Santa Cruz Sentinel; March 08, 1903
STRANGE OCCURRENCES ON ELM STREET.
A HOUSE WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE HAUNTED
Story of Mysterious Happenings as Related by an Occupant of it
Is the house at 67 Elm St. haunted? That is the question that is agitating the friends of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wells. The story they tell of the strange experiences in this house causes much discussion among those who heard it. The facts, as they relate them, are given as told to a "Sentinel" reporter, who called at the residence Saturday evening.
The house is nice looking in the appearance, comfortable and commodious for a small family. It is of two stories, approached by a high stairway. There are numerous windows through which sunlight has an opportunity of streaming. It has a far from supernatural appearance. One could walk by it a thousand times without being attracted by anything out of the ordinary. But, nevertheless, the domicile is one of mystery, which is awaiting the investigation of those who like to delve into the depths of the unseen, uncanny or mysterious.
A week ago Mr. Wells took possession of the house. The first night he was attracted by strange sounds, but did not pay much attention to them, thinking he rattling of the window panes was caused by the wind. The following night the noise was repeated. He is far from being skeptical, but he could not help having a creepy feeling. However, he decided not to tell his wife, who joined him a few days later.
On Thursday night while they were in the sitting room reading, the curtain suddenly flew up. Then their dog, apparently frightened by some oject, dashed through two windows to reach the yard, setting up a howl that alarmed the neighborhood. At these strange occurrences Mr. Wells' skepticism began to be shaken. He was unable to account for the mysterious proceedings. The next morning he found that doors he had locked and bolted the night before were open.
He knew that he had his senses of seeing and feeling; that he was in his normal condition and was not dreaming, but he could not offer any reasonable explanation to himself for the uncanny evidences of the supernatural. But the climax came Friday night when Mr. Wells was violently thrown from his bed, and his wife was likewise summarily ejected, falling on top of him. This was too much for their patience, and they determined to find another house, which they did on Saturday.
Santa Cruz Sentinel March 10, 1903
THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY
MANY PEOPLE VISIT THE RESIDENCE ON ELM STREET
Some of the Theories Advanced as to What Caused the Mysterious Happenings.
The house at 67 Elm St. was the cynosure of many eyes Sunday and Monday. People came singly and in groups. Some visited the house as early as one o'clock Monday morning in an endeavor to solve the mystery.
A number of skeptics offered to remain in the house all night to prove that the sounds were produced by natural causes, but Mr. and Mrs. Fran Wells refused to accept the offer, as they were too busy packing up.
Mr. Wells said that after Monday they could remain in the house as long as they desired. During Sunday afternoon they remained away from the premises, as they did not want to be bothered by the crowd.
To many the broken panes of glass in the basement, which the frightened dog had jumped through, proved interesting.
The dog was there as well as the shattered glass, but what caused the canine to make it wild leap was not in evidence.
All who discussed the mysterious happenings were inclined to the belief that they were the result of natural causes. An investigation committee discovered that the upper part of the house is unfinished, there fore the wind could whistle through the vacant space, making the windows rattle and incidentally cause doors to be blown open and window curtains to suddenly raise. That was the theory for the noises heard overhead. For the sounds heard from below, a dog running over the woodpile and refuse lumber in the basement could easily have caused them. But the most mysterious part was the sudden manner in which Mr. and Mrs. Wells were thrown from their bed Friday night. Mr. Wells threw some light on that unreal incident by explaining that the bed had broken down, but as he had owned, but as he had owned it for seven years, and it was never known to break down,
its action was certainly peculiar. Regarding the shortness of the stay of the previous occupants, a lady said the reason their departure was due to the fact of their being called to Los Angeles .Spooks had nothing to do with their giving up the house.
Wells was a patient listener to all of the theories advanced, but they were not sufficiently powerful to dissuade him from his purpose of vacations as speedily as possible. He said he want a skeptic, did not propose to remain in a house in which he was uncomfortable.
