The "Plowing Ghost" of Fernandina Beach, Florida
Plowing Ghost of Fernandina Beach, Florida
This unusual report appeared in the Aberdeen, Kansas, Daily News on November 2, 1892:
Ghost that Drives a Plow: Strange Apparition that is now Puzzling Florida Farmers
A respectable farmer named Petersen, who owns a place a few miles from Fernandina, Fla., brings a curious story of
a ghost that haunts his cornfield and plows by moonlight. He says that he first noticed the apparition about a month
ago when sitting up with a sick child. He happened to look out on the field about the hour of midnight and to his
amazement saw the figure of a man guiding an ox team over the ground. The animals, man and plow were all as
plain to be seen as if it had been daylight, though the rest of the field was in comparative gloom.
Not knowing what to make of this singular sight, he called his eldest son to go and see who the stranger was. The
boy went at once, and his father watching him, was further amazed to see the lad walk right through the plow and man
as if there was nothing there. When the boy returned he declared that he had found nothing and nobody in the field.
Mr. Petersen himself now resolved to go, and did so, but could see no trace of the man and team, though on returning
to the room from which he had seen the sight he found them as plain as before. The man was dressed in the clothes
of a laborer and wore a large, broad-brimmed hat, which completely concealed his features.
He seemed intent on his work and never raised his head, but would crack the whip he carried over the back of the
oxen, but without noise. Since this time Mr. Petersen says he has repeatedly seen the phantom plowman and has
called in neighbors to see it with him, though always on going into the field nothing was to be found. The people about
declare that the figure is that of the farmer who owned the place before Peterson bought it and who early one morning
was found dead in this field, and it was thought by his own hand.
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Last Updated: July 18, 2013
Historic Sites in Northeast Florida