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94 Haunted houses [Back to Contents] Belfast Newsletter, 23 August 1850, The Radiant Boy. It is now nearly fifty years since the late Lord Londonderry, the late Viscount Castlereagh, was, for the first time, on a visit to a gentleman in the North of Ireland. The mansion was such a one as spectres are fabled to inhabit. The apartment, also, which appropriated to Lord Castlereagh, was calculated to foster such a tone of feeling from its antique appointments, from the dark and richly-carved panels of its wainscot, from its yawning width and height of chimney, looking like the open entrance to a tomb, of which the surrounding ornaments appeared to form the sculptures and entablature, from the portraits of grim and severe-eyed women arrayed in orderly procession long the walls and scowling a contemptuous enmity against the degenerate invader of their gloomy bowers and venerable halls and from the vast, dusky, ponderous and complicated draperies that concealed the windows and hung with the gloomy grandeur of funeral trappings about the hearse-like piece of furniture that was destined for his bed. Lord Castlereagh examined his chamber. He made himself acquainted the forms and faces of the ancient possessors of the mansion as they sat upright in their ebony frames to receive his salutation; and then, after dismissing his valet, he retired to bed. His candles had not long been extinguished when he perceived a light gleaning on the draperies of the lofty canopy over his head. Conscious that there was no fire in the grate, that the curtains were closed, that the chamber had been in perfect darkness but a few minutes before, he presumed that some intruder must have accidentally entered his apartment; and, turning hastily round to the side from which the light proceeded, saw, to his infinite astonishment, not the form of any human visitor, but he figure of a fair boy who seemed to be garmented in rays of mild and tempered glory which beamed palely from his slender form, like the faint light of a declining moon and rendered the objects which where nearest to him dimly and indistinctly visible. The spirit stood at some distance from the side of the bed. Certain that his own faculties were not deceiving him, but suspecting he might be imposed on by the ingenuity of some of some of the numerous guests who were then visiting in the same house, Lord Castlereagh proceeded towards the figure: it retreated before him; as he slowly advanced, the form, with equal paces, slowly retired; it entered the gloomy arch of the capacious chimney and then sank into the earth. Lord Castlereagh returned to his bed, but not to rest: his mind was harassed by the consideration of the extraordinary event which had occurred to him. Was it real? Was it the work of imagination? Was it the result of imposture? It was all incomprehensible. He resolved in the morning not to mention the appearance till he should

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