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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Ghost stories of the Thumb

The Times Herald, April 9, 1990
If you recall the story that I posted a week or two ago about Gundella's tours to the grave of Minnie Quay then you know that Billl Clugson was the owner of the Forester Inn which sits across the road from the dead girl's home. Clugson was convinced that not only was the Quay home haunted but so was his establishment.

Clugson was a dinner guest of James Johnson who owned the Quay home and one night witnessed a strange incident that convinced not only the participants of the party but the homeowners that there was a spirit among them. During the dinner a glass chimney on a kerosene lamp suddenly exploded. Johnson cleaned up and vacuumed the mess and went back to his dinner guests. Five minutes later the vacuum started up on its own.

Likewise Clugson thought the Forester Inn was haunted. A woman in western garb appeared at the bar several times in 1988. Clugson, through the speculations of older patrons that frequented the bar before he bought it, assumed that it was the ghost of Jean Green who was a longtime regular up until her death.

Gundella disagreed with Clugson's theories. I'm not sure how she suddenly got interjected into the story but their past dealings must have played a part. Gundella thought that the hauntings at the former Quay house were caused by the ghost of Mary Shaw, a former resident of the home whom disliked Clugson due to the crowds from the bar making noise and carrying on late into the night.

She was also a skeptic of the entire Minnie Quay folklore. According to her research Minnie had probably been in love with a sailor but she did not commit suicide. In fact, she claims that the girl fell into the water and survived a few days before succumbing to pneumonia. Although, I have come across newspaper articles which claim that Quay did commit suicide but that there is no truth to the rumors of an illicit love interest. Maybe I should go to the Garden City Historical Society one of these days and read some of the Minnie Quay book that she was writing.


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