Creepy Local Legends Revisited

| 10/27/2010 4:45:41 PM

Tags: Local Legends, Halloween, Creepy Houses, Cindy Murphy,

CindyMurphyBlog.jpgIt’s that time of year again; Halloween, my favorite holiday. After taking a walking ghost tour of our town this past weekend, I thought it might be fun to resurrect my blog from last year, “Creepy Local Legends,” with a new installment.

Not on our town’s ghost tour, but never-the-less a house of historic ... and ghostly significance, is the house right around the corner from me. It’s a place I always point out to out-of-town friends and family as we walk through the neighborhood, telling the tale of its haunting.

Like many of the houses in town, including ours, this house was built in the late 1800s when the booming lumber, fruit, and tourism industries made South Haven a bustling port on the shores of Lake Michigan. It’s a grand old house with a cupola atop, recently repainted in colors reminiscent to what they would have been at the time.

Scary house

In the 1800s, only a handful of houses stood in what is the current neighborhood; much of the land was either apple or peach orchards back then. In the early 1870s, over 3,500 barrels of apples, and nearly 30,000 packages of peaches were shipped by large steamships to the Chicago market. One of the suppliers of the peaches was the man who built the house which stood on the edge of his property, over-looking his prized peach orchard.

Frank Pritchard was a wealthy man to begin with, and the continued success of his peach crop made him even wealthier. He took a huge financial risk when he planted his orchard with what was to become, and still is, the world’s most popular peach, the ‘Red Haven’. It was a brand new variety at the time, developed by fellow townsman, and plant scientist, Stanley Johnston. The gamble paid off for Frank. While the lumber barons’ found their “Green Gold” in Michigan’s white pine, the area had another kind of precious commodity – the peaches that were referred to as “Michigan’s Gold,” and the new ‘Red Haven’ proved to be the cream of the crop.

michelle house
11/3/2010 9:11:05 PM

Cindy, I really believed you. lol. Grands had a great time.

cindy murphy
11/3/2010 6:49:18 AM

It'd be a grave tome for sure, Stepper. But alas! Time prevents me from doing so. Maybe I could get a ghost-writer? I'm sure the parents you passed out candy to enjoyed it almost as much as the kids; I know I would. (I think next year, I'm going to have special treats just for the parents; they deserve something too, doncha think?) There is a bonus to having left-over candy besides pawning it off on your co-workers, yanno. That's why I ALWAYS pass out the stuff I like best, just in case there are left-overs. Thanks for stopping in, and enjoy your day!

chris davis
11/2/2010 9:38:53 PM

Oh, well done Cindy. I didn’t suspect this to be anything beyond a local legend until you fessed up that it was a fabrication of your own making. Maybe you should write your own Halloween tome! I’m sure it would be spooktacular. We had the slowest year for T-o-T'ers ever. I was giving candy out to parental escorts just to keep from having too many left overs and even with that, I gave out less than 150 pieces. Next step, take left over candy to work!

cindy murphy
11/1/2010 9:32:36 PM

I did, Dave - I did have a great creepy day. I have to say I enjoy Halloween waaaaay too much. I played chef, complete with bloody apron and cleaver, to the macabre Halloween banquet taking place in my front yard with ghouls, skeletons, and witches in attendance. Oh, no, no, no - no cutesy Halloween decorations for me; it's gotta be scary. From the amount of candy I passed out, I'd say we had close to 500 kids this year. Our small town really does Halloween up in a big way, and everyone welcomes the kids that come in from the country by the car and van load. Can't say what the most popular Halloween costume here was this year for either gender; there was a great mix of everything. I always like the homemade costumes the best. One kid had a Purina Horse Feed bag over his head with two eye-holes cut into it. I really couldn't figure out what he was supposed to be....other than a bag of Purina Horse Feed. Hope you and your grandson had as much fun as I did. Did you amuse him with a spooky story or two of your own?spoopouod

cindy murphy
11/1/2010 9:10:54 PM

No worries that your comment posted twice, Michelle. Dave mentioned his disappeared....and it's taken me two days to be able to get into the site to post a reply. It seems the Grit Ghost of the Comment Section was having a little Halloween fun. Hope your grands had a fun Halloween too, and that they got lots of candy....some of which they don't like, so it goes to you. My youngest doesn't like carmel, nuts, and peanut butter among other things, so that means I get her Reese's peanut butter cups, Snickers bars, and mmmmmm Twix, my favorite! It made me smile that you thought the story was real; one of my favorite things when telling it is to wait just until the right moment when the listener looks as if they're actually believing what I'm saying, and then I say "HA! Gotcha!" Yes, I'm easily amused.

michelle house
11/1/2010 12:04:41 AM

Sorry, that posted twice last night.

nebraska dave
10/31/2010 8:49:31 AM

@Cindy, I left a comment earlier but for some reason it didn’t show up. The great comment dilemma continues. It’s either double or nothing. Anyway, I can just see kids all crowded around the camp fire as you spin the story of old Mr. Pritchard. Some of my favorite memories are from sitting in the woods around a campfire telling ghost stories on a dark and creepy night. I remember your post for last year. My grandson is “Iron Man” this year and has already trick or treated the malls around town. Stores in the malls give out candy as an alternative to door to door trick or treating. The number one costume for boys this year is “Spiderman” and for the girls it’s “Princess”. Have a great creepy day.

michelle house
10/30/2010 11:28:41 PM

LMAO, I read the story, thinking, how awesome, a real haunted house. LOL, you got me good Cindy, I loved the story. :) There are supposed to be haunted houses in towns near us, but your story was better than the ones I hear about them. lol Michelle.

michelle house
10/30/2010 11:24:17 PM

LMAO, I read the story, thinking, how awesome, a real haunted house. LOL, you got me good Cindy, I loved the story. :) There are supposed to be haunted houses in towns near us, but your story was better than the ones I hear about them. lol Michelle.

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