HAUNTED MICHIGAN: Maltby Street Poltergeist in Jackson
This is one of Jackson's most famous ghost stories...I remember reading about this when I was a kid and I was fascinated by it. And it was the first time I ever heard the word "poltergeist." The whole tale was reported in the Jackson Citizen Patriot not long after Halloween, 1961.
This ghost story begins on the day before Halloween 1961. According to the newspaper report, Vic Lincoln & his family heard clumping footsteps and pounding coming from the basement steps of his home on Maltby Street one evening. In the days that followed, more thuds and pounding kept occurring, as well as moaning & groaning, dishes & other kitchen items flying off the shelves (some breaking windows), Christmas tree bulbs kept flying - not falling - out of the sockets and even knives were flying on their own, endangering the family to a whole different level. In fact, one knife flew and slit the leg of Beatrice Lincoln, of which she showed to a Citizen Patriot reporter. A can of shaving cream flew through a window on it's own, footsteps were heard pacing on the porch, books moved from their shelves to other rooms, gas stove burners would come on by themselves and fill the house with the smell of gas, beds became unmade by themselves and more.
At times the family would come home and find their house in disarray as if someone was attempting a burglary or vandalism; furniture would be overturned, cans and garbage on the floors, water running and lights on. Police were called but they found no signs of breaking & entering (so how did they explain the messes that were left?).
After the story was reported in the Jackson Citizen Patriot, it soon spread through the country. As quoted in the Citizen Patriot, Vic said, "I've never believed in ghosts, but now I don't know; something has been happening here that I don't understand." Not long afterward, the Psychical Research Foundation in Durham, North Carolina, picked up on the Lincoln's story and came to hold their own investigation. They stayed at the Maltby house for a few days and experienced things as well...but they concluded that the noises and disturbances were the cause of 1) the house settling in the cold winter weather and 2) buried coal mine shafts that the house was built over.
The house was put up for sale and bought in the mid-60's with the new owner reporting no strange happenings; but an owner in the 1990's said things still come off shelves, believing it's from house-settling. Now, I can understand things falling off shelves but NOT flying through the air...there HAS to be a better explanation than what was given by the Foundation.
The house's original structure was built in 1837...a long time ago, for sure...plenty of time for ghosts, spirits & poltergeists to come & go......and possibly hang around for awhile.