Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghost Detector from Society for Physical Research

As many of you know “ghost hunters,” “spirit investigators” and “spook hunters” have been around for many years. Little did I know that there was a society out of London focused heading most of these investigations. This article was found on and was from the Trenton Evening Times paper out of Trenton, New Jersey and appeared in November of 1906. There are many names mentioned in this article and some might surprise you. 


They Verify Ghost Stories and
 Run Down Visitors from
Chicago, Ill. Nov. 23. –Surely one of the most unusual businesses is that of a ghost detector. There are hundreds of them scattered thoughtout the world. There are a few in Chicago and all of them, both in this country and abroad, work under the direction and for the power and glory of an association in England that is backed by some of the most conservative and best known scientists and thinkers in the United Kingdom.
A ghost detector is an investigator for the Society for Physical Research, which was founded in London in 1882. The society, which already has published twenty-on  octavo volumes of proceedings, in addition to bales and bales of records of investigations made by the ghost detectors, has had as its presidents men like the Rt. Hon. O.J. Balfour, late Prime Minister of England; Professor William James, the noted psychologist of Harvard University, and brother of the mystical Henry James; Sir William Crookes, of Crookes tube fame and Professor Henry Sidgwick, a philosopher, whose book, “The Method of Ethics,” is a standard.
Now, these men are not to be fooled by the ordinary or garden variety of ghost story. A ghost story has to be well ballasted and well buttressed to receive credence at their hands, and it is to sift the wheat from the chaff, to throw the bad ghost stories into the discard and place the real, genuine ones in the best possible light that there is in existence a class of workers whose work deals not with men of flesh and blood and has little to do with material tangible things.
It is the business of these investigators to run down every case of apparition,  ghost walking, presentiment, materialization, ghost photographs, telepathy and the like that they hear of. Expenses is no object. Each investigation costs money, but influenced by a sincere desire to get to the bottom of every story of the other world and it knows that such inquiries cost money.  One of the men who has contributed liberally to the work of the society is Andrew Lang, the champion two-handed author of the world who writes as much in England as the Rev. Cyrus Townsend Brady does in this country.
Every time that the officials of the Society for Physical Research hear of any extraordinary ghost story or other story that has to do with the supernatural they dispatch an investigator –a ghost detector – to the scene. It is difficult to deceive this personage. He has read about all there is to read of ghost lore. He enjoys the personal acquaintance of many persons who have seen ghosts or who have thought that they have seen them. He knows mediums, trance artists, materialists, hypnotists and other artists in spiritualism and its kindred pursuits, and what he doesn’t know about the inhabitants of the spirit would isn’t worth knowing.
He investigates. It doesn’t make any difference how long it takes him. Neither time nor money is considered when the cause of truth is at stake. He stays on the ground until he has gathered every bit of available evidence, until he has interviewed everybody who by any chance might know anything about the case.
Then he prepares a long written report full of signed statements and circumstantial detail, and this he mails back to London. It is gone over by other experts and if there is anything in it worthy of preservation in the archives of the society it is filed away along with the reports made by the hundreds of other investigators.

Spirit Warns of Attack

Another article found while searching on that appeared in the Patriot out of Harrisburg, PA on the 3rd of August in 1917. We have all heard of the evil behind the Ouija boards but it seems these ladies have a different story about a message they received. Mrs. Martha Place and her daughter, who lived in Evansville, Indiana, received a warning about some neighbors, the Moxley’s. 
Get a Ghost as Body Guard;
Spirit Warns of Attack
  A spirit protector, speaking through the Ouija board, warned two Evansville women against a man’s attack. The intruder lay three feet away, under their bed, and listened to the alarm message he was powerless to prevent.
  THE EVANSVILLE GHOST EXPECTS TO PROVE HIS EXISTENCE IN COURT OF LAW.  He will not remain a creature of hearsay, to be believed in or scoffed at according skeptical about the reality of the spirit world.
  And all Evansville asked this:
“What kind of a witness will a ghost make when the Ouija board puts in its first recorded appearance in court?”
  Mrs. Martha Place and her daughter Margaret, 811 John street, lonely took up their Ouija board – to find they were not as much alone as they had thought.
“Look out for Nat and Barb” spelled the board.
  A breeze blew back the curtains of the bedroom where the women sat. “It’s a little cooler,” said Mrs. Place to her daughter.
The curtains, as they billowed in, touched the bed beneath which lay the man. He held him break as he heard the ghost messenger warn the two women against him.
  “Is this Henry? Mrs. Place asked the board.
  “Yes!” Look out for Nat and Barb!” repeated the board.
  Henry is a son of Mrs. Place, electrocuted 10 years ago.
  “I have told you before, Henry”, said Mrs. Place, shaking a reproving finger at the tripod which had spelled out the warning message by darting from one letter of the alphabet to another, “no to talk that way about the Moxleys.” Nathaniel and Barbara Moxley living across the street, were the “Nat and Barb”, of the ghostly warning.
  The board would say nothing further, except repetitions of its ghostly alarm.
  The two women put the board away and went to bed.
  Mrs. Place heard a noise, like a scratching on the matting under the bed. It was the cat, she and her daughter thought.
Again Mrs. Place heard the noise. It was not the cat. She leaped form the bed ran into the kitchen for a match. There was the sound of a body falling.
  “I ran back toward the bedroom,” Mrs. Place told the police later. “A man dashed past me through the kitchen into the garden. I followed. It was Nathaniel Moxley.
  “We found paper on the floor. He must have dropped it crawling from beneath the bed. It was a summons to Nathaniel Moxley to appear in court as witness in a divorce case. We gave it to the police. They arrested him.
  “When everything was quiet we took out the Ouija board again.
  “I told you to look out for Nat and Barb.” Henry spelled. And there the man was under the bed within reach, while we were warned.
  Nathaniel Moxley has been bound over to the grand jury.
  If the Ouija board is asked to be exhibited in the grand jury room a new era in court procedure will be ushered in.
  The cross examination of a ghost is a judicial novelty. 