The neighbors are not in the least alarmed at the mysterious proceedings, laughing at the fears of the credulous. T.D. Sargent has resided next door for years. He has never seen any spooks or anything else he would be afraid to encounter single handed. He was anxious to sleep in the house Sunday night, just to prove the groundlessness of any cause for fear from the supernatural. Sargent thinks that the attention the house is attracting will prove a good thing for Elm St. as it brings it into prominence. Constable Corey is another neighbor. He has been there such a short time that he does not claim any knowledge of the history of the house, but being an officer devoid of fear, he is prepared to do his duty whenever a spook or anything else appears that would tend to disturb the peace and quietude of the neighborhood and let Justice Bias pass sentence.
Some people boldly advance the theory that the noises were made for the purpose of depreciating the value of the property, so it could be purchased cheap. This ideas is pronounced so ridiculous by others that it is hardly worth mentioning, and is merely given as a sample of the theories advanced by the skeptics.
Stories of alleged local haunted houses were told Sunday by the "old residenter," who generally has a tale to apply to everything of a mysterious nature. It was related the house on the corner of Mission and Green St, was years ago supposed to be visited by spooks. Foot pads were heard early in the morning. The Examiner sent down Andy Lawrence, now managing editor of the Chicago American, to investigate. In company with "Sentinel" representatives, he spent a night at the house without results. Afterwards it was learned the noises was caused by the occupant of an adjoining house, who arose early every morning so as to be at the "Powder Works on time, and as he walked across the floor some superstitious person imagined the sounds of his footsteps were made mysteriously.
Santa Cruz Sentinel; March 11, 1903
THE INVESTIGATION BEGINS
COMMITTEE OF LADIES VISIT THE HOUSE ON ELM STREET
One of the Party Claims to Have Heard Footsteps But Could Not See Any Spook
When Miss Ethel Randolph rented the house of mystery at 67 Elm St. she did so for the purpose of thoroughly investigating the cause that produced the sounds that made Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wells so uncomfortable that they sought another house.
Miss Randolph says that she is not superstitious, but is impelled to her investigation from a desire to personally prove that either the causes are natural or supernatural. To one of her investigating turn of mind, the study in psychic research and occultism is fascinating. But before she can be led to believe in supernatural causes in the production of any noise, she must be thoroughly convinced by a practical demonstration. She vow's not propose to make any investigation unless she has witnesses present to corroborate any statement she may make. An obstacle has already been thrown in her way by reason of objections being raised by parties interested in the property through friendship for the owner, who say that they object to the publicity given it through the statement made by Mr. Wells.
Miss Randolph asserts that she has the house rented, and will not give up possession until the term of rental expires. Being a determined young lady, she generally accomplishes what she sets out to do therefore she intends to pursue the investigation along the lines she has mapped out.
She says it can not do any harm, but on the contrary, will do good, as the investigation will either prove or disprove the assertions that have been made by former occupants of the house, and her intentions are only of the kindliest. This she has proven by boldly renting the place.
Miss. Randolph began her investigation Monday evening. With the aid of a boy she carried a table into the house, and right here occurred an incident that proves her honesty of purpose. Had she been otherwise inclined she could have added much to the mystery. While carrying the table she raised it too suddenly, so that it struck her in the mouth, causing a slight swelling. If she were inclined to the supernatural she could have stated that it was caused by unseen forces. She proposes to tell the truth about whatever occurs, therefore she related the incident just as it happened.
Miss. Randolph said that while in the house she distinctly heard footsteps on the stairway and in the kitchen, but did not see any person. She refers to the boy for corroborative testimony. Later she was joined by a party of ladies who remained in the house until 9:30 P.M., and then left because the room was cold. Nothing that would tend towards the supernatural was heard, although an invitation was extended to the spook to appear.
There are men who announce a desire to remain in the house all night. Their desire should be gratified. All who wish to join the party that contemplates being in the house next Saturday night are at liberty to be present. Coffee and sandwiches will be served and the evening made to pass as pleasantly as possible.
People still continue to visit the house until late at night. Elm St. has never had so many visitors since it was laid out as it is now enjoying.