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1937 (pre): The Night Visit

Richard Curle [1883-1968], Scottish traveller and author, recounted a very strange event in his 1937 book Caravansary and Conversation. The odd event occurred when he was still just a boy in his childhood home in Scotland.

        On this particular night, he was sleeping alone in an isolated room on the second floor of the house; when, about two in the morning, he found himself wide awake for no good reason. The bed was cozy and warm, and Curle lay there looking out his window at the snow, and watching a tree branch about twenty feet away as it swayed in the wind. Then he heard the footsteps.

        The steps were steady and unhurried, and approached the back of the house; they were fairly quiet, but the night was very still. Something about the sound made him nervous. The steps came to the back courtyard of the house, where there was a gate that was bolted every night... yet the steps continued unhindered, now sounding from the paving stones in the courtyard and only pausing when they reached the back door of the house. Then he heard the steps inside the house itself, a development that changed his nervousness to fear. The steps continued steady and unhurried, patting first along the lower passage, then up the back staircase of the house. The steps continued to quietly, evenly, approach... until they stopped. Just outside the door to the room Curle was in. Terrified, the young Curle was sitting up in bed and staring at the door, not sure what to do. The handle turned, and the door opened.

An odd visitor
An odd visitor [Larger version here]

        Framed in the doorway, in the low light of the night was a figure with the face of a fox... but it was standing up on two legs, and appeared to be wearing clothing... it had a top hat on its head. Curle could see a bushy tail behind the figure. Though it seemed larger than a normal fox would be, Curle had no doubt that it was absolutely a fox of some sort, though it did not present the "rank odour" that Curle had come to associate with foxes in general. The fox gazed directly at Curle, but not with "a malign expression." Curle shouted "Go Away!" ... and the strange being did, turning away and walking back the way it came, it's steady and unhurried steps heard clearly by Curle as it took the exact same path back out of the house and across the yard, finally becoming inaudible as they reached a road leading off to the nearby woods.

        In the many years since the starnge event occurred, Curle had shared the story and mulled over various possible explanations, none of which sounded correct. It couldn't have been a simple hoax, as the physical character of the being just wasn't human to start with; and though many suggested it was a dream in which he thought he was awake, Curle was always steadfast that he was in fact fully awake... which is exactly why the whole matter seemed inexplicably to him to start with.

Particularly Paranormal

        This is one of those intriguing reports where all we have is the witness's statement; but that statement was made in a permanent record that would always be associated with said witness, Richard Curle, and he was himself a well-known public figure... so there's nothing anonymous about the matter, and Curle knew he would have people ask him about it for the rest of his life.

        If the event is true, it certainly is a strange one that has no quick resemblance to other reported paranormal events. It might be related by geography to fairy reports, but that is just a guess; and you have to wonder what purpose the entity had in showing up to begin with, if any.