Pig Knuckles and Ghost Dog

This is the first one that I’m sharing that has a ghost dog mentioned, so still fitting with the season I felt that I must share. This one was found just like the other Halloween related articles that I’ve been sharing this month. This one appeared in the Plain Dealer out of Cleveland, Ohio in March of 1911.
Apparition Comes Back for Pigs Knuckles and is
so Real That Family Cat’s Tail Grows to
Twice its Natural Size.
     It may not be believed generally, but Joseph Henn, who conducts a cafĂ© at 1746 Payne-ave N.E., says it’s true, and Alvador Leon, a wine salesman for the Swiss Colony Wine Co., says it’s true and John Warner a contractor at 1423 E. 2d-st, says it’s true, that night before last a ghost dog or a dog ghost was seen in Henn’s place between midnight and 1 a.m.
     The dog was recognized by Henn as one he owned for seven years. Three years ago the dog was killed by a Payne-av car and one of the most inexplicable features of the strange case is that the dog ghost or ghost dog appeared on the one day when Henn had pigs knuckles for lunch. The dog in life was fond of pigs knuckles and this may or may not account for the apparitions.
The authorities given are agreed that the dog was seen plainly, distinctly and unmistakably, in the dim light of the saloon, just after Henn had turned out most of the lamps preparatory to closing the place for the morning. They are also agreed that the dog stood still and wagged his tail until Leon suggested that as a tost of the ghost dog’s being that a material can be tied to his ghostly tail. Then the dog just faded into the atmosphere.
     The 15-cent size can that was to have been tied to the tail of the ghostly dog set on the bar for some minutes, when Henn’s cat – a real live cat and not a ghost cat – returned form a visit to a neighbor’s cat and meowed to get in.
     It was admitted and the can was removed for the bar. Then, suddenly, the ghost dog or dog ghost reappeared. The cat must have seen it, too, because the material t tail of the material cat grew materially larger and the cat arched its back and when one very large yowl the cat leaped to the top of the back bar and the ghost dog making no sound stood looking up at it and wagging its ghostly tail. Leon kicked at the ghost dog but his foot went through the space. The authorities, above quoted, say the dog just faded. Henn remonstrated with Leon for kicking his ghost dog.
     The four witnesses to the two appearances of the ghost dog are certain that they saw it and that the above are the facts of the case with the exception of one detail. That detail is that Leon was talking about his mother who has been dead ten years and who always liked dogs. Leon says his mother’s name was Labrada and that she died in Madrid.
     “I recognized the ghost dog, immediately,” said Henn. “It was named Fido in life, but since it has appeared in ghostly form I have changed its name to Banquo. I don’t think that Leon did the right thing trying to kick it and tie a can to its tail. I am going to have pigs knuckles for lunch tomorrow and see if I can coax the ghost back. If the ghost reappears he will be welcome. He will be treated right and will always have a home. He was a good dog in life and was my friend and I believe his appearing is a harbinger of good luck.”

Well fed apparition chasing Brookfiled's youth

A ghost from Brookfield and West Brookfield seems to be popping up out of the ground and scaring many of the citizens, including school age children. This happens to be another article found on the website. It appeared in the Boston Journal out of Boston, MA in May of 1904. 
Well fed, Almost fat, Apparition Pops Out of the Ground, 
Says Creepy Things and Fades From View.

Short and rather stout.
Garbed in filmy white.
Utters terrible sounds.
Chases people with outstretched arms.
Appears and disappears as a magic.
Has thrown the citizens into a state of terror.
Is being nightly searched for by the police and citizens.

Brookfield, May 3 – An unearthly looking, blood chilling ghost has been chasing a number of Brookfield and West Brookfield people until  many in this community have been thrown into a state of terror and the citizens, headed by the police, have been out hunting for this ghost several nights.
The ghost appears to be a short, rather stout woman, garbed in filmy white, with unearthly features, who has followed several people along Brookfield streets with outstretched arms, uttering terrible sounds, only to vanish a mysteriously as she or “it” appeared.
Popped Out of the Ground.
Two nights ago a part of girls form this town and West Brookfield meet the ghost at the corner of Central and River streets. They were walking up Central street when the apparition seemed to rise form the ground in front of them and with outstretched arms and hideous face glided swiftly toward them.
With shrieks of terror the girls turned and fled down Central street retracing their tracks. A crowd about the post office heard their terrified cries and ran to meet them. The girls were hysterical and it was several minutes before they could tell their story. They said the ghost glided after them full 100 yards and then at the corner of River street. Disappeared as though swallowed up by the earth. This was about 8:30.
Chased by Woman in White.
Patrolman E.R. Irwin, club in hand headed the band of citizens who went to search for the ghost. The girls were so frightened they had to be taken to their homes. Nearly an hour later, while the citizens were still searching for the ghost, they met Thomas McNamara, a High School student, running down Main street. He was very white and badly frightened. He had not heard of the girls meeting the ghost, but told of being chased by a “woman in white” and his description tallied exactly with that given by the girls.
Since then several others have shown every sign of fear and insisted that they saw the same ghost. Last night the citizens were out searching for the ghost and they went out again tonight. No one can bring to mind any person lately deceased or deceased with in their memory, who tallies with this description everyone is wondering why this gruesome looking ghost should haunt quiet Brookfield.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Ghost of Willie Fort

With only a few more days left till the night of fear, Halloween, I thought I would continue to share the rest of the articles. This one and was found on  This one was also on  it appeared in the Charlotte Observer out of Charlotte, North Carolina in June of 1922. This might be of special interest if you’re researching the surname Haley or Fort from the Forestville area of North Carolina. 

