Timeless Tuesday – May 2015

Tuesday May 19, 2015

I ran across this week’s article while doing some genealogy research, it had already been transcribed and there was no image of the actual article, but it made me laugh on several different levels, plus it is kind of local, so I just had to share it. I guess this it helps explain why Sir Nigel of Orbsly is always wanting to drink ;)


HOMER’S GHOST (A Commentary)

The Banks Observer, Wednesday, May 30, 1888

 Homer, Georgia

One of our young men was out late one night last week, and in coming home met with an unearthly object on the hill above the Presbyterian Church, and as it seemed to be ready to stop and talk a few minutes the young man entered into a conversation with it, and a       dismal click came from its throat. On being questioned as to what was the matter he replied: “If you must know, I am a ghost, and”______

At this moment the young man was struck with abject terror and amazement and started to run, but the ghost waved its hand in an imprecating manner and another click came from its throat. The young man stood riveted to the spot, as as the ghost proceeded with its story he became filled with interest and pity and the ghost related the following strange story, as it limped with much difficulty towards a level spot of ground with its bones creaking and its joints popping.

“You know I have been laying down yonder in the old cemetery for a long number of years.   I rested peaceably for a long time behind the old Presbyterian Church with the large oaks swaying and swinging in the breezes.  One a year the Presbyterians came over there where the public square is now, and held a campmeeting. The singing and shouting of the congregation was music in my ears, and I was happy. But after awhile Dick Hooper and Col. Turk and a few others among them the inferior court, got in a big row about putting a new courthouse here. This lasted for a long time, and at last they began to cut down the trees around here and to build. This did not disturb me much but when they moved the old church away and I could no longer hear the singing I began to feel lonesome.”

Another click in his throat and the ghost remarked, “I have not had a drink of water in twenty five years.”

The young man made another start but another wave of the hand stopped him, and the ghost preceeded,  “After awhile the old graveyard began to be much neglected, and the cattle came and trampled around and grazed in the cemetery and slept there and great holes began to sink in the ground. At last a flood of water came and filled up the place where I lay, and I attempted to get up and make my way out of that dismal place. In doing so my foot fell into one of the neglected graves and I broke my thigh. I could do no better and crawled down into the hole and found that a darky had been buried there. I stayed there until my thigh got well and the darky told me that the white folks had quit burying there, and some of our neighbors had been taken up and moved to the new Presbyterian grave yard on the hill.

One day some boys in town got after some chickens and they ran into our hole and we subsisted on them until now. I have started out to find the new cemetery. Can you tell me where it is? I think call my old neighbors in the old cemetery had concluded to leave for more respectable quarters. Can you give me directions please?”

But the young man was so terrified that he ran for life and the ghost moved off saying, ” I will pick an opportunity to meet some of the little boys one of these nights. Maybe they will tell me? I always make it my business to go everywhere at nights.”

Tuesday May 12, 2015

I had a sarcastic quip all ready for this week’s article from 1913, but something in the article poked the research button in my brain and I was truly amazed at some things I found out and the my brain said “shame on you” for not knowing this. I think it is going to be a subject I am going to write about for The Paranormal Genealogist, so be on the lookout!  I now return you to your regularly scheduled sarcastic comment: when people see me as a ghost they will be amazed that most of my ethereal garments will look like I either got them at Hot Topic or Morticia Addams designed them!




Atlanta Constitution edition 06/01/1913

Man Who Saw His Own Ghost And Found It Was Fast Asleep


London, May 17 – Ghosts are getting tired of wearing just flimsy draperies which they find too nondescript to enable them to be recognized easily by former friends and relatives to whom they appear – and they are taking, instead, to sure-enough clothes such as they used to wear on earth. Incidentally, ghost sleep. Perhaps you didn’t know that.

Both of these two statements are made on the authority of Marvin Hume, who is one of the leading authorities in this country on affairs in the spirit world. Hume isn’t a member of “Julia’s Bureau.” The famous psychic institute that was started by the late W.T. Stead, and claims still to be receiving messages from him, but he is a regular contributor to the official organ of the English spiritists. The International Psychic Gazette, and it was the offices of that breezy periodical, in Bridewell Place, that he saw the writer yesterday, in response to a request for some details regarding his psychic experiences.

Hume, who looks rather ghostly himself, says that he has seen no end of spooks, including his own – and that of all those he has encountered and communed with recently, only one wore the traditional filmy, cloudy, transparent drapery.

“One ghost that I saw twice,” said he, “was each time immaculately got up in his Sunday-go-to-meetings. Another wore a rough shooting suit, with a felt hat, and another was in workman’s clothes. Ghost-stuff is admirable material; it makes up into any costume you want to copy.”

