Timeless Tuesday – December 2013

ct20111189112/31/13 As 2013 draws to a close we would like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year, and evidently part of being prosperous means you don’t let your money be “hoodoed” in your bank!! This is another story from the Chicago Tribune (they do seem to love posting about “spooks”) edition 01.11.1891. The full transcription is below or you can read the Original publication

Chicago Tribune edition 1/11/1891 page 25

Mr. Johnston, Who Was Murdered in a Lodge-Room, Appears to Torment the Assassins – He Howls Down the Chimneys, Grabs Small Boys, and Sends Runaway St. Louis Girls Home Reformed – The Other Spook Less Sensational

Have you ever seen a real ghost? Do you know anyone who has seen a real ghost? How did the ghost look, what did it say, and how did it act? Answers are requested for publication in THE SUNDAY TRIBUNE. The experiences must be genuine. Contributions should not exceed 500 words and they must be accompanied by the names and address of the writers.

Kansas City, Mo., Jan 9 – (Special Correspondence) – There have been haunted houses, spirit-frequented churches, graveyards where goblins strolled about, and even phantom policemen, but this city is the first to have a haunted police station. It is Station No. 1, at present the headquarters of the department. It stands at the southwest corner of Fourth and Delaware streets, just one square west from where the old red-brick house stood, in which for thirty-five years the court of municipal justice held sway and where the new city hall is now being erected. The present police headquarters were known to be haunted, too, before Chief Speers made the lease, and there were many persons who declared they had seen the ghosts. But the Chief signed the contract for three years, ghosts or no ghosts, and there the police are.

These ghosts – there are two of them – are not both in the station house proper. One haunts the stable in the rear, in the hay-loft of which, years ago, a man hanged himself, and now, it is averred, the restless ghosts of the suicide makes night horrible by his presence. The station-house ghost, on the other hand, confines his perambulations and antics mainly to the third floor of the building. The third floor, therefore, has been cut off from the rest of the building by closing the stairway above the second floor, where Matron Moore, Surgeon Iuen, and the police court are located. A private stairway also cuts through to the rear room on the third floor, to Clerk McGee’s quarters. He says that the ghost has never yet visited him, but he can hear it walking in the great hall above every evening.

The Origin of One of the Ghosts

Now as to the origin of this ghost. Many years ago, when the building was occupied as a bank, a negro lodge of some secret society held its weekly meetings in the hall above. One morning when Clark, the janitor, went to open the lodge room, to sweep out the dust and cigar ashes of the night before, and incidentally also to keep an eye out for “sleepers” in the shape of nickels or dimes dropped from the crap game, he chanced first to glance through the “peep-hole,” which is still in the door. The sight he witnessed within straightened out the wooly kinks in his hair, and made him stare with all his might. On the floor of the lodge-room, about at the middle and partly under a table, lay the mutilated body of a black man, almost afloat in a pool of blood. The corpse had been decapitated, and the severed head lay a few yards away. Between the head and the trunk of the dead man was a big broad-ax used in the lodge’s ceremonials, and as a ray of sunlight slanted through the half-open shutters it gleamed brightly across the gory edge of the blade.
The janitor went down-stairs three steps at a jump with whoops that were heard a square away and attracted a crowd of curious people, to whom the terrified black related his frightful discovery. The murdered man, it turned out, was one Johnston, but by whom he was killed was never known. The crime would have been forgotten long ago, probably, had not the ghost remained with all its suggestive memories. Johnston was killed by a pistol-shot through the heart, as was discovered at the post-mortem. The murdered man, as well as those in the room when he was killed, were all members of the same secret society, and in order to impress upon all the urgent necessity for never revealing a word about the crime, the theory has been that a frightful oath was imposed and that a part of the ceremony was the chopping off the victim’s head, as blood and the mark of the ax was found upon the surfaced of the altar.

The ghost of Johnston was seen for the first time at the next lodge meeting the following week. The society was putting Abraham Wilson through a degree. In the ceremony the novice lays his head on the altar and a member makes a pretense of beheading him. Wilson had just placed his neck on the block and the big ax was upraised, when the lights were suddenly extinguished with a loud puff, and the descending blade chopped off a piece of poor Wilson’s ear. Wilson sprang up with a howl only to be confronted by the form of the murdered man, or rather his ghost. It was a grewsome sight. The ghost stalked forward into the room surrounded by a halo of phosphorescent bluish flame, showing the headless trunk, its out stretched arms carrying the grinning head in strong relief against the blackness of the darkened room. The eyes in that bodyless head glowed with a vengeful light upon the colored brothers, and they staid not to hear what the wraith might have to say, but fell over each other in their eager haste to get out of the building. As the last one of the frightened brothers disappeared down the stairway a mocking laugh seemed to be hurled after them and a sulphurous smell filled the building. The lights in the lodge-room must have been relighted by the same mysterious agency which had extinguished them, for when Janitor Clark appeared the next morning, much to his wonderment, the lamps were still burning.

