The Cannelton "Ghost House":
205 Taylor Avenue
Cannelton, IN 47520
Stories of haunted houses live in the folklore of nearly every community. So it is not surprising that we in Perry County have our own share of ghosts, bewitchings and other unexplained phenomenon. But it is here at this house in Cannelton that one of the more recent ghost stories has been recounted. I repeat it to you now pretty much as it was told to Adam Stowe by his cousin who lived the experience.
About four year ago (1992) the teen-age daughter of the owner of this house entertained a group of her friends at a slumber party. It was a typical evening of popcorn, gossip, music, and movies. Late in the evening everyone settled down into their sleeping bags on the floor of the living room. The television was turned off, and the lights extinguished. A few nervous giggles were the only sounds in the room...until I heard something. At first I thought it was my friend Amy playing a trick on me.
"Amy, I whispered, "Is that you singing?"
"Me?" answered my friend. "I didn't say a word. I thought it was you." Both of us fell silent. There I was again. It was just the faintest of sounds...barely audible...the sound of singing. The voice was that of a child..no...no...more like that of a doll. Somehow the image of a tiny China doll singing in the dark sent a chill across the back of my neck and made me curl up in my sleeping bag. I hadn't seen any dolls, China or otherwise, in this house. Where could the sound be coming from? Just when I had about convinced myself that Amy and I hadn't heard anything, there it was again! This time, before I could calm myself down, Amy screamed. Before I knew it, everybody else was screaming, too! Someone turned on the lights. The friendly yellow glow worked its magic; we all calmed down enough to try to rationalize the situation.
"Okay," I reasoned, "What happened here? Who brought the spooky singing doll?"
A chorus of earnest and emphatic "not me's" silenced us all. All that is except Julie, the girl who lived here. "I can't believe it," she gasped. "Not again. I can't believe something is happening again."
"Again!" I shrieked. "What do you mean, again. You mean something like this has happened before?"
"Well, it only happened once before...a couple of summers ago. I really had kinda forgotten about it...put it out of my mind...you know, convinced myself I hadn't really seen it. Nobody really believes in ghosts, do they?" The silence of all thirteen of us apparently did nothing to assure her. "DO THEY?" she tried again.
"Look," I ventured, "Why don't you just tell us what you saw, and then maybe we will all feel better." Julie looked skeptical. After all she had every chance of scaring away twelve of her very best friends if she continued. Each of the twelve sleeping bags had circled tightly, leaving Julie in the middle. We all wanted to hear her story...we needed to hear her story.
"Well," she began, "One night, summer before last, I woke up in the middle of the night because I thought I heard someone down here in the living room. I just thought it was my Mom or Dad so I went downstairs to check it out. But when I got down here, what I saw was some little girl singing and playing the piano. Our piano! I had never seen this little girl before. I didn't know who she was. I turned to go get Mom and Dad, and when I looked back, she had left. I don't know where she came from or where she went. None of our doors had opened or closed, and none of our windows were open. I ran in to tell may parents about it, but they just told me I was probably dreaming. But I know I wasn't I was wide awake, and there was a little girl sitting at our piano, playing and singing. And, you guys, you know what else? I remember she had a little China doll lying next to her on the piano bench! Maybe that was her again tonight, or maybe it was her doll. All I know is that I think this house has a history." When Julie finished, there was a hushed silence in the room. No one moved to turn off a light; no one giggled; in fact, no one went to sleep again that night.
It didn't take any more to convince me not to stay all night in that house again. I couldn't leave fast enough the next morning. Is 205 Taylor Avenue a ghost house? I know my answer, but you can decide for yourself.
--Marty Brewer and Susan Godthaab are both seventh grade language arts teachers at Tell City Junior High.