No. 464
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
March 31, 2020

A Sleep-Walker’s Act.

Miss Belle Collis, of Newark, N. J., surprises the neighbors by her want of thought.
March 26, 2016
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Accounts of haunted dwellings tend to be pretty bog-standard stuff. Spectral figures drifting over the lawn, mysterious rappings at night. Murder victims unable to find peace, or villains with guilty consciences that won’t allow them to rest. To be honest, when you’ve read enough of them, real-life ghost stories can get pretty dull. For that reason, when you come across one that combines
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Strange Company - 3/30/2020

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THEY ALL HAVE "PULLS" Denver Post, November 11, 1896 The contents of the article can be read below (Click image to enlarge) istol balls sped in all directions When Soapy Smith left Denver, Colorado for the final time, Bascom remained in Denver and thereafter in the West, never again to work with with his older brother. He continued to find trouble as revealed in a
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/18/2020

When New York’s first cholera epidemic hit in 1832 and killed 3,515 people (out of a population of 250,000), the poor took the blame. “Many city officials implicated the residents of the poorest neighborhoods for contracting cholera, blaming their weak character, instead of viewing the epidemic as a public health problem,” stated Anne Garner, in […]
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Ephemeral New York - 3/29/2020
Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 12/29/2019
Elizabeth Ragan As Arthur Ragan lay dying of a stomach ailment, in Piqua, Ohio, on April 3, 1855, his wife, Elizabeth took the physician aside and told him she believed her husband had poisoned himself. She said she thought the cream of tartar he had been taking for his stomach was actually arsenic. Mr. Ragan died that day, and a post-mortem examination proved his wife correct, he had
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Murder By Gaslight - 3/28/2020

Nigerian bandit Lawrence Anini was executed on this date in 1987. Strongman of a well-armed gang whose robberies and hijackings terrorized Benin Cty, Anini in 1986 fell out with his erstwhile police protectors, resulting in a bloody war of assassinations that claimed nine policemen’s lives and god knows how many gangsters. It also made Anini […]
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Executed Today - 3/29/2020
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Killed by a Baseball. | A Square Meal.

A Sleep-Walker’s Act.

Sleepwalker

Miss Belle Collis, of Newark, N. J., surprises the neighbors by her want of thought. [more]

Early risers in Newark, N. J., were somewhat surprised one night recently at seeing what looked like a ghost. The ghost was dressed in the regulation white and was sitting on a stoop. None dared to venture near the ghost except a courageous milkman, who found the vision to be a young lady in a somnambulistic trance. The young lady proved to be Miss Belle Collis, one of Newark’s society belles. Her attire consisted of one thing garment, known in boudoir parlance as a nightdress. Miss Collis had, while in the trance, left her bedroom and walked several blocks, when she sat down to rest on the stoop where she was found by the milkman. When found she was in a half frozen condition. When aroused she went into hysterics. It was some time before she recovered sufficiently to tell where she live, she was then conducted home.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, December 7. 1889.