Friday, March 23, 2007

The Freeport Ghost

As every student of Forteanea knows, during the past 70 years there have been numerous monster and "phantom attacker" scares in different parts of the country that typically shared the same characteristics: sightings of some type of bizarre entity would be reported, the locals would become scared and organize into groups to hunt down the invader, and the creature would disappear, never to be seen in those parts. Cryptozoology can point to the Momo case as one of their most famous, while the Mad Gasser of Mattoon has become one of the most widely studied "mass hysteria" incidents in Fortean history, studied not only from a Fortean point of view, but from a sociological perspective as well. However, one never hears about ghost -hunting expeditions, which makes the following account, taken from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, all the more interesting:

As reported in the Nov. 19th, 1893 edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, several residents of Freeport, Long Island encountered a bizarre phantom and described it as being eight feet tall and running silently near the speed of a "trotting horse", with a long and "spooklike" beard. It first chased a Martin Beacon and, according to the article, very nearily caught him until Beacon managed to get home and slam the door shut in the face of his pursuer. Interestingly enough, the next witness, an Austin Ellison, heard a strange voice calling his name before turning to see the being dissolve into nothingness, though Ellison was able to note that the face of the figure was covered with "long white hair". It next attacked John R. Losse, who reported that it looked like a man in very ragged clothes, and then chased after Joseph Bennett and Pauline Klein, both of whom were unable to clearly describe their pursuer. At the end, the writer notes that a ghost-hunting expedition had been put together to go out and search the night after the article was published.

It is possible that some or maybe even all of the reported encounters could be chalked down to a mentally unbalanced homeless man, and the fact that Bennett and Klein were unable to describe their pursuer could mean that it was just someone suffering from a mental disorder and not a paranormal incident. However, a strike against this theory is the claim by Ellision that he saw the alleged ghost dissolve into thin air, not to mention the strange speed displayed by the phantom, who was almost able to overtake Beacon in his pursuit. The fact that Ellison also allegedly heard a voice speak to him first before he saw the ghost is interesting as well, since in most cases ghosts tend to be largely silent and not prone to speaking to witnesses (though if I am wrong on this, someone please correct me).

Up next: The Mapleton Phantom - Long Island's Great Ghost Scare

*Note* - I am very bogged down with work for classes right now, 18 credits is killer, so as I said in my last post I am trying my best to update and get back to everyone. I plan to get the Mapleton post up by Sunday night the latest, so please be patient, if you read this and I have not responded to your email yet, I will, just give me some time. Thanks.

1 comment:

A Bishops wife said...

18 credits! At the same time?
Well I know...schools a killer. Try doing it with 3 kids, a husband and a full time job.

Hey--Do you ever listen to "Coast to Coast" (Art Bell)on the radio?
They did a great show on a thing called "Franks box". It was really good.

If you have not heard of "Franks box", it is suppose to be a communication device between the living and the dead. You may want to look into it.

Good luck with school-