Tuesday August 26, 2014
It seems like there have been several things that have happened to me this this last week that always bring me back to the song “Im Henery the 8th” (for those of you that have zero clue what I am talking about or might only remember the song from the movie Ghost, take a look at this video from back in the day. This week’s article was no different. Unfortunately I have the whole scene with Oda Mae and Sam from the movie running through my head. While I try to find another ear worm, check out the fact that this article only uses the word “spook” once, opting for the phrase “spectre” instead.
Fort Wayne News edition 07/16/1900 pg 7
WHERE HISTORIC GHOSTS WALK
Several Spectres That Insist Upon Making Themselves at Home in the Abode of Royalty
Royalty’s ghosts are the longest lived torments in the world of spectres. Other ghosts may be laid or may decide to cease from troubling mortal men and women, but with the dead and gone royal personage who has been able to return it is different. For some reason the air of court is just the atmosphere that ghosts prefer above all other, and they stay on and on, or return again and again to the mystification if not the horror of those who chance to behold them on the occasion of their visitations.
The last appearance of a royal ghost reported is at Hampton Court Palace, where the appearance of a spectral hand moving among the old Flemish tapestries in the guard chamber has caused no end of consternation. Although the identity of the spectre is not known, it is thought to be that of some of the wives of Henry VIII., for the ghosts of two of these unfortunate women have already been seen at Hampton Court on other occasions. Of the two, Catherine Howard seems to be the more troublesome, for not only does she appear, but insists upon shrieking wildly through the old, mysterious “haunted gallery.”
It was here that she escaped from her chamber, when imprisoned there before being sent to the Tower, and ran along to seek an interview with Henry VIII, who was hearing mass in the chapel. Just as she reached the door the guards seized her and carried her back, while her ruthless husband, in spite of the piercing screams that were heard in all parts of the palace, continued his devotions unmoved.
Jane Seymour is another of Henry’s wives who is said to haunt the old world rooms of this palace, and there is no lack of testimony to show that a spectre has been seen to emerge from the doorway of the queen’s old apartments and wander about with a lighted taper in her hand over the stairs and in the neighboring Silverstick gallery.
A GENUINE GHOST
During the reign of King James II or about 220 years ago, the city of London voted that 12,000 masses should said for the repose of the soul of Queen Jane Seymour, the officially avowed intention being that of “laying her ghost.” Although these masses were probably said, as the payment for them still figures on the city records, they do not seem to have been efficacious, as the ghost of the dead woman has been seen several times since that day.
Hampton Court is not the only palace that is haunted, however. From one end of the British Isles to the other it would be difficult to discover a palace that is not haunted by one or more banishees. Thus, Holyrood Palace, at Edinburg, is said to be haunted by the ghost of the murderer Rizzio, and it is claimed that at least three royal spectres have been seen at Windsor, they being the ghosts of Henry VIII., Queen Elizabeth and Charles I.
If the old- fashioned conventional view is to be accepted, and we are to believe that ghosts haunt the earth because of crimes committed in the flesh, Henry VIII must be supplied with excellent excuses for furnishing a ghost. However that may be, the records show that there are many people who believe that they have seen him stalking steadily and silently around the old library room.
Both the Empress Frederick of Germany, oldest daughter of the Queen, and Mr. Holmes, the librarian of Windsor, declare that they have seen the ghost of Queen Elizabeth in the great State Library. On the occasion when Mr. Holmes saw the spectre he was reading in a corner of the room, and the form passed him as if it did not see him. Immediately he left his book and followed the spectre until it suddenly disappeared through a closed door. Although Mr. Holmes had seen the apparition of the long dead queen, with coronet, ruff, jeweled stomacher and voluminous skirt, the guard at the other side of the door said that no one had passed that way.
The Dean of Windsor, who is also chaplain to the Queen, is not sure whether Henry VIII or Queen Elizabeth haunts the castle, but he is ready to take his oath that the spirit of Charles I is to be seen annually in the vicinity, for he has witnessed the ghost of the beheaded monarch in an ancient house in the canon’s close, which is a dependency of the castle.