Still, of course, the fabrication of any sort of clothes, even ghostly ones, takes time, and it was to save all bother according to Hume, that spooks originally attired themselves in draperies only. “They are human,” said he, “and such is the way of humanity, also from time immemorial the proper clothing for ghosts has always been a sort of white, filmy shroud, very easy to concoct.”

It seems, however, that the ghosts found that they were not recognized by the old friends and kinsmen who they haunted. Hume says that though walking and wailing are quite correct things for a ghost to do, they are not sufficiently evidential for identification as the wraiths of departed friends. “How,” he asks, “are we to be sure that the apparition seen and heard is the actual double, astral body, or ghost of the departed?

“The quite natural thing for an “ousted” double to do is to wander and haunt its home or the place of the disaster which turned it into a “wanderer”. It would, naturally, appear in its own form; that is, the form of its body, and in order to secure recognition it would probably assume clothing made out of the same flimsy material as itself, the counterpart of what it happened to be wearing at the time of its decease.”

Hume added with entire seriousness that the “substance” of ghosts varied as much as their costume – now that they have taken to orthodox dress.

“According to the nature of the person they are ‘out of,’ “said he, “so the stuff they are made of will be thick or thin. Some ghosts are almost as dense in substance as the bodies they inhabit; some are transparent; some so fine and so ethereal that you can hardly see them – you ‘feel’ them, rather! With these it is more the perception of a presence of something wholly invisible yet occupying space.”

It was with difficulty, at times, that we repressed a smile while Hume was telling about his ghostly acquaintances, especially when he described seeing his own ghost.

“The only time I ever saw it,” said he, “it had ‘gone out’ without my knowledge, but I saw it ‘come in’ all tidily folded up in a wee little cloud and fast asleep.

“The ghost of a man who visited me once,” Hume added, “was sound asleep, I watched him wake, and was greatly amused at his annoyance upon finding himself where he was.”



Tuesday May 5, 2015

This week’s article has all the makings of a great(?) movie! An old Indian curse, disturbed Indian graves, and a supposed murder by spooks!! I’m now taking script applications!


San Francisco Chronicle edition 05/09/1920


“Ghost” Crimes That have Followed an Indian’s Curse

And the Curious and Seemingly Unexplainable Sequence of Rumors of Spooks and Haunted Houses Culminating in a Gruesome Tragedy, and the Discovery of Thirteen Shattered Skeletons in One Grave


By John Sheldor

THE noise of a through freight thundering past Fred Dean’s home at Paso Robles, Cal., awoke his wife, Mrs. Myrtle Dean, early on the morning of Monday, the 17th of last November. The woman has been dozing all night downstairs, fully dressed and simply resting as best she could in an easy chair in order to be within call of her daughter Bertha, who was ill.

Her husband, Fred Dean, was supposedly sleeping upstairs. No one except Fred Dean ever slept upstairs in that house. Nobody dared to. Dean’s house has had the reputation of being haunted.

sfc05091920crop1There is a legend in Southern California that about a century ago a venerable Indian medicine man named Hago stalked through San Luis Obispo and set is curse upon the paleface invaders of the red man’s territory. Whether or not there is any truth in that legend on one at this late day may be prepared to say, but the fact remains that there is a huge rock on part of the ranch land that is owned by Fred Dean on Carissa Plains, and graven and painted across the face of the rock is the following Warning



And there are many living in San Luis Obispo county today who will tell you of strange tragedies, ghostly visitations, mysterious disappearances and gruesome finds that have followed in the wake of that old Indian’s curse.

These events may be absolutely unrelated, one to the other. Old Hago may have been lying after the manner of some of the old Indian medicine men. But the actual facts point to a series of extraordinary fatalities, and the most startling of them all has developed since that early November morning when Mrs. Dean was awakened by the passing freight train and Fred Dean was found murdered upstairs in his bed.

It was no ordinary murder. Dean had been the victim of an assassin who attacked him while he slept. To have affronted Dean while he was awake, or even half awake, would have been a sure way of committing suicide, because Dean never went anywhere unarmed, not even to bed. He had the reputation of not being afraid of anybody or anything, not even a ghost. And it was also said that he always slept with one eye open.

The ranchman’s head had been split open, evidently with a heavy, blunt-bladed instrument. His throat had been slashed and there were marks on the body indicating that the fury of the assassin’s attack had not abated until the helpless victim was apparently dead.

The House of Two Murders

Following the tragic death of her husband Mrs. Dean attempted to commit suicide. And later she was arrested on a charge of murder, a suspicion having arisen that she might know more about the affair than she had already told.

