Dies at Behest of Baby Ghost (1907)

There were a handful of clippings from newspapers across the country in 1907 reporting that Mrs. Daniel Clauer of Springfield, Ohio died after repeatedly seeing visions of her niece’s ghost.

The Paducah Evening Sun printed part of a conversation between Mrs. Clauer and her daughter, Mrs. Yost:
Alice has been calling and beckoning to me for a month and now that Daniel is gone there is no reason that I should not go to be with them.

The Paducah evening Sun March 25, 1907
The Paducah Evening Sun, March 25, 1907

As usual, the specifics of the fantastical story vary among papers. Some accounts listed Mary Clauer’s age as 40 when she was actually 56 when she died according to Ohio’s Clark County Death Records Index.

The spectral niece’s name was reported in one paper as Alice who’d died in the fall of 1906. Other articles listed the ghost as Marie or Mary Grasia who passed away the week before Mary Clauer’s death.

I couldn’t find death records for Alice, Mary, or Marie so whether Mrs. Clauer was allegedly haunted by one ghost or saw visions of different nieces remains a mystery.

Shenandoah Herald, April 19, 1907
Shenandoah Herald, April 19, 1907

Mary‘s husband Daniel died Feb. 10, 1907 as the result of an accident, so that part of the story is also true.

The Spokane Press April 06, 1907
The Spokane Press April 6, 1907
The Manning Times, 8 May 1907
The Manning Times, May 8, 1907

On March 22, 1907 Mary Clauer died at her residence, 464 N. Limestone, with heart failure as the official cause of death.

It’s not impossible that Mrs. Clauer was scared to death. The Wall Street Journal discusses stress cardiomyopathy and “broken-heart syndrome” in the article Science Shows Even the Fit Can Be Scared to Death.

Mary Clauer was no stranger to The Reaper, having recently lost her husband, niece, and several other relatives. Her daughter Burton died in August 1885 at age one from spinal meningitis. These losses could’ve hastened her shuffle off this mortal coil.