Tuesday, October 31, 2023

An 1874 Ghost Story -- Taking A Shot Or Two At A 'Woman in White"

This is an interesting ghost story because one of the witnesses goes Western in a big way by drawing a pistol and taking a couple of shots at the ghost. For me, this is the first time that I've seen a newspaper report of a ghost encounter where someone decided to shoot at a spirit. 

The news story below is from the Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1874, Page 4:
A Ghost Story 

A Mysterious ''Woman in White" Flitting Around In Prospect Hill Cemetery.

It was not long since that the report that the house standing at the northwest corner of Thirteenth Street and Capitol Avenue was haunted, excited considerable curiosity among the superstitious. This morning, however, we were told a reliable story that puts the haunted house way in the shade.

The scene of this strange and true narrative is Prospect Hill Cemetery, adjoining which Mr. H. P. Stanwood, the well-known sculptor, has a small dwelling and a marble-cutting shop, in which several hands are employed.

On Tuesday night, shortly after dark,' one of two brothers, who sleep in the shop, happened to step out of doors before retiring, and looking out over the silent city of the dead, a vision of -- a ghost -- a "woman in white" -- the invariable costume of ghosts met his astonished gaze.

The mysterious being was slowly flitting towards the building, when he ran in and brought his brother out to view the strange sight.

Both became scared, and hastening out of the back door, just as the ghost came in the front door and blew out the light, they ran over to Mr. Stanwood's residence to inform him of what had happened.

Mr. Stanwood and the men went out to see what was the matter, and sure enough they saw before them the ghost, who hit Mr. Stamw0od on the back, and asked where her children was -- if they were buried in that tomb.

The ghost then flitted into the house, blew out the light, and entering a bedroom, so scared the occupant that he jumped out of the window and ran away. One of the two brothers mentioned above, having pulled out his revolver, deliberately took aim and fired twice at the ghost, but without effect.

She then took her departure into the cemetery, followed by the men to a certain grave, where she vanished.

On Wednesday night the mysterious ghost again made her appearance, and so frightened the two brothers that they came down town to sleep during that night, and the next night.

The above is a true statement of the facts, as related to us by a gentleman of veracity. Mr, Stanwood himself is not a superstitious man, and has no faith in ghosts, but our informant assures us that he substantiates the above statement.

-- end of news story Omaha Daily Bee, Omaha, Nebraska, July 18, 1874, Page 4

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