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The sun. [volume], August 31, 1913, FOURTH SECTION PICTORIAL MAGAZINE, Page 14, Image 46
The sun. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1833-1916
Image provided by: The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation
Newspaper Page Text
THE SUN, SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 1913. GHOSTS SUPPLY THRILLS FOR CHICAGO FLAT DWELLERS 7 L lljl Mr J Hair Raising Experiences Reported by Tenants of Building in Which Adolph Leutgert Murdered His Wife in i 807 Spooks Resemble Sausage Maker and Woman He Killed ADOLPH LEUTGERT. CHICAGO has Jut awakened to the fact that it has a haunted house about which centres a ghost story of a kind to delight believers in spooks and hobgoblins and sufficiently weird to puzzle the sceptical. The house was the former home of Adolph Leutgert, a sausage maker, who In 1897 was convicted of killing his wife and destroying her body in a vat of add. Leutgert died in Joliet penitentiary, to which he had been sentenced for life. The ghosts are supposed to be the phantoms of the murderer and his wife. One of the ghosts is described as a tall, corpulent man with black mustache, clad in a black suit with white linen hlrt and collar, a black tie and a black derby hat The other is said to be woman In a gown of white lace with long, dark hair flowing loosely down her back. These descriptions fit Leut gert and his wife. Mrs. Leutgert was burled In Just such a gown. The two ghosts, it is asserted, have been seen many times by many persons. No two descriptions of them differ in any essential detail. This would seem to dispose of the theory that they are mere figments of individual imagination. If the ghosts are not authentic at least they have been assumed to be so by a Catholic priest who has furnished one housewife with holy water with which to lay the spirits. Sprinkled about the house, this consecrated water, It is said, has oeen effective in exorcis ing the phantoms for a time. The ghosts never appear together nor on the same night. Neither ghost ever has been seen In the daytime. Queer noises have been heard In the daytime, but there have been no materialisations. For the most part the spirits have been content with gliding about in the conventional ghostly way, but on sev eral occasions they have shown them selves possessed of force. Once, ac cording to the stories, one of the spirits turned out a gas Jet. On another occa aion a spirit hand held open a door which resisted all the strength of young woman to pull it shut. Again a light which seemed to come from a lamp held In a ghostly grip passed down a stairway and disappeared In the base ment laundry, where Immediately after ward there arose a hubbub as If washtubs were being Jerked violently about. It Is a common belief that the lower animals, have a more highly developed clairvoyant sense than human beings. This would seem to be borne out by the actions of a dachshund owned by one of the families in the building. Often when nothing Is visible that might per turb It this little animal stares at va cancy and growls and barks as though t an intruder. Often too when a mem ber of the family has been confronted by an apparition the dog has growled and circled about the spot on which the phantom was supposed to be standing. The Leutgert murder occurred In May, 1897. Leutgert had grown rich as a manufacturer of sausage. His factory still stands at the corner of DI verse y Boulevard and North Hermi tags avenue. His home was next door 1b Hermitage avenue. He had been twice married. His first wife died under circumstances which led to the suspicion that he had murdered her. He had been married to his second wife eighteen years. He was 62 and she was 42. A week after her sudden disappear ance her brother asked the police to investigate. The police searched the factory. They drained a large vat filled with strong acid. At the bottom they foun,U two gold rings, one of which was inscribed with Mrs. Leutgert' Initials; some steel corset stays and a bone of a woman's foot. This was all that was ever found of tho missing woman. Leutgert made a hard fight in court. His first trial resulted In a disagree ment, but at his second trial be was found guilty of the murder and sen tenced to the penitentiary (or Ufa. He Is said to have called down a curse on the jury that convicted him, and as an interesting detail It may he added that in a few years after his trial the majority of the Jurors came to a violent or sudden death. The sausage maker went to prison a broken man He died less than three years after he had donned the garb of a convict. Tin; motive assigned for the murder was that Leutgert was infatuated with another woman. leutgert s home was a three story irame building with an attic. Whether the murder was committed In the house or in the sausage factory was never established. For years after the mur der the Leutgert home remained un occupied. Five years ago it was pur chased by Mrs. John Blane, who moved it to its present location at 1641 Di versey Boulevard and divided it Into Ave flats. Recently Mrs. Blane sold the building to John Lutga, who still owns it. All the flats are now occupied. In the basement flat lives Fred Berger with his wife and five children. In the two flats on the second floor live Oustav Karl and Frank Laden, and In the two upper flats Mrs. Sophia Harp ling and Mrs. John