Saturday 30 August 2008

The Lady at Number 16

A ghost story from the city of Valletta, Malta. Told by storyteller Dale Gilbert Jarvis, and recorded live at the "Voices in the Vaults Summer Storytelling Series" on Friday, August 29, in the Newman Wine Vaults Provincial Historic Site, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

A classic ghost story, incorporating motif E281 - “Ghosts haunt house.” While this story could be told about countless port towns, this particular tale is based on a story from the walled city of Valletta, on the island of Malta. A printed version of the story can be found in my book "The Golden Leg and other Ghostly Campfire Stories" (St. John's: Flanker Press, 2007).

The story is said to be true, and the street in question is St. Ursola Street, in the heart of the old city. An early version of the Maltese tale was written up in Blackwood’s Magazine in the 1800s, and a more recent version can be found in Joseph Attard's book “Ghosts of Malta” (Malta: Publishers Enterprises Group, 1997). Another good source for Maltese stories of the supernatural is Vanessa Macdonald’s “The Unexplained: Ghost Stories From Malta and Beyond” (Valletta: Progress Press, 2001). When I was in Malta in 2006, I had the privilege of meeting Vanessa and her family, and sharing ghostly tales from both sides of the Atlantic. I would certainly recommend her book to anyone with an interest in true hauntings.

Meet the mysterious lady by clicking here.

OggVorbis and streaming audio versions of the story available from