The best ghost stories are typically made by a compelling history. A ghost isn’t that exciting unless there is a macabre reason that they feel the obsessive need to remain. While often these stories are tales of love gone wrong or other natural disasters, sometimes money, debt, and bankruptcy are known to play a role.
With Halloween approaching, it can be interesting and fun to look at how money troubles, debt, and bankruptcy find their way into several well-known tales of hauntings. Following are three prominent haunting that prove that debt does live beyond the grave.
Lemp Mansion – The Lemp Mansion is the one-time residence of the family that founded the Lemp Brewery dynasty, one of the first and largest St. Louis brewhouses in the 19th Century. Lemp beer became a staple around the world. Over the next century, a chain of suicides, a mysterious death and other events ensued in the house. Once Prohibition hit, the business headed to bankruptcy. After restoration, visitors have reported strange sounds, locking and unlocking doors, candles lighting on their own, a beer glass flying off the bar, and figures appearing and disappearing. Among them is a lady dressed in lavender, allegedly one of the departed Lemps still walking about the home. Did we mention the legend that persists of a “monkey-faced boy” who was kept in the attic for a time? No. Well, you can see there’s more to the story.
Nakagusuku Castle Ruins – Okinawa is a ground zero for ghosts – an island where buildings are left unfinished after construction rattles the nerves of unknown spirits, according to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes. In 1975, an Okinawan businessman decided to build a hotel-casino resort near the Nakagusuku Castle Ruins. Local monks warned him that he was building too close to a cave with restless spirits. During construction, several workers died, and the rest of the spooked builders eventually walked off the project cold. Construction stopped, the businessman went bankrupt and ended up in an insane asylum. How’s that for a real-life Halloween ending?
Black Hope Curse – Allegedly the inspiration for the movie Poltergeist. Residents of the Newport subdivision in Crosby, Texas, allegedly had “strange experiences” in the early 1980s after discovering their suburban homes were allegedly built on top of an old cemetery for slaves. The phantoms allegedly helped drive one family to bankruptcy, or so it is claimed. But money problems were preferable to some of the other spooky things and reported strange deaths that happened to the families of the residents. Or so the story goes. Or at least as it is told on various websites dedicated to hauntings.
By the way, if your house is haunted and you are trying to sell it, that can be a financial blessing or a curse. Not a lot of people want to live in a haunted house. However, if you can find the right type of buyer who is looking for a haunted house, then it’s a plus, since haunted houses are not exactly easy to find. However, in some states, the law requires the sellers reveal if a house is haunted. So be aware of the laws of your state.
The Stranahan House: The Stranahan House was built in 1906 for Frank Stranahan. He married Ivy Cromartie and used his newly acquired wealth to build her a home whose charm and beauty would endure into the 21st century. However, Stranahan died on June 23, 1929 but his life story had a sad end. Legend tells that he committed suicide after having sunk into financial ruin in 1927 when he lost most of his wealth and holdings in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane. As many as six family members have also died in the house. The ghost of Frank Stranahan is still in residence at the home he built with such loving care. Reports of strange apparitions and ghostly noises have come from rattle staff members. The ghost of Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, who died in an upstairs bedroom in 1971, was also reported to appear accompanied by the strong scent of an antique fragrance. The uneasy ghost of her father, Augustus Cromartie, who died in that same bedroom year before, is reported to make his presence known on occasion. Other ghostly residents include Ivy’s brother and sister and the apparition of an Indian servant girl seen outside the rear of the building.