Ghost stories (and ghosts?) have been around through the ages. Here are just a few accounts of Nebraska’s otherworldly citizens.
A Storyteller’s Ghost Stories: Tales from Nebraska and Iowa by Duane Hutchinson. The story of Urania Clara Mills, a former Nebraska Wesleyan University employee believed to haunt the building in which she died, became a national sensation in 1963, when the specter was sighted in the university’s C. C. White building. Lincoln author Duane Hutchinson recounted this and other ghostly tales in this book, first of a four part series. Source: Loaned by Dale Bacon, Lincoln
A Guide to The Ghosts of Lincoln by Alan Boye. Alan Boye’s book relates tales of Lincoln’s ghostly goings-on. Now in its third printing, the compilation began with a classified ad in the Lincoln Journal-Star asking for stories to be published. Although the author deliberately changed some information and gave the wrong addresses, the book has been used extensively as a “walking guide” for amateur ghost-hunters. Source: Loaned by Dale Bacon, Lincoln
Night Shadows: A Storyteller’s Collection of True Ghost Tales by Shirley Gilfert. Most of the stories in this 1997 book, written by Shirley Gilfert of Falls City, are about Nebraska ghosts. Source: Loaned by Dale Bacon, Lincoln
People Who Don’t Know They’re Dead by Gary Leon Hill. In this 2005 book, Nebraska native, Gary Leon Hill tells a family story of how his Uncle Wally and Aunt Ruth, Wally’s sister, came to counsel dead spirits who took up residence in bodies that didn’t belong to them. Source: Loaned by Lynne Ireland, Lincoln
1939 Almanac for Nebraskans, Federal Writers Project. This 1939 drawing bore the following caption: “Late in the fall of 1892, women passing by the Emanuel Baptist Church in Belmont, a suburb in North Lincoln, saw the face of a woman outlined in a pane of glass. People came from all over the city to see the apparition. Some thought it was a warning of a calamity; others, that it was a ghost or was simply caused by a woman who stood near the glass when it was blown and was photographed into it. School children thought it was the face of a playmate who had died.” Source: Nebraska State Historical Society General Collection 7294-7016 Belmont Apparition p. 89.
Nebraska Folklore Pamphlet #12 (398/F31nV.1). The Nebraska Folklore Pamphlets compiled stories from the oral tradition and were issued in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers Project. Source: Nebraska State Historical Society Library Collection