I have been haunted by a ghost all winter long—the figure of a woman dressed in black. Her back is always to me; I never see her face. I know she is dead, though, and of another time by the trailing black gown she wears, high-buttoned with its whispering train. And from the veil and length of crepe that trim her wide-brimmed hat I know she is in mourning. She never speaks or beckons: I know her story from the pattern of her movements. Striding before me with long and grieving steps (the way ghosts will), she travels on a little way, then turns, lifts her arms in a despairing gesture—like one about to throw herself upon a grave— and vanishes into the air.

She first appeared to me one night late in November at around eight o’clock. Other people saw her, too. As she came drifting down the aisle of the Vineyard Theatre someone giggled nervously: was it to be a ghost story, then? But the phantom neither spoke nor...

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