The strange sequence of events which led to the arrest of the ranchman’s bereaved wife is almost without Parallel. Dean was widely known throughout California. He was a ranchman. He was also somewhat of a politician. His land lay within the confines of the territory over which old Hago had guaranteed the efficacy of his curse, and the Dean household has not been the only one in which a wish was expressed that Hago had spread his malediction elsewhere.

More than 20 years ago, before the house in which Dean was mysteriously murdered came into Dean’s possession, this very house was the scene of another mysterious murder. A little 3-year-old girl was strangled to death. Her parents soon thereafter went insane and the house was left vacant.

Then stories were told of ghostly figures flitting about the house after dark and weird noises which nobody ever seemed able to explain.

Dean bought the house because he said he was not afraid of ghosts. Mrs. Dean and her daughter Bertha, now a girl of 14 years, declare that all the time they resided in the house they heard strange sounds which they could not locate and noises which at times filled them with terror.

Doors frequently opened and closed most mysteriously, both Mrs. Dean and her daughter have asserted. Food disappeared after the t able had been set for a meal. Upon one occasion a full pitcher of cream was whisked off the table as though by magic while members of the household had their backs turned in the room.

With such spooky mysteries as these in mind Mrs. Dean and Bertha refused to sleep anywhere but on the ground floor, where they thought they could at least have a chance to escape in case a ghost paid them a visit.

“I was sleeping downstairs with my little girl who has been ill,” reads the statement credited to Mrs. Dean following her arrest. “The train that goes through Paso Robles at 5 o’clock awakened me. Then I heard a noise that I thought came from my cat and I opened the door to let her in. But she came from a different direction.

“I thought it peculiar, but returned to the couch. I then heard a noise – as though something heavy was being moved. I called Fred but he did not answer.

“I then ventured up the stairs and saw that Fred’s door was standing open. I called to him again without receiving any reply. Then I ran into his room and turned on the light.”

Mrs. Dean’s description of the scene that presented itself to her is particularly gruesome. Her husband was still breathing, although he had but a few moments to live.

Unlucky “13” in One Grave

“Grabbing an old skirt,” Mrs. Dean’s statement continues, “I put it under his head. When I had done this I kindled a fire to warm some water to wash his wounds. Then I ran to the home of Fred Maze, a neighbor, for help.”

It developed later that before running to her neighbor’s house Mrs. Dean locked the door of the downstairs room in which her daughter Bertha was in bed. Later she declared that she did this because she did not want the child to see the body of her father.

The Dean tragedy is not the only one which has come to light in San Luis Obispo recently. No later than last March 8, the skeletons of ten adults and three children were unearthed from a hastily dug grave eight feet long and about two feet deep on a grassy knoll surmounting a cliff at Port San Luis.

The first skull was discovered by T.C. Teeter, a county employe engaged on road work. The road scraper skidded and revealed the buried skull a few inches below the surface. Further excavation resulted in the discovery of nine more skulls and a litter of human bones, some mangled and crushed as though they had been hacked to pieces. Several of the skulls bore marks which indicated that the victims had been attacked with a fury much similar to that noted in the case of Fred Dean.

By the time the entire grave had been reopened the complete skeletons of ten men and women and three children had been unearthed.

And naturally the wildest speculation followed as to the source of the mystery. Not a few attributed the murders to supernatural agencies and recalled the old Indian curse of Hago, the medicine man.

Dist.-Atty. M.R. Van Wormer is making a careful investigation of the matter. He, of course, takes no stock in the ghost stories. He looks for a more materialistic solution, exactly as he has done in the Dean murder case.

Mysteries Credited to Ghosts

Discarding the Indian curse theory as too improbably for serious consideration, it may be interesting to note that since the murder of Fred Dean a hatchet with the handle broken off has been found where it evidently had been carefully hidden in a rear room of the Dean home. And buried in a shed at the back of the house was a razor which has since been identified as having been the property of the murdered rancher. When found the handle had been partly burned off. The county authorities expressed the opinion that these two weapons were the ones with which Dean was slain.

And concerning the discovery of the grave of the victims of a wholesale murder a theory has been advanced that the skeletons may have been those of Indians buried long ago. But Mrs. Teeter, mother of the county road employe, declares that her grandfather, who would be 120 years old if alive, and who spent his entire life in the vicinity of Port San Luis, had never mentioned any Indians being buried where the skeletons were found, although, on several occasions he pointed out to her other burial places where, he said, Indian skeletons could be found.

As a background to the whole case which involves much speculation concerning ghosts, imprecations and mysterious murders, stands the legend of La Piedra Pintada, the Painted Rock of Carissa, and the curse of Hago, the venerable medicine man. Believers in the legend point out that the histories of several of the old families that settled on the land over which old Hago distributed his curse have had their share of spooks, sudden deaths and even murder.



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