Resident of Cemetery Pays
 Night Call to Mr. Haley and
 Relates His Troubles.
RALEIGH, June 3 – Persons living near Forestville, Wake county, 14 miles north of Raleigh are considerably aroused by a ghost who makes nightly visits and tells his troubles at the home of W. H. Haley, a well known farmer of that section, according to a story published here today Mr. Haley declares that spirit has called at his home every night for the past five months, and that he revealed himself as a man who died in that vicinity 14 years ago. More than a score of other persons have talked with the ghost, the newspaper asserts.
Mr. Haley declares the ghost first visited his home on the night of January 14 when he and the other members of his family were awakened by vigorous knocking at the front door. He got up and went to the door, but no one was there. For several nights thereafter, he declares, he was aroused by this strange rapping. Determined to catch the intruder, Mr. Haley secreted himself in the yard and it was there, he declares, that a voice spoke to him. He looked in every direction but could see nothing that looked like a man. The voice followed him into the house and since has been a regular caller.
Several nights ago, Mr. Haley says Willie Fort was invited voice to visit his grave in the Forestville cemetery. A number of young men of the neighborhood are said to have gone to the burying grounds in place of young Fort and the ghost failed to show up. One of the party went to the Haley house and demanded with an oath to speak with the ghost.  Deaf to the pleading of Mr. Haley not to speak thusly of the voice, the young man entered the house. The voice came and the question was asked if he would speak to the young man. The ghost replied very distinctively “Tell him to go to hell.” Mr. Haley declared.
His statement corroborated by members of his family and by others from the community who declare they heard it.   

Mr. Dorrity just wanted peace

No matter what Mr. Dorrity would say to the community members of Shreveport they had to see “it” for themselves. It being the “Little Girl Ghost” that would appear at night. This article appeared in the Times-Picayune out of New Orleans, LA in August of 1915. This is another example of an unexplained ghost that some were able to find a way to make some extra cash.


Shreveport, La., Aug. 13. –When is a ghost not a ghost? Mr. Brown M. Dorrity, insurance agent and fraternal order organizer, whose home is at the corner of Allen avenue and Logan street, Shreveport, could intelligently reply to this question, but the thousands of eager and insistent sight-seers who for nearly a week have nightly thronged the street in front of the Dorrity home, to catch a glimpse of the apparition of a young girl that stands on the Dorrity doorstep, have evidently no conception whatever of the meaning of the query.  
The “Dorrity ghost,” as it has come to be called, refuses to yield to any sort of pressure.  All sorts of schemes have been hatched for the laying of this mute noeturnal visitor, but the date all have failed. The ghost, or apparition, or wraith, or whatever it may be is in the form of a little girl, about nine years of age, wearing a “middy” blouse, white skirt, white hose and shoes.

Mr. Dorrity’s explanation of the figure is simple but the sightseers will not accept it. Her it is: The light form the street are shining through a window of a house diagonally across the street from the Dorrity home, strikes a mirror, and reflected back, silhouettes the form, of a little girl through some trees and vines outside of the Dorrity home.
The first discovery of the “ghost” was made several nights ago when two automobilists, passing the house, observed it. The auto broke down, and one of its occupants relieved his feelings with a sting of voluble oaths. His companion admonished him not to talk so loud, “as there was a little girl standing on the gallery.”
It was midnight and voluble autoist wondered what the little girl was doing there at that hour. He talked to her gently, but firmly, but the girl not only did not respond, but faded from view when the autoists approached her. Somehow, the auto was fixed in a hurry and the autoists speeded to town and spread the news.

The following night several hundred persons visited the corner and saw the ghost. The next night there were several thousand and the police had to be sent for to keep the crowd within restraints. In spite of the frantic efforts of Mr. Dorrity to stem the tide of humanity that nightly wends its way to the vicinity of his home, it has increased nightly, Thursday night nearly three thousand persons are said to have visited the spot.
Auto parties are organized for the purpose of “seeing the ghost.” Enterprising jitney drivers have advertised apparition in the Shreveport papers, offering to take sightseers to the place at so much per head. One auto liveryman offered, in an advertisement, $20 in gold for the best solution of the “ghost mystery.”
The infection has spread to cities surrounding Shreveport. Out-of –town parties come here for no other purpose than to take a peep at the girl-wraith.

The interest at Texarkana is so strong, that some moneymaking genius is arraigning a special excursion to Shreveport in order that Texarkanians may have an opportunity to see the figure of the girl at reduced rates.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dorrity is literally “pawing the air.” He knows it isn’t a ghost, but the sightseers don’t and while they remain unconvinced, he must suffer.
The strangest part of the story remains to be told. The branches of the trees in front of the Dorrity home were cut; Mr. Dorrity appealed to the Mayor of Shreveport and that functionary ordered the arc light at the corner extinguished; boards were nailed up on the Dorrity gallery to conceal the vision; a wire gallery –but the girl remains. She was seen Thursday night, as plainly as she had ever been. Mr. Dorrity tried turning the garden hose on the most insistent of the spectators, but he hasn’t succeeded in lessening the human tide at that particular corner.

If it is a ghost, whose is it? A story was circulated that some years ago a little girl touched the electrical apparatus of an inventor at that particular corner and was electrocuted Investigation, however, revealed the fact that if the incident occurred at all, it was in an entirely different part of Shreveport. No little girl ever died on the corner, so if the ghost is a ghost, it is a stranger in those parts.
Shreveport has rarely been shaken as this ghost, or alleged ghost, has shaken it. Nobody, strange to say, is afraid of it, but everybody wants to see it. Perhaps it is the light. Perhaps it isn’t. At any rate, Friday the thirteenth, is a good day for a ghost story. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Troops meet crazy Madge

Yes here is another “crazy” story for the Halloween season. This one like some of the others that I’ve shared they month came from and has a twist of sorts. Appearing in the Dallas Morning News out of Dallas, TX on June of 1901 it tells the story of a mans experience while he was on picket duty.  

