Tag Archives: ghost stories

A Ghostly Tale (the audio version)

The original post here if you’d like to read along.

Or here you can read about the real Abbie Hill in the photo.

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Happy Halloween

To the new readers… a little story from Halloween 2011. This post holds the record for most hits in one day – 738 – on Brown Road Chronicles due to some  Stumble Upon activity, whatever that means!  Anyhow, Happy Halloween – hope you aren’t visited by too many ghosts tonight!

TRICK-OR-TREAT

Last year on Halloween night I was home with the flu. Because we live out in the country, we typically spend Halloween evening at the home of some close friends whose kids are similar ages to our kids. They live in a small neighborhood nearby and the kids can trick-or-treat to their heart’s delight while the adults sit back and share a pizza and a few drinks. That’s the one thing I don’t like about where we live, that we don’t get to experience kids coming to our door, dressed as ghosts or witches or hobos or athletes or all the other myriad costumes. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I’ve always felt our home would make the perfect spooky haunted house.

I just didn’t feel up to being out though, with an aggressive fever and the toggling of sweats and chills. So I sent my wife and the kids off for the evening and plopped myself down on the couch to watch some of the usual Halloween fare on the TV.  Flipping through channels of zombie and werewolf and vampire movies and the yearly Halloween series marathons, I eventually settled on the classic Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein, knowing I’d probably fall asleep in a few minutes anyhow… which I surely did. It was about 8:30 p.m. when I was awakened by someone knocking on our front door.

Who in the hell would be here on Halloween night, I wondered, especially at our front door, which no one ever uses. Shaking the sleep from my head, I hoisted myself off the coach and walked into the kitchen where I could vaguely see someone standing on the front porch…….

Read the rest of the story here!

Mwahahahahahaha…….

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Trick-or-Treat

Last year on Halloween night I was home with the flu. Because we live out in the country, we typically spend Halloween evening at the home of some close friends whose kids are similar ages to our kids. They live in a small neighborhood nearby and the kids can trick-or-treat to their heart’s delight while the adults sit back and share a pizza and a few drinks. That’s the one thing I don’t like about where we live, that we don’t get to experience kids coming to our door, dressed as ghosts or witches or hobos or athletes or all the other myriad costumes. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I’ve always felt our home would make the perfect spooky haunted house.

I just didn’t feel up to being out, though, with an aggressive fever and the toggling of sweats and chills. So I sent my wife and the kids off for the evening and plopped myself down on the couch to watch some of the usual Halloween fare on the TV.  Flipping through channels of zombie and werewolf and vampire movies and the yearly Halloween series marathons, I eventually settled on the classic Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein, knowing I’d probably fall asleep in a few minutes anyhow… which I surely did. It was about 8:30 p.m. when I was awakened by someone knocking on our front door.

Who in the hell would be here on Halloween night, I wondered, especially at our front door, which no one ever uses. Shaking the sleep from my head, I hoisted myself off the coach and walked into the kitchen where I could vaguely see someone standing on the front porch.

“Jesus Christ, should I answer it?” I mumbled under my breath as I inched a little closer to try to get a better view of this person who was intruding on my sick-rest.

Soon I was close enough to the front window where I could see outside to the porch and in the faint light cast by the moon I saw a young boy, probably about my son’s age, dressed in tattered overalls and a heavy flannel shirt, all of which appeared to be soaked and muddy, dirt streaks on his face and tousled, sandy-brown hair. Perhaps he was a trick-or-treater, I thought, dressed in the traditional hobo costume that kids have been wearing since trick-or-treating became a mainstream activity… but here, at my house, in the middle of nowhere?

Still questioning my decision to answer, I walked to the door, unlocked the various bolts and slowly opened it to this guest.  The door creaked loudly as the old, rusted metal hinges were forced back to life after many years of sitting still. There in front of me stood this boy who reminded me of the classic Huck Finn character from the Mark Twain books.

“Hi there” I said “can I help you? Are you trick-or-treating?”

