Sunday, September 1, 2013

Spooks Doings!

Monday, January 22, 1900
Page 5, Column 1
Cause No End of Excitement
In Patterson.
Considerable Rivalry, but the Stahl
Spook Seems to Have Fairly
Won Lead in Business.
New York Herald Special to
Buffalo Courier.
New York, Jan. 21. – Paterson, N.J.
is not only spook haunted, but it is
bewitched by spooks.  The city is talking
spooks from morning to night, and
at night it is crowding about an obscure
little house at the corner of 6th Avenue
and 5th Street, in the muddiest,
dirtiest, obscurest part of  the town, trying
to see spooks.
Plenty of Spooks.
If the “spirit of manifestations” continue
much longer Paterson will soon be
known as the prize “spook” city of the
country.  For three weeks and more its
people have been trying to solve a mystery
that has made enchanted ground
of the corner of 6th Avenue and 5th
Street, and now, before this ghost had
been laid, the city ia agog over another.
The people, indeed, are on the lookout
for the supernatural, and the every day
and commonplace no longer interests
But the new ghosts that are trying to
attract the attention of Paterson folk
have yet to compete with successfully
with the marvelous repertory of
uncanny freaks that the ghost at the
aforesaid corner has mastered.  The 6th
Avenue (or Stahl) ghost has a change
of bill nightly.  It also has great staying
powers.  It has been exorcised by
clergymen, chased by enthusiastic
watchers, threatened by flashlight camera
fiends, menaced by policemen, abjured by
frightened parents and neighbors.  Nothing
is of avail and the spook continues
its nocturnal visits.
Makes Visits in Daytime.
As if to show that it was not to be
dealt with by ordinary means, it has begun
to make its visits in the day time
and to amuse itself with overturning
chairs and tables, hurling cups and
saucers, pieces of wood, lumps of coal -
anything that is at hand – all about the
house, generally aiming these missiles at
the heads of doubters or of the curious
According to reports, the spook has
been heard though it has never been
seen, for three or four weeks.  Stahl
has said to  neighbors that it has been
in the house for a year, but its
manifestations assumed a serious nature
about Christmas time.
After that the doings of the spook
became more and more weird and
annoying, until they culminated last
Tuesday night in a regular Walpurgis night,
a revelry of spirits that frightened the
Stahls out of their wits, scared the
neighbors, and amused the wild curiosity
of every person in Paterson.
Mrs. Stahl said yesterday that none of
the family, except the little children, had
slept for several weeks.  She herself is
showing signs of the terrible ordeal
through which she is passing.  When I
called at the house yesterday she came to
the door, but could hardly talk because of
fright and nervousness.
Little Girl’s Denial.
Arthur W. Bishop of the Society for
the Prevention Off Cruelty to Children
c onceived the idea that the whole mischief
was being done by Bertha, a little
innocent looking girl of 11 years.  He
saw Bertha and said he made her confess
that she had thrown a chair rung
into the room.  Bertha yesterday denied
that she said  anything of the kind,
and also denied that she ahd anything to
do with the spook.
Jacob Stahl Jr., the boy of 15 is badly
frightened, almost as much so as his
mother, he has heard so many things.
When the manifestations became more
marked several neighbors consented to
watch in the room with the family.  August
Post was one of these, and he says
that he saw lumps of coal, pieces of
wood, cups and saucers hurled about  the
place. At the time, he says,  Mrs. Stahl,
Bertha and the other children were not
only in bed, but in plain view of him.
many of the things were hurled at him,
and some of them struck him. 
Another Witness.
Case Tannis, a railroad  watchman also
saw similar occurrences.  He said that
while sitting there in the room his attention
was attracted to a child’s building
block on the mantel.  It suddenly seemed
to be imbued with life.  Then it stirred
and moved over the edge of the mantel
and fell.  It did not fall straight to the floor.
It moved in eccentric curves
and fell at a considerable distance from
the mantel.
Original story from microfilm records at,
 Buffalo Erie County Public Library Central Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203



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