Tuesday April 29, 2014
This article title asks a question the article itself does not seem to answer. Maybe I have not had enough coffee this morning, but I will be darned if I can understand the point. Somehow I think it was another fluff piece to just talk about the “society” but it gets extra points for mentioned the Witch of Endor. I have to wonder if King Saul would have had a better experience with the Long Island Medium?
Adair County News KY edition 6/23/1909 pg 4
What are Ghosts
Moses tells us in Gen. 25-8, that Abraham gave up the ghost and died and it seems that ever since persons have telling ghost stories until, As Mr. Dooley says, (every body’s wife’s aunt’s seen a ghost.) Are all of them imaginary like the one W. relates in Adair county News? Have so many same persons been deceived? Some of the greatest scholars and scientists of the world admit they cannot explain all these phenomina from a scientific standpoint, have formed what is known as the Psychical Society of Research with headquarters in London whose object is to investigate these things.
They have obtained accounts of many ghosts or apparitions from persons of undoubted veracity. This Society is composed of such men as Prof. Sedgwick, Prof. Olover Lodge, a leading scientist, Prof. Charles Rickett, the famous Physiologist, of Paris, Prof. Mat Hessior, of BerlinUniversity, Prof. Langley, of Smithsonian University, Washington, D.C., Sir Wm. Crooks, discover of X-rays, Prof. James, of Harvard, A.J. Balfour recently Premier of England, with many others of notoriety.
As W. tells us in the News, 50 years ago many of the older persons believed in premonitions, through dreams, in ghosts and some believed there were familiar spirits or witches, but now any one who cannot tell to a certainty that these are all founded on superstition is considered mentally unsound. We once knew all this, but after some personal experience along this line, and the evidence of many whose honesty we could not doubt, it seems there is reality in some of these stories, no doubt many of them are mere fabrications to deceive others caused by fear, while many believed what they told to be true.
It has been said that all men have their superstitions, but few will admit it, while all would rather go around than through a graveyard on a dark night. Why otherwise truthful person should falsly claim to have seen, and in many cases conversed with absent or dead friends, we cannot understand. It seems that the first Christians believed in visible spirits.
The Old Scriptures is a book of dreams. The Witch of Endor must have possessed supernatural power when she called up the spirit of Samuel to converse with Saul, and if the truth of the proposition can be established upon human testimony these things must be true, but anyone knowing them to be merely superstition, will please rise and testify.
Tuesday April 22, 2014
Beware of spook-proof-jealous-woodchoppers!! (Also beware of journalists that fill their articles with hyphenated words). I think the one thing I found curious about this article was how the writer decided that the spook was not French but Irish and then proceeds to talk like the “scotch”.
San Francisco Chronicle edition 3/06/1904 pg 10
The Rapping Ghost of Kingston Town and How it was Quieted
GHOSTS are usually associated with churchyards, old country castles and manor-houses in long-settled communities, therefore for a real live ghost to appear in a sparsely-settled district of sunny California, and in a tiny one-roomed cabin at that was, according to ghostly ethics as I’ve heard them, an unwarrantable intrusion into the realm of sunlight; however, with ghosts as well as mortals, circumstances alter cases.
I am not a believe in ghosts, at least not the house-haunting, chain-creaking sort, so when during a trip through the San Joaquin valley, I was told that there was a haunted house in the neighborhood, I laughed at the idea and declared that I would pay it a visit and lay the ghost.
It was at the prosperous little town of Hanford, surrounded by fruit orchards, that I first heard of the strange pranks of the nocturnal visitor. The scene of the disturbance was near Kingston, an old state town about nine miles from Hanford. Kingston was quite a prosperous little hamlet before the Southern Pacific Railroad came through that part of the San Joaquin valley.
The story ran that several woodchoppers who lived in a cabin about two miles from Kingston had for some time been awakened about midnight by most alarming sounds coming apparently from under the floor of the cabin; blood-curdling groans, hoots and rappings would be heard, at times almost directly under the floor, then apparently stinking to a greater depth and dying away in a dismal wail with all the usually attendant signs of a restless departed spirit. So demonstrative did the spook become that several of the men, unable to stand the strain upon their nerves, not to speak of the loss of sleep, removed their quarters to another locality, two only remaining in the cabin.
