Dr. Tobias Southington prided himself on his ability to debunk spiritualists and ghost stories.
In his travels along the Eastern Seaboard, he learned of the many peculiarities of Cross, and decided to pay the town a visit. Dr. Southington was well-known among literary circles for a variety of articles he had written regarding the ignorance of most of the population and their willingness to believe in the supernatural.
He informed several of his colleagues of his intention to, ‘lay bare the false and wild claims’ of the town. His private secretary went so far as to send out letters to well-known scholars in the area, inviting them to attend his debunking sessions.
On March 31, 1919, he arrived at Cross via rail, and was surprised when no one greeted him at the station.
In what some witnesses described as ‘a huff,’ Dr. Southington demanded to be taken to the most active of Cross’ hauntings.
The person he made the demand upon was none other than Duncan Blood, who politely advised the doctor to get on the next train and to peddle his wares in Boston town.
When Dr. Southington pressed the issue, Duncan was seen to shrug, and he pointed to a small broom closet in the train station.
“That,” Duncan told the man, “you might be able to handle.”
Furious, Dr. Southington opened the broom closet and entered it. As he turned around to mock Duncan, an unseen entity grabbed Dr. Southington from behind and dragged him screaming into darkness before the door slammed shut on its own accord.
Several witnesses tried to open the door but found that it was stuck fast. By the time it was opened, the doctor was gone. His clothes were in a pile on the floor, as was most of his beard. The rest of him was missing and remains so to this day.
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