Hackett. Myra Berger is a pretty girl 18 years old employed as a switchboard operator In one of the Chicago Telephone Com pany's downtown exchanges. She works until 10 P. M. and usually gets home about 11. Before retiring she is accustomed to eat a light lunch in the dining room, which Is separated from the parlor by an open arch supported at either side by slender wooden pillars. She has had more adventures with the ghosts than any other member of the family. MI have seen both ghosts many times," said the young woman as she sat In the parlor of her home. "One of my most harrowing experiences oc curred only a week ago. "I had come home from work a little late and was eating my lunch In the dining room. A light in an electric globe was burning over the table. The parlor was dark except for the light from the dining room. It was close to midnight when I heard a noise in the parlor and I had a sudden startling sensation of not being alone. "I glanced into the dim parlo- and saw the figure of a man, tall, power runy num. standing in a corner near the front window. While I looked, too rrightened to scream, the figure came toward me. It paused directly under the arch between the parlor and- the dining room and placed one hand on one of the pillars of the arch and stood staring at me out of wide open, glassy expressionless dead man's eyes. 1 could sec It plainly. Its face was of a deathly pallor. It made no motion uttered no sound Just stood and stared blankly at me. "While It stood leaning against the pillar our little dachshund, that had been lying on the floor near me. saw it too and Jumping up growled savagely and started to circle about the thing, sniff ing at It. All this had taken place In a moment. Then I screamed and ran into my bedroom. Just off the dining room. "My scream awoke my sister Hattle, who Is my bedfellow, and my mother, who sleeps In a rear room. Both came running into the dining room, but the figure of the man had vanished Into thin air. "On another occasion, while Hattle and I were asleep In our room, we were awakened by footsteps that crossed the parlor floor and the dining mum floor and stopped directly by our door. At first we thought that perhaps our father was up and walking almut and I called out: 'Papa, Is that you?' jubi men ine ooor or our room opened slowly and there In the doorway stood the same tall, powerfully built man In the derby and block suit of clothes, staring at us out of wide, blank eyes. We both saw It. It stood staring at us for several minutes and then Just seemed to fade into nothingness. "One night again Hattle and I were awakened from sleep suddenly at the same time. As we opened our eyes we saw standing motionless and silent at the foot of our bed a woman, rather tall and slender, with long dark hair hanging down her back and clad In a gown that seemed white and lacy and somehow rather luminous. Her eyes, like those of the man, were wide open and staring and looked like the eyes of a person who had Just died. In the dim light that came In through the windows we thought her face looked troubled and sad. "She gazed at ua until wo both E5 "' -'C fV':F&fl mmm BKtf . LQ -Vl . MMT jfl sssaassssssssjBaM.jBj v i zjiri 'eisai ani hbtfssbi nwiasHgiJnisswrrfn llsBifllflsal I sslsswMSSj sssjsml - sal seam - mmtTn ftfl SBBsfl B55?!sr; SBBBBBBBbI Top Old Leutgert sausage factory where the body of the murdered Mrs. Leutgert was supoosed to nave oeen destroyed in a vat of. acid. Building is now used as a library furniture factory. Bottom The old Leutgert home as it is to-day. screamed and then she vanished. Our mother and father came running to our room and again we searched the house, but found nothing. 'One night while I was undressing In my room I heard a distinct rustle in the parlor like that of silk. The light in my room was lighted and streaming through the door lighted the parlor dimly. Looking through the door 1 saw the woman in white. "She was standing with her hack to me by the mantelpiece and seemed to be looking at the reflection of her face in the mirror. I could see not only her back with her long flowing hair that swept below her waist but the reflec tion of her face in the mirror. Here was a ghost sufficiently substantial to be reflected In a mirror. "While I looked at her she turned and came toward me with her hands held out slightly in what seemed a pleading attitude. I stood petrified un til she had come almost to the thresh old of my door within two or three feet of me and then I screamed. Then she faded out Just as I have seen pic tures on a screen fade away. "I have seen the same woman on a number of other occasions and always she seemed to materialise in front of the parlor grate. This fireplace is about six steps from the corner In which the man always materialises. ' Hattie Berger is a stenographer and works in the daytime. She told of one of her adventures with the woman in white In this way: "I was In the dining room one eve ning when I saw a spider crawling on the wall. According to a German su perstition It Is bad luck to kill a spider in the house so I let It crawl onto a newspaper and then folding it in front of me I walked to the front door and threw it outside. I closed the front door and locked it again and turned to go back through the parlor to the din ing room. "As I turned I saw to my astonish ment the woman in white standing by my side. I was frightened half out of