A Disincarnated Being The Clarendon Spirit Tells Who He Is to a Psychist Voices from the Other World A Sworn Report Concerning the Strange Doings at Dagg's House
Originally published by the Ottawa Free Press, November 25,1889
The enterprise shown by the Free Press in despatching a reporter to personally enquire into the strange proceedings at the house of George Dagg, a farmer residing at Clarendon Front, Pontiac County, has attracted general attention to that spirit-haunted locality, and the result has been a general rush of curiosity seekers to investigate these phenomena. Those who went could make nothing out of the matter and for the most part laughed at the whole affair and attributed the alleged supernatural occurrences to human agency. A correspondent apparently a past master in black art did explain the cause of the persecution of the Dagg family but in too vague a manner to satisfy the general public. It has remained therefore for Mr. Percy Woodcock, an adept in psychological matters, to act as the medium between the spirits, who, he claims, are the cause of all the trouble and an unbelieving public.That gentleman's adventures are little else than marvellous and the sworn testimony he exhibits seems to prove satisfactorily that there actually exist airy spirits beyond the ken of mortal eye. Mr. Woodcock, who is well known as an artist in Ottawa, Montreal, New York and Paris, spent three days with the Dagg family and certainly did not waste his time. The spirits "cottoned" to him at once, for he had hardly arrived at the house before an invisible inhabitant of the family woodshed addressed the artist as follows: "I am the devil; and I'll have you in my clutches." Mr.Woodcock declined to be scared, and therefore the spirit called him opprobrious names.
A conversation then ensued between Mr. Woodcock, the voice and Mr. George Dagg who afterwards jointed them, lasting for five hours without a break. Mr. Woodcock took the position that he had to deal with an invisible personality, as real as though there in the flesh, and on this basis endeavored to shame him into better behavior and stop persecuting the Daggs who had admittedly done him (the voice) no harm. On the other hand the voice resisted for a long time, but finally seemed to yield to the expostulations of Mr. Woodcock and Mr. Dagg and agreed to cease the use of obscene language and finally admitted that it had been actuated solely by the spirit of mischief, of having fun, as it termed it, and had no ill will against anybody except Woodcock and the little girl Dinah, to whom he seemed to have a decided antipathy. Mr. Woodcock's later experiences are of the same remarkable nature. In order to convince the outside world that there was no humbug in the matter, he drew upon a "report" which seventeen responsible citizens of the neighborhood signed. This document sets forth that the curious proceedings treated of being on the 15th of September and were still in progress on the 17th November. The events chronicled are, briefly, that fires broke out spontaneously in different parts of the house,that stones were thrown by invisible hands through the window; that various household articles were thrown about by invisible agency; that a mouth organ was heard to be played and seen to move across the floor; that a rocking chair began rocking, that when the child Dinah is present (?), a deep gruff voice like that of an aged man had been heard at various times, both in the house and out doors, and when asked questions answered so as to be distinctly heard, showing that he is cognizant of all that has taken place, not only in Mr. Dagg's family but also in the families in the surrounding neighborhood; that he claims to be a disincarnated being who died twenty years ago, aged eighty years; that he gave his name to Mr. George Dagg and Mr. Willie Dagg, forbidding them to tell him; that this intelligence is able to make himself visible to Dinah, little Mary and Johnnie, who have seen him under different forms at different times, at one time as a tall, thin man with a cow's head, horns, tail, and cloven foot, at another time a big, black dog, and finally as a man with a beautiful face and long white hair, dressed in white, wearing a crown with stars on it.
The above document is signed by the following: John Dagg, Portage du Fort, Que.; George Dagg, Portage du Fort, Que.; William Eddes, Radsford, Que.; William H. Dagg, Arthur Smart, Charles A. Dagg, Bruno Morrow, Portage du Fort; Benjamin Smart, William J. Dagg, Shawville, Que.; Robert J. Peever, Cobden, Ont.; R.H. Lockhart, John Fulford, Portage du Fort; George G. Hodgins, Richard E. Dagg, Shawville; George Blackwell, Haley's, Ont.; William Smart, John J. Dagg, Portage du Fort.
After Mr. Woodcock left on Sunday night the following extraordinary manifestation is said to have been given. The voice requested that some persons whom it named should be sent for. As these gentlemen were far away Rev. Mr. Bell, a Baptist clergyman, was persuaded to come. Mr. Bell read a chapter from the Bible, the voice accompanying him through it and occasionally going in advance of the clergyman. When they knelt to pray the voice responded. Mr. Bell prayed for the family whom he said had brought the trouble upon themselves by trampling the Bible underfoot, or words to that effect, and finally exorcised the spirit, commanding him in the name of the Saviour to depart, whereupon the spirit laughed and said it was all words, that Mr. Bell had better stick to photography. Mr. Bell left without directly speaking to the voice at any time.
Afterwards the voice sang a hymn in so beautiful a manner as to cause the women present to shed tears. On Monday morning Mr. Woodcock went over to the house again and whilst there the three children came rushing out of the house wild-eyed and fearfully excited, saying that they had seen a beautiful man dressed in white with gold things on his head and stars in it, and that the man spoke to them. The child Dinah said she heard the man say that Woodcock had said that he was not an angel, but that he would show that he was.Thereupon the apparition went up in the air in a blaze of fire and disappeared. This final transformation scene is supposed by Mr. Woodcock to be the last of the mysterious events at the Dagg mansion. It seems a pity that Mr. Woodcock's visit and the ghastly pranks should cease at the same time.