The boy looked panicked.

“I was… he paused… with my friend Ollie Evans” he replied. “But I can’t find him. We were playing around in the swamp behind your house and I lost track of him. I need you to help me find him!”

“Ollie Evans… from down at the end of the Brown Road?” I questioned him. “Buddy, what are you talking about?  Mr. Evans died just the other day, had a heart attack.”

His eyes bounced back and forth from me to the blackness outside. “No, we were just trick-or-treating, but then we decided to play in the swamp and I can’t find him now. I need you to help me find him!”

“Son, are you okay?” I asked, now quite alarmed.  “Where do you live? Are you lost? Can I call your parents?”

“I’m not lost. I live just down at the end of Brown Road, just around the corner a little bit. So you haven’t seen Ollie, he didn’t stop by?”

“Buddy, are you talking about Mr. Evans?” I inquired again. “He just died a few days ago, had a heart attack, he was in his eighties. Why don’t you come inside and get dried off and we’ll figure out what’s going on.”

“No, I have to go look for him. Can you please call the sheriff?” he asked, as he quickly turned around, stepped off the porch and ran into the night.

Stunned, I stood there at the door for a few moments, staring out into the darkness of the Halloween night as the faint moonlight cast shadows over our oak trees. I grabbed my phone and considered calling the police before dialing Mrs. Evans’ phone number.

“Hello” she answered in her creaky eighty-something voice.

“Hey, Evelyn, it’s Mr. Warner, how are you doing tonight?”

“I’m doing fine” she said. “Just trying not to think about Ollie too much.”

“Yeah, I understand, he was a good guy” I said. “But hey, he’s the reason I am calling, something strange just happened. A kid came knocking on my door and when I answered it, he was soaking wet, covered in mud and wearing overalls with a heavy flannel shirt underneath. I asked if he was trick-or-treating and he said he had been, but then he said he was looking for Ollie.”

A deep chill crept through my body and the hair on my neck and arms was suddenly at full attention. “I spoke to him for a minute, tried to get him to come into the house and then he abruptly ran off.”

“That sounds like Jimmy” she said faintly.

“Who is Jimmy?”

There was silence on the line for what seemed like an eternity but was likely only a brief moment.

“Are you still there?” I asked, breaking the silence.

She began to speak. “Jimmy was my older brother, just a year older than me. You see, he and Ollie were best friends when we were kids, they did everything together, just two country boys, always outside and roaming around in the woods all day. We all went to school together at the old school-house that used to be across from the cemetery down the street from you.”

“Anyway, back in the thirties when we were all just about your son’s age, the two of them would trick-or-treat on Halloween nights around here.  Of course, just like now, there weren’t any other trick-or-treaters around, you know, all the houses are too far away from each other.  But everybody knew that Ollie and Jimmy would stop by on Halloween night so the neighbors all knew to keep a few treats on hand. They’d walk for miles to the six or eight houses that they could reach. Then they’d call it a night.”

“So you’re saying this kid is your brother?” I interrupted.

She continued. “I’ll never forget the year, nineteen thirty-three.  I was at home, when the sheriffs came to the door and told us what had happened. I remember my Mother collapsing on the floor. You see, on that fateful Halloween night as the boys were making their way back home, they decided to go play around in the swamp behind your house. It was dark and they didn’t have any lights with them… you know how dark it gets around here at night. They were chasing each other around and they got separated and then Ollie got caught up in some weeds in a deep part of the swamp.  He was calling for Jimmy to help but they had gotten too far away from each other for Jimmy to figure out where he was.  Jimmy ran to your house that night and knocked on the door for help. The Browns were living in your house back then. Mr. Brown went to phone the sheriff and Jimmy ran back to the swamp to try to find Ollie. When the sheriffs finally showed up, they were able to pull Ollie safely out of the water…”

She paused again for a long time, before continuing on.

“… but Jimmy drowned in the swamp that night trying to find his friend.”

“Oh my god, I’m so, so sorry” I offered, feeling like I wasn’t doing much to help.

