Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ghost Story #8: The Haunting of a Jefferson Avenue Boarding House

The Detroit Free Press, September 20, 1874
This is a straight-forward eye witness account of a supposed haunting at a boarding house on Jefferson Avenue in late summer of 1874. The man, Mr. G., confided in the Free Press reporter that he had boarded in the house the previous two weeks and that many strange occurrences took place during the fortnight.

The first week was pleasantly quiet and gave no hint of the haunting incidents that were to come. Early the second week as Mr. G. was retiring to his bed after turning out the lights (I'm assuming candles or a lantern) he heard an audible yawn. Assuming that somebody had mistakenly ventured into his room he retrieved a light expecting to find a wayward stranger in his bed.

While pondering the confounding aspects of his situation he began to hear a noise akin to a spinning wheel in motion. He ventured out into the hallway and checked the house for any stirring but discovered that the residents were all in their rooms with the lights out and the noise had ceased. After finally getting back to bed the whirring sound returned with greater vigor.

Doors that he witnessed to be shut and locked began to crash open and shut, banging as if a great disturbance of human activity were taking place. A while later the noises ceased once more and he finally settled into a peaceful slumber. In the morning the tenants discussed the noises, deciding that an unknown natural explanation was behind it but never breached the subject of ghosts or paranormal activity.

The next evening at nearly the same hour as the previous visitation and while reclining in bed Mr. G. heard a woman walk from near the hall door to a clothes press within the room's closet, her silk dress rustling as she moved across the floor. He first checked the hall door, making sure that it was secure, and then gingerly peeked into the closet to satisfy his curiosity. Being more leery of the living than the dead at that point, he opened the door to once again find no source for the eerie sounds. Satisfied that no answer was to be found he retired to bed.

A few hours later he was startled from his slumber as the specter exited the closet door that she was last seen entering and left by the same foot path as she had come, her dress once more rustling as she strode away. The whir of the spinning wheel also returned as did the slamming doors throughout the home. Mr. G. also heard dishes rattling in the kitchen area as if "a dozen kitchen girls were having a dish-washing race for the championship medal."

With shaky legs and a chill crawling up his spine he hurried to get dressed. He walked the city streets until daylight and then returned home too tired and frazzled to go to work. Later that evening at dinner the dishes began to shake frenetically once more followed by a terrible crash within the closet. Believing that great damage had occurred the landlady checked its contents only to find that nothing had been disturbed. G. decided that he'd had enough and vacated the premises.

The reporter also interviewed the landlady and though she was reluctant to speak on the matter she acknowledged that unexplained things had happened in the home but that they were only minor disturbances that didn't affect the overall affability of the residence. Despite the reassurances she, too, planned to relocate her living quarters.

1 comment:

Your Biggest Fan said...

If there's somethin' strange in your neighborhood
Who ya gonna call?