It was a cold, stormy night in the spring of ’63. The elements seemed to be jealous of the storming our troops had done that day and were taking their spite out on us. The thunder was incessant and a frequent intervals came great blinding sheets of lighting, making everything as light as day. God’s aim is better than a Yankee’s, and I feared he might see fit to aim one of those bolts at me. So I felt a deal more nervous out alone on picket duty, with the lighting playing hide and seek with me thank I had felt surrounded by my company with the enemy’s lead pouring down on us like water.
In order to keep warm kept walking back and forth before my post, although the slush made walking very tiresome. Every few minutes brought my steps by an old house, long since deserted by man, but not by nature.  She had covered it with luxuriant vines, as if to hide the signs of decay. The roof was completely gone, probably carried away by a storm similar to this one. The tall pines looked into the rooms below with evident curiosity. What they saw God alone knew, for men scarcely ever ventured near there. Many tales of ghost and spirits, and midnight cries whispered about it, and it was given a wide berth. I was sorry it was at my post of duty.
In the army one hears many stories of “haunts” and midnight wanderings of white-robed spirits and the strongest-minded of us can nor hear these tales without a shudder. We boys were prone to believe such things then – most of us coming from a black mammy’s care, whose entire stock of narrations were of disembodied spirits.
I must confess I felt “shaky” and lonely and wished I was in camp. It was about twelve when a most blinding flash of lighting revealed the old house vividly and played around me as an affectionate dog plays around the one he loves. I stood quite still, somewhat stunned, I guess, when suddenly I heard a shrill feminine voice; cry out “I see you!” of course she saw me - anybody could see me - but where was the owner of the voice? It sounded so natural I thought at first it must be a human. I called out when my speech had been given back, but there came no answer. I tried to persuade myself it was my imagination. That I was tired and excited – but when the next flash revealed me standing in the same spot and the voice called out, “I see you,” I knew it was just a pure ghost and nothing else. That ghost saw me run. I went to the camp as fast as I could, told a few of the boys of the ghost at my post; and well armed they returned with me to investigate. “I see you all,” it cried as we neared the house, and the boys suddenly withdrew from its angle of vision. Every time the lighting came it called, “I see you all.” At last we got ashamed and mustered up courage enough to enter the house, and on the stairway sat a little golden-haired woman – too little to harm a fly. She turned to flee, but I pinioned her in my arms and had her carried to the guardhouse for the night.
The next morning her father, a refined gentleman called for her. “She isn’t just right, sir,” he said with a choking voice as he place her in his carriage. I’m only daddy’s blue – eyed Madge,” she said. “And as crazy as a loon,” I observed as I walked away followed by the cries of the boys asking for my experience with ghosts.
Weatherford, Tex

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dead Man Walking

Don’t let the title of the article lead you in the wrong direction. I of course thought the title would lead to another perfect article from for the Halloween season. This one appeared in the Kansas City Star paper out of Kansas City, Missouri in November of 1918. I’m sure some of us have been told or told someone else they have twin walking around. Well this unknown twin had some amazing similarities. 


A Man Who Committed Suicide Had
Been Identified As Absent Member
of Family When Relatives Saw Him on Street.

An unidentified man committed suicide last Sunday at 214 Missouri Avenue by taking poison. Efforts to identify him failed. The body was sent to the John J. Sheehan undertaking rooms, Thirty-first and Campbell streets, and a small news item was carried in the newspapers the day following.
And then ensued an amazing recital that was vouched for by Mr. Sheehan.
A woman who had seen the newspaper notice called to see the body Wednesday. She said she had separated from her husband and he had threatened to end his life. She took one look at the man lying on the undertaker’s slab.
“It’s my husband,” she said.
Then she decided to make sure. The dead man had a stubby iron gray mustache, had worn a blue serge suit, had carried a brown cane, and there was an Odd Fellow’s pin in the lapel of his coat. He was 6 feet and weighted slightly more than two hundred pounds, the undertaker estimated. His age was about 70 years. Every point tallied with the woman’s description of her husband.
“Let me look at his forehead,” the woman said.
Just below the forelock she counted eight small scars. Her husband had exactly the same marks on the forehead, she said.
“My husband’s right leg was broken between the knee and the ankle and the leg was two inches shorter than the other,” she said.
An examination of the dad man showed he had the same physical imperfection.
Positive in her identification, the woman asked her daughter to view the body. The daughter arrived, took one look at the dead man and fainted.
The woman’s son and son-in-law came to assist in the funeral arrangements. They, too, were certain of the dead man’s identity. The relatives left. The husband and father was to be given a fitting burial.
The members of the family obtained burial clothing and returned to the undertaker’s in a motor car. Near their destination one of the women, looking from the motor car, saw a man walking on the sidewalk. She screamed and fainted. Then the other woman looked at the man and she fainted.
The car was stopped. A man dressed in a blue serge suit, walking with a limp, carrying a brown cane, wearing an Odd Fellow’s pin and with eight small scars on his forehead entered it. The women revived expressed joy and chagrin. The party proceeded to the undertaker’s.
The returning “mourners” were met at the front door by the Undertaker Sheehan. When the “corpse” himself stepping in the undertaker gasped, then recovered sufficiently to invite the stranger to the rear room to meet his double.
So an unidentified man who committed suicide last Sunday at 214 Missouri Avenue, will be buried tomorrow morning, unmourned and unattended. His resting place will be in the potter’s field of the Highland Park Cemetery. Kansas side, and Jackson County will pay the funeral expenses. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - Sadly the Separation Continues

