Newberry seems to have had its share of witchings and hauntings. Some of the spirits, however, were evoked by overindulgence in another type of spirits.
The young men in the town hearing that the dam at Meadenhall’s Mill had broken down and that it would be a good time to seine the ford, procured a one-horse wagon, took the seine, their dinner and a good supply of whiskey, as it was supposed to be absolutely necessary to drink pretty freely while they were in the water.
It happened that John Young, one of the men who dragged the seine, drank too much and had to stop somewhere on the road and take a nap of sleep in order to get sober enough to go home. He went into the Quaker Meeting House as the most convenient place, lay down on a bench, soon fell asleep and slept until about two hours in the night.
When he awoke he heard a very mournful groaning under the floor beneath him. It frightened him very much, as he thought it must be a ghost, there being a large graveyard near by and the place having the reputation of being sometimes haunted by mysterious beings. He hunted for his hat, and as soon as he found it he started for home and ran as fast as he could until he came to the village – the distance being about four miles. He told several persons that it was a ghost that had disturbed him.
However, the explanation of the matter soon came. The same day a man by the name of Dickerd had been in the village and had managed to take rather more than was good for him. He started for home about dark in the evening. He had to pass the Quaker Meeting House on this way, and by the time he got to that point he was so far gone that he was not able to go any further, and lying down he crawled under the house, as it happened right under the position occupied by John Young, who was on a bench in the house. It this appears that Dickerd, all unconsciously, played ghost.