11 August 1894
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

MAPLETON SLIGHTS ITS GHOST _________________ Its People Seem to Be Heartlessly Cold and Indifferent _________________ It has Been Seen by Lots of Folks, and Right at the Spot Where Margaret Barning Killed Herself-- Superintentient LARKE of the Sea Beach Road Describes It Graphically, Yet the Mapleton Residents, Who Really Ought to Be Interested, Display No Activity. _________________

Now is Mapleton's golden opportunity. The chance of its life seems to be here, and it only remains to see whether its people will rise to the occasion in a proper spirit and give what promises to be the best, most scientific and thoroughbred ghost Long Island has had in many years. At about 1:20 o'clock yesterday morning the last train was coming up from Coney Island on the Sea Beach road. It was late and the train was making fast time. As the train passed twentieth avenue, in Mapleton, it began to slow down and came to a dead stop. This was unusual, because the one o'clock from the island never stops there ordinarily. The cause of the stop was still more unusual, because the cause was the ghost itself. Fifteen feet from the southbound track, midway between Nineteenth and Twentieth avenues, is the spot where Margaret BARNING shot herself on Sunday. It is marked with a stone and all accounts place this as the ghosts base of operations. It is tall and shadowylike. It melts into filmy white nothing. It has a white, filmy veil. Its arms are draped or else it has puffy sleeves. It is about the size of a woman. It crouches. It has eyes of fire and is as big as a tree, but gets smaller when you look at it. It may have genuine feet, but perhaps they are imitation, for what use would feet be to a ghost It can wail in a loathsome and despairing manner. Of course, it can glide. Engineer MALLEN, Fireman VAN PELT and Conductor PETTYS had charge of the train which stopped. Richard LARKE, superintendent of the road, was riding on the engine. Mr LARKE, saw the ghost. "We were going very fast because the crowd of picnickers were slow about getting on and had delayed us. We had just passed Woodlawn, the only station between Coney Island and Mapleton, without stopping, and had rounded the curve, when Fireman VAN PELT pulled my coat sleeve and pointed ahead, over to the left of the track. I saw what seemed to be a tall white figure. It seemed motionless at first, and you may believe me or not, but I'll take my oath that it was standinf or appeared to be standing, just where last Sunday's suicide occured. It was tall and shadowylike. It had the appearance of a substance gradually melting into a filmy white nothing and seemed to be covered with a long white filmy veil. Two seconds after I saw it, it began moving over toward the railroad track. It moved slowly at first, waving its long draped arms. I could see distinctly, as we approached nearer, that it motioned to us, gesticulating as one would do trying to stop a train. Engineer MALLON then saw it. He began to blow his whistle with a succession of sharp toots and put on the brakes. The thing didn't get out of the way, though it was careful to avoid the light of the headlamp, and the train was brought to a standstill. Just as the train stopped the thing glided off the track and skimmed along towards the woods, all the time gesticulating as if motioning for someone to follow. It dissappeared in the woods. Of course, people on the train, couldn't understand why the train would stop in an open field. Several persons said they saw the apparition and considerable excitement prevailed. Many passengers left the cras when the train stopped, and it took some minutes for us to induce them to return. I'm not superstitious, never believed in ghosts, and I guess you will laugh at me, but as sure as I'm alive, I saw what I represented to you. Don't ask me what it was. I don't know. The train stopped to prevent the possibility of running over anything. `The engineer and fireman saw the same thing. John MEYERS of the Palace cafe at Coney Island saw it. A man named McGUINESS, who was once one John Y. McKANE'S policeman, saw it. A lot of passengers on the train saw it. James SCOTT and George MILLS, a couple of flagmen, declare they saw it. John LYDEN and Homer DEAN, got glimpses of it. Will McAULEY who is a Sea Beach road brakeman and who lives on twenty-fourt street, says he saw a white, shadowy figure. George McCORMACK of the Sea Beach palace was a witness aboard the train and so were Miss L. C. OLIVER, a telegraph operator, and Sophie STEWART, a colored woman. The young woman who runs the soda fountain at Feltman's was on the train and saw it. There seems to be no lack of witnesses but no Mapleton folks have seen it. Jere LOTT has a house at the corner of sixty-fifth street and eighteenth avenue, about as near the place where the ghost was seen as any other residence. Mr. LOTT was reputed to have seen it. He wasnt home but Mrs LOTT, told the reporter that he hadnt seen it and hadnt gone on any searching party, either. The reporter walked down the track to where Margaret BARNING killed herself. This ghost was seen out in Cornelius FURGUESON'S gas lamp prairie, There are only a few groves of stunted trees at a distance of at least a hundred yards. There are no old houses with sagging roof trees and forbidding aspects. There are no lonely hollows and nothing to cast black shadows on a moonlight night. Back to GHOSTS Main Back to CEMETERY INDEX Back to BROOKLYN Page Main