Dancing in a shroud

BOOK Dancing in a shroud pic-page-001

An American paper publishes a dispatch from Richmond (Va.) which says:- Several months ago Mrs Marion Hillitz, a highly respectable and wealthy German lady, was taken ill, and, in order to receive proper nursing and treatment, was removed to the Hospital of the Little Sisters of the Poor, in the western part of that city.

She was very popular with the inmates of that institution, and during her stay made many friends.

About two weeks since, Mrs Hillitz, who had been in bad health, grew suddenly quite ill. During her illness she received every attention from the good sisters, and all that medical skill could do to alleviate her sufferings was done.

She grew worse, however, and some of the physicians came to the conclusion that she could not live much longer.

Last Saturday night Mrs Hillitz died. The body was, according to the custom, shrouded and laid out in the parlour of the institution.

The good sisters, who had watched by the bedside so faithfully, were gathered by the side of the corpse at midnight when the clock struck twelve.

Suddenly, as they looked upon her face still in death, the sunken eyes appeared to flash, the blood came back to the faded cheek, and, as though imbued with superhuman energy, the dead body rose up from its resting place, which was draped with a black pall, emblematic of mourning, and spoke to the affrighted watchers, saying, “I am not dead yet, but I will die soon.”

The old lady then danced around the room, sang, and shouted in a loud, ringing voice.

The inmates of the hospital were thunderstruck and paralysed.

As soon as the nurses recovered from their fright, they placed the old lady in bed, where she lingered until about nine o’clock, when she again apparently died.

The affair has created the most intense excitement, and thousands of persons visited the hospital.


The Edinburgh Evening News, June 1, 1878.

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