23 November 1894
The New York Times

BROOKLYN GHOST ? PSHAW ______________ Three Hundred of the Hunt a Hysterical Female Spook- A Policeman Says It's the Bad Whiskey Sold There.

The antics of the famous Cock Lane ghost did not create greater excitement in it's day than does a white, grim apparition that is frightening residents of the Twenty-seventh Ward, Brooklyn. That section of the city offers exceptional advantages to ghosts. It is a rocky, bleak, lonesome district. The streets are only partly cut through and at night the darkness is intense. A spectre with a strong calcium light may stand on a rock almost anywhere and be visible for blocks. Several populas cemeteries are in the neighborhood, and it has been reported that uneasy spirits have been seen to sneak through the gates, and, eluding the police, float over into the vacant lots to scare belated pedestrians. There are a number of empty houses in the vicinity, and, these, it is said, are favorite resorts of the ghosts on rainy nights. The ghost which is at present disturbing the midnight rambles of the men and women in that district is that of a woman, who goes about in the scantiest attire, with disheveled hair and bare feet, and falls into a fit of hysterics as soon as any one approaches. This apparition was first seen a week ago by five young women, who screamed and ran home and told their brothers. The young men, on the following night, armed themselves with revolvers and went out to where their sisters saw the ghost. There was no sight of it until they were in the middle of a large lot, when the white figure suddenly arose from the ground in front of them and waved it's long, lean arms, and uttered a weird cry that chilled their blood. The five brave men forgot all about their revolvers, and, turning about, ran in five different directions home. They told of their experience to their friends and the next day, and that night a party of about 200 hundred gathered in the vacant lots to lay the ghost. The brave waited until long past midnight, then went home, declaring they had been fooled. Peter WOELFEL was among the skeptical, and on the succeeding evening he declared he was not afraid to go out on the sand lots and brave her ghostly ladyship. So alone he started out to interview her. He returned home about 1 A.M. with a face white with terror. He declared that while walking across the lots near Irving and Knickerbocker Avenues, he was confronted by the spectre, who performed the serpentine dance while he remained rooted to the ground. He said he was unable to move until, with a moaning wail, the ghost dissolved into the air. Then he ran home. WOELFEL'S story created more excitement, and the neighbors decided to try again to catch the ghost. But the night was foggy and it was agreed to wait until last night, and in the meantime to enlist the services of a policeman from the Twentieth Precinct. Policeman HOLLIDAY was there to represent the mighty and majesty of the department, but he did not seem to have much faith in the ghost. About 300 hundred gathered, most of whom were armed to the teeth, some with revolvers, others had rusty old army swords. There was even one arrayed in fragments of an ancient suit of armor. The breastplate did not fit him very well, and his shield was rather heavy, but, with an old sword swung over his shoulder, he looked like a very formidable opponent. "I'll tell you something," Policeman HOLLIDAY told the reporter, "I think its the whiskey. The worst whiskey that's sold on the island and is sold right here in the Twentieth." As midnight approached the watchers began to examine the air closely, but not even a suspicion of a ghost hovered near them, and slowly they dispersed and returned to their homes. Back to GHOSTS Main Back to CEMETERY INDEX Back to BROOKLYN Page Main