GHOST IN THE SHREWSBURY ENGINE HOUSE
Monday, April 14, 1902. According to members of the Quinsigamond Engine Company, there is a ghost in the engine house at Shrewsbury Center. There are several young men in town who are ready to go before a notary public and swear that they have heard the ghost – there are three who will go further and swear that they have seen it. None of the three, however, can tell whether he thinks the ghost is that of a man or a woman because none of them have stayed very long to take a closer look. All three agree that the ghost is draped in white and that it has a flimsy sheen about it – that it floated rather than walked through the upper floors and the stairways of the engine house.
The Quinsigamond Engine Company is housed in a two-story frame building which sits back from the village green and far from the main street of town. There is a regular grove of trees in front of the engine house and to the back is the cemetery and the church. The church sheds, in which the farmers tie their horses when coming to meetings, extends from the church almost to the rear of the engine house. This makes the engine house quite isolated even for so quiet a place as Shrewsbury. The night is dark all around and it is a place where a ghost would naturally feel at home.
One of the firemen who went to the engine house late in the evening heard moaning sounds and felt a chill in the air when he opened the front door. He was sure that there was a ghost in the building. The other fireman, when told of the story, advised him to stop drinking hard cider and try tea instead.
Last Tuesday night, April 8th, Charlie Bates who belongs to the engine company went to the house. Bates is a hardworking and levelheaded young fellow and his work has always been considered good, so folks take a great deal of stock in what he says he heard and saw when he went into the engine house alone. Bates says that upon opening the door and starting up the stairs, he heard a noise at the top and as he looked up he saw a tall figure all in white which swayed noiselessly back and forth. Frightened, he rushed across the green to the village store where he told of the ghost. The crowd, hanging about the store, were not sure what to believe, but after some discussion decided to go to the engine house and make a search. After lighting torches and lanterns the crowd went to the engine house to search. Looking through every nook and corner of the building they could find nothing out of the ordinary.
It is said that about half the village population is willing to believe that there is an actual ghost in town while the other half are just plain unsure of the whole story believing that somebody must be playing ghost.