Brian Schill is a member of The American Society for Paranormal Research and Investigation headquartered in Orlando,FL. Schill writes," when a person dies the bioelectric energy is released from the body into the local environment where it may perform one of two actions: The unconscious energy may dissipate into the local environment..or it may coagulate and become self-aware outside the body." In case you are a stickler for scientific accuracy, this is a ghost phenomenon. And Nebraska certainly has its share of these.
One of the scariest I have ever heard was written about by Brad Steiger. According to him, Beth Domke of Omaha said that her 15-year-old daughter Stacy was caring for the infant child of a neighbor in a nearby park when a strange man approached them and stopped directly in front of them as she sat on the bench. Since her mother had cautioned her about child molesters and other strangers, Stacy was at first afraid, but the man seemed so kind and friendly-conveying a feeling of peace-that she relaxed and smiled at him. Then, without uttering a word, he suddenly leaned forward and kissed the baby on its forehead and walked away so fast that he 'just disappeared.' The girl told her mother about the incident before Stacy returned the infant to its mother. Her mother told her no harm had been done, but in the future to be more careful of strangers.
That very night, according to the baby's parents, a knock was heard at their front door. They answered, but no one was there! A few minutes later, they heard the knocking again and the mother went into the baby's room and found it had died. An autopsy later revealed the child had died of SIDS. The next day the Domkes visited the bereaved family and shortly thereafter Stacy became greatly upset. Her parents quickly gave their condolences and left. When they got home, their daughter told them she had seen an apparition of the man who had kissed the baby appear in the hall! She recognized it as having been the father of the baby's mother! Stacy's own mother believed that the spirit of the baby's grandfather had come to escort the baby's spirit home to the afterlife. It knocked when it arrived and knocked again as it had left.
An ad in the Lincoln Journal-Star brought several ghostly stories to author Alan Boye for his book The Ghosts of Lincoln. Although he deliberately changed some information and gave wrong addresses, the book has been used extensively as a kind of walking guide for amateur ghost hunters! In a 2005 book, Nebraska native Gary Leon Hill told a family story of how his Uncle Wally and Aunt Ruth came to counsel dead spirits who took up residence in bodies that didn't belong to them! Late in the fall of 1892, women passing by the Emanuel Baptist Church in the northern Lincoln suburb of Belmont saw the face of a woman outlined in a pane of glass. People came from all over the city to see the apparition. Some felt it was a warning of calamity, others that it was a ghost and school children felt that it was the face of a playmate that had died.
The Valentine ghost- In turn-of-the-century Valentine, Nebraska, Engineer Stanton and Fireman john Moroney of engine 34 were mystified by the supernatural appearance for two nights at the point where a negro soldier was killed by railroad cars a week earlier. The men said that the object appeared to be a tall white form carrying a dim light which crosses the track from north to south just in front of the engine.
About the same time in Long Pine, Nebraska, three rural mail carriers with routes along the Niobrara River quite their jobs within the last few months on account of an alledged 'ghost' which has persisted in accompanying them on their daily drives along the river.
And then there was Faceless Fred the Phantom of Phelps County! Fred, who lived near Holdredge was a known philanderer much to his long-suffering wife's dismay. Having tired of his antics, Fred's wife killed him and cut off most of his face. She then dumped him down a well. Later a local eating and drinking establishment was built on the site of the abandoned well and it is now believed that Fred haunts the place, scaring employees and patrons alike. It you'd like to see where Faceless Fred hangs out,as you turn off Hwy 6 onto the first paved road east of Holdrege, drive south across the mainline Burlington railroad and onto the Stink Crick Turnpike. Just a stone's throw away you come to the old town of Sacramento, Nebraska which today has only some grain bins, a couple of houses and a speakeasy off on the right side of the turnpike.Fred is said to have run a roadhouse there providing supplies to early settlers and making his own corn whiskey. One of Fred's paramours went on to join the "Buffalo Bills Congress of Rough Riders 100 miles west of North Platte, Nebraska.