It would be difficult to imagine a more suitable locality for ghosts than Windsor Castle. It has been the residence of every English monarch since William the Conqueror, and has thus seen more than eight hundred years of splendor, blood, crime, romance and tragedy. It was built by William shortly after 1066. St. George’s Chapel, which was attached to it, was completed by Henry VIII.
England is not the only country that can boast of royal ghosts, however, for these spectres may be located in almost every old castle from Spain or Italy to Sweden. Probably the most famous of them all is the White Woman that Kaiser Wilhelm II inherited with is crown, as visits by this spook have portended trouble through many generations of Hohenzollerns. Stories from the earliest days of this reigning family show that each successive materialization has been marked by some misfortune to the house. As it is the common belief of the superstitions, that misfortune and sin always follow, one the other, they are asking what great sin some distant ancestor of the present ruler committed to bring the wrath of the white spectre upon his descendants.
Tuesday August 19, 2014
I was glad to see that this week’s article specified that the guns were for human pranksters not spooks!! I tried doing genealogy research on the families in these articles (especially since they lived not too far from me) but I cannot find them on a 1930 census, which would be when Everett should have been living with the Walraven’s. I can find 1920 and 19 40 (and he’s not on 1940) but not 1930. I also cannot find where Sarah Byrd is buried. I’d love to be able to find her records from Milledgeville!! A lot of people won’t understand just what a stigma having been at Milledgeville would have been for this poor woman. Even though the state hospital has been shut down for quite awhile, its still a joke around these parts to threaten to send people there.
San Francisco Chronicle edition 7/31/1921 pg 2
The Very Strange Mystery of Mrs. Byrd’s Attic
Was a Ghost Instrumental in the Recovery of Thousands of Hidden Dollars, of Which Mrs. Byrd’s Invalid Son Has Been Made the Sole Beneficiary?
THE attention of the Society for Psychical Research has been called to the very extraordinary series of ghostly and materialistic manifestations which, according to the solemn declarations of reputable eye-witnesses, have been taking place in the little village of Bolton, near Atlanta, GA.
A ghost, or whatever it was that was seen, is declared to have left behind tangible evidence of its visits in the shape of a perfectly good five dollar bill, a Bible, and still later a lost and forgotten legacy of $5000
The legacy is now being utilized for the benefit of an invalid son of the late Mrs. Everett Byrd. Her spirit, it is said, has been making nocturnal visits to the house in which she formerly lived and where the money had been hidden in the attic.
Since the recovery of the money the supernatural visitations have ceased and a house which gradually was acquiring the reputation of being “ha’nted” has now been restored to its former standing as a highly desirable place of abode.
By PEGGY GADDIS
STATEMENT OF MRS. HARRY WALRAVEN
IT WAS after midnight – for my husband went on duty at 11 o’clock, and he had been gone for more than an hour. I was tired, worried over domestic affairs, and unable to go to sleep. The room was, of course, in total darkness except for a broad bar of moonlight which crept in through a window at the foot of my bed. Across the room, in another bed, were three of my children, and Walter, the youngest, was in my bed.
“Suddenly, I had an uncanny feeling, as if there was somebody else in the room. I can’t explain the feeling – I had heard no sound – but suddenly, I was stiff with fright. I remembered weird stories told about ghosts and ‘ha’nts’ and things and, while I have never believed in ghosts, I couldn’t get rid of that feeling of terror.
“and then I saw IT – a dim, shadowy thing that stood just inside the doorway, surveying the room. It was the figure of a woman dressed in some dark stuff, an old woman, though the figure was so dim that I could get only an impression of it. Slowly, it crossed the floor – I can’t describe the way it went forward, for it didn’t seem to walk, it just sort of floated.
“It reached the foot of my children’s bed, and stood there for a moment, then it turned toward me. By this time I was so scared that I just jerked the covers up over my head and lay there, shivering. Imagine my horror when I felt the covers drawn down, slowly but with such force that I was powerless to stop them, and then, suddenly, I was staring into the face of whatever it was. For a moment a hand, icy cold, was laid on my bare shoulder, then the figure, ghost, or whatever it was, asked me in the most casual voice in the world, to get up and get a certain book, on a shelf in the closet. Hypnotized, I did it, climbing on a chair to hand down the book. The figure opened the book, took out a worn five dollar bill, and handed it to me.