“It’s okay Steve, it was a long, long time ago. We buried him in the old cemetery and although my parents were devastated, we did our best to move on. But for many years afterwards, people claimed to see Jimmy’s ghost wandering around the swamp and around your place on Halloween night. I guess he was still looking.”

“Of course many years later, she added, Ollie and I ended up getting married and one of those years Ollie decided to walk to the cemetery and talk to Jimmy at his grave site, tell him he was okay and that he didn’t need to look for him in the swamp anymore.  He continued to do that every Halloween night for almost seventy years… it seemed to work, no one has seen Jimmy’s ghost since… well, until tonight. With Ollie passing just the other day he didn’t show up at the cemetery. Jimmy must be looking for him.”

Chills roared through my body and in complete disbelief, I said goodbye and hung up the phone.

With a wobble in my knees, I walked back to the couch and sat down quickly as the fever and the shock of what had just happened hit me like a ton of bricks. Still reeling, I grabbed the bottle of Advil and glass of water from the nearby end table and threw back a couple of pills, emptying the glass of its contents.

Boris Karloff was still gracing the screen and I grabbed the remote and abruptly shut the TV off. Although the family was still out I decided to head up to bed to try to get a decent night’s sleep so I could possibly go to work the next day. I slept right through the noise of them coming home and the kids dumping their bags of candy on the kitchen table to sort out their hard-earned loot.

The next morning started at 6:00 a.m. with my alarm blaring in my ears and I crawled out of bed and walked downstairs to find my wife sitting at the kitchen table sipping from her favorite coffee mug.  Still dazed from the night’s activities and wondering if the effects of a fever were playing tricks on me, I sat down at the table and asked about their evening of trick-or-treating.

“Pretty typical Halloween night” she said, “lots of adorable little goblins and ghosts around. The kids had fun though. How about here, she asked, was it creepy being alone on Halloween night in this creaky old house?”

“I was fine” I lied. “I went to bed early. Pretty quiet night, though I’m still not feeling great, I didn’t sleep well last night, had some pretty fucked-up dreams. I think I’m going to stay home from work today. I could probably make it, but they’ll be okay without me for a day.”

“Good idea” she said. “You need the rest. It’s supposed to be a nice day, if you start to feel better this afternoon and you feel like getting some fresh air, the front porch could use a hosing off…”

“… looks like the kids have tracked mud all over it.”

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The Dolly with No Head

Let me tell you a story that will fill you with dread.
A tale of the dolly who had no head.
A horrible creature that haunts in the night.
If you were to see it, would give you a fright.

A dastardly tale of lies and deceit.
A memory I’ve tried to keep fairly discrete.
As not to revive those visions I feared.
As not to have people think I am weird.

This dolly, you see, was missing its head.
And somehow it chose to live under my bed.
I never knew, ‘twas it a girl or a boy?
Just a horribly, frightfully, disfigured toy.

Why this dolly picked me, I never quite knew.
Surely there was some other kid who was due,
to have his room haunted, to be filled with fear.
By this dolly who seemed to never appear.

T’was never a sight for my frightful wide eyes.
Looking under the bed seemed profoundly unwise.
So I’d leap to the mattress, climb under the spread.
To avoid being grabbed by the dolly with no head.

So how did I know that this dolly existed?
I’ll tell you the story, beware it’s quite twisted.
I was told by my brother’s that the dolly was there.
Living under my bed and that I should beware!

Then one night I mustered up all of my grit.
With the biggest flashlight my hands would permit.
I entered my room which was darker than black.
I turned on the flashlight, to deter an attack.

Then I crouched on the floor and with chattering teeth,
I inched toward my bed and I peered underneath.
Alas, nothing scary was there to be seen.
From the front to the back or the space in between.

So this moral I learned, you shouldn’t ignore.
What you hear from your siblings is probably lore!
There’s likely no truth to what they have said.
Especially if it involves a dolly with no head!

