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The Red Bearded Ghost

GERRY FISCHER


Some unknown number of years ago, but a time when horse and wagons, and automobiles vied for the roadway, a family moved to a place near Brandenburg and built a home. Although, there was no way they could have known the history of the property they purchased, they lived there for some eleven years. One night, not long after they moved in their new house, the screams of the children awoke the parents. They claimed to have seen a black man with a red beard in their room. The mother had determined in her mind, knowing the nature of her children, that one of them simply had a bad dream and the other joined in the telling. The children both boys, claimed they had seen the man though they had separate rooms. There was nothing negative about what they reported, just an accurate description by children of what they saw.

 Since the doors and windows were locked and latched, and there was no way anyone could have gotten inside without leaving evidence, the parents didn’t think much about it, until a neighbor later told them the place where they built their house was the same site where many years before a negro man had built his. The neighbor thought the former house had burned down, but wasn’t sure. This neighbor had not been told of the children’s experience, nor what they claimed to see, when he said, “It’s funny, and may not make much sense, but the man who lived here was supposed to have had a red beard.”

 As time elapsed there were other sightings of the ghost, but only the children could see him. The two older boys got so they did not like to stay in the house alone. The youngest of the children, a girl unflappable like her mother, did not seem upset about it. Strange noises were frequently heard and things happening were reported by the children, but no harm was ever done. The parents chalked it up to overactive childhood imaginations, until one day the mother saw him. She was the one person in the family who was the staunchest disbeliever. Now, everyone in the house had seen the red bearded ghost, except the father, who had heard some of the strange sounds, and who had come to consider the ghost as possible.

 One day the daughter, now a teenaged young lady was brought home from school, by a young man. She fixed him a dish of ice cream and as she was taking it to her guest, she looked across the room and there was the man with the red beard. The mother, though she had seen him herself, didn’t want to believe her eyes. She still doubted, but began asking questions of her neighbors about whether they had heard of the man with the red beard. A neighbor woman contacted a friend who was knowledgeable about ghosts and things supernatural to see if she could cast light on the affair. When they spoke, the neighbor told her friend, the children were seeing a black man in their house and hearing strange noises, and then he would fade away. The lady friend while sympathetic didn’t know anything about the apparition, and when they spoke quietly at some length, the woman said, “I forgot to tell you, this man has a red beard. At this, the woman’s entire demeanor changed, and she became very hurried and brusque. “I have to go now. I don’t know anything about it!”, she curtly said and left.

 The local newspaper, “the Radcliff Leader,” reported a similar happening in West Point, Kentucky. It is possible these incidences are the same story told by different people who knew the family being visited by the red bearded ghost. The reporter wrote, “a neighbor of the woman asked her priest to visit the house and family to see if he could help them rid themselves of the ghost. He agreed, to a special Mass, but the day before he was afflicted with a serious ailment and was hospitalized.”

 The story ended with a plea from the reporter for any information that would shed light on this haunting and its surrounding circumstances. It’s not known if the family is still living in this area, and who the red bearded man happens to be; however, if you hear or know anything about this haunting, please contact the Meade County History Museum, 270-422-1823, and ask for Fran, Gerry, Shirley or Sherrill.  

 “We are just dying to find out more!”


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