“‘Do you believe in spooks?’ is the question of all-absorbing interest now being excitedly discussed in Rod and Gun Club bungalows clustered together on the historic shores of Carter lake and by numerous North Omaha residents, among whom the weird ‘ghost’ story related by a Chinese chef is spreading like wildfire.” The Lincoln Daily News of June 21, 1912, is the source of the following tale of the supernatural:
“Gep Sing, employed in the capacity of chef by the Rod and Gun club four weeks ago, firmly avers that he has been visited repeatedly by an apparition from the spirit world. . . . Nineteen years ago there was a tragedy on the shores of Carter lake. Mrs. H. C. Oakley was burned to death as the result of a fire starting in a small dwelling now located on the spot now occupied by the Rod and Gun club café. She had filled a gasoline stove and in some manner touched a lighted match to the oil. Mrs. Oakley fled from the blazing room literally enveloped in a mass of seething flames, to die in the arms of her husband shortly afterwards.
“Several days after taking up his quarters at the Rod and Gun club café, Sing appeared before the management with beady eyes rolling in excitement and reported that his slumbers were constantly disturbed by the spectacle of a woman surrounded by fire and carrying a lighted match in her hand A few nights ago he positively insisted on changing his sleeping quarters from the small room above the café kitchen.
“Sing said that the figure that hovered about his room by night was that of a woman surrounded by such an unearthly blaze of light that he could not plainly distinguish her features. He avers that the first night he slept in the little room above the kitchen he was awakened by a sound like the striking of a match. Then he says the figure came towards the spot where he lay and held the lighted match towards him. . . .
“Sing affirms that he reached out his hand and pushed it to one side, and that although his fingers encountered the blaze he felt no sensation of pain. Afterwards he carefully examined his hand and it was not burned nor even scorched. He says that when the apparition appeared his dog lunged for the stairway with a howl and that he has since been unable to persuade the canine to even mount the stairway leading to his room.”
Sing steadfastly claimed that night after night he was confronted by the ghostly visitor, who failed to appear only when he kept a light burning. Although Sing claimed not to be intimidated, he thought it wise to change his sleeping quarters to avoid further problems.
Undated postcard view of Omaha Rod and Gun Club.
From USGenWeb Nebraska Archives.