The Secret of Sunbury's Buried Stone Slab

The following strange story appeared in the October 4, 1906 edition of the Tyrone Daily Herald, and describes the nightly hauntings by the ghost of Samuel Hayward, who appears to be looking for a mysterious object he buried in his yard shortly before he died.

Strange Apparition at Sunbury

According to the Sunbury Daily, residents of the third ward in that city are greatly excited over a strange apparition which is seen nightly in the yard of Mrs. Samuel Hayward, of Lombard Street.

It is now two months since the death of Mr. Hayward. Before he died he buried a large stone in the yard beside his home. What was the idea in so doing people in the neighborhood cannot tell. But they say that every night he returns to visit the buried slab. Certain it is that a ghostly shadow appears from the deep shade of the trees in back in the yard, that it moved forward to the stone and then disappears. Sometimes it is seen again, but generally it has vanished as if by magic.

The curiosity of the Hayward family, as well as the people nearby, has been greatly aroused by the uncanny spectacle. The figure of a man is perfectly outlined in transparent shadows. It walks without fear or hesitation directly to the buried stone. Yet it cannot be heard, it leaves no footprints in the damp grass, and when it suddenly disappears not the slightest trace of its presence is ever seen. Many people inclined to superstition are firmly convinced that it is the apparition of Mr. Heyward returning to his earthly home, perhaps to brood over some secret which is buried with the slab. Others, inclined to take a more practical view of the situation, say that it is the result of peculiar light effect from the distant arc light. But meanwhile the shadow comes and goes its concerned way before the eyes of the mystified spectators.

Unfortunately, further research has turned up no additional information about Samuel Hayward or the mysterious slab he buried in the back yard of his Lombard Street home. Was it a marker of some sort denoting the location of a buried treasure? Or did it mark the location of something far more sinister? For all anyone knows, the slab and its secret may still remain buried somewhere in Sunbury.

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