March 4, 1902
"This town [Hull], judging from a series of occult, or at least very mysterious events transpiring there from time to time within the past few years, is a good field for psychical research.
First it had its mysterious buggy, a vehicle that repeatedly rolled through the village streets at midnight without sound of wheels or clatter of hoofs and without any visible occupant. This uncanny vehicle was seen by no less a personage than Capt. Joshua James, who is known not to have a particle of superstition in his makeup.
One night the captain says the buggy rolled past him on the road to Stony beach. Having heard much about the specter buggy, he hurried after it, when to his surprise, instead of turning to the right in the direction of Nantasket, or to the left toward Battery heights, where it had usually been encountered, it made straight for the railroad track which runs along the top of the beach, disappearing on the rails between the rip-rap sea wall and the little station. The captain was hard upon it, but when he reached the station it was nowhere to be seen up or down the track. It seems to have dissipated into the air are been submerged in the breakers below. This mystery has never been satisfactorily solved.
Then followed the appearance of a strange woman wandering at all hours of the night over the most deserted parts of the town. When hailed by the life-savers on patrol never an answer was made and she always gaged her walk according to their gait. Thus they could never catch up with her. Often, however, she has passed close to, but no features were ever distinguishable, though her form was said to be of good height and well matured. Sometimes she could be seen for half an hour walking on the very edge of the precipices of Battery heights, at other times she would vanish into seeming nothingness.
And now another phenomenon, veiled in as deep mystery, comes upon the stage in the form of a specter, or something that resembles the oft-repeated description of such uncanny folk. Its haunts seem to be confined to the village cemetery on Spring St., between the village and Stony beach.
Its latest visitation, was at the very front of the cemetery, right on the highway, Monday night between 11:53 and and 12:15, near the new tomb. The person claiming to have seen it is Stillman D. Mitchell, who told his experiences to the Globe correspondent with the following voluntarily signed affirmation of the truth of his statements:
Hull, March 4, 1902.
To Whom It May Concern:
"Although the following statement may savor of superstition, something I positively do not believe in, it is nevertheless absolutely true in every respect, though others perhaps may think it of ghostly character. (Signed) Stillman D. Mitchell.
"I was notified," said Mr. Michell, "To attend a rehearsal of the Hull dramatic club of which I am a member, at the residence of Miss Floretta Vining, last night at 8 o'clock. Meanwhile, however, without my knowledge, the rehearsal was postponed, but I was promptly on hand, where I found several other members of the club who had not received notice of the postponement.
"A pleasant evening, however, was spent, [with] all except myself leaving at 10:30. I was engaged in an interesting conversation with a member of the household, and did not depart until 11:53, seven minutes before the street lights were put out.
"The village cemetery lies less than a minute's walk from Miss Vining's. In order to get along as far as possible before the lights went out I walked quite rapidly. But I had scarcely reached the graveyard when a deep and sepulchral groan fell upon my ear. It startled me for an instant, but quickly recovering myself I kept on my way homeward.
"Those awful and piteous moans continued, however, and just as I arrived opposite the new tomb a white-shrouded figure rose as if from one of the graves and advanced toward me. At this moment, when some people, perhaps, would have been terrified, I felt as fearless as if it were broad daylight. This might have been because it instantly struck me that some of the members of the club who had left for home early in the evening were playing a trick on me.
"I stopped and placed my hand on my hip as if to draw a revolver, at the time saying: What are you trying to do? You had better look out. It's a dangerous thing to do, whoever you are, as some folks have been shot while playing such tricks.
"The apparition which had started to descend the embankment drew back a step, but was silent. I was then convinced that had it been a member of the club or anyone that knew me he would have revealed his identity, but this thing in white, with one hand outstretched, stood like a statue with an electrical light right overhead streaming down upon it.
"I walked along the plank walk a little father, when the lights went out. Then an idea suddenly struck me to hide and watch for anyone that might be playing a practical joke on me. Accordingly I quickly got over the fence, on the embankment just below the summer residence of Lawrence McCarty, and hid under the walk, with my eyes sufficiently elevated to command a good view of the cemetery.
"I quickly saw that if any of the boys were playing their pranks upon me they could not escape me even though the lights were out, as there was a bright starlight and their retreating forms would be clearly outlined against the sky behind the ridge. I then made up my mind to make a thorough investigation to go back to life saving station at Stony beach and borrow a revolver, and strange as it may seem, I entertained no fear, although there still stood the silent figure and white. It was clearly outlined against the dark embankment, and as I passed by on the sidewalk within 40 feet of it I again addressed it, but received no response.
"I went on until I reached Miss Vining's residence about half way to the life saving station, when it occurred to me that my story would not be credited. Therefore I turned about determined to find out what was under that glistening robe of white if it still remained. When I reached the tomb I found the statue in white was still occupying the same place I had last seen it. One hand was on the fence and the other stretched toward me. I boldly stepped off the sidewalk and approached it
"I had reached the middle of the street when it began to disappear. It did not move from the spot on which it stood, neither to the right nor left, but seemed to dissolve until it entirely vanished.
"I do not pretend to say it was a ghost," continued Mr. Mitchell, "I do not know what it was. But I have faithfully described my strange adventure at the cemetery in every detail."