Note: Mr. Lindenstruth sounds interesting
The Appling County Mystery
Ghosts, Hobgoblins and Unseen Spirits to the Front- Crockery, Pottery, Glassware and Butcher knives, Ears of Corn, Smoothing irons and Books Jumping Around the Floor. – The Old Family Clock and Red Hot Brickbats -Five Hundred People on the Grounds- Full and Complete Particulars.\
On Saturday Afternoon it will be remembered we published a brief paragraph stating that strange and supernatural manifestations had taken place at a house at No. 6, Macon and Brunswick Railroad.
Passengers coming up on the train were greatly excited about it and represented the great excitement prevailed in that immediate neighborhood as induced as far distant asthe reports had reached. Determined to find out the exact facts in regard to the matter, we detailed a special reporter to the scene of operations and will now lay before our readers the
Full Particulars as detailed to us by him.
Taking the Brunswick train Saturday night, in the company of Mr. Mason and Mr. Campbell of Macon, who were going down for the same purpose, Our reporter Mr. Peter Lindenstruth, arrived at the point of destination alittle after 4, o’clock, Sunday Morning.
No. 6 Surrency
Getting off the train they found no one in the place as yet up. but going to the house of Mr. A.P. Surrency, they were admitted to a vacant room the fire in which had nearly died out.
We may as well remark here that the town, or Depot, of Surrency consists only of a station house, one or two places of business and the residence of the gentleman from which it takes its name. It is situated in Appling County about 126 miles from Macon and about 60 from Brunswick. Mr. Surrency is a gentleman well to do in the world and universally regarded as one of the most honorable citizens of the county, and it would seem that his house would be the last one ghosts would select in which to play mischief.
The First Brick
Mr. Lindenstruth finding the fire nearly out went to the wood pile to get something to make it up. While returning he heard a heavy thud upon the floor of another room, as if something heavy had fallen. Thinking some member of the family had arisen, he paid no more attention to it. But subsequent events convinced him that was the first brick thrown by the ghosts or whatever agency is at work on the premises, as no member of the family had as yet got up.
What Mr. Surrency Says:
Soon after daylight Mr. Surrency came into the room, and after giving his guests a hearty welcome, proceeded to tell from the beginning what had taken place up to that time.
On Friday evening, a short while before dark, the family was greatly alarmed by sticks of wood flying into the house and falling about the floor from directions they could tell nothing about, and without any human agency they could see or find out. The wood would fall before being seen, and what made the mystery still more mysterious, the room into which the wood was falling had all its doors and windows closed. This was in the front room.
Soon after dark they stopped falling and was succeeded by brickbats which fell at short intervals throughout the night in every room of the house. Mr. Surrency, his wife, two grown daughter, Mr. Roberts, a clerk, and a Baptist minister by the name of Blitch were present, and with the exception of the minister who got on his horse and left, they all remained awake the whole night. Notwithstanding the windows and doors were tightly closed and no opening left in any potion of the house, these brickbats continued to fall, but although sometimes missing not one struck any person.
Bottles and Glass take a Hand
Soon after the bricks commenced falling, bottles, vases, and glassware generally commenced jumping from unusual place, falling and breaking. Mr. Surrency seeing the destruction going on directed a negro man to take four bottles containing kerosene oil out of the house and place them in the yard. No sooner than he set them down when one flew back, fell in the middle of the room, scattering the oil in every direction. The whole family saw this. It seemed to come down from the ceiling overhead, and indeed everything else falling did so perpendicular- that is to say came down from above.
These strange antics continued with scarcely one minutes, interruption until daylight Saturday morning, when the ceased, leaving the house nearly bankrupt in crockery and glassware and a large quantity of brickbats and billets of wood around the floor.
That afternoon, or on Saturday, 19th, they commenced again pretty much in the same matter of doing about what had taken place the night previously. The family, which had now been joined by many neighbors, watched every nook and corner of the house, to detect and if possible to unravel the mystery. But so quickly would pitchers, tumblers, books and a=other articles jump from their positions and dash to the floor the eye could not follow, and broken fragments were the first things seen, except in open instance, and that was a pan of water and some books; they were seen to start.
Chairs, shoes and clothing, were tumbled about the house, as if the hand of a veritable witch or unseen devil was present. But the greatest mystery and most inexplicable incident of this day was the escape of a lot of ordinary clothes hooks from a locked bureau drawer remaining tightly closed, as usual. Nothing else of special note occurred to-day. All got quiet at 8 1/2 o’clock Saturday night.
