Ghost in White

Ghost in White
The historic downtown area of Quincy, Illinois, located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, was just starting to grow and thrive when rumors of a ghost dressed in white caused locals to fear for their lives one summer.

During the late summer of 1911, messenger boys delivering telegrams for Western Union as well as residents living in the vicinity of North Sixth, North Seventh, Oak and Vine Streets reported a white-robed figure “stalking” them late at night throughout the last few weeks of August.

One young delivery boy tried to deliver a message to a residence on North Sixth Street and “came near dying of fright before he got back to the office.” The young fellow claimed to have been accosted near the alley by a ghostly figure in white.

One local messenger boy returned from a delivery on Twelfth Street one late August night looking "as if he had aged perceptibly.” He had no doubt that he had seen the ghost in white.

The specter was also terrorizing the vicinity of Twelfth Street near Locust Street at this time and the people living in that locality were reported as being "badly scared” according to the 24 Aug 1911 issue of Keokuk’s The Daily Gate City.

On those sultry late August days, the ghost in white became the main topic of conversation with the people living and working in the north end of Quincy. The August 23, 1911 issue of The Quincy Daily Whig stated the local residents were so frightened “that they have said there is no use to try to sleep.”

The local constabulary was on the trail of the wraith. One night after several reports of the ghost had come in, two police officers were dispatched to look for the ghost in white and “see what they could see.” I found no evidence that they reported seeing anything at all in their investigation.

Interestingly, numerous Help Wanted ads for messenger boys can be found in the months following this event in many of the September through December 1911 issues of The Quincy Daily Journal and The Quincy Daily Herald.




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