Friday, May 11, 2018

Coffin Napping Leads to Ghost Scare

Here's a humorous tale for you!  Although the story takes place in Philadelphia, PA, the article appeared in the September 6, 1907 edition of The Daily Telegram, a Clarksburg, WV based newspaper.  And, while this story IS pretty funny, I gotta say that its a bit sad that even 110+ years ago, people were stealing metal from cemeteries to make a quick buck. 

Wanderer's Nap Caused Ghost Scare in Quaker City Cemetery

When Policeman Barnes of the Twentieth and Berks streets station, Philadelphia, heard weird sounds in Glenwood cemetery very early in the morning, he crept stealthily along the fence and entered the graveyard in full expectation of a real adventure.  And he was not disappointed.  The adventure was so real that the doughty officer's hair stood on end, and he fingered his club in nervous fear of its futility in dealing with the supernatural.

First, the sounds, deep and regular, like the breath of troubled dreams, grew louder; then, as he approached a grave well in the center of the cemetery, he saw a faint, eerie light that flickered from a rough pine coffin case beside the grave.  The light trembled and flashed and faded and then brightened, though always vague and ghostly and unearthly.

To Policeman Barnes it seemed quite the most natural thing in the world that he should rap softly three times on the coffin case and that the lid of the box should suddenly fly open and reveal a human form, dimly visible by the light of a small lantern.

When the first shock of discovery was over, it took the policeman only a moment to see that this was no dead one, but a live creature, sound asleep and with a pile of metal coffin plates for a pilow in the overturned rough box.  The officer woke the intruder sharply enough and took him to Magistrate Rau.

The grave walker and would be grave robber gave his name as William Evert and his address as Glenwood cemetery.  He said he had just dropped into the coffin case for a nap.  He did not, however, explain his predilection for cemeteries nor the presence of the metal name plates, and the magistrate sent him to Holmesburg for three months. 

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