That was the last session of the African Lodge in the building. The next day the brothers moved into other quarters. The bank was not long in following them, for the depositors declared that their money was being hoodooed. Finally the old house stood empty, and there are those, who say that often, at the midnight hour, pale and ghostly lights can be seen flitting about in eccentric fashion in the old deserted hall.

The Ghost’s Late Appearance
Last April the Police Department rented the place and the headquarters were located there. One night not long after, when Dr. Iuen was operating on a morphine case, he was startled by a groan that echoed and reechoed about him with unearthly distinctness. His patient, a hysterical female, leaped out of the room with a shrill scream, and left the doctor alone, staring about him with amazement. He had heard of the ghost, but gave the tale no credence. The sudden groans about him were cause sufficient to alarm even his skeptic’s soul, and he drew a lancet from his instrument case and stood ready to defend himself, but that uncanny groan, coming from an invisible source, was repeated, and the medical man followed his morphine case down-stairs, perhaps with more dignity, but certainly with no less celerity. A few minutes later, doubtful whether he had heard aright, and to test the accuracy of his senses, the doctor sent Rabbit, the janitor’s boy, upstairs after his instrument case. There was heard a sudden and violent commotion about the time Rabbit reached the physician’s room, and a moment after Rabbit himself, his black face blanched to the hue of ashes, came tearing down. His eyes rolled wildly and his teeth chattered with fear.

“I dun see de ghost, shuah, doc, an’ he dun com’ nigh to catchin’me, too,” he gasped. “He dun grabbed me.” Rabbit’s agitation created no little consternation, and officers fathered about and plied him with questions. The frightened lad could give no intelligible account of what he had seen. All he knew was that he heard a dismal groaning sound, and as he stopped to pick up the doctor’s case something had grabbed him from behind and he felt a hot breath on his neck. He looked around, but could not see anything, although he still felt that invisible touch and that scorching breath. The he bolted.

Chief Speers pooh-poohed Rabbit’s tale; Capt. Moran looked scornful, and Capt. Branham said something that sounded disrespectful. Then the whole lot of them, Rabbit and the doctor bringing up the rear, went upstairs to investigate, but they saw no ghost and heard no unusual noises.

The next night everybody about the station house, the reporters included, heard a groaning in the upper part of the building, and slowly shuffling across the floor. These sounds could not be understood, and they caused cold chills to creep up and down the listener’s spines.

It Come Into Court
One day not very long ago, when Judge Wheeler was holding police court rather later than usual, the court-room being crowded, a loud laugh pealed harshly through the room, startling ever body by its weird sound. It seemed to come from a stove-pipe hole that opened through the ceiling into the abandoned lodge-room above, and several persons, looking quickly in the direction of the sounds, declared they saw two fiery eyes gleaming into the space below.

Even the prisoners in the cells down in the basement say that the ghostly sounds from the upper regions disturb and frighten them. One of the detectives, too, who was assigned to clerical duties about the office, one night heard the ghost and in very disgust gave up his job.
Matron Moore is the only one at Station No. 1 who has not been troubled by the ghost, but that is probably because she is exclusively on day duty. One of her charges, though, a runaway girl from St. Louis, who was left in the matron’s room one night, heard the ghost, and while she did not see him, ye the supernatural manifestations so scared her that she reformed and went home the next morning.
Chief Speers, who very often sits in his office till late at night has also heard these strange noises, but his is loath to accredit them to any ghostly agency.

The Other Ghost is Demur
The specter of the man who hanged himself in the hay loft is not so sportive as the other ghost, but is content with chasing its shadow over the floor of the loft. To be sure it scares the horses and makes them very restive, but nothing worse can be charged against it. Once the phantom did climb into the patrol wagon seat, and seized imaginary lines, while its legs kicked upon an imaginary gong, yet a well directed twenty-five pound dumb-bell shied by Driver Kooger dislodged it.