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A Ghostly Tale

Our old house is sometimes creaky.
Sometimes noisy, sometimes squeaky.
We love it still with all its quirks.
So long as all the plumbing works.

We live there happily undaunted.
Although we’re told the house is haunted.
Our guess is that it’s just a hoax.
Though spirits are elusive folks.

There’s a story ‘bout a ghost that’s told.
She harkens from a time of olde.
We think her name is Abbie Hill.
Albeit we haven’t seen her still.

See, Mrs. Hill and her loving spouse.
They used to own this big old house.
They built it as their family grew.
Way back in Eighteen-Ninety-Two.

Now why she’d rather stick around,
than head off where she should be bound.
The answer, surely no one knows.
But this is how the story goes.

The previous owners told this tale.
To us, before we closed the sale.
They saw her at their kitchen table.
They swore this story was no fable.

She sat there in a kitchen chair.
A fancy bun up in her hair.
She wore a nineteenth-century dress.
Her image had a slight fluoresce.

Then just as fast as she’d appeared.
Her ghostly apparition cleared.
It took all of their common sense.
To explain this strange experience.

Then one night as the wife was sleeping.
She awoke to find the ghost was peeping,
at her, as she lay in bed.
A sight that filled her up with dread.

But this ghost seemed not to bear ill-feeling,
as she played this game of brief revealing.
Then with a touch of Laissez Faire.
She vanished quickly in the air.

So when we heard this new disclosure.
We had to keep our strict composure.
We loved this house with all our might.
Why worry about a ghostly sight?

We bought the house with nervous laughter.
And moved our stuff in shortly after.
Wondering then, to what extent,
We’d see our ghostly resident.

But so far she has not presented.
Apparently she’s quite contented.
To share this house on old Brown Road.
This home with which we’ve been bestowed.

And now we’ve lived here many years.
Shared smiles and laughs and hugs and tears.
Regardless if we’re rich or poor.
We hope we’ll live here many more.

And if our ghost decides to show.
In all her radiance and glow.
I guess we’ll have to let her stay.
To haunt us for another day!

Most of you have read the full Ghost Story here!  If you’d like to read more about Abbie Hill, check out the link! 🙂

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Our Ghost Story

Do you believe in ghosts?  Here’s our ghost story…

We’ve lived in our old 1890’s farmhouse for just over 15 years.  We moved in December of 1995 and started making the place our own.  One fall evening, about a month before our closing, my wife Kim drove down to our future home and met with the wife of the couple that was selling the house to us.  She wanted to show Kim some of the quirky (but also functionally important) things about the house;  where the main water shut-off was located, how the old cast-iron radiators had to be bled in the winter, how the side entrance door (which is the primary entrance) had a tricky bolt lock, the name and phone number of the olde-tymer that serviced the boiler, and numerous other old-house peculiarities she thought we should know.  As they were wrapping up the hour or so long tour, my wife, somewhat jokingly, but also with a touch of inquisitive curiousity, asked, “so, is the place haunted?”  She was then told the story about Maggie.

According to our seller, when they had first moved in, just a few short years before, they experienced several ghostly incidences and in turn decided to give their ghost a name.  Maggie, they would call her.  Shortly after their arrival, they began renovating several rooms of the house, nothing significant, mostly fresh paint and new wallpaper.  During one incident, with no one in close proximity, a full can of paint went tumbling off the top of a ladder as they were repainting the dining room… freaky for sure, but possibly explainable.  In a more significant encounter, the wife claimed that one night as she was sitting in the three season porch, she looked over, through the dining room to a small ice cream style table that they had in the kitchen.  There, at the table, sat a woman in an early 1900’s black dress and her hair in a bun.  When she turned her head then looked back, the woman was gone.  She witnessed this woman a second time, late one night, when she awoke from a deep sleep and saw her standing at the end of her bed.  Again the visitor vanished after a few moments.

