Warning: If you have a visual impairment, use the manuscript transcript version including the Lucy Maud Montgomery’s foot notes and contextual annotation references.

Chapter 20 - (VERSO)


very real. Her imagination had run away with her and she held the spruce grove in mortal dread after nightfall. But Marilla was inexorable. She marched the shrinking ghost seer down to the spring and ordered her to proceed straight away over the bridge and into the dusky retreats of wailing ladies and headless spectres beyond. H12

“March now”

Anne marched. That is, she stumbled over the bridge and went shuddering up the horrible dim path beyond. Anne never forgot that walk. Bitterly did she repent the license given to her imagination. The goblins of her fancy lurked in every shadow about her, reaching out their cold fleshless hands to grasp the terrified


LMM Notes

LMM Note H12
"Oh, Marilla, how can you be so cruel?" sobbed Anne. "What would you feel like if a white thing did snatch me up and carry me off"?

"I'll risk it," said Marilla unfeelingly. "You know I always mean what I say. I'll cure you of imagining ghosts into places. March, now[.]"


"headless spectres": Montgomery was a Washington Irving fan, and his short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1819–20) was widely available and could have influenced Anne's imaginings.


a dusky picture of a narrow dirt path between dark trees

"horrible dim path beyond": Montgomery's photo of a "forest path."
Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph, L.M. Montgomery Collection