Creepy History 35. In yesterday’s Creepy history article we looked at a quote from A True Ghost Story, by Hazel Lewis Scaife, published in 1895, in which the author relates her experiences investigating a “haunted house” in Georgia, USA. Unfortunately it all turned out to be a hoax in the end, but the author’s route to that discovery was an interesting one, and there is no doubt the house had the sort of appearance to inspire ghostly rumours. The last quote detailed the author’s determination to disprove the haunting and gave a description of what she found when she arrived at the house. Close to the house, the author and her group found some cabin and was told by a local that the strange goings-on had even spread outside the house:
We followed the road, passed the “Haunted House,” and walked down the row of deserted cabins until we stood by an old store. We waited here for spiritual manifestations to begin in the “Big House On The Hill.” While we were waiting, I was told how the clerk, who slept in the store by which we were standing, had been forced to give up his position, and how impossible it was to find another who would take his place. At night, as soon as he extinguished his light, he could hear some one knocking at the door, but when he would look, he could find no one, and hear nothing.
One night the moon was shining, while he and a friend were sitting upon the counter talking. Three loud knocks were heard at the door, and both men ran out to look. Nobody could possibly have knocked and gotten away. There was a cellar under the store; it was well searched, but no one could be found. This was repeated several times.
The next night, while the clerk was asleep, he was awakened by a plank falling from the ceiling; then something jumped on his bed, with a thud. The man became so frightened that he covered up his head, and as soon as morning came, he left the place. The store has never been occupied since.
Another house was pointed out to me just below the store. All its windows were open, and each seemed to pour out darkness into the already dark night. I was told by the old gentleman, the leader of our little expedition, how a fishing party, which was camping near it, had heard noises like chains being dragged around inside the house. He continued : “Each man ran to see what it was, and finding the door locked, we tore off planks and went inside.” I was conducted and showed where the planks on the side of the house were actually gone. The old man took an oath that, as he was a gentleman, this story was true, for he was there himself, I asked him if it could not have been rats?
“No, sir, look at the stars through the roof; there was not a thing in the house!” was his reply.
We turned to go back to the “Big House,” where even the worst of all is said to have occurred. As we faced about, the line of cabins in the darkness appeared like huge phantoms couched and ready to spring upon the unwary creature, who might dare to come there alone. In their windows the mind’s eye could see any spectre imaginable, standing there in the darkness, in bold relief.
We will continue the story on Monday with another quote from A True Ghost Story in the next “Creepy History”, when the author experiences some strange goings-on at the house herself.
If you found this interesting, please consider sharing on Facebook or Twitter, to help other people find and enjoy Windows into History. You can keep updated each time I post a new entry by clicking on the follow button on the right of the screen. I welcome any comments or suggestions, and will consider guest posts.