March 24, 2020
This story comes from Spirits of Frederick by Alyce T. Weinberg.
Hope you enjoy!
“A horrendous noise that sounded like barrels rolling down bare wooden stairs and hitting a door was blamed on a ghost in an old stone house on a hill on Ray Smith Road. Deep gashes and dents and dirty markings, that would not wash off the newel at the foot of the steps, were displayed to friends and neighbors in the front hall before the house was restored.”
When this story was written, in 1992, Ray Smith and his wife were the owners of the two story New England style home, which, by the way, includes a witches escape hatch on the roof, with chimneys. In Salem, Massachusetts, withes escape hatches are a common thing. But in Frederick?
The Smith’s were told that the property once had slave quarters and barns and that the property was the cause of a feud between two families over a century ago.
“It seems John Hughes, a gentleman farmer on hard tims, sold this large holding, on what was then Reich’s Ford, for much less than it was worth to William Schisler for a little cash and a promisory note. Schisler was a greedy man, and when he learned, through devious ways, that Hughes had a son who had desserted from the Revolutionary War years before he (Schisler) threatened to disgrace him (Hughes) by divulging his secret if he did not return the note and forget the debt. Hughes gave up the note, and took his life – a penniless, broken man. He swore with his last breath to haunt the immoral Schisler untill his heirs were paid for their home.”
There was no sleep for Schisler from that time on. There were strange bangs, rumblings, fresh cuts and scars on the woodwork.
Schisler raved like a wildman. The reason for his insanity and ghostly activities spreading throughout the country side.
The youngest son of Hughes, committed suicide, vowing to recover the promisory note for his impoverished mother. Then his moanings started being heard through out the house. The house began to fall apart and one by one members of the Schisler family died or disappeared.
There, the ghost story ended. Or, maybe not…When the Smith’s took up the floor boards in the attic, the found an old tin box with legal papers in it. One paper was a receipt for a slave, another was the unendorsed and unpaid promisory note for the property. It is dated December 23, 1812.
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