jump to navigation
  • Transvestite Hunt for Fake Ghost August 27, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    In some ways this is a normal nineteenth century ghost story: we are in 1836. A man dresses up as a ghost; he scares some people; a group of toughs go out and look for him; it ends in tears: the story is entitled, be warned, ‘flogging a ghost’. However, this one has some special features. First of all, the man didn’t just frighten passersby, he assaulted women. The use of ’embrace’ and ‘amorous’ in the report below may even be a cack-handed early nineteenth-century way of saying ‘rape’.

    Much excitement has been occasioned within the last few days in the neighbourhood of the Wandsworth-road in consequence of the mysterious appearance and disappearance of a supposed ‘exhuman being’ all in white, whose perambulations were confined to certain lanes and other insolated places in the vicinity Short’s Fields. The taste of the perturbed spirit was exceedingly equivocal, inasmuch as rumour with its ‘hundred tongues’ stated that this ghost seldom attacked other than the fair sex.

    What is then interesting is the local ploy to end the ghost’s reign of terror. It involved, from what Beach can see, the local rugby club putting on dresses.

    Some of the rougher sex Friday night last, at a quarter to the witching hour to be exact, sallied forth, and placed themselves in various parts of the ghost’s domain. They were disguised a la petticoat, and carried arms— not exactly legitimate, but as they were to be used against a supernatural agent they were excusable on that account. The assailants waited but a little while ere they lured from his lair the supernatural object. The ghost suddenly sprang from the road side, approached, embraced one of the party nearest in his clutch.

    Then punishment.

    But the amorous spirit that embraced met a deserved fate; he was quietly dragged from his intended victim, and lashed to a lamp post, in which position he must have felt that the flogging system was not altogether done away with. The pseudo ghost proved to be the son of a respectable innkeeper, resident in Wandsworth-road.

    Other flogged ghosts: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

    Ruth in WA, 29 Aug 2017: Okay Beachy, I gotta call you on this one. I’m not offended by the title, it’s just an improper usage of the term transvestite. The “rougher sex” did not make a habit of dressing as women, nor did they even call themselves by that title. They were guys who put on some female articles of clothing in order to catch a perv (yes, that’s what I’d call the guy who was doing the molesting). And I doubt if he was doing anything more than grabbing some women and kissing them. Victorian papers weren’t shy about saying what happened to someone when they didn’t use names. What was being done was enough to ruin a woman’s character by their standards without being namby-pamby about it. I couldn’t even call them cross dressers because they weren’t said to make a habit of dressing that way.