“More – in the attic – hidden,” came the voice, faint and far away now. And the figure just melted away.
“I must have fainted then, for when I recovered consciousness I was lying on the floor, with the book beside me, and a five dollar bill in my hand. I would have thought it all a dream but for the five-dollar bill and the book, which was a worn old bible, with the name ‘Sarah L. Byrd,’ written on the fly-leaf in an old-fashioned handwriting, in ink which had faded with years.
“Convinced that I had seen a ‘ha’nt,’ and scared out of my wits, I bundled my children up and fled to my sister’s house – nearly a quarter of a mile away.”
Mrs. Harry Walraven is a resident of Bolton, GA, a few miles out of Atlanta. She is an alert, contented, motherly woman, sane, sensible and well balanced – the last person in the world to “see spooks,” you would think. Yet the story she told was only the beginning of what Bolton refers to as “a reign of terror’ – for more than a hundred stanch, substantial and skeptical citizens of Bolton and Riverside, a neighboring town, are willing to take a solemn oath that they have seen the ‘spook,” and all firmly believe that Mrs. Walraven’s statement is true.
Mrs. Walraven’s experience occurred on a recent Wednesday night. On Thursday, when her husband c came home from his work, he laughed at her story, accused her of dining unwisely the night before, and of “seeing things.” Even the Bible and the five dollar bill failed to convince him.
And on Thursday night, Mr. Walraven and his brother, accompanied by eight or ten other skeptics, decided to sit up and await the ghost.
At 11:340, no ghostly manifestation having taken place to keep them awake, most of the men were dozing – when suddenly, it is declared, the leaf of an old-fashioned writing desk in the room began to lower itself. Mr. Walraven, convinced that someone was trying to play tricks on him. Leaped to the desk and made a swift examination for hidden wires, or something of the sort. Finding nothing, he tried to close the desk, but, he says, it resisted his efforts. In the struggle between Mr. Walraven’s powerful muscles and the force of the unseen hands, the entire leaf of the heavy oak desk was torn loose from its hinges, splintering in Mr. Walraven’s hands.
STATEMENT OF HENRY WALRAVEN
“Nobody who struggled with whatever it was – as I did that night could doubt that there was something in the room – something that we couldn’t’ see, but something that had a tremendous force. And I’m not ashamed to confess that I left the house, promptly, accompanied by all my brave friends.
“The next day we talked it over and decided that the time had come for some strong measures. So the ‘watching party’ on Friday night numbered about twenty men, some armed in case we should discover that the ‘spook’ was human, and fond of playing jokes. About 10:30 we went over to the house – locked tight and fast, and the windows fastened down.
“As we reached the gate we saw an old lady, dressed in dark stuff with a white apron tied around her waist, carrying a lighted lamp held high in her hand. She – it – the ghost – well, anyway, whatever it was, came around the side of the house, from the back, and, paying no attention to any of us at the gate, went up the steps, opened the locked door, and, going into the house, closed it behind her. We were all tempted to leave again, but we decided to stick, so, all bunched together for comfort, we went up to the door – and found it still locked.
“I unlocked it, and we all went in. We saw the figure, with the lamp, in the front room as if waiting for us. She – or it- smiled and waited for us.
“Still somewhat bunched, we followed her to the attic, and the figure crossed to an old-fashioned trunk in a corner. And then the figure vanished. We investigated the trunk, and found five thousand dollars in bills”.
The story which first gave rise to the theory of “ha’nts,” as the Southern darkies call them, in the Byrd house, is a sad little tale, and one that is soon told.
Years ago, Mrs. Sarah L. Byrd and her son, Everett, came to live in the humble cottage at Bolton. Mrs. Byrd’s husband had been killed the winter before, on the railroad and the sum of $5000 had been paid to the widow. Everett, the son, was feeble minded and very helpless.
