Thursday, October 30, 2014

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. 

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