Ghost hunting on Owensboro, Kentucky
There wasnâ€™t a ghost of a chance that David Wolfe would grow up without an interest in the supernatural.
As a child living in a Coshocton, Ohio, house that was more than 100 years old, he â€œturned over and looked upâ€ one night and found that he wasnâ€™t alone.
â€œThere was a figure standing beside me,â€ says Wolfe, 36. â€œI couldnâ€™t see the face, but it appeared to be wearing a robe with a hood. It just stood there, and I hollered for my mom and when she came into the room she walked right through the figure. She couldnâ€™t see it. It was there for four nights in a row, and finally I said, â€˜You can stand here, but Iâ€™m going to sleep in the bathroom.â€™ There was a night light in the bathroom.â€
The next night there was no figure by the bed, and Wolfe never saw it again.
But in that same house in Coshoctonâ€™s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, his mother had her own experiences with something she couldnâ€™t see. Sheâ€™d be working in the kitchen, Wolfe said, and would hear a voice call her name.
The first time that happened, she thought it was a friend and yelled, â€œCome on in.â€ But no one was there. At least, not anyone visible.
Wolfe said that during visits with his grandmother, the family matriarch would tell stories that raised goosebumps on both adult and child listeners.
One incident reportedly occurred in Black Mountain, Kentucky, where she was walking home one night when there was a full moon. By the railroad tracks that ran by her house, she looked down and saw not only her shadow, but another one as well.
The second shadow, Wolfeâ€™s grandmother said, was headless.
Who was that specter? Only the shadow knows.
Wolfe, who is majoring in history at Brescia College, last fall found a unique way to combine his interests in history and ghosts.
Now living in Owensboro, Kentucky, where his family moved when he was 12, Wolfe conducts his â€œHaunts of Owensboroâ€ walking tours of homes and businesses said to be inhabited by restless spirits.
The tours, $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under, take place at 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday and begin at a coffee house at 109 E. Second Street in Owensboro.
Theyâ€™ve been successful, Wolfe said, and he hopes to launch similar tours in Henderson in the near future.
Between his classes, part-time jobs and family, heâ€™s done extensive research on local sites reputed to be ghostly and urges anyone with knowledge of such sites in the downtown vicinity to contact him.
Wolfe has been haunting the Henderson County Public Library and other places here as he compiles information about the community itself and its folklore.
He identifies himself as a Christian, and says he respects the owners of properties that might be on the tour and will seek their approval. Unless advance permission is given, he said, groups will come no closer than the public sidewalk in front of the sites.
He said if heâ€™s unable to start a â€œhaunted Hendersonâ€ walking tour, heâ€™ll use gleaned information in a book he plans to write about supernatural occurrences in the area.
Wolfe has had no shortage of sites in Owensboro, where properties include the old county courthouse and a 19th century structure that once was a church and now houses another enterprise.
There are a number of stories connected with the courthouse, Wolfe said, including one about an entity known as â€œMabel,â€ who reportedly has appeared in a mirror in the facility.
As for that figure he saw as a child shortly after his parentsâ€™ divorce, Wolfe relates that several years later he told his father about it and his dadâ€™s reply wasnâ€™t what he had expected.
â€œHe looked at me, shocked, and said, â€˜Son, I was about your age when I saw the exact same thing,â€™ and that was in a different house.â€
Article from The Gleaner
By Judy Jenkins
July 24, 2008