It Wasn’t Ghosts (Part II)

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I am back with more debunked ghost stories from the newspaper archives. If you missed the first post, click here. In part II, I share ghost hoaxes executed by children.

“She Was Lonely”

I will start with the sad story first. Paranormal activity was reported in the Henry Thacker home of Louisville, Kentucky (1952). Stories of household objects floating and boxes sailing across the room brought in curious visitors and press. County Patrolman Russell McDaniel and Jack Fisher noticed the activity centered around 11-year-old Joyce. Joyce and her sisters were staying with the family as their mother was terminally ill with cancer and their father was not around. She admitted to the patrolmen that she in fact threw objects when no one was looking. The girl told police,”It made a lot of people come to see me.”

Source: January 1952, Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton, Texas (pg. 10)

It Wasn’t Mr. Albright

On March 16, 1916, The Republic of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania reported the alleged haunting of a recently deceased Mr. Jonathan Albright. The veteran’s ghost was said to have driven his family out their home (in Meyersdale) on two occasions. “On one occasion several weeks ago, ” The Republic reports, “the family averred, he came and stood at the head of the stairs and ordered them all out of the house, They were so frightened by his austere manner and stern command that they all ran to the home of Andrew Lehman nearby […].”

The next week (March 23, 1916), The Republic published an update. It seems the ghost was not Mr. Albright, but a poodle. The Republic explains, “The ghost story originated by some children dressing up a poodle dog and propping the animal up in bed, so that he resembled an old man, and then calling Mrs. Albright and telling her there was a man in bed upstairs.” A scared Mrs. Albright ran out of the house and told neighbors of her sighting. The story spread.

Source: March 16, 1916 (pg.1) & March 23, 1916 (pg.1), The Republic, Meyersdale, Pennsylvania

 

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

It Wasn’t Ghosts (Part I)

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Happy 2020! Now that I have a major life project out of the way (finally!), I can devote all my free time to GHOSTS! So expect more constant and consistent blog posts. I am excited to explore this spooky world with you all.

I have been digging in the newspaper archives and noticed a fun trend of debunked hauntings and some are funnier than others. For the next couple weeks or so, I’ll be sharing some of my favorites.

A Haunting Solved by A Tornado

A schoolhouse in Frankfort, Indiana was believed to be haunted by a man named Entrekin who fell from the three-story brick building (possible image of the school here). “At night,” the The Indianapolis News reports, “when the wind cries plaintively among the nooks and crannies of the old building.” The superstitious believed “Entrekin’s spirit comes out and stalks amid the columns on the top of the building and sings to the trembling ones who go hurrying by on the sidewalks below.”

A tornado ripped through the town in June of 1902 and caused damage to the iron ornaments on top of the building. Workmen, when fixing the damage, found the source of the ghost: “one of the tall pillars was capped with an odd-shaped galvanized iron piece, and it was formed to produce a whistling sound, which, when the wind blew in a certain direction, gave forth a series of soul-chilling weird sounds.”

Source: June 1902, The Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Indiana (pg. 7)

Spirits of a Different Kind

Witnesses saw odd lights in an old and isolated schoolhouse in Emerson, Man. Citizens assumed ghosts. The theory that it was spirits was not entirely wrong.

The lights were from nightly sessions of making moonshine (“and not the Sir Oliver Lodge variety”). “On the teacher’s platform,” The Star Press reports, “they [the police] found a huge still, with a capacity of forty-five to sixty-five gallons daily.”

Source: October 1921, The Star Press, Muncie, Indiana (pg. 21)

A Cemetery Ghost

People reported a flying ghost accompanied by “screeching noises” in an abandoned cemetery in North Manchester, Indiana.  An investigation by skeptics revealed the source:

[…] it was found that mischievous boys had stretched wires across the grounds from fence to fence from which was suspended a woman’s nightrobe. This was drawn back and forth by the little scamps, who howled delight whenever frightened people took to their heels.

Source: March 1902, Princeton Daily Clarion, Princeton, Indiana (pg. 3)