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Local History 

Ghosts on the trolley

Ghosts on the trolley lines in 1892.  What started as an editorial against tellers of ghosts stories seems to have sold papers because two more grisly tales followed soon after. Please note: The first article was torn at the time it was microfilmed.  If there were enough letters to guess at the words, they appear in brackets. 

 Springfield Express January 29, 1892, page 3
The silly story about a negro ghost rising on the platform of the State street [----] cars almost nightly of late is ....[not about?] to create any interest at [all?]...[intelligent] people realize that no [such] thing as a ghost ever existed.  It [has] been alleged by some that the whole thing is only a scheme concocted by Supt. Frank B. Smith to get [increased] patronage from the gullibles on that end of the car line.

Springfield Express 5 Feb 1892 page 3
There is another story regarding the alleged sable ghost on State street to the effect that it is the spirit of a little colored girl that was run over by a motor car and killed some time ago and that she selected State street because it is the loneliest place on the line and the motorneer [sic] she is after is frequently given that run.

Springfield Express 5 Feb 1892 page 3
Two Ghosts at Pickwick Place
The sable ghost on State Street has been completely eclipsed according to the story of Uncle Ben.  He vows that he has seen two ghosts more than a dozen times wandering among the apple trees a short distance from the east end of the Pickwick line.  He says one is a slender young woman and the other a little child, that the two are always together wearing loose flowing robes of snowy whiteness.  They appear most any night he further says, during the last quarter of the moon.  Several times he tried to get near them, but when within a dozen paces they vanished.
Uncle Ben’s theory is that the larger ghost is the spirit of a young woman who was betrayed years ago and being [-------] the world, sought refuge in the old alms house where she died.  The little ghost, he claims, is the unfortunate young mother’s babe who died and was buried in the same grave.

  Click image to enlargeSpringfield Streetcar and Bus routes circa 1932.  Click image to enlarge.

 


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