The Operations Of Sunday
As stated above our special reporter arrived before daybreak and heard the story of Mr. Surrency as above related. So soon as he got through with it he stepped up to the
Old Family Clock
and was about relating ho rapidly the hands had traveled around the dial when the ghosts were about, on the previous day. All eyes were turned to it and much to their astonishment the hands commenced running around at a rate of about five hours a minute. It was a 30 hour weight clock, and after seeing it run at this rate for a short time while our reporter, who was a watchmaker by profession employed at the store of Mr. J.H. Otto on Fourth Street, determined to at least solve this mystery as it was directly in his line. He stopped the clock, carefully examined the machinery and found it not only in perfect order but nothing whatsoever unusual inside or out. He could not for the life of him see the slightest thing wrong about it.
The Magnet Theory
It has been suggested that their may be a large magnet about or under the house, but magnets do not attract wooden substances and besides, while the clock was running at this rapid rate, Mr. Lindenstruth had his watch in his pocket, which kept on in its usual way and was not in the least affected. He set the clock right, when it continues to keep correct time up till the time he left.
A Red Hot Brickbat
Nothing else unusual occurred until 17 minutes before 12 o’clock, when the performances re-opened by a pair of scissors jumping from the table on to the floor. At that time Mr. Lindenstruth was sitting in a chair when, without the slightest premonition a large brickbat fell with great force right beside him breaking in two. He immediately picked up a piece of it and handed it to Mason and both found t hot. Then taking up the other piece he tried two r three times to break it by throwing it on the floor, but failed. He then laid this second half on the sill of the window in the room intending to bring it home. Resuming his seat near the front stoop, he was again startled by the piece he had placed on the window falling at his feet and once more breaking into two pieces. He did not pick it up again.
At 12 o’clock, a smoothing iron jumped from the fire place about six feet itno the room. It was replaced and again jumped out. He noticed that the iron was hot but this may have been heated by the fire.
A Shower of Corn
At about this time dinner was announced, when the family and many guests walked out to the table. Soon after being seated an ear of corn, appeared from the ceiling overhead, fell between Mr. James Campbell, of Macon and Mrs. Surrency; striking the floor with great force it broke in tow, scattering the grains all around the room. Later in the day another ear of corn fell in another room, striking near Mrs Burns, a northern lady, who at the time had an infant in her arms.
Soon after this whilst Mr. D.M. McGaulley, Allen Walls, Robert R. Presstall,C.C. Eason. John M. Walls, J.W. Roberts and Daniel Carter of that neighborhood, and Campbell. Lindenstruth and Mason were standing in the front room, a chamber glass was smashed into fifty pieces in the centre of the room. They were at the time intently watching everything visible in the room, but none saw this until after the vessel was broken.
The Excitement – Extra Trains
So rapidly had the news spread and so great was the excitement, the Macon and Brunswick Railroad dispatched an extra train on Sunday. It arrived at Surrency about three o’clock in the afternoon, with seventy five people on board.
But the ghosts, spirits, or whatever else the might be called, did not choose to give them any manifestations, and the train left in about an hour, taking most of them back. A few remained, however, determined to see into the matter. There were at least three or four hundred persons on the grounds during Sunday, and up to the time our reporter left fully five hundred had visited the place.
Other signs and Wonders
While all these things were going on in the house, the kitchen department was by no means idle. butcher knives, pots, skillets and crockery ware were falling around loose to the terror and horror of the cook.
Another mysterious thing occurred on the first or second day. Little piles of sugar totally unlike anything of the kind then used by the family were found upon the floors of he residence. In some of these a few pins and a steel pen were found. There were various other incidents or this totally incomprehensible mystery related to and seen by our reporter, but enough had already been given.
What is it
No one who has as yet visited the place can give any rational theory as to the agency which produces these strange sights. Mr. Surrency is a plain, old fashioned Georgia gentleman and is greatly annoyed and disgusted wit the whole proceedings. he promptly refused compensation from any of the two or three hundred persons who had eaten at his table. If they are produced by magnets, they must be of a different kind from any ever known.
We must leave the question to someone else for solution.
At this point our Macon party left people were coming in from all directions, and we presume the excitement continue to-day unabated.
1. Union and Recorder, Oct. 30, 1872 — page 1