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The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
Local History

The Stockton Spirit

 Springfield Weekly Advertiser, March 24, 1875, page 2.

The Ghost

"Stockton has enjoyed quite a sensation within the past four weeks, nothing less than a genuine visitant from the other world, if the statements of some of the most ‘elevated’ citizens are to be believed. About four or five weeks ago, a clerk in one of the drug store dram shops of the village, belonging to Judge Kerr (that is, the store or the clerk, am not positive which, possibly both belonged to Kerr) was visited by a noise so foreign to anything earthly that the clerk aforesaid retired in a rather undignified manner from the premises, and left the visitor in possession. Whether it got drunk or not has never been fully ascertained. Afterwards the clerk was frequently driven out, but was ashamed to say anything about it lest he should be laughed at, and Stockton is par excellence in its powers of ridicule and sarcasm.

"Two or three weeks ago on Sunday, the Judge was a little dry and went into the store or shop to liquidate. While drawing the spirit from a forty gallon barrel, Whack! Whack!! Went the other spirit right under the Judge’s feet. Down went the glass, shivered to atoms, while the molested spirit –not the one that rapped- rolled over the floor. The Judge, forgetting his dignity, made a bee line for the door, with coat-tail streaming on the breeze, hair on end, and eyes starting from their sockets! The spirit followed him to the door, that is the one that rapped, and would doubtless have gone out on the square had there been anything to get under, or behind, or rap on. Or, it may have been a tender-footed spirit, and feared bringing its ethereal great toe in contact with the macadam on the square. The Judge said he was not a bit thirsty, and did not get dry all next day. The spirit, however, that is the one that chased the Judge, although in full possession of the saloon, seemed to have an appetite for the perfumed atmosphere that was hard to satisfy.

"On Sunday night, I believe it was, a number of our most ‘elevated’ and refined citizens went into the saloon for the purpose of interviewing the unseen visitor. When requested by ‘elevator’ No. 1. to make its presence known, three distinct raps were heard close to the feet of No. 2. ‘That’s you, Jack,’ said No. 1. ‘No it ain’t,’ said Jack, and he moved away. The usual system of spirit communications was then resorted to, and something less than a thousand questions were propounded and answered with a great deal of intelligence and refinement, according to the ‘elevated’ gentlemen aforesaid. In the meantime, the house was thoroughly searched inside and out, to discover if possible the source of the rapping, but the search was unavailing. The spirit refused to materialize. It admitted that while in the flesh, it loved the atmosphere of a dram-shop, but it persistently refused to open its mouth or use its immaterial knuckles on the subject of whisky drinking since its departure to the land beyond the Styx. It professed to have been well acquainted with most of the people here, while sojourning in the flesh, but refused to discover its own identity. Kerr supposed it had come to warn him of some approaching evil, inquired concerning its mission, and learned that its purpose was a good one, but it carefully concealed its nature and character. It continued its visitations until the refined and ‘elevated’ gentleman aforesaid were seceded by a crowd of the earth, [earthy?], when it became disgusted, and betook itself to parts unknown. The excitement during the visitation was intense, and the performances are certified to by some of the best citizens, and to satisfy the incredulous they are willing, if properly approached, to make their ‘affidavys.’ The earthy crowd having interfered before our arrival, we were not accorded the pleasure of an interview with his ghostship. We regret this, owing to the uncertainty that seems to pervade the public mind relative to the course to be pursued by the illustrious Johnson, whose surname is Andy. Inasmuch as his ghostship professed in his new sphere to take rank with the Pope of Rome, and, like him, to be infallible, we could have told the people of the United States the precise number of copies of the constitution that would be distributed during the ensuing six years, and the number of cap.[itol] I’s that would have to be turned out by the type foundries to supply the increased demand. Another reason for the departure of the mysterious visitor may be found in the fact that no medium was present to take charge of him. At any rate, he has gone, and the ‘elevated’ heap curses loud and deep upon the heads of the earth men because of his departure. While here, he visited several other places in town and on one occasion, when asked if he was the spirit of one who, while in the flesh, was inclined to be earthy in his disposition, he replied with such a thundering rap as made the hair rise on the heads of the boldest of his interviewers. This was taken as conclusive evidence of the refined character of the spirit, and they ceased to vex him with questions tending to connect him with antecedents of a questionable character."

 Are you interested in speaking to spirits? Check out Nature spirits, spirit guides, and ghosts : how to talk with and photograph beings of other realms by Atala Dorothy Toy or The invisible world : understanding angels, demons, and the spiritual realities that surround us by Anthony DeStefano.

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