February 1, 1944
Omaha, Nebraska
Dear Dad,
  Received you gift today and its really swell. The locket & bracelet are just beautiful, so tiny. They are a little big now but I can hardly wait to put them on her. Thank you Dad they are just what I wanted.
  Have you heard from Dr. or Paul? Paul says he’ll know pretty defiantly whether or not he'll have to go between the 1st or 15th so I’m thinking of leaving in 3 weeks. I can imagine how proud you were seeing Jr. name on the Honor Roll. I’m proud too.
  Well I just fed the baby and have her back to sleep. I hope, she’s really awfully good tho, and she’s so cute. She’s growing so much and just looks at everything she can focus her eyes. They are turning brown too.
  I’m feeling swell and have to call the Dr. to let him know how I am. Then Sun. I’ll be able to go out.
  I’m going over to Uncle Ch as decided that would be better than having them here.
  Mrs. Rita came up to see me & the baby she sure that she was a little doll.
Sunday I got grandmas trunk so I’m going to start packing. I called Mrs. Brown yesterday, she wants me over for dinner before I go, so I’m going to be pretty busy seeing everyone and preparing to leave. If Paul must go I think I’ll leave anyway & go to W.Va. I haven’t made any arrangements with Aunt Marg & she doesn’t want anything but somehow I feel I’d like to give her something. ????? I’ll need all I can get now.
  I ?????? to Jr tonite and I had a letter from Joyce telling me about the make up ??? Guess she’s very pleased & she thinks you have very good taste, so do I.
  I haven’t said anything to Grandma all tho from all I’ve heard she really made a fuss over Aunt Mar notifying everyone & was quite insulting. I’ll be glad to get away from all the fracas for its quite nerve wracking.
  The baby is really fussing but I’m letting her cry for if I spoil her I’ll really be tough. She’s just mad not hungry. It gives her exercise sure wish you could see her.
  Dad I wish you good luck on the house and I’ve been thinking if Paul leaves I’ll go to W.Va. then maybe by the time of your vacation, you’ll have things settled. You can come get me & help me take care of her on the train. Does that sound ok?
  What do you think of the Japs & their terrible atrocious. It’s just too horrible I hope we bomb off the face of the earth. I can’t help but believe it for I read that magazine you had on their treatment of the Chinese.
  I have to take the certified copy of Carol Ann’s birth certificate back to the City hall for they didn’t put down her name. Anything to delay me getting it sent in to the Army. And I’ll need that extra money too.
  Boy I’ll sure be glad to see a change of environment I think they are rather tired of me too. I guess I can hardly blame them for I’ve stayed longer than I ever should have. But as John says I really have learned a lesson sometimes I think my lessons will never end.
   Well Dad I should try to get some sleep & I haven’t taken my exercises I have to keep them up if expect to get my figure back. I don’t weigh what I did in fact I weighed myself today, I weigh about 132 ½. I’ve lost my big behind, I hope I can keep it down.  But I have a tummy to lose too. Really feels good tho no to have that extra weight I really didn’t need.
  Well I’m gonna close and will write again Thurs.
  Thanks a million again Dad for the gift. They are perfect.

Lots of Love
Elaine & Carol Ann
NOTE:This is a two page letter handwritten on both sides, envelope addressed to Mr. F.L. Cummings, P.O. Box 178, Seattle 11, Washington. The return address is: Mrs. Paul Moore 3117 So 52 St., Omaha 7, Nebr. mailed on Feb 2 1944.

February 3, 1944
Omaha, Nebraska
Dear Dad,
  Well I just put the baby to sleep. She’s been good all day but was a little fussy tonite she’s really growing and I believe she’ going to have brown eyes. I’m feeling fine and will be glad when I can go downtown.
  Paul called me long distance last nite and reversed the charges. He was very upset for he hadn’t heard from me since last Fri. But when I told him I hadn’t heard from him in 11 days while I was in the hospital he kinda pulled in his horns. Then to top it off three days have gone by this week & I haven’t heard from him. He told me to keep planning on coming to see him???? he seemed worried he wouldn’t be there. He put a deposit on a house so he would have a place for us to stay.
  He hasn’t written to Aunt Marg yet and I don’t know what I’ll do if he doesn’t. If you write to him try to explain the necessity. Will you?
Evelyn & Johnny were over yesterday to see the baby. Evelyn gave me a dollar for her. Then Shirley came over too.
  I had a letter from Aunt Gladys but she didn’t have much to say except to congratulate us, said C.J. boyfriend was operated on for appendicitis.
  Then I also got a letter back from the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Dad they don’t have a record of my seasonal payment on file. I wrote them all the details about it buy they can’t seem to find it. I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to pay it again. You know I sent a money order but like a fool I didn’t keep the stub. Like I say my lessons will never cease, seems like I have more thinks to worry about I should be getting my next check this week. I’ll have $100.00 but that won’t last long after I pay for the telephone call, the telegrams & any my train ticked I’ll also have an express bill too when I send the trunk.
  Haven’t heard from Junior for a while but suppose he is busy. Grandma called today saying she had a letter from you. By the way don’t you think you’ll be able to come see me on your vacation no matter if I’m with Paul or in W. Va.? I’ll be planning on that for sure.
  The baby was crying so Ken Jr. felt sorry for her so he goes in & pat her for a while & shacked her bed & finally quieted her for awhile. He feels pretty proud for he figured he had the right touch. ????? she’s at it again guess she’s really going to bawl – he’s in there again. I’ll have him experienced I imagine her crying nerve racking when they aren’t used to it. The all take their hand at it except Uncle Ken.
  Did I tell you I was going over to Uncle Chas Sunday. They were coming over here but dumb Mary doesn’t care to have Aunt Loretta here. So I had to change plans. I hope they don’t have any brawls till I leave for I don’t want to be implicated. It all dates back to when Beverly was up here & her going over there. Aunt Loretta said something to me that I don’t understand nor take the way Aunt Marg said it was intended. If I had I never would have told her but I just told her what Aunt Loretta said about Bev causing so much trouble & saying thinks about Betty which weren’t true. Things are too confusing & ??? to me but I don’t want Aunt Marg to get me in bad with them.
  I can hear Kenneth giving Bob heck for stomping up the stairs while the baby is asleep. The men are the only two who show any consideration there. The rest figure she should get accustomed to noise. It make me awfully nervous but there’s nothing I can do.
  You know its sure funny but since I’ve had the baby I can hardly keep warm at nite. I woke up & I’m just soaked with sweat & then get the chills. Maybe I lost too much blood.
  Well Dad I’m gonna close fro I’ll have to get some sleep for I never know how long the baby will keep me awake. And after I feed her at 9 in the morning I’m up for the day regardless. And I have several things to do.
Lots of Love
Write soon.

NOTES: This is a two page handwritten letter on both sides. The envelope is addressed to Mr. F.L. Cummings, P.O. Box 178, Seattle11, Washington. It was mailed Feb 4 1944 the return address is Mrs. Paul Moore, 3117 St. 52 St., Omaha 7, Nebr. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Dancing on the Grave

You guessed it another spooky find on and it reminds me of a saying I’ve heard in many movies. I’m sure many of you have heard someone in a movie say something about dancing on a dead man’s grave but who would have thought it would be a ghost. “SAW A GHOST” appeared in the Jackson Citizen Patriot paper out of Jackson, MI in May of 1900. 

In a Cemetery That Danced on Dead
 Men’s Graves.

