This is one of those old newspaper stories which are beyond my ability to comment. The “Richmond Times Dispatch,” April 10, 1903:
The one thing which acted more effectually than the appearance of county officers to eject Charles Cooke, a well known farmer, from certain Henrico property, which he had been ordered to leave, was the fearful apparition of a ghost--a giant dog with a woman's head. The man pulled up at once and yesterday moved ten miles down in Varina District where he hopes to be out of harm's way.Cooke is about forty years of age and has for some time been renting Mrs. Freeman's farm in Varina. For inability to pay rent or other cause, ejectment proceedings were instituted and he was put out. But he promptly moved back and yesterday Deputy Sheriff Voegler went down to order him away again.This time, however, Cooke was moving of his own accord. He had already started away. To the deputy he said that for several nights past at about 10 o'clock the premises have been visited by a most fearful apparition--a ghost, which takes the shape of a dog with a woman's head. It gets into the yard and scatters the milk pans and the wood pile, uttering the while most horrible noises. Upon some occasions it comes up to the door and rattles the knob.Cooke showed the deputy two pistols he had armed himself with as a means of protection against the ghost. Still he wanted to get out of the place, and hence he was moving. He had chosen a house about ten miles down in Varina District, where, he hoped, the ghost could not follow. An old white woman who lives in the same house with Cooke declares that all he says concerning the ghost is true.