"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Newspaper Clipping of the Day



Reports of headless ghosts are hardly rare. However, one who removes her own head and tosses it around like a basketball is novel enough for me to welcome her through the hallowed gates of Strange Company HQ. From the "Coffeyville Daily Journal," April 6, 1897:
The country north of Anderson, Ind., has an up-to-date, twentieth century ghost. The people in the vicinity of Florida, a small town, are in a state of excitement, the result of the appearance of the apparition and its unheard of actions.

McClelland Beagle, a gas line inspector, was the first to encounter the ghost. He was riding along a deserted road when his horse suddenly shied and stopped. He looked before him, and his blood froze in his veins. There in the center of the roadway was a white figure strolling along in front of the horse in an unconcerned manner. The form was that of a woman. She did not seem to have any concern for the chilly atmosphere. Beagle whipped up his horse and made a dash at her, but the faster his horse went the swifter the Apparition moved on in front. She took down her hair leisurely, and let it fall down over her white robes. At last she turned into a barn belonging to Andrew Scott, and disappeared.

The next night Beagle induced John Haggarty to accompany him. As they neared the strip of wood the white figure again appeared, singing this time a German lullaby. She strolled along ahead of them and again took down her hair. They tried to run her down. She suddenly stopped, and the next second the buggy passed over the spot but she was not there. A few seconds later they saw a white form appear in the center of the road. The lullaby was again heard. She glided on ahead of them and, coming to the end of the strip of wood, turned in and went up to the barn again and disappeared.

The next night a party of 60 people went on an investigating tour. George Brown and Andy Montgomery headed the party. They encountered the apparition at the end of the wood, and she glided on before them, carefully taking down her hair. When it was done she proceeded to give them a few pointers on what a real, up-to-date, twentieth-century ghost could do. Calmly she took her head from her shoulders and tossed it into the air. It sailed along overhead and at length quietly returned to her shoulders. She then took her head by the hair and as though throwing a sling-shot she sent it sailing along in front of her. It came to no harm, and finally returned to her and she adjusted it on her shoulders.

Finally she took her head off and tucked it under her arm. She seemed in a very pleasant mood as she strolled along headless, and when she reached the end of the woods she again set it on her shoulders, carefully did up the long black tresses, and, as happy as a lark, began singing one of her German songs, strolled up to the barn and disappeared.

A few miles from this spot a great deal of excitement was occasioned a few months ago by a nightly tragedy near an old gas well. A giant would come out. and, strolling down the road, would meet a beautiful young woman spirit, and taking her in his arms would draw a long knife and plunge it into her heart.

Okay, let's all sing: "With her head tucked underneath her arm, she walks the bloody tower..."

2 comments:

  1. Firstly, why did the men try to run the ghost down in their buggy? Is that what people in that part of the country did when they spied strangers? After all, the ghost hadn’t done much unusual at that point.

    Secondly, did no one ask Scott what attraction his barn held for the spectre?

    Thirdly…a giant? Where did this guy come from? And why plunge a knife into a woman? Was it the same woman-spirit?

    Fourthly: McLelland Beagle. What a great name. I’m sure he was on his way to Duckburg to try to break into Scrooge McDuck’s Money-bin…

    ReplyDelete
  2. Someone really shoulda put a basketball hoop up on the barn to give her something to do with her spare time.

    ReplyDelete

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