On one occasion, “Pennies From Heaven” became more than just an old song, if the following story is to be believed. The “Washington Post,” October 1, 1905:
Genoa, Sept 22.--Genoa has its ghost, with this peculiarity--that people run after it instead of fleeing for their lives. No one has seen the ghost, but its presence is indicated by a rain of money!
Every evening, between 6 and 7 o'clock, pennies begin to drop in a certain locality, and from 10 to 11 the rain is of silver. Where they come from has not yet been ascertained, and the people of the neighborhood really believe that it is the work of spirits.
This strange happening has brought many strangers to the neighborhood, not with an idea of making their fortunes, as no single person has yet collected more than from one to two lire in one day, but certainly with an idea of getting "drink money."
The only inn-keeper of the neighborhood gets most of the pennies, for which he gives good red wine, so much so that he has been accused of having invented this novel way of advertising his wares, but his protest that he has no money to throw away is so confirmed by the appearance of his wine-shop that it is generally credited with being the truth.
That the spirits, if spirits they are, are bad is shown by the fact that among their silver pieces two of them were false, which almost got the person who was unfortunate enough to pick them up into trouble. Can they be a kind of ghostly coiners of contraband money? The police have the matter in their hands, and meanwhile the new kind of rain continues unabated.
I found no follow-ups to this story.