Quotes healing


… my amazed and angry soul dropped, gulf by gulf, into that horror of great darkness which is spoken of in the Bible, and which, as auctioneers say, must be experienced to be appreciated.

Despair upon despair, misery upon misery, fear after fear, each causing their distinct and separate woe, packed in upon me for an unrecorded length of time…


This is from “The House Surgeon” collected in Actions and Reactions (1909).

The storyteller has encountered, a wealthy businessman whose house is haunted by a terrifying atmosphere, which is strongest in a particular bedroom.

He is asked to stay and experiences the terror himself. He investigates the history of the house and finds that a woman had died falling from a window in that room. Her sisters had always believed that it was suicide and that she was eternally damned

When he finds that she had probably fallen out the window by accident the  sisters are freed from their obsession and the darkness is lifted. ”

‘Then I hear a thud in the engine-room. Then the noise of machinery falling down—like fire-irons—and then two most awful yells. They’re more like hoots, and I know—I know while I listen—that it means that two men have died as they hooted. It was their last breath hooting out of them—in most awful pain. Do you understand?’

‘I ought to. Go on.’

‘That’s the first part. Then I hear bare feet running along the alleyway…


This is from “In the Same Boat“” in A Diversity of Creatures (1917).

Two young people, strangers, are both afflicted by terrible dreams which have made them into drug addicts. Their doctors have the idea of introducing them to each other and they meet on a train journey.

It turns out that both their mothers had  had a terrible experience   just before they were  born and this has caused each of them to experience tearful dreams.

Once they have shared the knowledge of their terrors, they are able to resist them and are healed.

‘  there was Martin Ballart, the only one of his family who returned—the son of a good woman who died at his birth.

. He was not clever nor handsome, but he had the eyes of a joyous faithful dog, and the laugh of Pan himself. And he came back at the last blasted, withered, dumb—a ghost that gnawed itself.’


This is from “The Miracle of St Jubanus”  in Kipling’s last collection Limits and Renewals (1932)

The priest in a little French village tells of Martin, a laughing, carefree boy who had gone off for the war and come back from the trenches like a ghost, alone, un-speaking, as if deaf and dumb.

He is saved by a hilarious  episode in the church during Mass. . Two  little altar boys  get tangled up in a big umbrella and tumble down among the congregation, struggling to escape.  A dignified elder of the village who tries to release them gets caught by the beard, and all the people, including Martin , collapse in a gale  of  laughter.

He has been  set free  by the joyous power of mirth.