Lockport Daily Journal
Lockport , N.Y.
Monday Evening, July 9, 1883
THAT HEADLESS GHOST.
The Horrible Apparition that is terrifying
the People of Long Island.
(From the N.Y. Mail and Express)
The alleged ghost of a headless man,
which nightly wanders along the shore of
Long island Sound, at Bayville, is the
sensation which now agitates the people of
that usually sleepy little village, and
strikes terror to the hearts of the superstitious
portion of its population. According
to the story told- in Bayville, the visits of
the ghost have been continued at irregular
intervals for nearly a quarter of a century.
The strange and ghastly apparition has
been known to visit the shores for weeks
and then to disappear and not be seen
again for years. "It is nearly four years
since the headless peddler was last seen on
our shore," said Mr. John P. Ellison, who
lives near the tramping ground of his
ghostship, to a reporter for the Mail and
Express, "until last Sunday night, when,
as I was driving along the road
on my way home from church, my
horse suddenly shied and backed off
to the side of the road. It
did not take long to find out the cause of
my horse's fright, for upon looking along
the road ahead of me I saw, about one
hundred yards from where I stood, the
white and headless figure of a man approaching
at a rapid gait. I knew the
figure as I had seen it many times before.
On it came, until reaching a spot in the
road a few feet ahead of us, it suddenly
threw up its hands and vanished.'
The visits of the headless peddler have
been of nightly occurrence since, and the
ghost has been seen by hundreds of persons,
who are now satisfied that the headless
peddler is a thing of reality. The
scene of the supposed ghost's uightly
wanderings is a lonely part of the shore
road, halfway between the village of Bayville
and Center Island. On one side of
the road is a heavy growth of cedars, and
on the other is the rocky shore of Long
Island sound. The nearest residence Is
that of John P. Ellison, nearly a mile distant.
On the morning of June 12, 1861, the
dead and mutilated body of Seif Heillman
a peddler, was found among
the rocks on this shore. The man's skull
had been crushed into a shapeless mass,
and after having been murdered and robbed,
his body had been dragged from the
side of the road and hidden among the
rocks, where it was subsequently found,
partly covered with sand and seaweed.
The contents of the murdered peddler's
pack was strewn along the shore. Heillman
had visited Centre Island on the day
previous, where he collected considerable
money, and while on his way to Bayville,
had been waylaid and brutally murdered.
The mystery surrounding the murder has
never been cleared away. Two men who
were arrested at the time were discharged,
there being no evidence to warrant their
detention. On the morning after the
murder, the footprints of two men were
discovered in the sand on the shore to the
water's edge, which led to the belief that
the murderers had escaped In a boat. The
strange figure which wanders along the
shore is believed by many to be the ghost
of the murdered peddler.