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A strange ghost story from Georgia

Old newspapers from the 19th century are a joy to read because you never know what you'll come across, such as the following story about a headless apparition that attacked two men with electric shocks and then rummaged through their pockets. Newspapers of the era were favorite targets for hoaxers and pranksters, of course, so little credence can be given to this particular story, yet these tales of olden times make for interesting reading.



The following strange tale comes from the May 14, 1891 edition of The Atlanta Constitution


Recent posts

Chevalier d'Éon: The World's First Transgendered Spy

Does the name Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont ring a bell? Probably not, because writing about this historical figure would require a lot of ink just to spell out the name. Perhaps for that reason, Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont is better known by the name Chevalier d'Éon-- otherwise remembered as the world's first transgendered spy.

Born in Tonnere, France, in 1728, Chevalier d'Éon developed an uncanny talent early in life for impersonating members of either gender, and to this day historians still argue over the chevalier's true gender identity. According to contemporary historians, the chevalier's remarkable talent earned him a position as King Louis XV's top "secret agent".

Sometimes he appeared in public as Chevalier d'Éon, the dashing, daring, debonair swashbuckler, and other times he appeared as a coquettish siren, with the strange ability to make men confide their de…

The Mystery of the H.M.S. Ravenna

Shortly after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the United States government purchased a Brazilian navy cruiser that had recently been built at a British shipyard. The ship was christened the U.S.S. New Orleans (CL-22) and remained in service until 1922. Being of British manufacture, the cruiser was armed with British guns that required British ammunition. This was a bit of a problem, since neutrality laws made it illegal for the U.S. to purchase the required ammunition from England.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, an English East India Company steamer, the H.M.S. Ravenna, deviated, for some unknown reason, from her usual course and arrived in Antwerp where, according to the ship's manifest, she took on ballast. This ballast was neatly boxed and handled with great care as it was loaded into the Ravenna's cargo hold. The steamer then went back out to sea and was never seen again.

Interestingly, the disappearance of the Ravenna coincides strangely with the timely …

Who was buried beneath the White House?

In the summer of 1902, workers found a human skeleton beneath the White House while making renovations, probably from a private family burial ground that stood on the site before the White House was constructed. So the next time you hear someone say that America is cursed, you can point out that the White House was constructed on top of an ancient graveyard!


The headless ghost of the 'Old Hermit McDaniel Place'

The following story of a headless ghost seen in Lucasville, Ohio, comes from the Dec. 19, 1896 edition of the Los Angeles Times.




Debunked: Shadow Person over Zambia Mall

The crack staff of paranormal "experts" over at Coast to Coast AM are up to it again. Last week they posted grainy video footage of a "goblin" in Argentina that led us to conclude that it was the least spectacular monster ever caught on video, and now they're touting the alleged sighting of an anomalous figure over a mall in Zambia as being that of a "shadow person" (or perhaps a weird-looking cloud).

Coast to Coast writes:

Shoppers at a mall in the African nation of Zambia were taken aback when they spotted a strange anomaly in the sky that bore a striking resemblance to a shadow person. 

The eerie figure, which sports a distinct head and body along with wispy arms and legs, is believed to have measured more than 300 feet long, based on a comparison to the shops below it. 

According to witnesses, the haunting sight lingered over the shopping center for about a half hour before disappearing. 

Although the oddity was likely just a vivid cloud forma…

Civil War Mysteries: The Strange Disappearance of Harvey B. Wentworth

The strangest casualty of the Civil War occurred not on the battlefield, but beneath the U.S. Capitol Building, and involved a young soldier from New Hampshire who never got the chance to confront the enemy. This is the story of Harvey B. Wentworth, who vanished from the face of the earth in the summer of 1862.

Wentworth enlisted in Company D of the 19th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry in May of 1862. He was 20 years old, and the son of a farmer from the town of of Suncook. During the war, all troops from the Union states passed through Washington and, as a result, the nation's capital was filled with throngs of soldiers.

Every morning in Washington, the sergeant of each company made out a report showing that the troops under his command were present and accounted for. On the morning of July 22, the sergeant of Company D had reported that one private was unaccounted for-- Harvey B. Wentworth. Wentworth's name remained on the rolls for the duration of the war, along with the …