Genealogy Trails


Reported to be Seen and Heard at the Mansion of the Late Mrs. Lapsley.
Upper Main street is convulsed and “all tore up” about a ghost. Strange tales are told, and it is said the spirit of the late Mrs. Lapsley nightly revisits the house she vacated only when death entered. People say that this spirit visits every room in the house, and will allow no change to be made in the interior arrangements, and when any of the furniture was moved out of place, this ghost would put it back where it had been during the lifetime of the tenant. This weird, white ghost is said to stalk through the deserted halls and barren rooms, up stairs and down, as if at a loss to account for the changes made by the ruthless hands of the purchasers of the furniture. There is a look of perplexity about the misty face, and the eyes peer into every nook and corner of the deserted mansion as if looking for some of the familiar objects that have been removed. Doors and locks form no barrier, and the spirit thing glides from room to room noiselessly and quietly without opening doors. The spirit seems to be constantly looking for something, and as it steps into a barren room, where in flesh it was wont to see carpets and furniture, it has a strange, frightened look, which suddenly turns to one of pain, as it realizes that nothing has been left as it was, and none of the familiar objects are there, and then the tired spirit moves restlessly about, casting glances in all directions. This ghost is clad in a white mist like robe, and from its head hangs a long veil of the same appearance. As she moves from place to place this veil, which reaches the floor, spreads out and floats round in the air. The visits are made at the witching hour of night when church yards are supposed to yawn and well regulated ghosts revisit the scene which were familiar to them in lifetime. Promptly at the hour of twelve, the spirit form of Mrs. Lapsley appears in the room she used to occupy, and casting a few hurried looks about, as if trying to find her familiar chair, it steals on in its nightly tour of investigation, visiting every room in the house. For an even hour does the ghostly visit last, and then the ghost vanishes into thin air, and the strange feeling of those who may be near disappears. It is said by those who have seen it, that during the presence of the ghost there seems to be a peculiar property in the atmosphere, which depresses and oppresses a human being; the air feels as it does on a hot summer’s day, immediately preceding a storm. In addition to this, the flesh “creeps,” and there is a general “all overish” feeling which cannot be explained, but such which cannot be explained, but such as any one would be supposed to have upon being ushered into the immediate presence of a veritable ghost.
Whether the spirit sprite actually visits the house or not, is not the province of the reporter to say, but the credulous believe it, and there are those who say they have seen it, and who could not be hired to pass a night in the haunted house.
New Albany Ledger Standard, 27 July 1878: page 4, column 4

Local Brevities.
Mrs. Lapsley’s ghost reappeared last night.
New Albany Ledger Standard, 30 July 1878: page 4, column 3

Local Brevities.
Seven brave young men surrounded Mrs. Lapsley’s house last night, and watched for the coming of the ghost. At 12 o’clock, one young man averred that he saw it, and immediately broke into a run, saying a thousand dollars would not hire him to stay in the house over night.
New Albany Ledger Standard, 03 August 1878: page 4, column 2

When the LEDGER-STANDARD, a few days ago, published an account of the strange and startling goings on at the residence of the late Mrs. Lapsley, many there were to discredit the story, saying it originated in the brain of the reporter. Nevertheless, strange noises are heard there, and strange sights are seen, at least say those who have visited the premises at midnight. Friday night, Saturday night and last night, the house was surrounded by at least 150 men and boys, all anxiously awaiting the appearance of the ghost, but nary spook presented itself. The latent vandalism in the human animal, here asserts itself and men and boys go tramping through the yard and over the flower beds, destroying everything in their pathway. Night is made hideous by their yells, the noise evidently serving to keep up their courage, like the boy who whistled when he went through a grave yard.
The neighbors find it impossible to sleep, and are getting tired of the ceaseless noise. Some of the men who have watched the house aver that they have seen her spookship in the garden sprinkling the flowers, and when approached it vanished. Others say they have seen it at an upstairs window, while others see it passing from window to window, down stairs. It is wonderful how many superstitious people there are in this enlightened age, for every one who goes to the house to watch for the ghost acknowledges his superstition by the act. It appears that the whole story of the ghost originated from a practical joke played by a young lady on the old colored woman who was Mrs. Lapsley’s servant. Each man that goes there will come away with some bugaboo story, and then every one to whom he has related it, will in turn repeat it with a little exaggeration, so that by the time it reaches a third or fourth person, it becomes a first-class ghost story.
On Friday night a party of men banded themselves together and called themselves the “regulators”, but what they were going to “regulate” is past finding out, unless they were going to regulate the ghost. They went by
numbers, and in addressing each other would sing out “Where’s No. 3?” “Here; what number are you?” would be the response. They had passwords and mysterious signs, and taken all together were just a little too ridiculous for any kind of use. If a ghost had appeared they would all have incontinently taken to their heels.
New Albany Ledger Standard, 05 August 1878: page 4, column 2

Local Brevities.
The ghost, which does not haunt Mrs. Lapsley’s house, is becoming a nuisance to the neighbors.
New Albany Ledger Standard, 05 August 1878: page 4, column 2

Local Brevities.
Mrs. Lapsley’s house was again surrounded by a large crowd last night. A real live ghost with a shot gun is liable to appear on the scene at any moment.
New Albany Ledger Standard, 06 August 1878: page 4, column 3

Local Brevities.
Mrs. Lapsley’s ghost has retired to the home of the spirits.
New Albany Ledger Standard, 14 August 1878: page 4, column 2

A Floyd County ghost upsets wagons on level roads and generally stirs up the riders.
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 1875  Paper: Indianapolis Sentinel (Indianapolis, IN)  Volume: XXIV  Issue: 91  Page: 2 

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