QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L ArchivesArchiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-10 > 1097712927
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 20:15:27 EDT
CAPITOLS POPULAR WITH THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Bureaucrats working the graveyard shift in New York's
Capitol say not much escapes the bespectacled glare of night watchman Samuel Abbott
as he patrols the darkened top-floor hallways.
They regularly report hearing his keys jangle as he walks from door to door
in the cavernous halls, twisting the ornate knobs of the empty rooms, giving
them a pull to make sure they're locked.
The only problem is, Abbott died 93 years ago.
The 78-year-old Civil War veteran was said to be growing feeble, but needed
the job that required he be locked inside what was then the State Library to
guard the valuable holdings. In the 25 minutes it took firemen to arrive at a
2 a.m. fire on March 29, 1911, no one heard a sound from inside the room.
"There have been apparitions seen and every once in a while maintenance
people report their equipment is moved when no one was around to move it," said
Stuart Lehman. As one of the state's education coordinators leading Halloween
tours of one of the state's grandest buildings, he knows what evil lurks in
the halls of power _ or at least what mischief lurks there.
Throughout the nation, tales abound at many state capitols, showing that the
dead not only can be counted on to vote in some close elections, but they
sometimes keep punching the clock.