my wits, but I did not scream. I hur ried through the little front hall. The woman kept pace with me, sliding along directly at my side. I dashed through the door which leads Into the parlor and tried to shut It to keep the woman out. When I attempted to pull the door to I could not do It. "I glanced back and saw that the woman hud placed a hand on the door and was holding It open, and tug as I would I could not force the door shut. Ho I ceased trying to close It and ran back into the kitchen, where my mother and the other members of the family were, and there I fell over in a swoon It took them ten minutes to revive me. The family searched the house, but found nothing out of the way." Mrs. Berger Is a stout, motherly Ger man woman. She believes firmly that her flat Is haunted, but she herself has never seen the ghosts. The presence of tne ghosts does not seem to worry her. She takes them in a matter of fact way as she might the measles or the whooping cough in her family. "I did not believe in ghosts until moved Into this flat two years ago," said Mrs. Berger. "Though I have never seen the phantoms I have had a few uncanny experiences. "One evening while I was sitting In the dining room with the door leading to the kitchen wide open the gas Jet In the kitchen, which I had left lighted, suddenly went out. I hurried into the kitchen to see who had turned off the light. There was no one there and everybody else in tho house was in bed asleep. How It happened Is still a mys tery. "The two flats above ua remained vacant for three or four months. Tho Swans and the Krafts, who had lived there, had both moved away because $:4M sml.5 llV f'MMMMM fit 'jjpr y W BSBW '-4SBsl BS" MRS. LOUISA LUETGERT. First Jury of Women to Sit in Chicago Court BBBSSBBBBBBBBBBBBB i ' SSSSBSSSSSSSSSlHIISSIIHaB "1 LsT w-i 1 I WW .2Hm8V- mm Mm sbBBb BSBBBBBBBBBBBBBfSQ&S il BBS M JsSBBBBBBBBBpV Sv BBsV. I Kl- 'Mll I .SBBBBBSSSw .gafSBBJBBBBJ BBBjgv SSBBBB. Missal SBM a'nfit "V - sl sssa sfl bbb JsssW efl bbb bbW ''isl sV Bkafl ssS BK ' JH Hsv ' bE. msr mrM m mJf.' ssslH sm "flssssVasW sasssjfl BQp lvjfl MFmm WMl vlrjsBM M ML W .kflwl ' V MM i M M WW- 'M MmWmMm ' iiLsJJ Li'&irj M mmMmmX. MM mmmmma's "y W Mmm For the Arst time in the history of Cook County. 111., six women sat as a iurv in the Raum far h Insane at the Detention Hospital in Chicago on August 7. The court was nresided over hv Cnuntv .inow John E. Owens and the many stories told during the hearing of the twenty-five cases of women and chil- aren caused tne jury to weep. From left to right are Dr. Anna Dwver. Mrs. John McMahon. Mrs. nenra p. Vnakrink m. Thomas Meder, Miss Minnie F. Lowe and Dr. Clara Sieffel, forewoman. they had been kept on a constant nervous tension from hearing uncanny noises and seeing the same phantoms of a man and a woman as my daughters had seen. "While the flats were vacant every member of my family would hear al most niKhtly heavy footsteps crossing the bare floors. Af Arst we thought that perhaps some one was In the Hate and investigated, but never found any one. and at last stopped paying any at tention to the constant footfalls, being convinced that '.he noises were due to tile pacing back and forth of the uneasy spirits that haunt the house. "My children began to see the ghosts soon after we moved into our flat. Thev saw either th mnn m two or three nights every week. They were kept In a constantly nervous and frightened state, and I at last laid the matter before Father McGuire of St. Honaventure s Catholic Church, of which we are members. "The priest advised me to sprinkle my house with holy water and gave me the water for the purpose. I took the water home and sprinkled it all atwit the rooms, and for a week afterward we were not troubled by any ghostly visita tions. Then, when the influence of the holy water had worn off. the ghosts came again, and again I laid them with another sprinkling. Hut .atciy they have seemed to defy the holy water." Mrs. Sophia Harpling, who lives in one of the third floor fiats, has not hH many adventures with the ghosts as the Uergers, but she has hud enough to satisfy any woman of nerves. "I was convinced that the house was haunted the second night after I had taken possession of my flat," said Mrs. Harpling. "I had turned out the light In my room and had gone to bed. I was lying wide awake when suddenly a woman in white appeared at my bed- siue. "Her gown was of lacy material and suggested a shroud ami her i,,m- Ar, hair hung loosely down her back. I thought at flrst that I was dreaming and pinched myself to see that I was awake. I turned over In bed and tried to force myself to go to sleep, but It was Impossible. I was convinced by this time that my visitant was a ghost. I turned again in bed and faced it. "'What do you want?' I Anally man aged to say. "I had heard that a ghost can speak only when spoken to. Hut the phantom made no reply. At the sound of my voice It glided slowly away and seemed to fade out into the moonlight through the closed window." Mrs. Justine Krauss, who once boarded with me, complained often of seeing the same woman in white in her bedroom at night. At midnight al most every night Mrs. Krausss bureau would be pulled several feet from the wall and her toilet nrti,-ina u. violently shaken by some unseen agency. wmu or iwice ner toilet bottles were overturned. In a few minutes the bu reau would be shoved back into place by