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A Spectral Tragedy. Strange, Weird experience in the Far West. (1890)

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posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 04:43 PM
This was taken from the Evening Tribune newspaper dated 9 Jan 1890.
It was published in 1890, but according to the article, it happened in 1873.
It's a long read, but it was well worth it to me. I was amazed at how detailed
the account was. I almost felt like I was right there with him as I was reading
this story.
I hope it's ok to post the whole article.

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 12:40 AM
Good find; it was a very compelling read. I'm inclined to believe that apparitions of this sort, as the story-teller supposed, are of a reflective nature; that the beings within, and objects interacted with, are directly related to a certain event or point in time, and thusly are unable to make new actions or even be aware that they are seen. Not two miles from where I now type there is a place called Old Town Spring, which dates back to the 1830s. There are many tales of how our little township was once filled with the sort of vermin Wyatt Earp would later hunt, of ritual cannibalism from one of the local tribe (which I've never believed), and of course, ghosts. We have little tours, even; one stop is the shop for antiques, out of which (and I have heard this, be it a prank or hoax) some nights one can hear music, either from some odd music box or harpsichord, by the sound of it. A bar and grill in the same area, called Wunche, has the top floor sealed off, supposedly due to paranormal activity.
I would suppose that surviving places from those emotionally charged, violent days kept impressions of the people and events which took place therin, and would further suppose that the same could happen in nature. What draws these impression out for the layman to see, I can only wonder.

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 12:39 PM
reply to post by virraszto
What an interesting account.

Can you provide more details about the town or city where the Evening Tribune was published? It was a fairly common title in the English-speaking world of the period. The reason I ask is because the writer was clearly well-educated and articulate. At times, the phrasing is very literary and that made me wonder if they were perhaps an author?

Looking at ancestry sites for the name 'Edward B. Payne' uncovers a few examples. One of whom is in this digital archive and was in San Francisco. Five more candidates feature in the 1940 US Census if we allow for an age (at writing) of early 20s minimum.

The account has features of fiction in the sense that it's got a straightforward plot and a neat and tidy conclusion. The 1890s were a high-water mark for supernatural tales too, in fact a lot of classic spooky literature was written in that decade. So it would be topical for the period and plenty of authors to emulate too.

I'm not trying to rule out possibility that it was a genuine experience just saying we could get an idea of who the man was. A little historical digging can be good fun.

S&F for fascinating story

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 01:35 PM
What a great find! Very fun read and thanks for sharing.

I don't think we have reason to believe this was intended to be a "true" story. Newspapers of the time often ran fiction and even serials. They may have had a call for ghost stories - you never know. It'd be nice to have more context - the newspaper, the date of publication, etc. It does seem awfully neat and tidy to be anything other than fiction... plus such a long observation of a residual haunting seems a little too good to be true, and unprecedented really.

Thanks for the post!


This came from The Overland Monthly. (

Overland Monthly was a monthly magazine based in California, United States, and published in the 19th and 20th century.

The magazine's first issue was in July 1868, published by Bret Harte, and continued until the late 1875. The original publishers, in 1880, started The Californian, which became The Californian and Overland Monthly in October 1882. In January 1883, the effort reverted to The Overland Monthly (starting again with Volume I, number 1). In 1923 the magazine merged with Out West to become Overland Monthly and the Out West magazine, and ended publication in July 1935.

Famous writers, editors, and artists included:

Ambrose Bierce
Alice Cary
Willa Cather
Frona Eunice Wait Colburn
Bret Harte
Ina Coolbrith
Edgar Fawcett
Henry George
John Brayshaw Kaye
Clarence King
Jack London
Josephine Clifford McCracken
Joaquin Miller
John Muir
Hugo Wilhelm Arthur Nahl
Stephen Powers - on California Native Americans.
William Saroyan
Clark Ashton Smith
Charles Warren Stoddard
Mark Twain
Joseph Pomeroy Widney - contributed 8 articles.

edit on 13-2-2013 by VegHead because: (no reason given)

So this is an early lit magazine. The above, while a fun read, is undoubtedly a work of fiction. (IMO)

edit on 13-2-2013 by VegHead because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 01:44 PM
reply to post by VegHead
Nice work.

We could be looking at a pseudonymous name for a known author.

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 06:07 PM
I had planned on doing a little research on Edward B. Payne, but I had something come up and I couldn't get on the pc. Whether the story is true or not, (of course, it would be *great* if it were true!) it was still a very good read and I wanted to share it

edit on 13-2-2013 by virraszto because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 06:14 PM
reply to post by Kandinsky

Great find on that letter from Edward Payne. I'll try to follow up on it and do some research.

Another great find. I see that was published a year earlier than the newspaper article.

I'd like to see if I can find this Edward Payne, and see if he did have a brother 20 yrs older. Would
be interesting if I could find anything.

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 10:53 PM
Waaaay to detailed and continuos account of a "spectral funeral".


posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 01:03 AM
judging from the list of people who have worked at the mag, the time it was written. id have to say this was for bathroom reading ^^

this would be like the mags at end of checkout isle. it just sounds to much like a corny camp fire story with waay to much detail.

posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 10:01 PM
How did he not recognize his own brother?

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