12/24/13 Merry Christmas everyone!! Want to see a full body apparition? Just tell them to stop standing sideways!! This story was run in the Chicago Tribune edition 06.28.1903 and I’m sure the “society” views helped calm a lot of fears. You can either read the actual article HERE or the transcription below.

The Chicago Tribune edition 06.28.1903 pg.44


When Spirit Turns Sideways Toward Observer It Is Immediately Invisible

A REAL ghost has only two dimensions. He may be long or short, or wide or narrow, but he will not be either thick or thin. In fact, he will be so thin that it will not be thinness at all. It won’t be Anything. This theory is one of the results of the investigations undertaken by the Society for Psychical Research. The society does not affirm that much is known about ghosts and does not explain how the dimensions of ghosts have been established.

The theory presupposes that you believe some ghosts to be real. The society does or it would not endeavor to find out something about them. The conventional ghost of drama, melodrama, and hair raising stories is not real. The society affirms that positively.

When the ghost which is real makes its appearance it does not come with clanking chains, white sheets, and other ghastly paraphernalia. It has nothing to do with the stroke of midnight, the yawning grave, the sliding panel door, and the blood stain on the floor. It may be a shock to the sentimental to learn that these theories have been exploded, but they have been.

Real Ghost Is Harmless

The real ghost, the one of two dimensions, is a harmless individual. He looks more like a magic lantern picture than anything else and is about as vicious. On account of his two dimensions he can disappear rapidly. If he had more than two dimensions he could not do the rapidly changing act. All he has to do is to turn a bout sideways and nothing can be seen of him. All this is because he has no thickness.

The conventional ghost is essentially supernatural. The real ghost, says the society, is a natural phenomenon. It is added by the society that most stories of phantoms are pure nonsense built out of the imagination, but here and there one has been found which had borne investigation and which has been supported by such evidence as to satisfy the society of its accuracy.

Enough authentic apparitions, says the society, have appeared and have been investigated to prove that ghosts do exist. This point being admitted, the society has endeavored to discover the material of which they are made.

Are No Thicker than Shadows

The progress made is the discovery that they possess two and only two dimensions. The society admits that it is difficult for humans to comprehend anything which has only length and width. Yet it is asserted that these dimensions are all that a real ghost has. They are the mysterious inhabitants of a region which might be known as Flat Land – a land wherein the people resemble shadows thrown on a wall. They have no solidity and for this reason are invisible when they turn sidewise.

This, according to the new theory, is exactly why phantoms have such a way of appearing and disappearing suddenly. When the light does not happen to be reflected directly from the plan surface of a specter to the eye of the observer, the ghost is necessarily invisible. It needs only to turn itself at a slight angle, and instantly it seems to vanish, though from another point of view it might sill be obvious and palpable.

There are now, approximately, 1,500,000,000 human beings alive in the world. Fully 100,000,000,000 have lived and died. Hence it is no mere figure of speech when it is said that a person newly defunct has “gone to join the majority.” It is, indeed, a majority so great that those now who survive are, relatively, an insignificant few.

Are 100,000,000,000 in World

The spiritualists believe that all of the 100,000,000,000 “gone before” are still represented on the earth by ghosts. It is an idea stimulating to the imagination, and, if correct, must signify that ours is in truth a spiritual realm, in which creatures of flesh and blood are, comparatively speaking, of small importance numerically.

Supposing such to be the case, the world must be swarming with specters, and we are obliged to imagine the viewless air as literally thronged with phantasmal shapes, preserving the likenesses of what they once were in the flesh, but without substance, and even transparent to the eye when beheld under suitable conditions. The marvel is not that they should occasionally present themselves to living beings as apparitions, but that they should be seen so seldom. Perhaps, however, they are controlled by circumstances which are unknowable.

In these facts the society finds comfort. No matter how many people may have lived and died and no matter how many may yet live and die, there always will be room for them. Even if space were limited, although time were not, the universe could not be overstocked with ghosts. Twenty thousand, it has been estimated, could be packed in the space occupied by twenty humans. They have not got the thickness of playing cards.

Since everybody hopes some day to be a ghost it is not surprising that the society finds a number of interested listeners when it speaks about its investigations of phantoms.

Ghost Photography Increasing

Warning is issued to the credulous, who will take any one’s word concerning ghosts. The latest development in the ghost business has been the production of ghost photographs. The special dry plates, bought from a medium, are guaranteed to “fetch” the specters, which, in this shape, are to be regarded as the most reliable of all supernatural phenomena.

