by Kathleen Franks for Porch Stories™ Ghost Tour 2009, Hudson, Ohio
Halloween and bad luck have always walked hand-in-hand. But in the year 1913, the two of them ran amok in Hudson.
My twin daughters, Lily and Lacy, were opposite in every respect. Lily was sweet and delicate like her namesake flower. Lacy, however, did not turn out to be the elegant young woman that her name might suggest. Have you ever heard the term, “evil twin”?
It was Lacy’s turn to prepare the meal for the Civic Association dinner that Halloween. She picked up the chickens from Mrs. J. L. Harper, who had a reputation for raising the very best poultry. So, it could not have been the chicken that caused the trouble.
The salad was merely red cabbage with a little vinegar and yellow wax beans, both from my garden. Obviously, the salad was not the culprit.
The ice cream was purchased from Jones’ Ice Cream Parlor in Cuyahoga Falls. Mr. Jones insisted that it was fresh that day and made with the finest of ingredients.
So it was so very strange, indeed, when over fifty guests that evening became violently ill. Lily and I were in that number. What made it even more mysterious was that not one item on the menu could be singled out as having been eaten by everyone. Lily and I only had the ice cream. However, Mr. Hamlin had eaten several helpings of both flavors! Other guests had chicken, some did not and likewise with the salad.
No one died from the ordeal, at least not immediately. Some never did get back to their former robust health. Lily and I weren’t quite ourselves afterward. We both died on the same weekend almost a year later. It was rumored that the maid heard Lacy laughing a most hideous laugh after she was summoned to our deathbeds. How I wished Harmon had changed the will before he died. Lacy inherited a substantial amount of assets when he passed a few months after we did.
Revenge paid Lacy a visit on the day before her wedding ten years later (the groom had to have been a gold-digger, if you want to ask me). The story goes that Lacy had become annoyed with the neighbor’s cat sleeping on her porch. On the morning of that fateful day, Lacy decided to do away with “Crow”. She tied a weight around his neck and flung him into the pond. Later, as Lacy napped on the wicker chaise, Crow, having freed himself from his impending doom, came running onto the porch, sprang at her face, clawing at her cheeks, gouging at her eyes, biting through her nose. None of the neighbors said they heard any screams that day. The maid had gone to town for supplies. She found Lacy’s body with the head shredded to bits, blood spurting skyward from her neck. One eyeball hung at the side of the chaise, connected by a strand of nerve coming from the socket. Crow sat there, his black coat glistening in the sun, batting the eyeball back and forth.
Some have said that a black cat lives in the clocktower on the green. Some have seen it pass through the white door on moonlit nights. Others have heard its eerie screams. It darts across the green and runs up Aurora St., a glowing eyeball hanging from its mouth. The cat stops at #38. A ghostly figure sits on the side porch, rocking in the old wicker chair, stripes of luminous blood dripping from her face, while the cat sits in her lap, the eyeball nestled between its paws.
This is a photo of the house at #38 on a benign sunny day – this is the front porch – the ghastly deed took place on the private side porch – the white stone cat on the front step is merely a mask for the evil blackness of Crow who is never available for photographs.