Jeff Green | Oct 25, 2007
Feature Article - October 25, 2007 - October 25, 2007 Plevna and Area HauntingsBy Katie OhlkeAn artistic impression of the Weber House.
Many strange occurrences happen within and without our village homes. Several people will speak confidentially about the mysterious presences and activities that happen when they least expect it. Some of these "happenings" are figments of over-active imaginations, while others, are too real and poignant to dispute.
Ghost lore states that spirits attach themselves to properties and objects. Not all spirits are evil and some can be quite mischievous, hiding objects and returning them later in unlikely places. The following are some accounts of local experiences. Read on if you dare!
The first story surrounds the notorious Deacon murder of local legend. Thomas Deacon is said to have poisoned his sickly wife with strychnine in order to pursue a new love interest. He was caught and housed temporarily in the now Manion Hen house. This happened in 1870. Deacon was found guilty and later hanged for his crime. However, he is not the centre of the haunting; Mrs Deacon is! Old timers will tell you if you see a flickering, floating "orb-like" light bouncing out in the field or near the edge of the yard, you have just witnessed Mrs Deacon. A non-threatening spirit, she appears briefly and rarely - and never during firefly season.
Our second tale revolves around a house still inhabited by its former and deceased owner. While this senior gentleman still roams his homestead, he brings with him familiar smells of whisky and strong cologne; aromas he had during his lifetime. A friendly chap, he makes his presence known by smells appearing and then disappearing as he leaves again.
Other residents report the nighttime baking smells, which awaken them from sleep. The general feeling is one of well-being and it is reported that they often go back to sleep feeling content that nothing is amiss. There is a medical condition known as "olfactory hallucinations" for the science minded, but those who spoke to the News were quite convinced of the authenticity of their experiences.
Sounds play the main role in the next hauntings: some people hear old time music from the cellar, while others hear distant voices that cannot be heard clearly. An old tale from the 1920s tells of the old Weber farm house, where phantom sleigh bells could often be heard in the early hours of the morning, without a live horse and cutter passing the house.
Mischievous ghosts have been known to play tricks on local residents, hiding items only to return them later in unexpected places. Of those who spoke to the paper, they seemed content to wait for the inevitable return of missing items. These happenings were not considered frightening, merely inconvenient.
Lastly, but most extraordinary, those who see ghosts, or very pale translucent people, to be politically correct. Numerous sightings report phantom-like visions in period clothing (1900s or 1930s) from the waist up. This may be due to the fact that people who see a translucent being in their home are not going to be checking out the shoes of the visitor, and consequently only register the top half of the guest.
The Plevna area is one with a rich past filled with powerful personalities, past and present. No one interviewed in this article wished to be named, call it taboo - pun intended. The general agreement was that the area contained no malicious hauntings, or any that the interviewees had experienced. The question remains, is it fact or imagination? You decide. Happy All Hallows Eve.