A good deal of attention was attracted to the place by those who had witnessed the phenomena and many people availed themselves of the opportunity of paying their respects to the visitor from the under world, so much so that at the time when I arrived on the scene the livery men of Hanford were doing a good business driving parties to the haunted cabin.
Convinced the Mediums
Among the visitors were some spiritual mediums who professed to understand the spirit language, and who, on their return, told of a wonderful conversation conducted by means of verbal questions on their part more or less intelligent to the general public, and answered on the part of the spook by means of taps, one tap for yes and two for no. By this means they professed to have discovered that the restless spirit had been in life a Frenchman 38 years of age, who was murdered on that spot twenty-five years ago by two Germans, the object of the crime being robbery, as he was known to have a large sum of money, which, however, he had buried at the foot of a tree 1000 feet from that spot. The murderers were now in Montana, and his object in thus disturbing the peach was to have them brought to justice, as, till that was accomplished, his spirit could have no rest.
The story to many seemed plausible, so much so that several of the prominent citizens of Hanford gave it sufficient credence to institute a search for the buried treasure and, tracing a circle at a distance of 1000 feet from the cabin, actually dug round the roots of every tree and stump which came near the line; they also undermined the corner of the cabin from which the sounds seemed to emanate, claiming that if the bones of the unfortunate man were found they wished to give them decent burial, though some uncharitable people attributed a more sordid motive to their labor.
As Kingston was on my way to the Coast, whither I was bound for a vacation, I decided to make my camp there for the night and take in the ghost.
On my arrival at the deserted hamlet I found that the only inhabited house to which I had been directed was full to overflowing and I would either have to return to Hanford for a bed or put up in one of the deserted barns. As I had a good camping outfit with me, I chose the latter course, and foraging some hay, spread my blankets and made my bed ready in the haymow of a tolerably well-preserved barn.
The séance usually commenced about midnight, and as there were only two miles or so to drive to the cabin, I had plenty of leisure to make my arrangements.
Spook Proof Woodchoppers
It was a bright moonlight night, and at first view the cabin did not impress me as having a very ghostly appearance. It stood in a clearing of a patch of scrub oak and was evidently of rather recent construction. I entered the open door and found myself in a rough one-room cabin with no furniture save a few chairs and a table; several visitors were already there and the two spook-proof woodchoppers were comfortably rolled in their blankets in opposite corners, seemingly asleep. I found a rickety chair and, after an interchange of courtesies, the séance, as far as we were concerned, was ready to begin.
here were two ladies present and we enlivened the tedium of the vigil by discussing ghostly experiences in subdued tones, often interrupted by the startled exclamations from the women as some one shuffled afoot or other sounds were heard which suggested an uncanny origin.
At length, however, we were rewarded by hearing a genuine knock coming apparently from directly underneath the chair of one of the ladies, which, needless to say, was speedily vacated; several disconnected taps and a peculiar moaning sound followed; we were by this time pretty wide-awake and one of the ladies, being mediumistically inclined and therefore supposedly in her element, began a series of questions to determine whether the story given by those who had previously interviewed the shade of the murdered Frenchman agreed with the present answers, Are you a Frenchman? One tap meaning yes; are you a German; tow taps for no, and so on, the yeas and nays agreeing in every detail with the story as heretofore related. Then a thought struck me; The ghost of a Frenchman should be able to speak French, and as I had some knowledge of that language, I asked the same questions which had been previously answered. Here, however, something seemed amiss, and answering taps were few and conflicting, and I gathered that our friend was an Irishman, but the climax came when I put the question, “Are you alive?” and received one tap in answer, meaning yes. Either our spook was a fraud, or else his long sojourn underground had sadly dulled the memory of his native tongue.
I began to “hae me doots,” as the Scotch say, and looked around the room for a possible solution of the mystery. As I sat I was facing the corner of the cabin where one of the woodchoppers lay apparently in the arms of Morpheus; I determined to watch him and thought that I detected a slight movement of his blankets every time a tap was heard, yet the distance from the sound to where he lay was a good twelve feet and it seemed at first impossible to connect him with it.
