The Ghost of Jones’s Hotel




Jones’s Hotel, Londonderry

In life we are in death – the hotel in question is about as gay as a family vault: a severe figure of a landlord, in seedy black, is occasionally seen in the dark passages or on the creaking old stairs of the bleak inn. He does not bow to you – very few landlords in Ireland condescend to acknowledge their guests – he only warns you: – a silent solemn gentleman who looks to be something between a clergy man and a sexton – ut migraturus habita!

The migraturus was a vast comfort in the clause.
It must however be said, for the consolation of future travellers, that when at evening, in the old lonely parlour of the inn, the great gaunt fireplace is filled with coals, two dreary funereal, candles and sticks glimmering upon the old-fashioned round table, the rain pattering fiercely without, the wind roaring and thumping in the streets, this worthy gentleman can produce a pint of port wine for the use of his migratory guest, which causes the latter to be almost reconciled to the cemetery in which he is resting himself, and he finds himself, to his surprise, almost cheerful. There is a mouldy looking kitchen, too, which, strange to say, sends out an excellent comfortable dinner, so that the sensation of fear gradually wears off.

William Makepeace Thackeray, The Irish Sketchbook, 1843



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