My wife Kim took these stories with a grain of salt, left for the evening, arrived home and told me about Maggie.   Being reasonable folks, we weren’t going to let a ghost story affect the sale of the house we had fallen in love with.  The sale progressed over the next month and we moved in just before Christmas of 1995.  A few days after carrying our furniture and our boxed-up life into our new home we took the five-minute drive over to the neighboring Christmas tree farm, cut down a Christmas tree and began making our own memories.

For the record, I don’t really believe in ghosts.  I just think that if they were really spending time with us we’d have more evidence of their existence.  But somewhere deep inside my psyche is a sliver of belief.  I’m not sure why… I guess I kind of want to believe in ghosts.  I find the prospect of it fascinating.  I think the historical significance of ghosts makes for great stories.  I’m a huge fan of the hit TV show Ghost Hunters.  But in reality, I’m mostly a non-believer.  And also for the record, we have never seen or met Maggie.  Have we had some ghostly experiences?  Sure, most old house owners do.  I think that’s a function of houses that settle, that have leaky windows that make ghoulish sounds as the wind sneaks through the cracks and that have older electrical systems.

Early on we had a light in a downstairs bathroom that would turn on by its self.  One morning, after witnessing the light go on as I sat in the adjacent room, I went into the bathroom, neck-hair standing straight up, and discovered the old light switch was just loose and if it wasn’t pushed down completely when the light was turned off, a few minutes later it would pop back up and voila… the light would go on.  One evening as were getting ready to head upstairs for bed, as I approached the stairs I saw the perfectly shaped shadow of a man’s head on the opposite wall.  Yes, it stopped me in my tracks and raised my hackles!  But after a little investigation we found the source, just a light reflecting off the mirror on the opposite wall and creating a shadow from some items sitting on our dining room table.  Even this past Friday, New Years Eve, as I sat at that same dining room table, working on my recent blog posts, I clearly heard my first name spoken in what I swore was my wife’s voice.  But my wife was at work on that Friday.  “Is Kim home early”, I thought, trying not to be totally freaked out.  I called to my daughter who was in the kitchen and asked, “Madeline is Mom there?  I swear I just heard her say my name.”  “No”, she said, and then proceeded to tell me she thought she had heard HER name in that same area just a week or so earlier, in a kind of quiet, hushed voice.  CREEPY!!!  Do I have an explanation for those events?  No, I guess I don’t, but when I heard what I thought was my name, my son and one of his friends were running around just upstairs.  It could have been anything, a noise they made, a sound from their active playing.  Same with Madeline’s experience, not enough evidence that it was a real paranormal event.  Spooky… yes, paranormal… probably not!

However, if there is a Maggie, we have decided that she must be okay with us living here and is, for now, happy to keep to herself.  She apparently must be satisfied with us as the current caretakers of her house old farmhouse on Brown Road.  We have since done some major renovations to the house (a common ghost aggravator) but still have not met or seen our theoretical guest.  That makes us feel better about the possibility of having another resident amongst us.  And if it turns out there really is a Maggie, I think I know who she is.

One other significant tidbit of information we discovered from the sellers is that they had heard that our house had at one time, back in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, operated as a Post Office for the few local residents in the area, at the time known as the Mint District due to the local farming and production of mint flavoring.  Several years ago I began to do some research on the history of our home and discovered that the Post Office story was true.  From the book Water Over the Dam, a history of Vicksburg, Michigan, published in 1972 by the Vicksburg historical society, I found the following excerpt:

At about this time a post office was established in the Mint district (there were five mint stills in the area), through the single-handed efforts of Mrs. Abner Yorton, (maiden name Abbie Hill) daughter of Cornelius Hill, mother of Mrs.  Mabel Godshalk.  Mrs. Yorton, the busy mother of five children, grew tired of driving to Vicksburg twice a week to pick up mail for herself and neighbors.  She contacted the Post Master General who told her if one letter a day was mailed from her area for a period of six months, the government would establish a post office there.  As Mrs. Yorton’s husband was a traveling salesman who traveled throughout the United States, she wrote him a letter every day for the six months, drove into Vicksburg and saw that it was properly postmarked.

