Today a vacant lot sits on the corner of Steinwehr Avenue and Long Lane at the Southern end of town. Until recently it was the site of the “Home Sweet Home” Motel. It was purchased and removed to clear the area to its 1863 appearance.
During 2007 I met two men who gave me their haunting stories of this site. The first had worked at the motel years ago and was certain the spirits of soldiers who died on the site were lingering there. Calls would come into the office day and night with complaints from guests who were disturbed by the loud noises taking place on the property, banging on the doors or walls, footsteps coming from above. The source of these odd sounds could not be found or explained. Most remarkable were the footsteps above. The building was only one story!
The televisions would turn on or off for no reason, phones would ring, toilets would flush and the thermostats would change for no reason. (I’ve discussed this experience in my other books – ghost are curious souls, they play with anything with which they are unfamiliar).
The second story I received came from a utility worker who had been on the site during the demolition. He and a fellow worker had felt that they were always being watched. At first they just laughed it off and joked about the area being haunted. On this last day at the job however, they had an experience that wasn’t so funny. As they packed up their truck, they felt a sensation of something passing through them. It wasn’t a feeling of wind going around them, rather something solid going through them. As they looked at each other in disbelief they heard a voice behind them, as they turned they caught the fading image of a man turning to mist and being carried off by the breeze. He said there isn’t a day that goes by that he doesn’t see that sight over and over again in his mind.
Many a soldier died on that site and many linger waiting to return to their own Home Sweet Home.