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Ghosts in Stevens County? Editor's column

Edna Mae Busch wrote about some ghosts in Stevens County. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

A man in black pants and white shirt is seen coming and going from a house on the west side of Morris. A typewriter clicks in the middle of the night in rural Morris home.

A guest turns the basement lights off and on in a Chokio house. A skeleton with a drawn sword appears to a man walking in Morris. All are stories included in Edna Mae Busch's 1995 book "Ghosts and Other Unexplainable Things."

Busch's book is available at the Morris Public Library. The 78-page book appears to be self-published. It must have cost Busch a decent amount of money because although it's a paperback book, the cover is sturdy and so are the pages.

I recognize Busch's name from various history books. I'm curious about why the history hunter delved into ghost hunting or ghost writing. I suppose when people shared stories of the history of Stevens County its town ghosts and other unexplained occurrences were mentioned.

Busch didn't set up cameras and recorders while she spent a night in a haunted house or building. Yet, she invested time and effort into collecting and writing an assortment of ghost stories. I've always been interested in ghosts, unexplained occurrences, cold cases, unsolved crimes, murders and the like.

Busch's book is fascinating.

She includes the story about a man in black pants and a white shirt that apparently haunted a home on the western side of Morris. The neighbors of the couple who lived in the house asked about their roomer. They'd see the man, or ghost, live the house and enter it on various days. The man, or ghost, always wore black pants and a white shirt. The couple heard noises at night. The wife heard the ghost walking on the stairs. The man's mother even saw the ghost while she stayed to care of the baby when the couple was on vacation.

Another story is the haunted house in rural Chokio. A young child would wake at 3 a.m. each day. The child once screamed that someone was trying to push her out of (bed).

Busch didn't provide exact locations of the haunted sites. She did use the names of the people who shared the stories. Since I didn't grow up here, I can't be certain the names are all authentic and true but since Busch was also a historian, I figure all or most are real names. I find the use of names almost as fascinating as the ghost stories. I would venture that a lot of folks wouldn't want people to know they lived with a ghost or had seen a ghost for fear many people would raise their eyebrows at them or be in fear that others would think they were just imagining things. Stevens County isn't exactly a hotbed of discussion for paranormal activity.

I suppose people have been fascinated by ghosts and unexplained incidents for thousands of years. A shadow crosses our path as we walk home from a basketball game or take an early morning walk. We grow uncomfortable in a room in our sister's house or in the basement of our own home. We hear things that go bump in the night.

Each year it seems like a ghosthunter adds another set of spooky places to a list of ghostly sites in Minnesota. Orbs of energy and flashes of light have been recorded on cameras and recordings.

We all may have heard ghost stories from our friends, co-workers or relatives. People who go to work each day at the cabinet factory, school, financial aid office, dairy or elsewhere have seen a ghost or live with a ghost.

The ghosts in Busch's book don't appear to be ghosts or spooks of horror movies. In many of the stories people seemed to have lived in relative contentment with the ghosts, at least for a few years. One or two may have cast or tried to cast, the ghost out of the home.

So, on this weekend before Halloween, just know that there were or may be ghosts among us in Stevens County. Busch's book may only contain a few of their stories.

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