‘His ghostship’—Salisbury, NC

Fisher Street
Salisbury, North Carolina

Lately, I’ve been enjoying exploring a new resource, Newspapers.com. A subsidiary of Ancestry.com, the site provides historic newspapers from the early 18th century virtually to the modern day. Though the coverage is inconsistent—rarely complete runs of newspapers are provided and their holdings of Deep South papers are poor—there are still 64 million, plus pages of newspapers to search.

Newspapers of the 19th and early 20th were more apt to report on supernatural events and that’s true in this case from Salisbury, North Carolina. On September 1, 1898, The Hickory Press in Hickory, North Carolina—a little more than 50 miles away—picked up this item from the Salisbury Sun.

A genuine ghost was seen on Fisher Street last night. It was discovered by Theo. Hartman, in his room and made its way from the room to the street below by going through the second story window. On the street it was seen by a lady who happened to look out the front door of her house while his ghostship was resting on the fence. The ghost was very tall and perfectly white.

Besides the almost tongue in cheek humor of referring to the ghost as “his ghostship,” this note is very interesting. The movement of the ghost from a room, through the window and down to the street is odd. Generally ghosts are bound to move as living beings. Modern ghost hunters surmise that when ghosts do walk through walls or doors, they are usually following a path available to them in life—i.e. using doors that have since been walled up.

Of course, this is a single event and no information is provided as to if this is a regular occurrence. In a search for information about ghosts on Fisher Street I did come across a listing on a site called ParanormalHotspots.com. The site claims to provide information on haunted businesses directly from the business owners and subsequently has few listings. The only listing for the state of North Carolina is the, now defunct, Brick Street Tavern on East Fisher Street.

Fisher Street is now delineated as East Fisher and West Fisher with Main Street as the dividing line. The 100 block of East Fisher appears to be lined with mostly late 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings and Brick Street Tavern was located at number 122. According to the history at ParanormalHotspots, a large house was on this site in 1885 that may have been a flop house. The current structure was erected in 1912 as part of a wholesale goods company. It has served a variety of uses since that time. Reported activity at the location includes objects moving, apparitions, shadow people and a number of EVPs that have been captured.

With the information provided in the article it is difficult to know if “his ghostship” is still around or if he is responsible for activity at the Brick Street Tavern. If he is, next time I’m in Salisbury, I’ll be sure to buy “his ghostship” a drink.



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