“Ghost Plates” are manufactured on a large scale in Boston, whence they are shipped all over the country. Many mediums, however, prefer to make their own. They cost $10 to $15 a dozen, and may be used like any other dry plates. If photographs of people are taken on them it will be found that phantasmal heads and various other strange things appear in the developed negatives. They are most remarkable, and it is not surprising that, even at so high a price, there should be a steady demand for them from Maine to California, and from Chicago to Florida.

As a matter of fact, the plates, before being sold, are “exposed” once. That is to say pictures are taken with them – usually of historical portraits or classical heads, which have been cut out of the paper on which they are printed and attached to a black cloth. Under exposures are purposely made, so that, when ordinary photographs are taken on the plates and the latter are developed, the “phantoms” come out faint and ghostlike.

12/17/13 Oh those randy dandy Victorian men!!  This week we have a story that was run in the Atlanta Constitution edition 04.05.1908 from a special cable from London. Charles Dove must have been some kind of ladies man, as you will understand from his instant reaction to awaking to find a strange female in his bedroom!!  I WISH there was a follow up article, I would really like to know how their first case went.  To preserve the entire page this article was on, you can go Here to read it.  This was the picture of these dandy men printed with the article

Spook Exterminators













12/10/13 This week’s installment is from the Winchester News edition dated 3/09/1909 pg 1. Again, we have the concerned citizens of the town shooting at a ghost that they can’t seem to decide the sex on.  The jpg of this article is too big to post here, so here is a link Winchester News  And here is a transcription:

The Winchester News edition 03.09.1909 pg.2




Generally Appears as a Woman Dressed in Black – – Has Fondness for Slipping from One Window to Another.

Goshe, Ind. – “The Specter Spook” is the tautological name by which the ghost that is annoying the honest citizens of the peaceful city of Goshen is designated.

Hundreds have seen it. The ghost first made its appearance some three weeks ago. Since then it has kept that part of the city lying near South Ninth an South Tenth streets in a turmoil. According to stories told, the ghost assumes various forms. When first seen it was described as a tall woman dressed in white. Several residents addressed it and assert they were answered in a subdued and quiet manner by the ghost. One Woman saw it standing by the clothesline early in the evening shortly after dusk.

A week later, clad in black with a white fascinator about its head, the ghost walked the streets. Many say they saw it and some give it credit for marvelous speed and the ability to disappear, for they pursued it in vain. It became known as the “woman in black,” and many citizens would darken their homes and watch for the specter. They allege they were not disappointed, for the ghost would appear and, slipping from house to house, would peek into the windows, and peer about. The wraith appeared to have a fondness for slipping from one shadow to another.

Frank Gowker accosted the spirit when he met it in the street, and it turned sharply on him and informed him it was not peering in his window. He has lost two cows and a horse since.

Mrs. George Simmons and Mrs. Newton both say they have seen the ghost near their homes. They describe it as a short woman, heavy set, of dark complexion, with neat-fitting clothing, and prominent nose, with sharp, black eyes. MRs. Simmons refuses to believe it was a ghost.

Dart Emerick saw the ghost standing on a walk, and it disappeared as he approached, springing behind a fence. He searched for it there, but failed to find it. Grover Downing, a boy, stepped out of a grocery store and ran into the ghost. He clutched at it in fright, and says that in an instant it was 20 feet away in the center of the road. While he looked at it it disappeared. Other boys have seen it lately. A strange feature of the case is that since the boys have been looking for the spirit the last week those who have seen it described it as a woman, tall and broad enough to be a man.

Wednesday night was moonlight and the young men and boys organized for a ghost hunt. They surrounded the district and closed into a common center, a pair traveling through every alley and street. Two saw the ghost, Josh Caton and Lemuel Poyser. Both fired point blank at it. Others drawn by the shots and shouts joined in the pursuit in vain. The ghost led the crowd a chase of five blocks, making no sound, and disappeared.

Some say the ghost is the spirit of a man who recently passed away, regretting to die. Old citizens recall that 25 years ago, the ghost of an unknown man ran over by a train rambled about the neighborhood for weeks in search of his head.


12/3/2013 This week’s installment comes from the Atlanta Constitution edition dated 7/10/1914. I just love how the posse thought they would be able to have any affect on the ghost with shotguns, revolvers, and army guns….just what, exactly, is an army gun?


Atlanta Constitution 07.10.1914


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