A number of people on a field observed strange entity with fiery eyes. Date not given.
Transcription of the source:
A CORNISH APPARITION.-
As this story is
new to me, I send this extract from the
'Life of Samuel Drew, A.M.' (Longmans,
1834), p. 36. Drew was a Methodist and
metaphysician of repute who in 1830 declined
the honour of being put in nomination for
the Chair of Moral Philosophy in the London
University; so he is at least a witness of
credit. He was a native of St. Austell.
"There were several of us, boys and men, out
about 12 o'clock on a bright moonlight night. What
we were engaged about I do not exactly remember.
I think we were poaching; but it was something
that would not bear investigation. The party were
in a field, adjoining the road leading from my
master's [at Tregrehan mill in the parish of St.
Blazey] to St. Austell, and I was stationed outside
the hedge, to watch and give the alarm, if any
intruder should appear. While thus occupied, I
heard what appeared to be the sound of a horse,
approaching from the town, and I gave a signal.
My companions paused, and came to the hedge
where I was, to see the passenger. They looked
through the bushes, and 1 drew myself close to the
hedge, that I might not be observed. The sound
increased, and the supposed horseman seemed
drawing near. The clatter of the hoofs became
more and more distinct. We all looked to see who
and what it was; and I was seized with a strange,
indefinable feeling of dread, when, instead of a
horse, there appeared coming towards us, at an
easy pace, but with the same sound which first
caught my ear, a creature, about the height of a
large dog. It went close by me; and, as it passed,
it turned upon me and my companions huge fiery
eyes, that struck terror to all our hearts. The road
where I stood branched off in two directions, in one
of which there was a gate across. Towards this
gate it moved; and, without any apparent obstruction,
went on at its regular trot, which we heard
several minutes after it had disappeared. Whatever
it was, it put an end to our occupation, and
we made the best of our way home.
"I have often endeavoured, in later years, but
without success, to account, on natural principles,
for what I then heard and saw. As to the fact, I
am sure there was no deception. It was a night of
unusual brightness, occasioned by a cloudless full
moon. How many of us were together I do not
know, nor do I distinctly, at this time, recollect
who the men were. Matthew Pascoe, one of my
intimate boyish acquaintances, was of the party;
but he is dead, and so probably are the others.
The creature was unlike any animal I had then
seen; but, from my present recollections, it had
much the appearance of a bear, with a dark shaggy
coat. Had it not been for the unearthly lustre of
its eyes, and its passing through the gate as it did,
there would be no reason to suppose it anything
more than an animal, perhaps escaped from some
menagerie. That it did pass through the gate,
without pause or hesitation, I am perfectly clear.
Indeed, we all saw it, and saw that the gate was
shut, from which we were not distant more than
twenty or thirty yards. The bars were too close to
admit the passage of an animal of half its apparent
bulk; yet this creature went through, without
effort or variation of its pace. Whenever I have
read the passage about the 'lubber fiend' in Milton's
'L'Allegro,' or heard the description given of the
'brownie' in the legends of other days, I have
always identified these beings, real or imaginary,
with what I, on this occasion, witnessed."
66, Marchmont Road, Edinburgh.
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