There was once a house standing at the Northwest corner of 13th Street and Capital Avenue in Omaha, Nebraska that those of a superstitious mind believed was haunted. But, another story reported in the Omaha newspapers in 1874 over shadowed any suggestion of the haunted house tale.
The scene of this spooky but true encounter was in Omaha’s Prospect Hill Cemetery. The historic Prospect Hill Cemetery is believed to be the oldest Cemetery in the Omaha area. Adjoining the property was a small dwelling and marble cutting shop. The well-known sculptor, Mr. H. P. Stanwood employed several workers at this quaint facility.
One evening, shortly after dusk, one of two brothers who elected to sleep in the shop, happened to step outside before calling it a night. Looking over the silent “city of the dead” a vision—a ghost—or a “woman in white” (as ghosts often come attired) met his surprised gaze. The eerie spirit was slowly floating towards the building. The man ran inside to get his brother to come outside to view the strange sight. Both men were so frightened that they ran out the back door, just as the ghost came in through the front door and blew out the lights. The brothers ran over to Mr. Stanwood’s residence to try to make sense of what happened before their eyes.
Mr. Stanwood and the brothers went back outside to see if they could figure out what just happened—or if someone was playing a prank in the cemetery. Right before their eyes the ghost smacked Mr. Stanwood on the back and asked where her children were—if they were buried in that tomb. The ghost floated into the house, blew out the lights and entered a bedroom. This awakened and terrified the unsuspected bedroom occupant. He jumped out of the window in fright and ran away.
One of the two brothers quickly pulled out his revolver and fired two shots at the ghost—without effect of course. The “woman in white” quickly took flight into the cemetery to a certain grave—followed by the curious men. There, she vanished into thin air.
The mysterious ghost soon returned to make another appearance. Again the two brothers were so frightened that they decided to sleep in downtown Omaha instead of the secluded shop in the cemetery. They swore this was a true statement of facts.
Mr. Stanwood, who was not a superstitious man and did not believe in ghosts, stood by the statement of the two men—and assured those who were curious that their statements were absolutely true and not a hoax.
You can still visit Prospect Hill Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska. It is located at 3202 Parker Street. It sits between 31st and 33rd Streets and Parker and Grant Streets respectively.
Visit their website at: www.prospecthill-omaha.org