To those that are inclined to scoff at the residents near Mapledale cemetery, at New Haven, Conn., because they are excited over a ghost that dances nightly over new-made graves the point is made that the believers have seen the wraith while the unbelievers have not.
For three dark nights many persons have gathered at the cemetery gates, and ghost, being a “well-bred and considerate spectra has not disappointed them. It has walked regularly and danced with its usual grace.
Any one who does not believe in ghosts should talk to John Bertram and George E. Backmailer. They laughed at the suggestion of disembodied spirits promenading in the cemetery or anywhere else, and the suggestion that a ghost would dance they declared was manifestly absurd. The young men announced that they would clear up the ghost mystery and placed themselves on guard in the cemetery, thereby winning many compliments for their pluck until the ghost appeared. Then the two brave young men took to their heels and never stopped running until they were exhausted.
They said that nothing would persuade them to enter the cemetery again at night so long as the weird spiritualists were among those on guard. They also saw the ghost. They explained it by saying that it was a spirit seeking some one it had wronged in life.
It has not been determined whether it is a man ghost or a woman ghost, but it is properly attired, according to all traditions, in a long, flowing robe of white. It violates one of the rules for ghosts, however, in that it makes its appearance before midnight. It was about 11 o’clock Thursday when it suddenly appeared out of nowhere, and after floating about for half an hour melted into thin air in the most approved fashion.
From the stories of those who have seen it, the ghost appears to be most capricious in its movements, having fixity of purpose. Sometimes it moves slowly, and then it darts along. Occasionally it stops. At times it hops from mound to mound and when it finds a new-made grave executes a curious, slow and dignified dance. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Alaskan Indians, Witches and a Flying Duck

There are so many interesting articles that can be found while searching and this one isn't any different. It appeared in the Kansas City Star in Kansas City, Missouri in October of 1915. A young daughter is asked by her father to follow along in his practices of witchcraft and takes her on an adventure. 

Little native Girl Accuses Her Father of Flying In the Form of a Duck,
Carrying Her on His Back, Across a Bay.

From the New York Hub
Juneau, Alaska – A complaint of the practice of witchcraft among the natives of Killisnoo was made some time ago to W. G. Beattie, superintendent of native schools for Alaska. An investigation in the Killisnoo village let Superintendent Beattie to bring a number of the tribe to, Juneau for examination by District Attorney Smiser in the United States Court, with the result the wizard was found, but no law could be found on which to base a complaint of the witness.
From the testimony of the witnesses examined before the district attorney, the story of the witchery centers around a blind man, his 13-year-old daughter and her grandmother. For several months the blind man has been announcing himself as a wizard and has claimed responsibility for practically all the deaths that have occurred in the village Killisnoo for the last five years.
According to the story of the little native girl, Mary Moses, or Klan-tosh, her Indian name, the first time she knew that her father was a wizard was one night a “long time ago” when he told her that he was a wizard and that he wanted her to learn to be a witch in order that she might carry on his work when he died.
In order that she might learn the secrets of the practice she said her father told her she must visit with him on old graveyard across the bay, Mary stated that her father told her to take hold of his foot and in a moment they “flew” across the channel to the cemetery. While there she said they were able to look through the earth down into the graves and could see the bodies in them. After wondering about the graves for a time her father transformed himself into a white duck and on his back she says she rode back across the channel. Mary told the district attorney that the night she learned many things about witchcraft.  
The girl’s story was told with straightfordwardness and without contradiction and the reason she said she wanted something done with her father was because she feared he would kill her grandmother with witchery. The child’s mother is dead and she is apparently very fond of her grandmother, and is evidently sincere in her fear of her father’s power.

In his remarks before the district attorney, Superintendent Beattie said: “The question of witchcraft is one of the most difficult problems we have to handle among the natives. The existence of witches is certainty with them and there is absolutely no possibility of convincing them that there are no such things as witches. It isn’t stubbornness on their part, it is simply and sincerely their belief that there are among their tribesmen persons who have power to cast a spell over others of their number.”  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bald Eagle Ghost vs Jesse Pates

I can’t help it when looking through all of the newspapers on I find so many articles that fit into the season. This one appeared in the Trenton Evening Times out of Trenton, NJ in May of 1898. Thanks to the determination of Jesse Pates and some local hobos the mystery around the Bald Eagle ghost can be put to rest. 

Cool and Nervy Trick of the Hoboes
That Was Discovered and Ended by an
Unsuperstitious Railroad Man and Three

