The Woman in White

A 1912 pic by Homer Frohardt of his aunt’s grave at Prospect Hill.

“Where are my children? Are they buried in that tomb?”

H. P. Stanwood was an early and popular sculptor and marble cutter in Omaha. Building a house a shop across the street from the city’s first cemetery, Prospect Hill, he sold a lot of headstones and grave markers. Stanwood was a serious man, and when asked by the Omaha Bee, he said he was “not a superstitious man, and has no faith in ghosts.”

On July 14, 1874, Mr. Stanwood met the lady in white.

That night, Stanwood was resting in his house when he heard pounding on the front door. His workers, two brothers, slept in Stanwood’s shop most nights. That evening one of the brothers stepped outside before going to bed. Looking out over the cemetery, he clearly saw a ghost.

Mouth wide open, he watched as a woman, all white and obviously a ghost, moved toward him in the pitch black night. Running inside and shaking his brother, they both watched as she came through the front door and blew out the lamp in the room.

A grave statue in Prospect Hill.

The brothers ran out the back door to Stanwood’s house, and that’s when he heard them pounding on the door. Not believing anything he was hearing from the brothers, the man decided to go see for himself. But as soon as he walked out the door, he was greeted by the ghost herself. She hit him in the back and asked him if her children were buried in one of the tombs behind her.

Without waiting for an answer, she “flitted through the house”. She went upstairs, scaring one person into jumping out the window. One of the brothers pulled out a gun and shot at the ghost, with no effect. The men chased after her into the cemetery, where she vanished at a grave.

The next night she was back. The brothers became so scared they went to town to sleep that night, and on Thursday night.

The Omaha Bee reported on this story on Saturday, July 18, 1874.

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Author: Adam Fletcher

I'm a writer and speaker who teaches people about engaging people. I specialize in youth engagement in communities, at home and through education. Learn more at adamfletcher.net

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