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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts

Andrew Lang

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Still more frequently they represent fantastic landscapes and romantic scenes, as in an historical novel, with people in odd costumes coming, going and acting.  Thus I have been present when a lady saw in a glass ball a man in white Oriental costume kneeling beside a leaping fountain of fire.  Presently a hand appeared pointing downwards through the flame.  The first vision seen pretty often represents an invalid in bed.  Printed words are occasionally read in the glass, as also happens in the visions beheld with shut eyes before sleeping.

All these kinds of things, in fact, are common in our visions between sleeping and waking (illusions hypnagogiques).  The singularity is that they are seen by people wide awake in glass balls and so forth.  Usually the seer is a person whose ordinary “mental imagery” is particularly vivid.  But every “visualiser” is not a crystal seer.  A novelist of my acquaintance can “vis. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Versatile Scots literary critic and man of letters Andrew Lang is at it again. In this commodious and rangy essay Land collects many stories of ghosts---or, as he intimates at times, hallucinations or outright lies---with an eye towards their fascinating qualities as everyday encounters with the...more

Love it! Interesting, fascinating, a bit psychological with a dose of mystery. This is not really an art of fiction, more like a story collection.

Best known for his collection of fairy tales, Andrew Lang also wrote about other subjects, including ghosts. This is not a collection of ghostly short stories. Rather, it is Andrew Lang's exploration of the "true" ghost stories and prophetic (or supposedly prophetic) dreams.

"The author has frequ...more

I chose this title because of the author. It was fascinating to read Andrew Lang's "other" interests (besides folk and fairy tales). This read a bit dry and was not "stories," but the mindset of the day and retellings of actual sightings and events of people in the late 1800's and earlier. There...more