It is not often that a nineteenth century ghost can live for years on its reputation as did the Bald Eagle ghost of the Beech Creek railroad. Almost everybody in this section has heard of the Bald Eagle ghost. It was none of your sheeted night prowlers inhabiting a tumble down country house. The Bald Eagle ghost was an up to date spirit. It was simply a red light.
Ordinarily there is nothing extraordinary about a red light, but when the red light appears on a railroad that is different matter. Had the Bald Eagle ghost been content to exercise its functions in the fastness of the mountains, in all probability it would have continued to enjoy its incorporeal existence indefinitely. But the Bald Eagle spirit was unreasonable. It insisted on making a spectacle of itself just where it was most out of place and unwelcome.
Some years ago, old railroad men say, the Bald Eagle ghost was born. The midnight express was bowling along through a gap in the mountains when suddenly dead ahead, a red light flared out on the track. The engineer, scenting danger, reversed the engine and stopped the train, but a search failed to show why the train had been flagged. The train steamed off finally. A month or so later the express was again flagged by the light, but, as before, no cause could be assigned for the proceeding. After this the signal was seen at irregular intervals, always in the lonely gap. Trainmen at length began to entertain a superstitious fear for the red light, and in time it became generally known as “the ghost.” Old hands at the break wheel believed it to be the spirit of a track watchman who had been killed at the spot where it generally appeared.
Skeptical superintendents lay in wait for the ghost. Extra watchmen were employed to patrol the district, but to no avail. It was no fool ghost. It knew its business. However, it reckoned without Jesse Pates.
Pates had long meditated an attack on the Bald Eagle ghost, and one night after his train had been delayed an hour by the light his resolution reached the point of action. Going down to the village store, he broached his scheme to the gang.
“Any of you fellows like to go ghost huntin some night.”
Everybody looked interested, and at last one young fellow demanded:
“Well, where’s your ghost?”
“What’s the matter with the Bald Eagle ghost?” he asked. Some of the crowd shivered, but pates went on: “There’s a shining mark for a good ghost hunter. I don’t believe in this fool talk of dead watchmen comin back. That Bald Eagle ghost is a pure fake, and I’m goin after him. I need about three good men. We’ll go to the Narrows to lay for Mr. Ghost. We’d better each have a gun, too, in case of accidents. Any of you fellows go along?”
There was silence for a time, but at last three young fellows volunteered to accompany him. It was arranged to start on the following evening, and at the appointed time the ghost hunters met. At the Narrows Pates distributed his men along the accustomed scene of the ghost’s perambulations and awaited results. Crouched in a clump of bushes, he himself lay for hours undisturbed except by the sound of passing freight trains. Shortly before the time for the midnight express he heard a whispered conversation off to his left.
“Have you go the lantern, Pete?” someone asked.
“Yep,” a second voice replied, “I’ve got her lit but I’ll keep her hid till I see the headlight.”
“It’s a dead easy thing,” the first voice went on. “Blow the light out and throw it in the clump of bushes before you jump on.”
Pates saw through the whole scheme in a second. Circling around, he signaled to his companions to close in, and in a short time they had the men with the lantern surrounded.
“Throw up your hands and show your light.” The ghost hunter ordered.
In an instant out came the light and up went three pairs of hands. The hunters found themselves gaming at a trio of dirty, grinning tramps.
“So you’re the ghost that has been walking here all these years?” Pates asking in disgust.
“We never said we was no ghost,” one answered.
“Well, what in blazes have you been flaggin trains her for ten years, then?” Pates continued angrily.
“I guess, since we’re caught, we might as well give the snap away,” one of the tramps said, with a grin. “You see, we come over the hill from the Pennsy, and, not carin to walk more’n is necessary, we got on the graft of flaggin the trains and baggagin to the end of the division. It was a great snap, but we spoilt it now. Every hobo on the road knew about this easy mark. We kep’a lamp there in the bushes especial for the occasion.”
“Well, I’m jiggered.” Pates remarked, “if that ain’t the coolest piece of nerve I ever heard.  No look here. Drop that lamp and git, and if I ever hear of this here ghost walking ag’in there’ll be a hobo walkin in his future home before his time. Git and spread the news that the Bald Eagle ghost is dead. Git, I say, for we’re goin to shoot after we count 50!”
But before Pates finished the tramps had disappeared, and the Bald Eagle ghost hasn’t walked since.  
–Altoona (Pa.) Letter in New York Sun.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - A Newborn with Military Separation.

Jan. 28, 1944
Omaha, Nebr.
Dear Dad,
  Well I’m home now so will try to get my letters caught up on. It really feels good to be out of the hospital.
  The baby is fine and I’m feeling pretty good. Bob & Deb are sure crazy about her. They hold her all the time. All tho the baby is pretty good.
  I got my first letter from Paul yesterday. He’s been in L.A. I’ve been quite put out to think he didn’t write at least at that time but I’ll remember it. He was in LA. I don’t intend to write to him all week & boy I’ll be getting a L.D. call wanting to know what the heck is the matter.
  The baby is sure fusing now cause I told them to put her in bed. She still has another hour before feeding.
  Aunt Jill was up and she’s really crazy about her. She gave her a little dress. Then Darlene gave me 3 receiving blankets, a baby book a bunting a lovely silk nitie.
  I’ve been feeling pretty good although my back is still pretty weak. I’ll be glad when I can set up for awhile without wanting to bend over.
  I’m glad you had a nice time in Spokane. Wish you could have come here but I’ll see you this summer. Had a letter from the Moore’s they are expecting Ernie to come home on furlo. Jr. wrote to me & also another on to uncle Chas. I think he should write to grandma J. and Aunt Marg. Grandma J. & Ernie sent the baby two dollars.
  Well Dad this is short but I’ve so many letters to write & I want to write to Jr.  
  Write soon I promise a longer letter next time.
  We had a thunder storm the other nite. Imagine in Jan. We are having very peculiar weather.
Lots of Love
                Elaine & Carol Ann

                P.S. I named her Carol Ann.
NOTES: The letter was handwritten on both the front and back of one sheet of paper. The envelope was addressed to Mr. F.L. Cummings, P.O. Box 178, Seattle 11, Washington. The return address was from Mrs. Paul Moore, 3117 So 52 St., Omaha 7, Nebr. The postage stamp shows it was mailed on Jan 29 1944 out of Omaha Nebr.

January 31, 1944
Omaha, Nebraska
Dear Dad,
                Well here comes another letter. I received yours yesterday. I’m glad you are having such a nice time with the Spaulding’s.
                The baby and I are fine. She’s really a little peach. Her behavior at nite is really good. I was only up with her and hour and a half. I’ve been rather constipated and it fills like I have a hemorrhoid but I guess it isn’t.  Anyway it’s pretty uncomfortable. I got some agar gall so hope that will work.
                Paul wrote and says they had an inspection of their clothing. It really looks like he will be going back. I can hardly stand to think of it.
                Say I had a letter from grandma and Great Aunt Hanna passed away last week from a heart attack. I was terrible shocked at the news. Just wonder what will become of her estate. Her attorney called grandpa. I guess grandpa-grandma have been pretty sick too.
                So Jr. wants candy bars. They aren’t so hard to get anymore are they? I haven’t heard form Joyce lately but expect to very soon.
                The weather has sure been peculiar it’s so mild out. The other nite we had thunder, lightning and it rained last nite. Actually winter will be gone before it arrives. If I can I’d like to leave here maybe by the end of Feb if the Dr. will let me. For I want to see Paul so bad.
Annie called me and she had been sick with a cold. Says she wants to come see the baby so bad but can’t come till she’s over her cold. Aunt Loretta called today they were coming over but they have colds too. So they’ll be out sometime next week. They are going to bring grandmas trunk. I’ll be glad to get it for then I can put some of my things out of the way.
I’m sure going to have a lot to do to get ready to leave here. I have so much stuff and everyone wants me to come over and bring the baby. I’ll be glad to leave but would be happier if I had a home of my own to go to. Paul spoke of a little house he heard about but I don’t know anymore about it. Sure wish I had some of my other things with me for I don’t know if anything like linens, dishes will be furnished.
                Ernie is home on furlo so spose he’s tickled over that. Wish Paul could have gotten one. Ernie should be commissioned pretty soon. Did I tell you Wayne was promoted to 1st Lt. He’s getting resign up there.
I’m embroidering a little ice box scarf for Aunt Marry. It’s really cute. Has a Mexican donkey on it.
                Well Dad this is another short letter but I’m nearly out of stationary & news. I’ll be glad when I’ll be able to wait on myself for its awful to depend on others.
Well I’ll close & write soon.
                Keep having a good time and take care of yourself.
Lots of Love
                Elaine & Carol Ann (handwritten)
I’m glad you like her name. I think it goes very nice with her last name.

