Friday, April 1, 2011

Phantasm or Fantasy?

Buffalo Courier Express

Tuesday February 26, 1861

page 1, column 2

“A Ghost Story”

A recent number of a paper in Kendal,

England relates the following:

There is a cottage at the upper end of

Kitty Gibson’s yard, which is occupied by

a man named Joseph Allinson. One of the

inmates a young woman named Marian

Allen, a sister of Mrs. Allinson , who has been

bedridden and nearly blind for some time

past, is the “medium” through which the

strange story now in circulation had been set

afloat. It appears that on Monday evening

last, whilst some five or six men and women

were sitting by the fireside down stairs

all at once they were alarmed by some heavy

sounds, as if some one was knocking

violently in a room up stairs this noise continued

for some time - knock - knock - knock

louder and louder - so much so that the

concussion shook the house as if it were

about to be brought down altogether - one

person stating that the chair in which he

was sitting was fairly lifted up. On

proceeding to her apartment the young woman

gave forth this curious revelation: - An

apparition had visited her, ( which she was

permitted to behold for a time, then her

eyesight left her as before,) the figure of a

man dressed in black, of a grim and rough

aspect. She describes something breathed

in her face - that the lighted candle in the

room burned out of its own accord or was

extinguished by some unseen hand, when the

figure appeared as stated. On acquiring sufficient

utterance, she inquired of the ghost in the

name of the Holy Trinity , why she was

troubled by his presence. On the third

time of asking, the specter spoke in a thick

husky, hollow voice, telling, whilst

pointing in the direction below, to the follow

him to the cellar of the house, where on

removing the flagstones on the hearth,

something would be found buried, which it

was the special purpose of his visit to reveal.

On stating this, the form of the unearthly

visitant vanished like a dim shadow.

Slowly and silently the parties in the house

went to the locality in the cellar pointed out

by the man in black -- dug up the hearth -

and found a quantity of bones buried

a little below the surface. A quantity of

hops, in good preservation, were found scattered

here and there over the soil. These

bones (human they are said to be by some

accounted competent judges in such

matters) have been examined by scores of

people. Their state of decay leads to the

supposition that a long, long time has elapsed

since they were put beneath the ground.

-Original article from the microfilm records at,

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Central Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY  14203

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