In the Autumn of 1943, residents at one Sterling, IL home began witnessing an apparition - or parts of it. It seems this ghost, which was also heard stomping about the home, only appeared as a hazy torso or, occasionally, a pair of nebulous arms.
No one knew who or what the entity was. Some theorized that spiritualists, in their quest to call any and all from other realms, probably failed to notice one left behind. Like a kid whose parents have forgotten him in the store after it closes, this spirit was now stuck in the home.
Others had more banal explanations. A few neighbors wagered the spook was little more than the glow cast from a nearby street light. Of course, the footsteps were still left unexplained.
Word soon spread throughout town. By November, the phenomenon garnered so much attention that on one Friday night, over one thousand people crammed themselves inside the house to catch a glimpse. Cora Radcliffe, who saw the phantom the night before, returned for an encore with her rifle in hand. She said she tried to touch the apparition but it vanished. Perhaps she meant to fare better with her gun.
Faced with such warm welcomes, the spirit understandably refused to show that night. But many had seen it already and that was enough to earn the mystery a place in local legend.