I suppose I had been melodiously snoring for about an hour, when I was awaken by a touch which seemed to be a cross between the dab of a jelly-fish, the tickle of a feather, and a strong draught from a window.
Sleepily opening my eyes, I beheld an object standing by the bed side which I at once recognised as a Ghost of the first water. Growling to myself something about “dashing those mutton chops which I had had for tea”, I turned over and endeavoured to resume the slumber which had been so unwelcomely disturbed. but it seemed that my nocturnal visitant was determined not to be put off, for again the spectral touch was drawn across my face, and at last I saw that I was in for a regular interview with the departed spirit, so, putting a good face on the matter, I sat up in bed carefully propped the pillows up behind me with a view of obtaining as great a degree of comfort as was compatible with the existing circumstances, and settling myself as cosily as I could, took a good look at the ghost.
A rather out-of-condition ghost it was, I thought, looking decidedly the worse for worse for wear; its spectral garments, through which the furniture of the room was clearly discernible, were in a high state of ventilation, whilst its bones were not at all perfect, several ribs being missing on one side, and others here and there being only prevented from falling asunder by sundry buts of string with which they were tied to the larger bones. But what made this an unique specimen amongst the tribe was, that it was seated on a spectral machine, whose peculiar shape I at once recognised as the ghost of an old hobby-horse.
Having taken stock of the spectre, I addressed it somewhat sharply, “Now then, what the blank do you want here? look sharp, ‘cos I’m jolly sleepy.” Then it suddenly occurred to me that I should be unable to hear any oral reply, so I added “But look here, old son, I’m stone deaf, so you must write what you want to say. Just put your hand in my left hand coat pocket there, and you’ll find a lead-pencil and piece of paper.
(From the “Deaf and Dumb Magazine” No 201, June 1881, Vol IX: 86.)