I communicated my suspicions to one of the men present, whom I judged from a physical standpoint would be able materially to assist me should any trouble arise during our investigation of the mystery. We hitched our chairs a bit closer to the seemingly sleeping man, and when the next tap came in answer to a question my athletic friend with a quick motion reached over and with one pull yanked the blankets from the upper half of the prostrate woodchopper. So quickly was the deed accomplished that the man had no time to make a motion, and, lo, the mystery of the last few weeks was solved. The ghost was laid.
In the rascal’s left hand was clutched a piece of rubber hose, on the end of which a piece of wood was laid. With a quick movement the man endeavored to hide the hose and pull the blankets up at the same time, but our suspicions were by this time thoroughly aroused, and we demanded to know the reason why he was holding that piece of hose so carefully.
Seeing that concealment was no longer possible, he sat up and admitted the jig was up; then he laughed at us, and, with many a joke on the credulous people he had outwitted, disclosed one of the smartest tricks for the imitation of a soul in purgatory that I ever heard of. Briefly, his story was this:
A Fell Plot
Being jealous of the other woodchoppers in the cabin, who were not in the partnership with himself and his chum, and who were encroaching on his timer, they devised this means of getting rid of them. Armed with a piece of rubber hose, which led from his corner to the middle of the floor and could be moved at will, he would wait till the men had gone to sleep, and then placing his mouth to his end of the hose under his blankets, emit the before-mentioned bloodcurdling groans and hoots, and then, placing a chip of wood on the end, flip on it with his finger nail, thus producing the taps – the sound, of course, appearing to come from the other end of the hose.
He was more successful than he anticipated, and, having put his competitors to flight, he continued to amuse himself at the expense of the general public. We had to laugh with him at the description he gave of the discomfiture of the woodchoppers, and the Hanford papers for some time made it decidedly interesting for the prominent citizens who had searched for buried treasure.
Of course, the expose broke up the séance, and I started for my barn at Kingston, little thinking I was soon to encounter the real ghost of the evening. I put my horst in a stall, and then, not caring to risk lighting a match with so much hay around, groped my way in the dim light across the haymow to where I had spread my blankets preparatory to my return. As I reached the spot I was startled at hearing an audible breath – half sigh, half moan – come from the direction of my blankets, quickly followed by a rustling of straw, a snort, and then a huge indistinct black mass rose up before me. To say I was scared would be to put it too mildly. After the way in which I had spent the last few hours, my brain was, I supposed, receptive to an illusion. I could not think, I could not for a moment move, so benumbed by terror was I. Then, with a gurgling cry, I turned and fled from the shapeless terror. As I reached the door, another deep-breathing snort was heard, and then in a moment I realized the true nature of this, the true ghost of the evening, and, going back to the haymow, I drove out of the barn with scant ceremony a big black horse.
Tuesday April 15, 2014
This week’s article is about different color spooks. Whenever I get into an orb discussion, I always tell people I’m coming back as a plaid one so that people will know without a doubt I’m not dust or a bug. I guess if I make an appearance as a full bodied apparition, I will be dressed in tartan and having hot flashes!!
Fort Wayne News edition 08/22/1900
Spooks of Different Colors and Varying Degrees of Intangibility
The hundreds of ghosts being annually brought to light in the dragnets of scientific spook catchers conform to no general rules as to appearance or behavior. Ghostland must, in truth, be a realm of spicy variety and absolute independence. A well known psychic researcher has lately given the writer access to his voluminous records of a thousand or more of the most vivid phantoms experienced here and abroad within the past ten years. Among their number are the most respectable and best authenticated shades haunting our sphere during this fin de siècle decade.
Gray rather than black or white appears to be the prevailing color worn by these latter day ghosts, says the Washington Star. Two houses, one in England and the other in Ireland, are persistently haunted by what are called “gray ladies.” The Irish spook of this category recently stood in front of a bust of Shakespeare, hidden by her form. A pair of shoes thrown at her opaque substance penetrated it completely and crashed against the marble bust. A third gray ghost haunting the ancient dormitory of an English college is, on the other hand, transparent. The panels of windows can be seen through its form. A fourth gray ghost appears as a shadow, singularly distinct and showing all of the lines and features of a human being. Still another spook, that of Colonel Avmeinander, seen in St. Petersburg, is a gray shadow. In fact, there are too many gray ghosts for enumeration. The “sheeted dead” appear to be in a small minority nowadays. Even black ghosts seem to outnumber them. The black shade of an ancient clergyman, often seen in daylight upon an English country road, sometimes wears a white film of vapor enveloping his sable raiment. The phantom of another clergyman, seen in church, is described as “a black, clear mist with the outline of a man.” That of “a little old woman in brown” has long haunted the front yard of a certain cottage, while that of “an old lady in green” bothers a minister of the gospel. Many ghosts are peculiarly luminous. One is especially so when the moon shines on it. Blue lights have been often seen after dark along the country haunts of a daylight ghost of black hue. Blue light surrounded also the ghost of a dead parent who came to inform his daughter that she had lost a favorite aunt. The spook of a dead friend appearing to another woman illuminated her apartment at night until it was as bright as day.
