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Striking a Corpse Candle

A CLERGYMAN in Carmarthenshire had a son who came home one night very late and found the doors locked against him. Not wishing to disturb his father and mother, and fearing also their reproaches and chidings, he went to the man-servant's bedroom, which was over the stable. He could not awake the man-servant, but while standing over him he saw a small light issue from his nostrils. He followed it out. It went over a foot-bridge which crossed a brook and on to the road which led up to the parish church. After following the corpse candle for some time, the young man, just to see what would happen, struck at it with his stick. It burst into sparks, but afterwards reunited into a flame as before, which stalked on until it finally disappeared in the church yard.

Not long afterwards the man-servant died: at his funeral the bier broke at the spot where his master's son had struck at the corpse candle, and the coffin fell to the ground.

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