This odd little story appeared in the “Altoona Tribune,” March 25, 1875:
For the past week a story has been current on the street which at first we could not believe. Mrs. Julien Jerome, a Frenchwoman, whom all that knew her say had always led a very devout, good life, lived on Main street, and was taken sick about five weeks ago. Immediately after a cross appeared on the wall beside her bed, which, all efforts cannot obliterate. It first appeared very small and faint, and scarcely observable, but by degrees it began to grow large and appear plainer. Such was the story, and yesterday morning our correspondent visited the house of the sick woman to ascertain the truth of the story.
There is no denying it was the cross on the wall, plain and observable to all. The wall is not papered, but is whitewashed, and when the cross first appeared some member of the family took a knife and attempted to scratch it out of the wall, but to no avail. The white wash was daubed over it with the same result. The woman died last evening, and your correspondent visited the house again. He found the mysterious cross was fading as had the life of the woman who had lust passed away. In the morning it looked on the white wall like a strong shadow, black and heavy, but in the evening it was the color of a November leaf.
We questioned the son of the deceased woman concerning the case and he substantiated the above. He said that he was continually scratching, attempting to obliterate that mysterious reminder of our Savior’s death. True it is the print of a knife was on the plaster, having worn it off about a quarter of an inch while attempting to destroy the figure. When asked why he did not give it publicity, the son said he thought if he did his house would be crowded all the while, annoying his sick mother (now dead). He also said that he told only his immediate friends of it, but somehow it began to leak out from them. The above may be thought by some a romance,but it is a plain, undeniable fact.