The Locust Street Specter of Paris, Missouri
According to the 29 November 1934 issue of the Jefferson City Post-Tribune, the “Ghost of Paris” had been “stalking” the little town every October beginning in 1864. However, in 1934, the ghost didn’t make its annual visit until November, and it had acquired the trait of peeping in windows.
The ghost is said to be that of a “jilted sweetheart of a confederate soldier.” As she was dying, the rejected young woman promised that she would haunt both her lover and the town of Paris forever.
Initially, witnesses described the spirit as a large woman, who appeared dressed in black clothing. As time went on, the ghost was often seen to be of a smaller stature and sometimes wore white. She was considered harmless, although several town residents (including men) fainted upon catching a glimpse of her in the dark. Some reported that her face appeared to glow in the dark.
The 20 November 1890 issue of The Palmyra Spectator reported that a
“ghost walks the streets of Paris every night between the hours of 9 and 12.” The account added that the spirit was a woman and that it would glide by without a sound.
The ghost was usually seen on the east side of town, often on Locust Street. Mrs. Clyde Tawney saw the ghost outside her house late one night in 1934. The apparition vanished before she could call her sleeping daughter to the window.
Roy Curtright, from the east side of Paris, reported the window-peeping incident in 1934. Several of his neighbors also reported that they had seen the peeping spirit outside their home. During these visits, the apparition was dressed in white.
Truck driver Elwin Harris reported that the ghost appeared in front of him dressed in black and wearing a tall hat.
According to an account at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~momonroe/ghost.htm, the spirit was first seen on an early October evening by Darcy Ambrose, who was standing in her front yard calling her children. Darcy said that the specter suddenly came sweeping down the street wearing black clothing and a wide-brimmed bonnet that hid her face.
The following night, Darcy was sitting in front of the house talking with her husband. The spirit in black made a second appearance, although she seemed to be more aggressive that evening as she “brandished her cane as she passed.” Darcy also reported that “she looked three-dimensional,” and “that the woman’s feet never touched the ground.”
The ghostly apparition was seen by many of the townspeople over the next few months. With the arrival of the Ides of March, however, she departed.
In mid-October, the spirit returned. She continued to return each year until 1934.