the same invisible force. She used to watch for this occurrence in the hope of solving the mystery, but though the bureau went througli Its strange antics every night before her v - J , ....V ... . I could Agure out the forco that moved 11. "One night With Mrs. I.:i,j,. ,.. i in the flat below me, I was standing at the head of the back stairs, which lead down to the laundry. The stair way was dark. Suddenly a little way down the steps a light appeared. It seemed to come from n limn tha nn- llne of which we thonirht bm dlmiy. But to our horror the lamp seemed to float along In spare with no visible hand to hold It. We heard foot steps descending the stairs, but saw no one. "The light paused for a moment at the door of the laundry. We heard the doorknob rattle. The door opened, the light passed inside and the door closed upon It. Then we heard a great noise and commotion In the laundry, as though the tubs were being violently moved about. "We rushed downstairs very much frightened and called Mrs. Merger and told her what had happened. Then we three women went Into the laundry and turned on the electric lights. There was no one there and no sign that any one had been there. Neither was any lamp to be found. The windows were all fastened and there was no way for any one to get out unless being seen by one of us." Vera Harpling. 12 years old. Mrs. Harpllng's daughter, has also seen tho woman In white. "I was reading a book In our parlor one evening," aaid the little girl, "when I heard a noise in the room. I looked up and saw a woman in white, with her hair down her back, standing across the room staring at me. "I wasn't frighteneil. I wasn't think ing of ghosts. I though) tho woman was some one who had calle.l to see mama. Before I could say anything to her shn moved away along the wall. In doing so she passed by an oil painting and I could see the picture right through her. She glided a little way further and faded right Into the wall." "My most terrifying experience," said Anna Berger. 16 years old. "was with the woman in white, i me evening about 9 o'clock 1 saw the figure of the woman in her white gown and with her hair down her bark standing near the flrc place in the parlor. I screamed at the top of my voice. The woman did not vanish, but seemed to drift like a white mist to the front of the room. "My mother, sisters and little brother came running to my side. My mother caught up a chair to break over any Intruder's head. "'What's the matter?' she gasped. " 'There look there,' I said, pointing across the parlor, where I could still see the woman In white quite distinctly. '"Where?" asked my mother, edging across the room with the chair held menacingly. "'There,' I cried, 'don't you see It? "But my mother saw nothing and neither did any of the others. Then my mother turned on the electric swrtth" and as the room was lighted the Agure, of the woman vanished. I was terribly frightened, but I could not help laugh ing at the thought of my mother brand ishing a chair with which to knock a ghost over the head." New Walk at High Bridge I TASHINGToX HEIGHTS has YV a rivsl to the city's most popular promenade the large circular reservoir In Central Park," remarked a man who lives up town. "Like the promenade in Cen tral Park, the Washington Heights promenade Is built around a reservoir that Is situated at the base of the High Bridge Tower and runs from 173d to 174th street, Amsterdam avenue, cast of the long Alght of steps that lead to the western approach to High Fridge "The High Bridge- promenade does not compare with that in Central Park In size; for the retservoir in Centra! Park Is 1.6 mil. s in circumference while the High Bridge reservoir it about one-third of a mile; but It Is rel atively Just as popular as Its larget rival. 'During the hot weather refreshing breezes sweep over the gravel walk that constitutes the promenade. The walk Is many feet above the ordinary street level, about the height of the second story of the Aathouses on the other side of Amsterdam avenue. A good many persona are in the habit of ollmblna to tho promenade on weekdays, ane Sundays and getting the cool breeze that are to be found on top. "There are two flights of utalrs lead ing up to It, one on the l?3d street side of the reservoir and the other on Ida east side, facing the Hat I-m River. "Until recently the stalls were not protected by gates and consequently access to the promenade was allowed twenty-four hours a day. on Inn nlghti many people availed themselves of the opportunity to climb to the prom enade and sit on the edge of the gravel walk where they were sure to get a breeze If there was one blowing. Women brought children there so they, too could get the benefit of the cool air. No one disturbed them. "Hut a few weeks ago. poopls who had formed the habit of climbing to the promenade when tho w.ather was hot found their way blocked by heavy gutes. These gates are opened from s A- M to ft I'. M. "of course, these hours constitute the better part of the day and personn who are In the vicinity of the reservoir dur ing these hours will have ample oppor tunity to climb to the promenade; but how about the people who do not ar rive home until long after 5 1'. M , who would like to visit the promenade und peep over the railing Into ten million gallons of crystal water? They cer tainly will have to forego that pleasure with the gutes locked at an early hour."