Special Halloween Edition
Once again it’s the time of year when many of our neighbors are dressing themselves in costumes designed to scare you witless. The distraction is disrupting to those of us who are trying to prepare for the zombie apocalypse that we know is coming. All sizes of ghouls and goblins will inhabit our streets and living rooms tonight. Most are in search of candy and treats or just a good time. The supernatural to them…ain’t. Be alert if you’ll be out roaming the streets in one of our historic neighborhoods. Was that a face or just a reflection at that unlighted second story window? The following story is not a work of fiction.
A few years ago I received this email:
This is going to sound a little off the wall, but here it goes anyway. I live at (here she provided her address that I have removed due to concern for her privacy) and have lived there for about 17 years. We have 2 ghosts, a man and a woman, that reside in our home. No joke. I have seen them, my daughter has seen them…anyway, the man in our house walks around a lot and sometimes at night he wakes me up. One night I said to him “James, you need to go stand still or go away…” I have no idea what made me call him James, but it seemed like that was his name. The woman walks around too, she is a little more reclusive and sometimes she has a cat with her. One night I heard someone call the name “Ann”. My middle name is Ann and when I was little and I would be in trouble I would hear them call my full name, so anytime I hear the word “Ann” I usually assume I am in trouble and I really pay attention.
We had no idea about the history of our house. We had no idea about the property at all…until yesterday at Central Library we found the New Atlas of the City and County of St. Louis and located our property on it….and saw that it was owned at that time by James C. Sutton Est.
Anyway, I am looking for more info on them and didn’t know if you could help me. I came across your blog and thought it was worth a shot. My daughter and I are very interested in finding out more about the people who sometimes reside in our home.
And if you don’t believe that there are ghosts that is totally fine. But they are there. She is quiet and very reclusive….he is one that paces….and sometimes I have to yell at him. My daughter has gotten onto him before too. I swear we are not crazy people!”
I remember telling her that the location of her home was very close to the location of James Sutton’s cabin (the first building on the property that would one day become Maplewood). Additionally James wife’s name was Ann. Her research had not discovered that bit of information. She asked me if I had photos of them. I did and provided her with copies. Her reply follows:
“The man in that photo is the man in my house. The woman in the house is younger than the woman in that photo and she wears a dress that has a higher collar. Do you have a photo of Ann when she was younger?
The cave thing is very interesting. I would love to know more about it and maybe meet up with you to talk sometime if you are free to do so.
Do you know anything about the children of James and Ann? My neighbor’s son told me that they have two ghosts of children in their house. He has seen them and so has his younger brothers. They also hear a baby crying in their house.
Thanks for all the info! This is so fascinating……”
Regarding the “cave thing” she mentions, I had sent her a link to my blog post about the Sutton Cave which is so close to where she lives it could conceivably be beneath her home. I also did not have pictures of Ann Sutton when she was younger. That was the last contact I had with this woman.
She is obviously very serious and I respect that. My own feeling is just because I have never seen anything that I thought might be a ghost doesn’t mean that no one else has either. I do not think folks with experiences like this woman’s are crazy. I think they somehow see things that I either can’t or just haven’t.
Frankly I would love to see a ghost. I think no community can have too many of them. I would especially like to see one of our own ghosts; the 10 foot tall Maplewood Spectre recently featured in the street play, the Maplewood/Shakespeare adaptation, “Remember Me”. So Spectre, if you’re out there, I’m a receptive audience.
I find it especially interesting that the ghost named Ann sometimes appeared with her cat. A ghost cat! How cool is that? Who else has one of those?
Doug Houser October 31, 2016