"A Troublesome Ghost"

Mahanoy Plane, as it appeared in the late 19th century


In 1891, a family from Schuylkill County put up with nightly paranormal activity as long as they could; but when the ghost began climbing into bed with them, they decided that it was time to move.  From the July 25, 1891 edition of the Shenandoah Evening Herald comes this report of a haunting in Mahanoy Plane:

From "red-row", a row of houses owned by the P. & R. company and situated on Railroad Avenue, opposite the round house, Mahanoy Plane, comes a gruesome tale of ghoulish revels and hideous scenes enacted at the watching hour of midnight within the walls of a large double house.  Up to within two or three weeks this house was occupied by a very respectable family.  The sights the members of the family claim to have seen during their residence in the house are calculated to make the flesh of the most unsuperstitious person crawl.

They say the nightly revels commence at about the hour "when church yards yawn and graves give up their dead", at which hour there emanates from the cellar a series of unearthly groans and wails, after which there is silence, followed by the sounds of ghostly footfalls slowly climbing the cellar stairs and passing along the hallway.  Then they proceed upstairs to the attic, accompanied all the way by a clanking as of rusty chains dragged across the floor of the attic.  The soul-harrowing groans are renewed with an occasional interval of demoniac laughter that would freeze the blood of the bravest man.  This is followed by a sound of muffled sobs and wails, and then the footfalls are heard again coming down, passing from room to room, finally reaching the cellar, where the performance ends with a series of hair-cudling sounds too horrible for description.

These little pranks on the part of the ghostship did greatly disturb the tenants, and they were becoming accustomed to the nightly peregrinations when the ghostship allowed its curiosity to get the better of its judgment.  The tenants objected when it entered the sleeping apartments, got under the beds and, humping itself, spilled the occupants upon the floor, and then disappearing, groaning horribly amid a suffocating atmosphere of sulfurous fumes.  It was too much and the family moved out.

(view the original newspaper article here)   

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