Tracker Pixel for Entry

“Been up to see the ghost”

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Culture | October 24th, 2018

Hornung - Gone up to see the ghost - cyanotype by Sabrina Hornung

Cyanotype by Sabrina Hornung

According to the Valley City Times Record, during the fall of 1903 a barn outside of Litchville became a hot topic of conversation and was reputed to be haunted. During the previous winter Olaus Anderson, a local farmer who lived a few miles outside of Litchville succumbed to asphyxiation by coal gas. Coal gas was also known as “town gas” and contained high levels of Carbon Monoxide. Unfortunately natural gas wasn’t regulated in the US until around 1938, so coal gas or “town gas” was the chief means of lighting and heating at the turn of the century. The following spring Anderson’s farm was rented out -- temporarily. The tenant stayed on the premises for a matter of days before moving rather abruptly.

Apparently each morning as the new tenant made his way out to the barn, he would find his horses upset and lathered with sweat. It is said that he left the area in search of a place where he--and his team would be more at peace. Thus the rumor of the haunted barn had begun. Since the previous tenant vacated the farm, on multiple occasions the neighbors reported seeing lights moving throughout the house at night.

At first it was believed that rumors of the alleged haunted barn originated in an attempt to lower the value of the Anderson property,but who doesn’t like a good spook story? Plus if you can’t add to the story, what’s the use in telling it? Eventually the story spread throughout Litchville and throughout the rest of the county. Thrillseekers and ghost hunters of all ages made their way out to the Anderson farm in hopes of seeing these mysterious lights. The term “Been up to see the ghost” made its way into the local vernacular for a short time to account for a late curfew.

1903 must have been a good year for ghosts in Barnes county. The June 4, 1903 edition of the Valley City Times Record, reported on the “scientific method” of how to tell whether you are seeing a ghost or not.

"We assume that a person sees an apparition; it may be objective (i.e., having existence outside the observer's mind), or merely a creature of a disordered brain (subjective). The seer, while looking at the vision with both his eyes, gently depresses one eyeball with his forefinger, from outside the top eyelid (so causing a squint). If objective (whether bogus or not) two outlines of the 'ghost' will be seen; but one (of course) if it be subjective. One may prove this by trial, any time, with any object, near or far. I mention this because of the many nervous and brain-wearied people who see spooks, and to whom it would be better that they should know that the trouble is within themselves, and so seek a capable doctor, than continue to be haunted, as they believe, by the supernatural."


[Editor’s note: Special thanks to Wes Anderson at the Barnes County Historical Society]

Recently in:

OGLALA, South Dakota – Hundreds of Natives at the Pine Ridge Sioux Reservation face life threatening danger after the Federal Emergency Management Agency refused to assist the tribe still suffering from a devastating summer…

Your operating system to be exact. That is Microsoft’s job. It is a tough job but Bill Gates signed them up for it many years ago. But Microsoft only supports each version of Windows for so long. For example, Windows 7 is…

November 8 – 11, Times VaryOak Grove Lutheran School, 124 North Terrace N., FargoSing along to your favorite Willy Wonka tunes at this delicious musical! Follow Charlie Bucket as he visits Mr. Wonka’s mysterious chocolate…

On Monday Dan Larson, a film student from Montana State University in Bozeman, swung by the office for an interview. This time I was on the other side of the questioning. Larson is currently working on a documentary about the…

Do Muslims and Christians have to wear gloves to play football?Gene and Matthew were both young teenagers when they realized they were gay. They finally met in the hallowed halls of Washington’s National Cathedral where leading…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

The Sons of Norway are once again saying Velkommen as this year’s holiday celebration is sneaking closer.The 14th Annual Traditional Norsk Christmas Event will take place on Friday, November 30th starting at 6pm. Hosted by Frode…

by Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com With the kickoff of the holiday season (and the weather!) underway, it’s almost time for the annual holiday organ concerts at the Fargo Theatre. The concerts, put on as a partnership…

WARNING: The following review reveals plot information. Read only if you have seen “Suspiria”Luca Guadagnino’s ambitious reimagining of Dario Argento’s “Suspiria,” the first installment of the cult director’s Three…

by: Melissa Gonzalezmelissam.gonzalez@outlook.comFrom music, to sculpture, to grand scale murals, one local artist is working tirelessly to share his work with the community.The West Acres Mall is currently hosting its fifth…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

Those who have been reading my articles for a while may remember when I interviewed Zachary Tooker about the Level Two Comedy Club at the Radisson in Fargo. While the club may have unfortunately closed, Tooker has not ceased…

Beer Snob

Warm up with a hot toddy

by HPR Contributor

by Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.com Fall is once again upon us. The leaves are turning, gardens have been pulled, and Summer’s heat has waned into Autumnal frosts. Along with the change of seasons comes a change of seasonal flavors.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

Okay, against my better judgment, again, I'm going to weigh in on the 2018 election, just a week hence. Here goes.I told Democratic-NPL Congressional candidate Mac Schneider last week that if Heidi Heitkamp wins re-election to the…