Perhaps in anticipation of goblins and ghoulies and
long-legged beasties, the Kearney Weekly
Hub offered this "Kearney Ghost Story" October 3, 1890.
"There was a ghostly manifestation at the New Midway Hotel
last Thursday night shortly after
midnight, as related by one of the guests.
"One of the clerks had an experience that came near turning
his beautiful black hair gray. Last
Thursday morning workmen engaged in digging a trench for the
steam heating apparatus for the
hotel came across a human skeleton. It excited much
speculation among those of the guests
who knew of the find as to the fate of the individual whose
bones have probably lain for years
under the silent sod. There was nothing about the skeleton
to indicate what manner of man he
was in life.
"Thursday night I sat in my room til midnight reading. I had
meant to rise early in the morning and join a hunting party.
As I finished my book I remembered that I had forgotten to
place a 'call' at the office and was about to touch the
electric button and call a bell boy, when my eye caught the
projecting end of an inch and a half of steam pipe just put
in above the floor in one corner, which led to a corner of
the office three floors below.
"It will make a splendid speaking tube, thought I, and will
save the sleepy boy some hesitating steps. I knelt down and
put my mouth to the tube.
"'Ed-d-d-ie!' was the whisper which sounded ghostly and
mysterious in the quiet office.
"The boys looked at each other. Was it the electric light
that made them look so pale?
"'You there? Ed-d-d! Oh! Ed-d-d!'
"It was only when I failed to get any answer and with my ear
to the tube, I could hear the bell boy and the night clerk
moving about on the lower floor, that I realized the
ludicrous element in my efforts.
"The night clerk was puzzled, and the bell boy startled at
the first gentle whisper of his name, as it broke the quiet
of the midnight stillness. When it was repeated the boys
separated and searched in the various hallways leading into
the office for the possessor of the voice.
"'Oh! Ed-d-d! Ed-d-d-d!' again the voice whispered in
muffled, yet distinct utterance.
"To say the hearers in the office were scared only half
expresses their feelings, while I rolled on the floor in
laughter as I pictured their feelings. At last fearing to
carry the joke too far and that they would alarm the whole
house, I rapped on the pipe with a key and called again.
"Everything was explained to the boys when they heard the
metallic sound of the raps, and they came to the open end of
the pipe in the office and took my order, explaining that a
joke's a joke, but that the hour when the graveyards yawn is
not a proper time for one. The night clerk's hair is still a
beautiful black, but it was a close shave for him."