Sunday, April 15, 2018

Lizzie Clark: The Girl in White

The following newspaper article from 1894 describes an apparition that people named 'The Girl In White.' The assumption was that the ghost was most likely the earthbound spirit of Lizzie Clark, a girl who either committed suicide or was murdered almost 20 years previous. At the time of the article, 7 years had past since the initial sighting. The legend continues to this day in Hancock & Henderson Counties, Illinois:


The Tragedy of a Little Illinois Town -- Murder or Suicide -- The Ghost that is Seen by Hunters and River Men -- It Is Always Arrayed in a White Gown

Fully 20 years have passed since Lizzie Clark, an orphan with a heritage disappeared from a hotel in Dallas City, Ills., as completely as if the earth had swallowed her up. In all that western country there has never been a stranger case than the disappearance of that girl, and there has never been a greater ghost mystery than has been and still is occasioned by the evidently disembodied spirit of the girl.

The story of Lizzie Clark has been county history. She was an orphan and had some property and money. A guardian had been appointed, and Lizzie, being ambitious to add to her little store, set about to work in a hotel by the river’s edge. It was one afternoon about 20 years ago that Lizzie Clark, who had been washing dishes in the kitchen, stepped out into the yard of the hotel. She was seen to leave the kitchen by several working around the house, who paid no attention to the girl, but that was the last that was ever seen of her. Those who saw her step into the yard heard no scream, no stifled moan, no struggling, but there are people yet living who believe that the girl was suddenly seized, strangled, concealed in the house until dark and then cast into the dark river. Be that as it may, the murderers, if they remained in the same locality long, have been aptly tormented since.It is said that the murderers did not leave the locality for some time thereafter, and yet, again, others say the girl was never murdered, but drowned herself, and that her ghost is not one of a murdered persons, but one of suicide. All one can gain from the different stories and theories is that the girl was dealt with foully in some manner, and that her ghost still haunts the locality. Of course every effort was made to ferret out the mystery, Detectives hunted high and low, money was spent to no purpose, and finally the guardian of the girl’s estate turned her money over to the county authorities to this day because there is not kith or kin to claim it.

The girl’s ghost was first seen in December, 1887, when a party of duck hunters were returning to Dallas City from the islands. An excursion steamer had become disabled late in the season and was lying on the bank of the island across the bay. She was in a rather bad fix. It was expected to leave her there during the winter. As the hunters neared the craft a form in white was seen to run out upon the upper deck. It was a young girl’s figure, and she was evidently being pursued, for from across the water came screams, and then the following words: “Leave me alone, leave me alone, or I will drown myself!” With that the specter flung itself into the river. There was a splash, and the cold waters closed over the white body. Several times during that winter the ghost of Lizzie Clark was seen at night and at early candle light around the disabled steamer. When the steamer was taken away the next spring, workmen and steamboatmen heard pitiful screams from the willows on shore as the boat moved away. The spirit did not leave the island, and it is believed that she was buried on the island after the murder.

Of later years, however, the girl’s ghost has been seen in a skiff at night, and it was only a few evenings ago that one of the St. Louis and St. Paul fast steamers ran into the spectral thing. The pilot did not see the ghostly craft until too late. He says he saw a boat of white that looked more like floating fleece than anything else. In the boat was a young girl in white raiment, but there were blood clots on the white dress. “She was rowing swiftly. When the prow of the steamer struck this frail craft, it cut through it like mist. The ghostly occupant only laughed a sort of uncanny laugh–a half scream–and when we had passed I saw the spectral craft dancing on the waves behind. I doubt if an ordinary skiff could have lived in the waves of our steamer, right under the paddles.” Thus spoke the pilot, and he is a man of few words and sterling integrity.

“Have you seen Lizzie Clark’s boat?” is now the question that goes from one mouth to another during the summer season. The question is not asked so often in the winter from the fact that the poor girl’s spirit does not seem to roam so much. Hunters have come into Dallas shaking with fright and calling for a dram to brace their nerves, saying that coming down from the islands above on the ice they had met Lizzie Clark walking rapidly toward them. She always wears that white dress, and the blood stains on the neck are plain. The girls eyes are staring wide open, as if she were being suffocated. Her spirit has been known to step out from behind a clump of dead trees at the head of the island and face passersby. She will give them a terrible look and then scream piteously. In an instant more the spirit has disappeared. — Chicago Times - 10 October 1894

Ghosts along the Mississippi River

Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories, The (Big Book of Ghost Stories)

Haunted Illinois: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Prairie State (Haunted Series)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

'Black-Eyed Kids' Encounter in Casper, Wyoming

I received the following email on 1/3/2013 in reference to a 'black-eyed kids' encounter:

Mr. Strickler - I was listening to your radio interview with David Weatherly because I am seeking information concerning black-eyed children. I hope it is OK to direct my concerns directly to you.

I am a widow with a teenage daughter in Casper, Wyoming, an area west of the city near the county airport. The property had been in my husband's family for many years. I recently purchased an adjacent home and property after the owner passed away. This is where the story actually begins.

I settled on the new property just after Thanksgiving. Since it was purchased 'as is' it was fairly inexpensive but requires a lot of work. I hired an auction house to come in and remove the contents for future sale. The auction was scheduled for next week, but there have been a few odd things going when the items were first listed for sale.

I received a phone call from the auctioneer a few weeks ago. He wanted to know if I had any knowledge concerning the contents from the house. I told him that I didn't know the owner that well but that I did know that he had lived on the property since the 1950s. The auctioneer said that a young woman came into the auction house and told him that the property and contents were stolen and that it belonged to her family in North Dakota. She didn't give her name but assured him that she had documentation to prove her assertions and that she planned to take legal action if the sale continued. I contacted my attorney and the realtor who verified that the property sale was legal and that there were no prior claims to it.

The young woman, who was described as 'very plain, thin with long black hair', has not been heard from since. It was decided that the auction would continue as scheduled.

Then this past Tuesday, New Years Day around noon, someone rang the doorbell. I was in the kitchen and I knew my daughter would answer the door. I heard the door open and the voice of a young girl. My daughter soon yelled loudly 'Mom, come here'. As I walked down the hallway toward the door I noticed 3 girls standing on the porch. They stood without movement staring directly at me. As I approached, I was shocked when I soon noticed that their eyes were completely black in color. I asked if I could help them. The tallest girl asked if they could come in to talk about the house and property I had recently purchased.

I immediately replied that we were busy and that I would give them the phone number to my attorney if they had any inquiries. They just turned and walked away without saying anything else. Each of the girls had blonde hair and wore heavy winter clothing with boots. They seemed to be in their early teens. I watched as they walked toward the highway and eventually lost sight of them.

Since then we have not been contacted by anyone concerning the property. The auction has been postponed for other reasons and has not been rescheduled. My attorney continues to research the property records for any other information.

I supposed the most important question is - who are these children? Do I need to be concerned? I look forward to your comments. SA

NOTE: I contacted SA by telephone and plan to followup with her. Honestly, there isn't a lot I can tell her...this phenomena has few answers. I have asked her to document any strange activity and to contact me if needed. Lon

The Black Eyed Children

Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us