Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fear of Spooks Leads Little Girl To Death

Detroit Free Press, February 10, 1923
This story is far more tragic than weird but the circumstances that lead to little Jennie Wieczarza death were as common as they were strange. Little children are afraid of the dark and the spirits which inhabit it. I would do a proper write-up but with only this article it would be a mere re-hashing of a story that I found while once again digging for Detroit's yesteryear spooks and wouldn't do it the justice of the original piece.

Fear of Spooks Leads Little Girl To Death

6-Year-Old Jennie Dies After Candle Sets Her Nightgown on Fire.

Jennie Wieczarza, 6 years old, is dead. No more will her little heart flutter in fear of "spooks." Jennie died last night at Highland Park General hospital of burns suffered at midnight Wednesday, when she sought her parents, with a lighted candle, to spread the alarm that a hobgoblin or something was abroad in the house at 13440 Riopelle street.

Jennie slept alone and often she heard queer sounds. She had imagination too--heaps of it--and in daytime it was fairies that danced through her busy mind. When the shadows fell those creepy shadows and sounds rose to terrify her. Perhaps it was only the wintery winds moaning in the crannies of the house, or a flapping window shade. Sometimes Jennies would awaken in the middle of the night with a piercing scream and her mother rushed to her bedside to comfort her.

She was sure that an evil spirit roamed the house Wednesday night. Jennie didn't scream this time, but crept quietly out of her bed, got a candle, lighted it and started for the room where her parents slumbered. Before she got to the door she was trembling and the hand that held the candle ignited her nightgown. Flames enveloped her body. She screamed and her parents ran in, discovering her rolling on the floor. They put out the fire, but not until Jennie had suffered painful second degree burns.

She lay on a cot of pain throughout Thursday and Friday. Finally at a late hour last night the pain ceased, a peaceful calm settled over the child's features and a nurse drew the sheet over her curly head. Jennie had gone, and left the spooks behind.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

First Fiesta Planned by Detroit Magicians

Detroit Free Press, September 24, 1937
Spooks will walk in Lola Park on Fenkell Ave., west of Telegraph Road, Sunday afternoon--rabbits will pop out of hats and who knows?--maybe even the ancient Indian rope trick will be performed.

And there will be hot-dogs (the foot-long kind), roastin' ears and coffee.

It will be the occasion of the First Fiesta and Corn Roast of the Society of Detroit Magicians. An outdoor magic contest for members and guests, with prizes for the best, has been arranged by Dr. John Buell, Al Munroe and George A. Pillsbury.