THE SPOOK OF
HARDIN, Ill., Sept. 18. -- For
some time past rumors have been circulated in Hardin to the effect that
Diamond Island, in the [Mississippi] river about two miles from this place,
was the home of a ghost. The stories concerning the movements of the alleged
spook were, of course, not given any credence at first, but later, when
several reputable citizens of Hardin announced that they had positively seen
an uncanny looking object moving about on the island at night, the rumors
were more seriously considered. Now, after investigation, the mysterious
something is no longer considered a myth.
toward midnight a
peculiar light is seen at the foot of the island. It has the appearance of a
huge ball of fire and is about the size and shape of an ordinary barrel.
A few night
(sic) ago a party of young men from this place determined to visit the
island and fathom the mystery, if possible. Equipped with revolvers, knives,
shotguns, and clubs, the party secured a boat and were
soon cutting through the water at a good speed for a point on the island near
where the specter usually made its appearance. Arriving at the landing place,
the skiff was hauled up on the shore, and the young men took up a position in
a clump of trees close at hand to watch and wait.
Suddenly the whole point of the island
was illumined (sic) as a bright red object
rose apparently from the water and glided up into the air. Ascending
probably to a height of forty yards, the watchers saw the lurid ball fade
investigating party had seen what they wanted. They made a mad rush for the
boat, but, just as they reached the place where it had been left, they were
horrified to see the little craft moving out on the water from the island. At
first its only occupant seemed to be the red ball of fire, but the next
moment the watchers saw the crimson object gradually take the form of a man,
and they saw him, too, dip the oars at regular intervals and pull a long,
steady stroke. The man's features were fully concealed by a wide-rimmed
slouch hat which was drawn over his face. A peculiar light illumined (sic)
the boat and the waters around it, making the craft and its mysterious
occupant perfectly discernible to the party on the shore, who stood
paralyzed with fear, unable to speak or move, their eyes riveted by some
mysterious influence they could not resist on the spectral object before
was now about in midstream, and suddenly the group of watchers saw the
skiff's occupant change again into the crimson ball. Then it slowly began to
move upward, and when it was about parallel with the tops of the trees on the
island, it disappeared. Next instant the watchers looking across the river
saw nothing but the flickering lights in Hardin.
of the crowd on the island awakened a sleeping fisherman on the opposite side
of the river, and he kindly pulled across and rescued the ghost-seeking
spook, it is said, still makes its nightly trips to Diamond Island, but no
more investigating parties have ventured across the (sic
– to) solve the mystery.
It is said
that some years ago a foul murder was committed on this island, and by the superstitious,
the crimson object is believed to be the restless spirit of the slain man.
This reference: St.
Louis Post-Dispatch, September 18, 1888. With thanks to Jerome Clark of the Magonia Group: http://anomalies.bravepages.com
UFOCAT PRN – NONE
North America – United States, Illinois, Calhoun. Body
of water is the Mississippi River.
Hardin Latitude 39-09-24 N, Longitude
90-37-04 W (D-M-S)
Diamond Island Latitude
39-11-44 N, Longitude 90-35-52 W