Having this information in hand, with names to boot, I was able to track down more details about this family, whom as best as I can tell, were the original owners of our home, and ultimately came upon the photo below which was given to me by a distant relative who had posted some of the family history on a genealogy website.

Apparently the Hill Family was prominent in our rural area during this time period and many members of the family and their relatives are buried in the small cemetery just ½ mile or so up the road from us, including the baby in the center of the photo who died as an infant (thus the mention of only five children above).  The older man in the photo (3rd from the right) is Abner Yorton, the salesman mentioned in Water on the Dam.  The older woman (3rd from the left) is Abbie Hill… in her early 1900’s black dress and with her hair in a bun.  Is Abbie Hill our Maggie?  Is there a reason she is possibly still lingering about our house?

For now, I’ll assume that Maggie is nothing but a far-fetched ghost story and that Abbie Hill is currently “resting in peace” in her final burial place.  If the time comes though, when Maggie decides to introduce herself to us… well, that will make for one hell of a blog post!

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Our Ghost Story

Do you believe in ghosts?  Here’s our ghost story…

Is this house haunted?

We’ve lived in our old 1890’s farmhouse for just over 15 years.  We moved in December of 1995 and started making the place our own.  One fall evening, about a month before our closing, my wife Kim drove down to our future home and met with the wife of the couple that was selling the house to us.  She wanted to show Kim some of the quirky (but also functionally important) things about the house;  where the main water shut-off was located, how the old cast-iron radiators had to be bled in the winter, how the side entrance door (which is the primary entrance) had a tricky bolt lock, the name and phone number of the olde-tymer that serviced the boiler, and numerous other old-house peculiarities she thought we should know.  As they were wrapping up the hour or so long tour, my wife, somewhat jokingly, but also with a touch of inquisitive curiousity, asked, “so, is the place haunted?”  She was then told the story about Maggie.

According to our seller, when they had first moved in, just a few short years before, they experienced several ghostly incidences and in turn decided to give their ghost a name.  Maggie, they would call her.  Shortly after their arrival, they began renovating several rooms of the house, nothing significant, mostly fresh paint and new wallpaper.  During one incident, with no one in close proximity, a full can of paint went tumbling off the top of a ladder as they were repainting the dining room… freaky for sure, but possibly explainable.  In a more significant encounter, the wife claimed that one night as she was sitting in the three season porch, she looked over, through the dining room to a small ice cream style table that they had in the kitchen.  There, at the table, sat a woman in an early 1900’s black dress and her hair in a bun.  When she turned her head then looked back, the woman was gone.  She witnessed this woman a second time, late one night, when she awoke from a deep sleep and saw her standing at the end of her bed.  Again the visitor vanished after a few moments.

My wife Kim took these stories with a grain of salt, left for the evening, arrived home and told me about Maggie.   Being reasonable folks, we weren’t going to let a ghost story affect the sale of the house we had fallen in love with.  The sale progressed over the next month and we moved in just before Christmas of 1995.  A few days after carrying our furniture and our boxed-up life into our new home we took the five-minute drive over to the neighboring Christmas tree farm, cut down a Christmas tree and began making our own memories.

For the record, I don’t really believe in ghosts.  I just think that if they were really spending time with us we’d have more evidence of their existence.  But somewhere deep inside my psyche is a sliver of belief.  I’m not sure why… I guess I kind of want to believe in ghosts.  I find the prospect of it fascinating.  I think the historical significance of ghosts makes for great stories.  I’m a huge fan of the hit TV show Ghost Hunters.  But in reality, I’m mostly a non-believer.  And also for the record, we have never seen or met Maggie.  Have we had some ghostly experiences?  Sure, most old house owners do.  I think that’s a function of houses that settle, that have leaky windows that make ghoulish sounds as the wind sneaks through the cracks and that have older electrical systems.

