Lady On The Stairs
January 16, 1890
"The spooks excitement on Empire street caused by the mysterious rappings has subsided to some extent as the noises ceased this noon, but the cause of the rappings has not been discovered.
The house is an old-fashioned two-story wooden structure and [was] probably built 50 years years or more [ago]. It is within 10 feet of the sidewalk on Empire street, and is occupied by four families.
The tenement in which the mysterious noises were first heard is occupied by Wilcomb Smith and his wife and several children reside with him. The family has lived there three years and they first heard the thumping Wednesday morning.
One of the daughters says that previous to this they have seen and heard ghosts, etc., and one evening three months ago they heard a sound like someone trying to get a key in the lock of the front door, and on her father going there he found a large white cat sitting in the hall. He opened the door and tried to drive the cat out, but it was hard to do so, as the cat was not inclined to obey.
The following Sunday morning the family was aroused by a thump on the door as if something heavy was thrown against it, and the same white cat caused this rumpus, so the girl says. They saw the cat running away from the house.
A woman upstairs had several times heard footsteps approach the bottom of the stairs. The sound would come near her door then stop, but should could find nobody. One day the footsteps were heard, and a man in one of the rooms used rather forcible language and the footsteps ceased.
Nothing more was heard until Wednesday morning, when Miss Smith was sweeping out the room which adjoins the hall, when she heard the sound of someone sweeping in the hall, and as she was the only one in that part of the room she was considerably frightened.
She saw, by peeping through the keyhole, a woman ascending the stairs, dressed in pure white. Directly after this, noises were heard that resembled someone rapping on the stairs. This noise continued all day Wednesday, and Wednesday night the officers were notified.
Several of them responded and listened outside the stairs and underneath the stairs, and the rapping seemed to be underneath. The officers went underneath the stairs and the noises changed to another locality. The jar could be distinctly felt from these rappings. The rappings were also heard underneath the floor.
The rappings stopped soon after the officers left, and began again this morning at 8 o'clock. They continued until 12 o'clock [in the morning], when they ceased and nothing has been heard of them since.
Mr. Smith and his family have been advised to leave the house and Mrs. Smith is looking for another tenement."