Mrs. Byrd believed that she had a cancer and despite the fact that several doctors told her again and again that she was wrong, the belief finally clouded her mind and she was sent to the insane asylum at Milledgeville. In the meanwhile, Everett was cared for by the old negro man, known as Unc’ Tom. Following treatment of several months, Mrs. Byrd was returned to her home, but the taint of her stay at the state asylum, together with Everett’s affliction, made the neighbors shun the little house, and the old lady and her boy lived a lonely life, with only faithful “Unc’ Tawm” for company.
Went to Live in Woods
And then “the Widow Byrd” died. She was buried in the family cemetery beside her husband, and people believed that Everett and Unc’ Tom would move away. But they didn’t. A month passed, and Everett confided in Unc’ Tom that he meant to run away – “ ‘cause they’s spooks and things in the house that’s trying to tell me things and can’t,” he whispered fearfully to the faithful old darky.
So Everett, with his poor clouded mind, and his little-boy soul, went to live in the woods. The neighbors were afraid of him, they say, and nobody could be found who would undertake to give him the care his enfeebled condition demanded. With Unc’ Tom gone to live with relatives in Alabama, the boy was forced to live on roots, berries and whatever he could get from homes in the neighborhood of his retreat.
Things were in this condition when Mr. and Mrs. Walraven took the little cottage – delighted to get it at its modest rent, because Mr. Walraven had been out of work for several months and the little family was in straitened circumstances.
After the ghost had led the way to the hidden money, the Walravens believed that they would suffer no more visitations. But they were wrong. The ghost, they say, came again and again – lovers strolling in the moonlit lanes that a bound around Bolton would, according to their sworn testimony, be accosted by a dim, wraithlike shape, and hear a woman’s pleading voice. Neighbors saw it again and again.
Finally, Mrs. Walraven, herself a mother and with a mother’s kindly heart, hit on the solution.
“I wonder if she isn’t worried about her boy?” she questioned Mr. Walraven. “Let’s find the poor boy and take care of him. That $5000 in the bank is his by rights.”
And they did. Everett, half-wild, starved and emaciated, a pitiable sight, was coaxed from the woods and taken to the Walraven home, where he was adopted. He is now one of the family.
And the ghost has been seen no more.
“Was it really a ghost?” repeated Mrs. Walraven. “I don’t know but isnt it reasonable to suppose that a mother, dying suddenly, with an afflicted boy who is suffering and uncared for, would try to come back and provide for him? Especially if five thousand dollars were hidden for him in the house? I don’t know anything about spiritualism but I do know something about mothers. And I believe that is what happened.”
Tuesday August 5, 2014
This week’s article has it all! Spooks, guns, many hyphenated words, and bloomers!! I am also happy to report it does not have ghosts of disappointed hope (didn’t want to bring y’all down on this fine Tuesday). I really need to figure out when people stopped trying to shoot spooks, you just don’t read that anymore, nor do you see it on any of the para entertainment shows…maybe they need to bring that old ghost hunting technique back?
San Francisco Chronicle edition 09/18/1904
CHINESE CAMP, THE VENERABLE MINING TOWN, IS NOW TERROR-RIDDEN BY THE QUEEREST GHOST ON RECORD
This Up-to-Date Apparition Appears in White, in Black, in Bloomers, Desecrates a Church, Spills Blood, Eludes Armed Men and Frightens Many.
Chinese Camp, Sept. 15
CHINESE CAMP has a ghost. For three months this little mining camp of the Sierra has been in a state of ferment over the apparition. For nearly three months the fame of this specter has been spreading along the mountains from settlement to settlement and from gulch to gulch, like the fires that are devastating the fine forests, so that now it is talked of from Mariposa and Mount Bullion on the south to Sonora and the regions beyond on the north. Of course, all old mining camps have their ghosts, and very sorry kinda of ghosts they usually are; ghosts of disappointed hope, wrecked ambitions, ruined lives. But the ghost that stalks abroad in Chinese Camp is a real, bona-fide spook – I had almost said a real flesh-and-blood ghost – a ghost of the fine, old-fashioned school; the sort of apparition that stalks abroad at dead of night, that is fearful to behold, that delights in scaring women and children, and makes the cheeks of strong men blanch, and that incidentally encourages to tall sprinting. It is averred, on a good authority, that the world’s record in short-distance sprinting has been broken in Chinese Camp not once, but several times, during the past twelve weeks. The people who have encountered the ghost are almost without number.
