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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ghost Stories Told At Armory Cafe

The cafe at the Arts at the Armory held it's first Ghost Story reading on Thursday October 27th hosted by Jennifer Lawrence and emceed by Susan Fiedler. Below is the story I was asked to read. Thanks to Judy Neufeld for taking a photo of me!

Armory Ghost
(Gloucester, Massachusetts)
December 30, 1896

"Company G of the 8th regiment is troubled with a ghost. Just who the ghost is, and why he should haunt the armory, is a matter of speculation. It has been conjectured that it may be that it is a specter of some of the departed officer's decapitated by Col. Pew. At any rate the ghost is there, according to some; members of the company are ready to declare on oath that they have seen him.

This ghost displays considerable temerity. Besides the militia company, the police station and the police court are in the same building, and it is thought the spook takes much risk of being sent up if caught.

This ghost it is [professed] has been doing guard duty for more than a month. He has been plainly seen by Duncan at and the rear of the armory building, so veracious witnesses assert. He has been observed [fluttering] from window to window of the armory by those on the outside. In appearance he is said to be a white fellow, and he fades into nothingness from the waist down; the regulation ghost.

He is quite musical. In the armory there is a piano, which is always kept locked while not in use. But the specter evidently has a key, for the company guardsmen say that one of the diversions of the spook is to open the piano and furnish musical selections.

A few evenings ago some of the officers and men were in one of the side rooms awaiting the arrival of Col. Pew, 'Get ready to salute the colonel!' said one of the officers as footsteps were heard, followed by a loud knock on the door. The officer in question sprang up and opened the door in order to admit his superior, and the men stood in line ready to salute.

Imagine the surprise when no one appeared at the door. The officer went into the corridor a distance, in order to ascertain the cause of the noise. When he returned the men say he had a frightened look, and his eyes were bulging from his head. He did not tell what he had seen. Three of the officers determined to investigate the matter. So they had themselves locked into the armory at night, and awaited the coming of the spook. He came on time, and so frightened did the men become that they burst the door in fright and fled from the building.

It is rumored that the company is trying to make the ghost walk up at city hall, that is, they would like an appropriation for a new armory.

A large crowd, attracted by the knowledge which quickly spread that a watch was to be set for the ghost, gathered around the armory tonight and made much noise and comment concerning the matter.

Promptly on time the figure of a man as described was seen by every one of the watchers to go by the windows as [usual], accompanied by a weird wind-rushing sound. All classes were represented in the crowd, and all saw it. Many are convinced that they have actually seen a ghost. No doubt it is some sort of physical phenomena, but just what cannot be determined. Those who believe in the ghost yarn think it somewhat singular that the spook should appear at just such a time, usually in the evening.

In this respect, that of early hours and crowded localities, this ghost is unlike the ordinary every day spook, he courts publicity. As described by a cool eyewitness the ghost had the appearance of a man in his shirt sleeves. First he appeared at one window, then at another, returning to the same window. Then the crowd made a break for the armory and the lights were lighted, but the ghost had disappeared. Here is a fine drama for the society of psychical research, whose specialty is ghost hunting."

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