Ancestors, Legends & Time

Are you afraid of ghosts?

Jeanne Newby

As we near the special holiday known as Halloween, I get the itch to share some of the Halloween memories shared by our readers. The stories of some of the spooky happenings in a few of our Webb City homes are usually anonymous, as some folks don’t mind sharing the story, but the thought of sharing their name with the story causes them to hesitate. So please keep in mind, these stories have been shared by those who witnessed the events. And I won’t share the addresses, but I will share the antics of the spiritual visitors.

One young man in Webb City has seen a vision at the head of the stairs. He says he doesn’t feel too threatened, but it catches him off guard at times and he gets a little spooked. Another lady said she has a regular visitor and she never knows when she will come face to face with him as she turns a corner. The chill she feels when she comes in contact with him is a little unnerving. She has checked into previous residents, has narrowed it down and been able to give her ghostly friend a name. It comes in handy when she is caught off guard and she can call him by name as she is yelling at him.

Another lovely home in Webb City has many spooky happenings, but they have never actually seen their friendly ghost. They have windows opening, doors slamming in the night, and things coming up missing to be found later, stashed in a corner of the basement. Once again, the owner does not feel threatened, just annoyed. Then in another house, they hear their names being whispered in the night. They are never able to locate anyone, but it makes the hair stand up on the back of their neck as they hear their name whispered as they lay in bed.

This next story is a bit overwhelming, as it has to do with furniture instead of a house. A lady named Connie, bought an antique buffet at a really good price. In fact, she might have made a few people irritated as she bragged about the good deal she had found. The first night after the buffet was moved into the house, she was awakened in the middle of the night as she heard one of her children crying in the dining room. As she ran toward the crying child, she glanced into the children’s bedroom to see which child was up and about. But as she glanced in, she saw that both children were sound asleep in their beds. She went on into the dining room to find out why a child was crying in her house. When she flipped on the light switch, the crying stopped… but there was no baby in the room. She went back to bed thinking she must have dreamed the whole thing.

The next night, as she lay sleeping, she was once again awakened to the sound of a child crying. And once again, she went to investigate. Her children were in their beds. As she headed to the dining room, she got an eerie feeling. And just like the night before, when she turned on the light, the crying stopped and there wasn’t anyone in the room. This became a nightly routine, but after five nights of being disturbed, she put an ad in the paper and sold her buffet… at a really good price! She was sure there was someone bragging about the good deal they got on the antique buffet. She also hoped that the new owners did not have the same problem she had encountered. If they did, they never came and told her. And once the buffet was gone, so was the crying baby.

Now, I don’t want to say I believe or don’t believe in ghosts, but these folks who shared their stories are normal everyday folks. They didn’t tell me the stories to receive publicity. In fact, they didn’t want their names printed at all. They didn’t invite these intruders into their homes, but some have admitted that they would probably miss their visitors if they weren’t around anymore. Happy Haunting Halloween!

Jeanne’s new book, “The Zinc City, Webb City, Missouri” is now available at Webb City Chamber Office.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.