To understand the peregrinations of the ghost, it is well to understand something of Chinese Camp. Every one has heard of, but comparatively few have seen, this quaint old settlement, which is huddled in the middle of a broad, elevated plateau encircled by mountains near the center of Tuolumne county. In the early days the district was celebrated for the extent and richness of its surface placers. Chinese Camp gained its title by reason of the population of Chinese which settled down here after the first Caucasian pioneers began to move on to other fields. Some of the white men remained, among them several slave owners, whose colored chattels worked the placers, while their masters looked complacently on. So it came about that in the sixties, when the slavery question was still a burning issue throughout the land, a three-cornered racial fight took place in this remote mountain settlement, in which several Chinese were slain, confirming the christening that the place had already received.
The old placers are by no means wholly worked out. It is said to be an easy matter for the practiced hand, in winter, when water is plentiful, to pan out from 50 cents to $1 a day, while keener miners, hunting up crevices, often take out $5 a day or more. But this is the new era in the mining history of California, the day of quartz mining, and competent prospectors usually prefer to go into one of the big mines and earn their $2.50 to $3 a day, comfortably housed and fed, rather than to undergo the discomforts and exposure of their earlier vocation, with its uncertain returns.
But the ghost of Chinese Camp grows impatient. It is a “quality” ghost, not accustomed to awaiting its turn, but used to taking precedence everywhere in this vicinity. Probably, like many another rural celebrity, it imagines its empire boundless, and doubts not that it would be equally irresistible down around the bay, putting doughty bluecoats to flight.
The Ghost Came in June
According to the best advices the ghost of Chinese Camp made its appearance in an exceedingly quiet and courteous way one night last June. So well did it behave on this first occasion that no one recognized its supernatural character, although it is confessed by beholders that they felt curious chills run down their backs. A. C. Beck, a photographer well known throughout this region, was standing with a friend beneath some spreading fig trees on his pretty grounds one block back from the main street. The hour was about midnight, when the streets of Chinese Camp, now a most orderly village, are commonly deserted. The photographer himself had been up late developing plates, and the friend had been lending him company. A tall black figure was seen coming through the quiet street. The two men watched it curiously. Suddenly it began to glide away.
“Must be some one that’s been for the doctor,” one of them remarked indifferently.
A few nights later, under precisely the same circumstances, the apparition was again seen. Again it vanished when observed.
“Why, Al, that’s the same thing we saw the other night,” remarked the friend.
Workmen See the Specter
It was then that the startling manifestations of the ghost of Chinese Camp began. It bobbed up unexpectedly and awfully at all times of night and in all places. It was seen at eerie hours by men of bad consciences and men of good consciences. Frank Crangle, a good, sober man, working in the big Shawmut mine, two miles away, was a little startled when starting out one night to take his place on the “graveyard shift,” as that from 11 o’clock to 8 is called, to see a tall figure, draped all in white and apparently wearing a white veil draped over its face, gliding down the road from the mountains and standing motionless in the lane in front of the Leahy place, but, thinking that it was some one waiting to meet some one else, he passed on. The next night he came full upon the ghost standing motionless in the same place. This time he dropped flat upon the ground, a proceeding which he explains by saying that he wished to keep out of sight and see what the apparition was doing. The ruse was ineffective, for whether it vanished into thin air, after the approved custom of specters, or whether it chose to make off while Crangle was composing himself for his vigil – and it must be remarked that such espionage is highly improper in the case of a ghost – it had certainly disappeared when next Crangle’s eyes were fixed upon the spot where he had seen it.
Floyd and Roy Lafferty, furnacemen, next saw the specter. Three hilarious men from the Shawmut, whose testimony has an alcoholic tinge, came across the apparition on the trail near the Catholic church and burying ground on the hill just above the pretty cottage of Dr. Stratton, physician for the mine. They claim that they chased it, and that when it found itself pursued it ran into the doctor’s grounds. Jimmie Smith, who lives in town and works at the Shawmut, was startled by coming full upon the strange visitant, standing at Dr. Stratton’s gate. By the time Jimmie had returned with a squad to capture the ghost it was gone.
