Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Unfortunate Tale of Dr. Lowry

On May 24, 1933, the body of Dr. Joseph Lowry, age 68, was found dead at his home. The wealthy physician lived in a palatial home, located at 321 South Fourth Street in Ironton...the exact location which now houses the library building.

Dr. Lowry, who lived alone, was found dead in bed in an almost unnatural position, with a towel over his head, blood running down the side of his face from his nose and mouth, and an electric light turned on. He was found by a Mr. Riley, a close friend, after several of the doctor's patients could not get ahold of him.  Mr. Riley climbed through the one un-latched window to enter the home.

It was assumed that the doctor had died of a stroke, and was buried in Woodland Cemetery near his wife and mother.  However, a key to a lock box was soon discovered, but the box itself was missing, leading many to believe that Dr. Lowry had been killed by his heirs over his fortune.

The body was exhumed to look for evidence of foul play, and a shocking discovery was made.  The doctor's entrails had been removed completely, and his legs had been broken to fit inside the casket!  The undertaker admitted to the deed, citing sheer spite, as two years earlier, the Dr. refused to pay for an expensive casket he ordered for his wife, Sarah.  Sarah was a very small person, so certain "adjustments" had to be made to ensure that Lowry would fit in her unused  coffin! With not enough physical evidence, the death of Dr. Lowry was never officially solved. 

Today, visitors to the library claim that the doctor is still around...looking for his missing body parts.  Often at closing, staff will hear the jingling of keys, even though everyone holds their own still.  A hydraulic door to the Genealogy room has also been reported to open and close on its own, but several workers and visitors had a much more profound experience.

While discussing Dr. Lowry one day, one worker made it quite clear that she didn't believe any of the ghost nonsense...and then the computer beeped.  The screen showed a partial list of patrons in the system.  Four names popped up...all with the name Lowry.  A few minutes later, the computer beeped again, signaling a book had been checked out at it...the book was "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir."

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