Early on we had a light in a downstairs bathroom that would turn on by its self.  One morning, after witnessing the light go on as I sat in the adjacent room, I went into the bathroom, neck-hair standing straight up, and discovered the old light switch was just loose and if it wasn’t pushed down completely when the light was turned off, a few minutes later it would pop back up and voila… the light would go on.  One evening as were getting ready to head upstairs for bed, as I approached the stairs I saw the perfectly shaped shadow of a man’s head on the opposite wall.  Yes, it stopped me in my tracks and raised my hackles!  But after a little investigation we found the source, just a light reflecting off the mirror on the opposite wall and creating a shadow from some items sitting on our dining room table.  Even this past Friday, New Years Eve, as I sat at that same dining room table, working on my recent blog posts, I clearly heard my first name spoken in what I swore was my wife’s voice.  But my wife was at work on that Friday.  “Is Kim home early”, I thought, trying not to be totally freaked out.  I called to my daughter who was in the kitchen and asked, “Madeline is Mom there?  I swear I just heard her say my name.”  “No”, she said, and then proceeded to tell me she thought she had heard HER name in that same area just a week or so earlier, in a kind of quiet, hushed voice.  CREEPY!!!  Do I have an explanation for those events?  No, I guess I don’t, but when I heard what I thought was my name, my son and one of his friends were running around just upstairs.  It could have been anything, a noise they made, a sound from their active playing.  Same with Madeline’s experience, not enough evidence that it was a real paranormal event.  Spooky… yes, paranormal… probably not!

However, if there is a Maggie, we have decided that she must be okay with us living here and is, for now, happy to keep to herself.  She apparently must be satisfied with us as the current caretakers of her house old farmhouse on Brown Road.  We have since done some major renovations to the house (a common ghost aggravator) but still have not met or seen our theoretical guest.  That makes us feel better about the possibility of having another resident amongst us.  And if it turns out there really is a Maggie, I think I know who she is.

One other significant tidbit of information we discovered from the sellers is that they had heard that our house had at one time, back in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, operated as a Post Office for the few local residents in the area, at the time known as the Mint District due to the local farming and production of mint flavoring.  Several years ago I began to do some research on the history of our home and discovered that the Post Office story was true.  From the book Water Over the Dam, a history of Vicksburg, Michigan, published in 1972 by the Vicksburg historical society, I found the following excerpt:

At about this time (1891) a post office was established in the Mint district (there were five mint stills in the area), through the single-handed efforts of Mrs. Abner Yorton, (maiden name Abbie Hill) daughter of Cornelius Hill, mother of Mrs.  Mabel Godshalk.  Mrs. Yorton, the busy mother of five children, grew tired of driving to Vicksburg twice a week to pick up mail for herself and neighbors.  She contacted the Post Master General who told her if one letter a day was mailed from her area for a period of six months, the government would establish a post office there.  As Mrs. Yorton’s husband was a traveling salesman who traveled throughout the United States, she wrote him a letter every day for the six months, drove into Vicksburg and saw that it was properly postmarked.  The post office was established on June 30, 1890.

Having this information in hand, with names to boot, I was able to track down more details about this family, whom as best as I can tell, were the original owners of our home, and ultimately came upon the photo below which was given to me by a distant relative who had posted some of the family history on a genealogy website. 

Apparently the Hill Family was prominent in our rural area during this time period and many members of the family and their relatives are buried in the small cemetery just ½ mile or so up the road from us, including the baby in the center of the photo who died as an infant (thus the mention of only five children above).  The older man in the photo (3rd from the right) is Abner Yorton, the salesman mentioned in Water on the Dam.  The older woman (3rd from the left) is Abbie Hill… in her early 1900’s black dress and with her hair in a bun.  Is Abbie Hill our Maggie?  Is there a reason she is possibly still lingering about our house?

For now, I’ll assume that Maggie is nothing but a far-fetched ghost story and that Abbie Hill is currently “resting in peace” in her final burial place.  If the time comes though, when Maggie decides to introduce herself to us… well, that will make for one hell of a blog post!

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