NOTES: This letter was handwritten on once sheet of paper on both sides. The envelope was addressed to Mr. F.L. Cummings, P.O. Box 178, Seattle, Washington. Then return address was Mrs. Paul Moore, 3117 So 52 St. Omaha 7, Nebr. The postage stamp reads that it was mailed on Jan 31 1944 out of Omaha, Nebraska.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is it Really Witches?

While continuing to look for interesting articles,, which fit in with the upcoming holiday of Halloween this one, caught my eye. It appeared in the Kansas City Times out of Kansas City, MO in December of 1888. Obviously witches in the title caught my eye but then after reading it I wasn’t sure the reporter was really referring to witches.  I wonder if he was finding a creative way of reporting on the meeting of gossiping women in the community. I don’t know judge for yourself and let me know what your think.

When Witches Should Appear.
(New York Mail and Express.)

Guests at 5 o’clock tea must fancy themselves now and then participating in the ceremonies round a witches’ cauldron. The shades are drawn, but gas is tabooed, and the candles do not burn very high. In the semi-obscurity on tiptoes from group to group, waiting for the mysterious revels to begin. The logs in the fireplace throw out a fitful blaze, casting all manner of strange lights and shadows. By and by they burn down and only a handful of red coals is left. Then voices drop almost to whispers, and the only light seems to be shed by the blue flame of alcohol in the tea stand over which my lady’s kettle hangs simmering. It is weird, almost ghostly, and the curious thing is that nobody seems to know what it is for. Somebody says that somebody else came home from the country with a bruise on her forehead from a fall received while riding, and refused to light up until her face was well. Society caught the gloomy infection, and it is time some impetus was given the other way. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Do you w-a-n-t to be s-h-a-v-e-d?"

Who’s up for a visit from the “Barber’s Ghost”, let’s just say I’m glad that I don’t require a shave. A sneaky traveling man finds a way to play on the fears of others and comes away a little richer. This was an article that appeared in the Weekly Wisconsin Patriot out of Madison, WI in 1863.

A gentleman, traveling some years since in the upper part of this state, called at a tavern and requested entertainment for the night. – The landlord informed him that it was out of his power to accommodate him as his house was already full. He persisted in stopping, as he, as well as his horse, was almost exhausted with traveling. After much solicitation, the landlord consented to his stopping, provided he would sleep in a certain room that had not been occupied for a long time, in consequence of a belief that it was haunted by the  ghost of a barber, who was reported to have been murdered in that  room some years before.
“Very well,” says the man, “I’m not afraid of ghosts.”
After having refreshed himself, he inquired of the landlord how and in what manner the room in which he was to lodge what haunted. The landlord replied that shortly after they retired to rest an unknown voice was heard in a protracted and trembling accent saying, “Do you want to be shaved.”
“Well,” replied the man, “if he comes he may shave me.”
He then requested to be shown to the apartment, in going to which he was conducted through a large room where were seated a great number of persons at a gaming table.
Feeling a curiosity which almost every on possesses after having heard of ghost stories, he carefully searched every corner of his room, but could discover nothing but the usual furniture of his apartments. He then lay down, but did not close his eyes to sleep immediately; and in a few minutes he imagined he heard a voice saying –
“Do you w-a-n-t to be s-h-a-v-e-d?”
He rose from his bed and searched every part of the room, but could discover nothing. He again went to bed; but no sooner had he began to compose himself to sleep, than the question was again repeated. He again rose and went to the window, the sound appearing to proceed from the quarter, and stood awhile silent. After a few moments of anxious suspense, he again heard the sound distinctly; and convinced that it was from without, he opened the window, when the questions was repeated full in his ear, which startled him not a little. Upon minute examination, however, he observed that the limb of a large oak tree, which stood near the window, projected so near the house that every breath of wind, to a lively imagination, made a noise resembling the interrogation –
“Do you w-a-n-t to be s-h-a-v-e-d?”
Having satisfied himself that ghost was nothing more nor less that limb of a tree coming in contact with the house, he again went to bed, and attempted to get asleep; but he was now interrupted by peels of laughter, and an occasional volley of oaths and curses, from the room where the gamblers were assembled. Thinking that he could turn the late discover to his own advantage he took a sheet from the bed and wrapped it around him, and taking the wash basin in his hand, and throwing a towel over his arm, proceeded to the room of gamblers, and opening the door walked in exclaiming in a tremulous voice –
“Do you w-a-n-t to be s-h-a-v-e-d?”
Terrified at the sudden appearance of the ghost, the gamblers were thrown into the greatest confusion in attempting to escape – some jumping through the windows, and others tumbling heels over head down stairs. Our ghost, taking advantage of a clear room, deliberately swept a large amount of money from the table into the basin, and retired unseen to his own room.
The next morning he found the house in the utmost confusion. He was immediately asked if he rested well, to which he replied in the affirmative.
“Well, no wonder,” said the landlord, “for the ghost, instead of going to his own room, made a mistake, and came to ours, frightened us out of the room, and took away every dollar of our money.”
The guest, without being the least suspected, quietly ate his own breakfast, and departed many hundred dollars the richer by the adventure.