Modern specters differ quite as widely as their substance. Many are vaporous and intangible. Others can be distinctly felt. Some are so heavy that they can weigh their victims down. Others are so filmy that objects can pass through them. That of an old woman is of a semitransparent, ethereal nature. It is passed in a narrow passage without being felt as it brushes by. A woman who saw the spook of a man sitting in a chair attempted to sit in its lap, but she penetrated it completely. The specter of a friend haunting a gentleman while the latter was driving home alone in his gig caused a dark shadow to envelop him as it bent over him one evening. Then again there are some phantoms which take forms other than human. A “misty pillar” frequents a lane in one locality. Fisherman in another place looking for the body of a drowned companion saw in the woods near by a sort of cloud, whence issued a voice directing them to a spot where they afterward found the corpse. Another ghost, taking the shape of a bright ball of light, palish blue, was seen by a woman when she entered her bedroom in the darkness. Hanging between her and the ceiling it emitted no rays. The remainder of the room was dark. As she left the room it remained, but when she returned it was gone.
Haunted people experience various sensations while touching ghosts. The rough clothing of an invisible spook is felt to brush against the skin of one young woman. Another specter had an icy hand when grasped by a terrified woman. One woman on going up stairs at night saw a tall man directly in front of her. Recognizing him as a dear friend, she reached out to touch him, but her hand simply penetrated space. Later she received word from India that this friend had died on the very date of the experience. Another woman, who seized a ghost in her room, says that it felt “soft, like flimsy drapery,” and seemed to be dragged from her by the invisible power as it sand into the floor by her bedside. One ghost is accompanied by a wave of cold air, which chills those who draw near it. Another is apparently warm. On very hot nights he is seen to mop his face with a handkerchief.
A spook which lay down by a friend in a bed placed its “frozen lips” against her cheek. That some phantoms have appreciable weight is perhaps indicated by the case of a certain woman visited by the shades of two dead friends. They appeared behind her while she was seated at her tea table and leaning upon her shoulders rendered her immovable. She was unaware of what had happened until her daughter across the table cried out and gave the names of the intruders.
The majority of ghosts simply vanish like breath into the wind. Others make their exits through bolted doors, slamming them loudly. Many of these doors are seen to open, but later prove to be securely locked on the inside. Numerous spooks have a habit of vanishing as soon as spoken to. One which haunts a lonely roadway fades away in broad daylight and in the presence of several witnesses closing in upon it front and behind.
Tuesday April 8, 2014
Oh Joy! This weeks article involves one of our favorite things on Timeless Tuesday, shooting ghosts!! This time with 48 caliber bullets no less. It makes me laugh that the good Captain Borgman can ask poor Mr. Non Ghost Believing but has to report it anyway Hazzard if he had been “smoking” but yet he and office Daseler have “ghost hunting clothes”. As you will read they are very serious coppers and will not be messed with!
Fort Wayne Daily Gazette edition 12/5/1897
HE SAW A GHOST
Mr. Hazzard Tells Capt. Borgman About a Visitor From the Spiritual World at a Vacant House
What has the appearance of a ghost has been seen by a number of residents of the North Side of the city in the vicinity of the Baker homestead. What it is is no known. The police are making an investigation, and Captain Borgman stated last night that if it is seen by any member of the police force, business will be done with it.
A young man named Hazzard, who lives near the Search farm, walked into the police station last night and stated to Captain Borgman that he had seen what looks like a ghost. He was asked to describe what he had seen, and he said that it was either the bust and head of a man or a woman. He could not state which it was. He said he had seen it a number of times during the past week and that he did not believe in ghosts, but that there is something there that causes much fright among the women and children of the neighborhood.