Annoyed by these and similar occurrences and the undoubted fact that some one or something was certainly opening his latched gate, running across his lawn, injuring his shrubbery, and opening his barn at night, Dr. Stratton himself undertook to set a trap and catch the ghost, and if he had succeeded this tale might have had a different ending. The doctor’s plan was to connect a wire with his gate and to tie the wire to one heel of a large rocker in his sleeping apartment, a sort of patent ghost alarm which should notify him when the supernatural trespasser was abroad. Now the doctor was out late one night and slept soundly after retiring, and after midnight the rocking chair began to thump the floor violently. Unhappily it awoke not the physician but his wife, who, after her first dazed awakening, was so choked with terror that it was some moments before she could muster voice to around her liege lord. When he was finally ousted from his slumbers and reached his front yard not a sign of the spook was to be discovered.
The little Catholic church on the hill was not spared by the unhappy spirit. One morning its doors were found thrown wide and havoc played among all its simple adornments.
M. C. Lot, who is employed in Morris’ store, the one general supply business now remaining from the half-score that flourished when Chinese Camp was a populous settlement, sitting outside the store one warm night long after closing hours, saw the spectral figure, all in white and white masked, come along the cross street, cross the main street, and turn into a lane back of Walsh’s saloon, but he courteously refrained from disturbing it. George Egland, a local clerk, saw the specter, and so did his brother August. Paul Morris, a local merchant, at about the same time stepping out of doors after midnight, almost collided with the white-robed figure, but, being alone and unprotected, he retreated to summon help, and when he returned with re-enforcements it was gone.
Ghost Changes Attire
The reputation of the ghost by this time rested on a sure foundation, although accounts of its appearance greatly differ, perhaps owing to its several changes of costume, for it has been seen all in black robes, in bloomers, and in white, usually with draperies over its head. When in its favorite costume of white it is usually masked, with protuberances over either forehead uncomfortable suggestive of horns, and some who have been near it insist that it wears a clanking chain.
Now a ghost is not much good to any town, unless it can be satisfactorily identified and proved to have a part in its past history. And so it is that old residents insist that this is one Lim Phoon, a peaceable Chinese, who came to an untimely and away back in the sixties, at the hands of white men an blacks. As to the reason for his arising after so many quiet years spent below ground they point to the fact that late last spring an old Mexican murderer, released from San Quentin after a long term, came through Chinese Camp, traversing the scene of his early misdoings. He, it is suggested, aroused the spook.
Housewives in Terror a Night
Had the specter confined its operations to giving the men folks of Chinese Camp a little wholesome excitement, it might not have worn out its welcome, in these dull days of little incident, but it developed a penchant for climbing fences, prowling about back yards, and pressing its ghastly face against window panes when women and children were alone in the little cabins. In fact, it was suspected of keeping a watchful eye on the time schedule of the Shawmut, for it seemed to know when men were on the night shift and women and children were left alone. Those of the women who had not seen it suffered almost as much as those to whom it had appeared, for they did not dare turn their eyes toward the windows by night lest a ghastly white face with horns might be staring back at them. With curtains tightly drawn they suffered through the long, warm nights. If they thirsted they dared not cross their yards to draw a bucket of cold water from a well for fear of the thing that might meet them there.
Meantime all efforts to capture the ghost had been unavailing. Never did men encounter it in sufficient numbers to seize and wrestle with it, and those who gave chase to it at a distance claimed by turns that it ran, flew in the air, and sped like a railroad train. Nevertheless they would have accounted themselves less than men had they not made some effort to lay it.
