20 April 1896
Brooklyn Eagle

ANOTHER GHOST SAID TO BE WALKING IN FLATBUSH ______________________ LOOKING FOR HIS LOST HAND Charles NORTON finds the Member While Digging in His Cellar ______________________

A new ghost has made an appearance on East Broadway, west of Nostrand avenue, where only a few houses break the monotony of acres upon acres of farm lands as flat as a pancake. One of these houses is an ancient two story frame dwelling, occupied by Charles NORTON and his wife. This is the haunted house. The neighbors say that there is no mistake about the ghost. A few days ago, while extending his cellar, NORTON found the skeleton of a hand. One of the fingers was enclosed with a ring. A murder was once committed in this cheerful little cottage. Sixty years ago it was inhabited by a German named KRUG. He was a middle aged man, as big as a longshoreman and surly as a bear. He associated with some of the neighboring farmers. His wife and three daughters were kept like prisoners. Three years before the family came to Flatbush and best posted village gossip didn't know anything concerning their past history. The man, it was rumored, was a fugitive criminal, living in this country under an assumed named. KRUG, however, was a hard worker and a good farmer- everybody had to admit that, and he attended strictly to his own business. The story of the murder is as follows: "Late one night a traveler stopped at KRUG'S house and inquired of the village inn. The stranger evidently had behind him a long day's journey, for his horse was ready to drop from fatigue. "If you could give me a bed," said the man, "I wouldn't go any further to-night, and I'd pay you well for it." Krug was about to tell the man in his crude way that he kept no hostelry, when he suddenly changed his mind, and said: "All right, I'll keep you over night." The horse was taken to the stable and the farmers wife prepared a meal for the unexpected guest. The stranger was talkative. He said he carried enough gold pieces in his money belt to purchase half a dozen fine farms. KRUG spoke very little. He soon bid the stranger good night, mentioning the fact that as he had given up his own bed he would have to sleep in the hay loft. At 1 o'clock in the morning Mrs. KRUG was awakened by a noise in the adjoining room, where the guest slept. She listened for awhile and as all was still again she resumed her slumber. Six o'clock the girls, who slept in the garret, were up preparing breakfast. Half an hour later one of them knocked at the door of the room occupied by the stranger. At 7 he got a second call, but there was no response. KRUG was already at work in the field. Presently he walked up to the house and his eldest daughter told him that they couldn't get their guest out of bed. "Oh," replied the father calmly, "he went off early in the morning, saying that he couldn't wait for breakfast." Then the girls went into the room to make the bed. She was surprised to see nothing but the bare bedstead- sheets, pillows and mattress were gone. She told her father and he said, "I burned the bedclothes because the man had told me he had just had the yellow fever." The following day the farmers wife, pushing the empty bedstead away from the wall, found a bloody hand, cut off at the wrist. She screamed and fell unconscious. her daughter ran into the room and also saw the terrible hand which told the story of the murder, as if they had witnessed it with their own eyes. The first blow with the ax did not kill. The victim raised his hand and it was cut clean off by the second stroke. The murderer in his haste to get the body out of the house and bury it and burn the blood stained bed clothes and mattress forgot the tell tale hand which had fallen to the floor. That night KRUG disappeared and was never seen again. Two of his daughters went insane." This is the story of the murder as gathered by the Eagle reporter. Since the skeleton hand was found NORTON'S neighbors insist that they have seen the murdered man's ghost flitting about the scene of the crime. Mr. NORTON, who is a man about 50 years old and a painter by trade, was very uncommunicative when the reporter called at his home. He doesn't like to speak of the hand. His wife was a nervous disposition, and the stories about the ghost and the murder that had been committed in the house had quite upset her. Mrs. NORTON came into the room just then, she said, "We haven't seen the ghost, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if this house is haunted. Everybody who has lived here since the murder has had bad luck. One man occupied the house about forty years ago left his wife and children and ran away with another man's wife; another was a burglar, and when he was caught, a whole lot of silverware was found buried in the cellar; another committed suicide. We've been here six years now, and there has been nothing but sickness in our family. I don't like to talk about these things-it send a chill down my back." NORTON has been doing a good deal of digging in the cellar, actuated by the hope that all the silverware was not found when the burglar was captured. He has unearthed two rusty swords of revolutionary times and several pieces of coins. Back to GHOSTS Main Back to CEMETERY INDEX Back to BROOKLYN Page Main