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Quayside Art Gallery

The Firehouse Ghost

The Firehouse Ghost

In 1892 a newspaper account told of a ghost who visited the night watchmen of the Germania Hose Company. The men, who slept in the Germania truck house while they were on duty, complained about ghostly noises that they heard several times a week. When they heard these noises, the men would lock the truck house door and hunt in every nook and cranny without being to find any visible reason for the sounds. As soon as they went back to bed the noises started again. The presence was especially strong at the back door which would crack and shake so much that it completly unnerved the men.
The boys of the Germania Hose Company talked among themselves about the strange and frightening events. Some of them believed that the ghost might be that of Jeff Lowe, an African American who was hanged in Pensacola a few years earlier. Others were more inclined to believe that the ghostly presence was that of some former member of the hose company.
One night at midnight the doors of the truck house were securely locked when the strange noises began. George Suarez and Willie Britson, who were alone, were lying on their cots when they began to hear the noises. Ghostly sounds and rapping noises moved around the room from one side to the other. Then a very strange thing happened. A faint blue light appearded in the room and took the shadowy form of a man dressed all in white. It floated slowly toward the men who were paralyzed with fear. The men, who weretoo frightened to cry out, turned over and buried their faces in their cots and clasped each other around the neck so tightly that the next day they each complained of having sore throats. The ghost actually put ist icy cold hands on their faces and necks, chilling the blood in their veins and leaving them neared dead than alive. The men remain frozen for half an hour before they dared to look out again. When they peeped out they found the mysterious visitor had silently disappeared.

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