Railroads are one of those sites that, for whatever reason, are a particular magnet for ghosts. The following example comes from the “Minneapolis Star Tribune,” October 26, 1872:
The following wonderful and marvelous story, which comes from a source that prevents its being hooted as a canard, we clip from yesterday's Pioneer and leave our readers to await further developments:The first Mr. Connelly certainly proved that it’s possible to be too fond of your job.
Our readers will all remember the terrible accident which took place in a blinding snowstorm at Randall Station, on the main line of the St. Paul and Pacific Road, in March last, which caused the death of several persons. Among the victims of that terrible accident was a section foreman named Connelly. This man was very much attached to his division, and took great pride in keeping everything right and tidy, as far as his supervision extended. Although his station was located, at that time, in a sparsely settled section of the country on a treeless waste, so to speak, where especially there was nothing to break the force of the wind which at times swept over the bleak prairies with the force of a hurricane, yet so great was Connelly’s attachment to his section that he refused several more lucrative positions which were offered to him.
Upon his death by the accident above referred to, the Randall Station was given to another man, whose name is Connelly. The latter has been employed on the road for a long time and is known to be a sober, industrious, and intelligent man, one in whose fidelity the company has the most implicit confidence, and the last man almost that any one who knows him, would suspect of being tinctured in the slightest degree with superstitious notions. For some time after assuming charge of the Division everything went along satisfactory. This state of things was not to last however. For some time past Mr. Connelly has complained that he could not sleep nights. He avers that he is visited at all hours of the night by the
APPARITION OF HIS DEAD PREDECESSOR.
The ghostly form appears at his bedside, and and vainly endeavors to tell his tale by unearthly motions, at times apparently entreating and anon with every appearance of anger and revenge. Several times Mr. Connelly has been thrown from his bed with great violence, and his arms and other portions of his body show the marks of rough handling. The imprint of hands and finger-nails are plainly visible, which he asserts have been left there by his ghostly visitor. To such an extent has this most mysterious visitation been carried, that Mr. Connelly has petitioned to be removed to another section, or granted permission to erect another house on a different portion of the section. He says it is not only these visitations which disturb him, but
THE SPIRIT OF THE DEAD MAN
prevents him from performing his duties both day and night. He has seen the awful spectacle in the daytime while at his labors, and the shadowy form has, by unmistakable motions, ordered him away.
For a long time Mr. Connelly refrained from mentioning anything about these mysterious appearances, knowing that he would not be believed, and in all probability would be laughed at, and it is probable he never would have mentioned it, but for an occurrence which took place a short time ago.
One evening after the labors of the day had closed, and as Mr. Connelly and the men under his charge were eating their supper, the door of the house opened noiselessly, and in the doorway, in the full gaze of all who were present
STOOD THE AWFUL APPARITION
of the dead man. The shadow remained long enough to make a number of demonstrations of a revengeful character, and then disappeared, apparently melting into space. An awful feeling of terror fell upon that small party of men, and for a time they were speechless, gazing into each other's faces with eyes distended with horror. They were not men easily frightened, and some of them had looked death in the face without flinching. But this
UNEARTHLY SUPERNATURAL VISITATION
which was recognized at once bv all as the spirit of the man they had all well known while living, was more than they could stand. When their momentary terror had subsided they commenced in awe-stricken tones to tell each other what they had seen. It was then that Mr. Connelly related his experience, and it is needless to say he was not laughed at or disbelieved. The sight had been too real and too palpable to all to admit of dispute. They had seen the veritable ghost of their former fellow workman. Since that time there have been
MOST MYSTERIOUS OCCURRENCES
taking place at that lonely station on the prairie. Several tools, which were known to have been put away, are missing, and various other things have taken place to hinder Mr. Connelly and his crew of men from performing their work.
Nor is this all. The engineer on one of the freight trains avers that several times he has seen the apparition in the night engaged on work upon the track, the same as when dead man was living. At one time it will be engaged with a crowbar, raising the rails, and making motions as though giving directions to a gang of men.
Again he has seen it standing upon the track in advance of his engine, arms stretched out as if to give warning of danger ahead, and the engineer says at such times his engine acts as if plowing its way through drifting snow, and although he pulls his engine "wide open," the speed of the train is sensibly decreased until it reaches a certain point, when it will plunge ahead as though just relieved from some obstruction.
We understand that these most mysterious doings have been reported to the officials but they, of course, are inclined to doubt the truth of the statements; but so serious has the matter become that steps have been taken to have some of the employees of the road stay at the station house a number of nights and have the matter thoroughly investigated.
The above is a statement of facts, which come to us well authenticated, and we give them as one of the most singular stories we remember of hearing. Should any more facts be developed after a thorough investigation of the matter, we shall hasten to lay them before our readers.