"...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, February 21, 2024

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

Sometimes, the briefest ghost stories are the most unsettling ones.  The “Evansville Journal,” March 11, 1873:

A Lebanon Ky. correspondent of the Courier-Journal of the 6th solemnly assures us as follows: 

It is currently reported that Marion is delighting herself and the adjoining counties with the unusual sensation of the appearance of a ghost or a something which none of the "ologies” in these parts has so far satisfactorily explained. 

Our readers will remember the appearance in print some three months ago of the death of Bland Ballard of that county, who committed suicide three days previous to the one that he should have married a Miss Rhodes of the same neighborhood. 

The alleged cause of his self-destruction at the time was his father’s opposition to his marriage. For a time after his burial his remains appeared to rest quietly in the grave, but of late he has made frequent visits to the paternal mansion, at each time of which he was recognized by his father, brother, and sister. 

He comes at night and brings with him a light by which he is distinguished and recognized. He familiarly opens the door, proceeds to his former room, and while there employs himself in rummaging through his trunk. His father has spoken to him, but so far has failed to elicit an answer. He makes no attempt to molest anyone. Of course there are many incredible rumors afloat in regard to it, and hence many speculations.  Of the latter, one is that Thomas Ballard’s farm being a desirable one, some wily speculator has taken this means of personating the son to compel the unhappy father to dispose it at a sacrifice.  Others place it among the occurrences which no one can satisfactorily explain.

I was unable to find any more about this story, so I have no idea for how long young Ballard continued to visit his earthly home--or, for that matter, what he was looking for in that trunk.


  1. Here's a bit more about the backstory of his father's opposition, but not about the haunting. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/43183906/richard-bland-ballard

    1. The whole story is very odd. Earlier, his brother got married without telling his father. Then, poor Richard Bland also arranges to get married without the father's knowledge. Then, when the father finds out about his plans, Bland shoots himself. There had to be a lot more going on in the Ballard family than ever appeared in the newspapers.

  2. It's also strange that, even though the coroner ruled this a suicide, he was still allowed to be buried in Holy Cross Cemetery. At this time canon law still prohibited burial in consecrated ground for suicides.

  3. The searching of the trunk is incongruous enough to be unsettling...


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