March 25, 1985


Who needs water for a bath?

56 Washington Street has been haunted since the late 1800s, with the first reported death in the home occurring on July 1, 1888.

The death was ruled a suicide, an act committed by Harlan Ellis, aged 33. It is said that he drank an extensive amount of brandy and slipped beneath the water of his bath.

Without any sort of rhyme or reason, later residents of 56 Washington Street died in that same bathtub.

The first to follow Harlan was his grandson, who passed away at the age of 11 in the tub. A new owner died in 1923. Three more followed in rapid succession between the years 1934 and 1944.

All drowned in the tub, and each death was ruled a suicide.

Then, for almost fifteen years, nothing at all happened.

On August 3rd, 1969, Mike Anderson drowned in his bathtub, and his wife, Emily, learned after the fact about the deaths attributed to the cast iron tub.

Furious, she stripped the plumbing out of the bathroom and after several years, she abandoned the house.

While the building is still technically owned by the Cross National Bank, no one resides within it, and the town of Cross does not press the Bank for the taxes.

Although the house is empty and hazardous to explore, urban spelunkers break into 56 Washington Street to see if the stories of it being haunted are true.

Other deaths have occurred among these explorers, of course. Accidental fallings, overdoses and the like, with those who have examined the property claim to have been chased out by the malignant spirit of a middle-aged man slurring his words.

The most recent death was discovered on March 25, 1985, when Malcolm Delk was found in the cast iron bathtub, his lungs, and stomach filled with bath water.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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