Hazzard added that two railroad men and several women and girls had seen it in full operation. He said that when he saw it last night at about 6:30 o’clock it went from the vacant house, crossed the street and disappeared into the river. He said he called to it and just as he did so it became a thing of the pat. He told the police that the other men who had seen it told him that it came from the house and walked about the yard for a time and then walked toward the river and disappeared. The man was sober and was closely questioned by Captain Borgman as tow hat it looked like, and if he had not perhaps “boiled it a little too hard,” or if he had been “smoking.” Hazzard said that such was not the case and that he was not afraid of ghosts and did not believe in them, but that according to the way he looked at the matter an investigation should be made by the officers.
Captain Borgman and Sergeant Daseler put on their ghost hunting clothes at about 10 o”clock last night and went on the warpath for his royal ghostship, but they did not find him. The officers spoke to a number of the neighbors about the matter and some of them said they had seen it while others did not take any stock in it and said they did not believe that ghosts walked except on pay day.
Now when it comes to catching ghosts the tow mentioned officers are way up in the business and they will ay for his jiggers who has been showing himself to some of the people of that part of the city. The officers say that as soon as they see it, they will shoot it full of 48-calibre bullets, so if it is anyone parading around in ghostly attire they had better take warning and quit the business. It is a poor game to play ghost and take chances of stopping a number of bullets from young cannon in the hands of such marksmen as Borgman and Daseler. They are crack shooters of the force and if it is anyone who is playing ghost he had better remove his walking grounds to some other town, for there will be a hot time for him if spotted by the coppers.
Tuesday April 1, 2014
I wonder if they could have seen into the future 108 years, if they would be surprised to see the numbers of ghost hunters around the world? “Several Hundred” does not seem like a lot does it? Would they be surprised to find out that most of us do not get paid, and a lot of us look down on those that do? Granted, the spook detectors discussed in this article were paid by the Society for Psychical Research and not the client and I could honestly say I would not mind receiving funds from the SPR for what I do nor would I mind having my research “embalmed” in the archives in London. It is interesting to note that the SPR is still around, still doing research, and graciously accepts your annual membership fee of £60 to gain access to their archives and allow you to tell people you are a “member” (no, they do not pay you to ghost hunt at the local historic jail or B & B). I must admit the geek in me would really like to have access to the archive library so that I could read Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death, Myers, F.W.H. (1903). I have a birthday coming up, maybe I should ask for a subscription as a gift…hmmmm?
Chicago Tribune edition 10/28/1905 pg.1
Ghost Hunter Gets Good Pay; How would You Like the Job?
By B.M. Hall
Surely one of the most unusual businesses is that of a ghost detector. There are hundreds of them scattered throughout 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 scientist and thinkers in the united kingdom.
A ghost detector is an investigator for the Society for the Psychical Research, which was founded in London in 1882. The society, which already has been published twenty-one octavo volumes of proceedings in addition to bales and bales of the records of investigations made by the ghost detectors, has had as its presidents men like the Rt. Hon. A.J. Balfour, late prime minister of England; Prof. William James, the noted psychologist of Harvard university and brother of the mystical Henry James; Sir William Crookes of Crookes tube fame; Prof. Henry Sidgewick, a philosopher whose book, “The Methods of Ethics,” is a standard.
Not Fooled by Cheap Ghosts
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 whos work deals not with men of flesh and blood and has little to do with the 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. Expense is no object. Each investigation costs money, but the society has money to spend and it is influenced by a sincere desire to get to the bottom of every story of the other world and it knows that such inquiries costs 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.
Ghost Hunter Flies to Scene
Every time that the officials of the Society for Psychical 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 work 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.
Chicago is Shy of Spooks
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 worth of preservation in the archives of the society it is filed away along with the reports made by hundreds of other investigators.
As yet no high class ghost story with Chicago as its locale has been embalmed in the archives of the society. There have been several false alarms, and several times it has looked as if Chicago was to contribute to the collection of ghost lore. But always there has proved to be a blowhole somewhere or another in the narrative. The ghost detectors have not been satisfied with the genuineness of the “case,” as the thing is known technically, and they have sent regretful reports back to London. But with the addition of more working investigators to the staff of hundreds already in existence the society is bound to get more results and some of these results may come from Chicago. Who Knows?