stories" were "great fun" for Pepys, given his history at this place (see the link above to the 8 April 1661 visit and the annotation-discussion of that issue).

24 Mar 2012, 3:33 p.m. - Terry Foreman

Concerning the serious, empirical -- we'd say "scientific" issue of spirits -- see Pepys's report and assessment of the discussion of the reported drumming Devil in Wilts. (See also Lord Braybrooke's footnote about the King's investigation of the 1664 phenomenon.) http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1663/06/15/

26 Mar 2012, 5:02 a.m. - Jenny

Yes, I remember when Sam last visited Chatham. He went to bed pretending to be scared "for mirth's sake". Then when the pillow fell over he jumped out of his skin.

26 Mar 2012, 5:07 a.m. - Jenny

Re-reading I see the pillow didn't fall over, Sam had forgotten he had thrown it there.