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Clipped From The Los Angeles Times
THE "SPOOK" HOME. 1 Eemarkable Case Tried at San Bernardino. MRS. NEWMAN'S PET HOBBY. She Wanted to Build a House Where Ghosts Could Peel at Home and En-Joy Themsolves. Mra.Cla.raS. Foltz, the San Francisco lady, lawyer, was seen at tlie Hollenbecte Hotel by a Times reporter yesterday regardlne the sensational "spook" caso which has just been tried in Saa Bernardino before Judge Campbell. - The case is one of the most peculiar suits that has over been tried In this State, and shows how believers m.the wild-eyed doings ot "spooks" and "aich" can be played with. It seems that the plaintiff, Mrs. E. P. Thorndyke Newman, owned a beautiful tract of land near San Bernardino, valued at 515,000. She is a strone believer in spirits and things, and for some years she has hail a strong desire to build up a spirit home on this Karden spot of the South. Her control, or in plain Ungo, the "spook'Muat tells her wbat to do, put this idea in her head as the departed ones, who wish to come back to this earth and dance around In white sheets and iriRhtea the life out of old maids and midnight wanderers, ate getting tired ot prancing around old barns and deserted houses that are inhabited by bats and rocs and half -starved ,tramps. The spooks want a real nice place, and as Mrs. Newman la a kind-heartedpook sharp, she made up her mind to' build a palace where ghosts can dance around on fine carpets and have a hien old time without boim; disturbed by "unbelievers and people who are fond: of chasing ghosts and shooting at them on :he slightest provocation. Mrs.' Newman firmly believes that spooks have the very Suest quality of nerves, and her homo was to be a place where the coarse and brutal unbeliever could not enter. : After she had matured her plans' for the ghost home, she suddenly discovered that the means were not forthcoming, but she did not givo up, and when the defendant in the action that has just been tried put in an appearance in the person of O. A. Smith and informed the lady that he was of her belief and was anxioun to help her in iuildinga spook home, she was happier than she had been tor years and as she did not know . that Mr. Smith represented the South .Riverside Land ana " Water Company who wanted her ghost home for water purposes, she soon fell In his way of thinking and a trade. was soon fixed up, as Mrs. Newman was promised a home for life In the spook palace that was to be erected by ilr. Smith, who represented himself to baa rich man. Soon after the trade was made, Mrs. Newman learned that Smith was simply the agent for the water company- as the laud was transferred to that concern, and when she had her eyes opened to the fact that her spirit dream was not to be carried out, she became very angry and wanted the land back. The water company could not see it In that light, -and the defender of spooks employed Mrs. Foltz and Byron Waters to bring suit for the recovery of the ghost home. In their pleadings the story is told in the following language : "That plaintiff holds certain religious views regarding spirits of the dead and their coir.muoication with the living, and that she had looked upon nnd considered it her life-work to fit up a home where congenial people of like faith could congregate and be made welcome, and where free discussion ot thoir religious views might bo indulged in. That the beauty of the surrounding ecenerx.the abundant supply of water, the medicinal nroDBrtiea of flnwini? springs .upon the land, -. the. .excellence ul urn cumate, ana tne removal of the place from the noise and turmoil of business, all rendering it admirably suited for such a home, and had inspirea plaintiff with a strong desire to have said property converted into such a home, and to that end she had already made plans for the improvement ot said property for such purpose. That owing to falling health and tinancial reverses, plaintiff was prompted to dispose of the property to some one who was in harmony with her religious views, 'and who would in some measure' carry out her (plaintiffs) plans. Thatonly with a view of said property being used for the purposes s aforesaid wouta plaintiff ever dispose of It; and plaintiff was particularly desirous that said property should, not fall into the hands of a corporation." The defendants denied In their answer that Smith made any such representation, and that Mrs. Newman was well aware that the land was to goto the water company ftben Smith purchased it. A number of witnesses were sworn ' on hotb sidesw and several highly-amusing points were brought out, especially when Airs. Newman was on the stand. . She told how she :was away from home when Smith first called, but one of her spirit friends told him when he could find her. and as soon as she caught sight of ntm she believed the spirits had sent him. He told her that the spooks bad so described her that-he could not mistake her. and after a duly -recognized spook introduction had taken place Mr. Smith informed l.nr that he was a rich widower and, like Mrs. Newman, he had believed for 'a number of years that the dear departed dead should have a beautiful home on this earth where they can kicu lip their light fantastic corns without being, molested by the unwashed who delight In poking fun at every sure-enough spook that comes baok to earth. Mr. Smith was perfectly willing that Mrs. Newman should Join him' in this great spirit enterprise, but before be began the construction ot the real haunted house on improved plans she would bavo to deed him the land. She believed him and the transfer was made, but as soon as he got the upper hand he threw off the spirit mask and resold the land to the water company. After hearing testimony on both sides the case was duly argued and submitted to the honorable court evening before last Mrs. Foltz thinks she made out a good caso for her client, and believes the court will render a decision in her favor. If ne does she has not the slightest doubt but that the spook borne will be built by Mrs. Newman in duo time, and then S in Bernardino will have the only haunted house to order in the United States, and people who are curious about ghosts can join the new order and see spooks to tbelr nearts' content.