Bizarre History

Nocturnal Noises

Chad Lewis |

Nocturnal Noises
Explanation of a Ghost Story That Astonished Some Prominent People of Eau Claire
– Eau Claire Daily Leader | August 17, 1883

For some nights past those persons who occupy sleeping rooms in business blocks around the corner of Kelsey and Barstow streets have been considerably surprised by hearing mysterious rappings at regular intervals, between the hours of nine and twelve at night, and stories have been rife about a ghost walking, spiritual manifestations, etc. 

As these noises were found to proceed from the boot and shoe store of A.A. Cutter, a Leader representative called there yesterday afternoon, and found the proprietor busy at his desk, looking over a large stock of invoices and freight bills. In reply to a query as to what caused the noises in his establishment, Mr. Cutter said that he was receiving a large stock of new goods and that the boys had probably alarmed the neighbors while knocking the covers off boxes and unpacking goods at night after regular business hours.

Chad's Take: It Was Only Boxes?

What is interesting in this article is the fact that neighbors actually took notice of mysterious noises coming from the building. During this time period citizens often replied to load noises, screams, and any other sound that broke the silence of the night.  Compare that with today where so much activity takes place at night that a simple “rapping at mysterious intervals” would not arouse even the most curios neighbor.
I’m sure you also noticed that the first explanation given for the mysterious noises was that the store had to be haunted. By the time this article came out you could bet the rumor of the shoe store being haunted had already quickly spread throughout the Eau Claire area. Although people of this time were generally more superstitious than we are today, they were also more diligent in finding out the truth as evidenced in this article. If you really want this story to ring true I suggest you do some paranormal investigating and find out what business or home now sits in A.A. Cutter’s old show store.