The Brooklyn Society for the Extermination of Ghosts and Dispelling of Haunted House Illusions

The Brooklyn Society for the Extermination of Ghosts and Dispelling of Haunted House Illusions

Following my earlier post that discussed Charles Dove and his ghost-thwarting league of Edwardian gentlemen, I was delighted to stumble upon a marvellous case of transatlantic parallel evolution. Four years prior to the founding of the English Society for the Extermination of Ghosts, the more cumbersomely titled The Brooklyn Society for the Extermination of Ghosts and Dispelling of Haunted House Illusions was established in New York. The key difference between the two societies, however, was the leaning of the Brooklyn agency towards fraud-busting and the considerably more cogent induction of its members!

The Times, May 21, 1905 .—

The spectres within a radius of a hundred miles of New York might as well quit, and haunted houses still the restless spirits that moan at midnight. Out of Brooklyn has originated the society which is to put an end to belief in ghosts and haunted houses. Its name is almost enough to do the work— The Brooklyn Society for the Extermination of Ghosts and Dispelling of Haunted House Illusions. After having spent several nights in an old Colonial house on Rockaway Road, in the outskirts of Jamaica Bay, the members of the society are about to give their attention to the house in Woodside, Long Island, in which Martin Thorn and Mrs. Nack killed Guldensuppe a few years ago.

The only difficulty the society has encountered so far is the shortage of haunted houses. Letters have been written to real estate dealers in various towns in New-Jersey, Westchester and further up the Hudson, offering to rent all the haunted houses offered. The society has just got track of one in New-Brunswick, which promises some exciting nights.

The membership of the society includes thirty young men between the ages of seventeen and twenty-three, who live in the Bedford district of Brooklyn. None of them believe in ghosts, and they are willing to spend their time and money bringing other people to their way of thinking. If their theories should prove ill founded and a ghost should really confront them, they are prepared to make immediate capture. Every mother’s son of them has proved his bravery and courage by facing some “terrible terror” without flinching. On their ghost watches they parry revolvers and wear dark lanterns.

“We have already put one haunted house out of business,” said the president of the society, William Offerman of No. 277 Jefferson-ave, Brooklyn, yesterday afternoon to a Tribune reporter. The afternoon, it may be mentioned, is the only time one is sure of finding the ghost hunters, for their nights are otherwise occupied.

“It was an old Colonial house In Jamaica Bay, as spooky as you could find anywhere,” continued the youth who knows no fear. “The story goes that a butcher took his life with a razor in one of the upper rooms. People will not live in the house, because they said the butcher came back every night and cut his throat over again. We camped in the suicide room every night for a week, staying up until long after midnight, but there was never a sign of a ghost.

“The last few nights we tried out some fellows who wanted to join the society. A skeleton in the dark hall, rigged up on wires, with electric lights for eyes, was enough to demonstrate that one young man was unfit for membership. He ran all the way back to Jamaica before we could stop him. The other officers of the society are Arthur Pierson, No. 101 McDonough-st., vice- president; Arthur Weygant, No. 645 Bedford-ave., treasurer; Munroe Gallon, secretary., The treasurer, it is said, has plenty of funds to pay rent for the summer on all haunted houses that are offered!

6 thoughts on “The Brooklyn Society for the Extermination of Ghosts and Dispelling of Haunted House Illusions

    • Hi Shala,

      I am delighted to announce the launch of my first collection of ghost stories:

      GHOSTS AND OTHER SUPERNATURAL GUESTS – 12 Tales of haunting

      P. J. Hodge spins rich, spine-chilling and beautifully written tales that tell of haunted ancestral homes, supernaturally-possessed objects and revengeful spectres that will not rest until their work is done.

      Mesmerising, understated, and convincingly Victorian in tone, this is a frighteningly good collection of stories. Purchase at your own risk!

      Please share and pass this on to fellow ghost story fans. Also, if you read the book and have the time, would you be so kind as to write a review for the Amazon book page and Goodreads. Thank you!

      Available for Kindle ebook here
      US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FY82PXI
      UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FY82PXI
      Canada – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00FY82PXI
      Germany – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00FY82PXI
      India – http://www.amazon.in/dp/B00FY82PXI

      and all other Amazon international sites.

      If you enjoy period ghost tales of that bygone England of country house gatherings, servants and hansom cabs, with smog-filled days and sinister churchyard nights, you’ll love this varied and entertaining collection of chillers.

      An Amazon review:

      ‘I rarely get time to read so I always look for books containing short stories so I can finish them in a single reading session. Once I started reading it however I couldn’t put it down! It is superbly written and you immediately get drawn into it. One of the best short story book I have read to date. Looking forward to the next book already.’ Richie

      Kind regards, Paul

    • Hi Ralph,

      I am delighted to announce the launch of my first collection of ghost stories:

      GHOSTS AND OTHER SUPERNATURAL GUESTS – 12 Tales of haunting

      P. J. Hodge spins rich, spine-chilling and beautifully written tales that tell of haunted ancestral homes, supernaturally-possessed objects and revengeful spectres that will not rest until their work is done.

      Mesmerising, understated, and convincingly Victorian in tone, this is a frighteningly good collection of stories. Purchase at your own risk!

      Please share and pass this on to fellow ghost story fans. Also, if you read the book and have the time, would you be so kind as to write a review for the Amazon book page and Goodreads. Thank you!

      Available for Kindle ebook here
      US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FY82PXI
      UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FY82PXI
      Canada – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00FY82PXI
      Germany – http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00FY82PXI
      India – http://www.amazon.in/dp/B00FY82PXI

      and all other Amazon international sites.

      If you enjoy period ghost tales of that bygone England of country house gatherings, servants and hansom cabs, with smog-filled days and sinister churchyard nights, you’ll love this varied and entertaining collection of chillers.

      An Amazon review:

      ‘I rarely get time to read so I always look for books containing short stories so I can finish them in a single reading session. Once I started reading it however I couldn’t put it down! It is superbly written and you immediately get drawn into it. One of the best short story book I have read to date. Looking forward to the next book already.’ Richie

      Kind regards, Paul

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