Arm for Ghost Hunt
The business men of Chinese Camp and the brawny miners who work in the Shawmut armed themselves thoroughly. Morris Brothers, local dealers in firearms, attest that within a few weeks from the first appearance of the apparition they sold out their entire stock of firearms, and had to rush off a new order to a San Francisco dealer for more. Men who had never before carried a weapon laid in a gun and a stock of ammunition. There were several literal ghost hunts, when bands of determined citizens remained up all night, lying in ambush along the silent street, or creeping from point to point, trying to stalk the ghost. They argued that a shot or two through his person would be proof positive of supernatural character, which a genuine ghost would hail with delight, while if any mundane personage were trying to frighten the community a dose of shot in the leg would exert a salutary influence. So night after night they stood guard about the town, but saw nothing, and it began to look as if Chinese Camp might have lost its chief distinction.
The vigils ceased, and with returning quietude the courage of the citizens waxed bold. One doughty warrior, Nelson Williams, often declared that he was ready to meet an tackle that or any ghost, if he could only get the chance. Now Nelson sometimes trips the light fantastic, and one night, when there was a dance on at Eagle Hall, which stands in the center of town, he made his way thither in high spirits. The hall was crowded, lights shown from every window, and the music had begun. On the threshold young Williams encountered a strange figure. At first he took it to be a dancer, in fancy garb and masked. Then he noticed that the mask was a strange one, consisting of a black cloth rigidly drown down like a pall over the features of a corpse.
“Who in thunder are you?” he yelled, and, springing past into the hall, summoned the pleasure makers to the door, but when they reached it all was still and deserted outside.
It was coming to be strongly suspected that the ghost that walked was not the spirit of Lim Phoon, and, in fact, not a disembodied spirit at all, but one incased in a very substantial garment of flesh, and wrath was waxing hot in the camp. The majority contended that it was a woman, for while the presentment had a decidedly massive and masculine cast, all of the men who had seen it run contended that it was a woman, that not even old Lim Phoon himself could swing his legs so wildly in a race. Mrs. W. H. Haigh and her mother, Mrs. Dr. Pirie, whose back yard seemed to be one of the apparition’s favorite haunts, were sure it was a man, because of the manner in which it sprang over the fence and away when it was seen.
The Ghost is Wounded
There came a singular and dramatic happening. Chinese Camp has a brass band of sixteen pieces, organized within the year by William H. Haigh, the leader. Every Thursday night they meet in Eagle Hall for practice. A short time ago the boys practiced industriously until a late hour, then went over town for a while, securely locking the doors behind them. Spencer Shepard, one of the members, returning about midnight, in passing the hall, observed that the front door was standing wide open. With an impatient exclamation he ran up to close it, for he knew that should the band be careless about leaving the hall open those who had granted them the privilege of its use would be likely to withdraw it. As he reached the front door he could see the starlit sky through the door at the rear, which was also swung wide. He stepped inside the hall, intending to go through and close the rear door first, when he saw, within three feet of him, the white apparition now grown so familiar by sight and repute. Which was more confounded, ghost or man, it would be difficult to say. Certain it is that the ghost bolted for the rear door and the man for the open doorway in front, whence he made straight for the nearest saloon, summoning his fellow townsmen to come with him and catch the spook. When the men came with lights the hall was empty, but some overturned chairs in the center of the hall told of its hurried flight.
The incident passed, and would have been little thought of, were it not for a discovery made two days later. Those who were clearing up the hall for a dance on Saturday found down the center of the floor little pools and splashes of blood about two days old.
At once every citizen asked his neighbor” “Is any one in town suffering from a cut or injury?”
Oddly enough it developed that a lady of means and education had been under treatment for a gash in her head since the morning after the band had practiced in Eagle Hall. The lady said that she had gone out on that eventful night in search of her horse, which had strayed, and had fallen unconscious, either exhausted or asleep, and that she had recovered consciousness in front of Mr. Haigh’s house, where some one had thrown a stone, which gashed her head.
So now the question which the people of Chinese Camp are propounding is threefold: Is the apparition a woman who is unconsciously a somnambulist, who has suffered injury through no fault of her own? Is it a malicious person, who for some reason desires to disturb the peace of the little town and affright the inhabitants? Or is it the spirit of poor Lim Phoon wandering disconsolately about the scene where his life was brutally taken, and seeking to warn all that his murderer again walks free in the land?
FLORA HAINES LOUGHEAD