The Undead in Massachusetts
The above picture is, of course, the famous Hampton Court Ghost in England, but we have
ghosts in the United States too.
In 1919, when my father was eight years old, his cousin thirteen years old, died. The funeral
was held with open casket. After the service my father went back alone to look at the body one last time.
As he left the room he looked back and saw his cousin suddenly sit up. The boy remained upright
for about ten seconds, then slowly reclined backwards. My father ran over to the casket, but his
cousin was still pale and cold with no sign of life.
When my father told me this story around1962 I asked how his parents reacted. He said that
he never told anybody about it because he figured they wouldn't believe him.
March 4, 2006
Out of Body Travel in Illinois
My Aunt Priscilla was born in 1913. She was a very smart, well educated woman. Once in Europe
she was walking with her second husband, State Senator Hudson Sours of Illinois.
She turned to Hudson and remarked that somehow she knew that a good friend of theirs back home
had just died. When they got back to the USA they found out that the friend had died at precisely that time.
On April 4, 1944 Priscilla gave birth to a daughter Linda. It was a difficult birth. Just afterward
Priscilla died on the operating table. All life signs stopped.
What she experienced was flying up and out, looking down at her own body on the operating table.
At this point she suddenly felt a rush of total understanding about all human behavior which had previously perplexed her.
She also decided that she still had much to do on Earth and that she didn't want to pass over
quite this soon, so she went back into her body and lived on to be eighty nine years old.
Priscilla later became President of the Illinois Society for Psychic Research for two terms in
the 1960s. She was an acquaintance of Frita Fromm Reichman and J.B. Rhine. She passed on in the winter of 2002.
March 6, 2006
c. 11:15 AM
Ghost in Massachusetts
One summer day back in the late 1950s I visited a good friend of mine, Bruce
Elmer, at his house in Dover Massachusetts. His father was there and seemed to be in perfect health. A few days later Mr Elmer
The next night Bruce had just gone to bed when he heard someone call his name. He looked up and
saw his father's face, very pale and white, but quite clearly looking at him, through the window screen. The figure remained
for about thirty seconds and then moved slowly away disappearing as it went.
February 28, 2006
In 1957, when I was eleven years old in Dover Massachusetts, a friend of mine, Dougy Monroe,
told me there were local people who said they had, over the years, occasionally seen a skeleton dancing in the moonlight
near a row of hillside tombs in the public cemetery. We decided to investigate.
Late one October afternoon, just as it was getting dark, we arrived at the row of tombs. One
in particular caught our attention because the iron hasp retaining the door was broken. Dougy's family had been in Dover a
long time and the tomb was ancestral for him.
We tried to peek inside, but couldn't see anything. We decided to open the door, but suddenly
heard something behind us. A deep eerie howl came from across the cemetery. Filled with terror, we ran for our lives.
All the next day we bolstered ourselves with rationalizations, and right after school, came
back on our bicycles with a pinch bar. The door was rusted shut, but we took turns and finally pried it open. What we saw
The coffin had been ripped to pieces. There were bones everywhere. The skull was sitting on the
floor to the left of the coffin. Now suddenly again we heard the howl, but today quite a bit less eerie sounding.
We looked at each other, closed the tomb door, and ran across the cemetery to see just who this howl was coming from.
Dougy's father had a little carpenter shop in the cemetery. He was outside and had seen
us at the tomb. He said made the howling to scare us. When we mentioned the day before he claimed to have done it only on
He also told us that his mother had opened the tomb exactly as we had sixty years earlier and
had seen exactly the same thing we had seen. She too had heard the story of the dancing skeleton when she was a little girl.
For some reason I don't understand now we never went back at night to see.
In June of 1993 I visited Placerville California, which was also known as Hangtown in the
Gold Rush days. This was because in summer, when the Devil Winds come, the murder rate went way up and many a man visited
While breakfasting at County Waffles, a chap told me that often in those days the dead bodies
of undesirable elements were thrown down abandoned mine shafts and, that on nights of the full moon, you could still see their
skeletons dancing on a high ridge silhouetted by the moonlit Sierra.
April 19, 2006
Ghost Seen by Massachusetts Cats
In the Early 1970s a fellow named Rick Bates was living
at Chickering Farm in Dover Massachusetts. The house was built in the 1600s. Rick had two Siamese cats.
One day as Rick sat eating breakfast in the kitchen he observed
the two cats both watching a figure that moved slowly through the room. Their eyes both followed the figure as far as possible
until finally they had to turn their heads to keep watching it all the way to the door. The moving figure was invisible
to Rick. He didn't see anything except the cats' behavior.