In 1872 in New Orleans there was a haunted cell in the Fourth Precinct Police Station. An old woman named Ann Murphy had hanged herself, it was definitely proved that several suicides which occurred in the cell after her death were instigated by her ghost.
The following appeared in the New Orleans Times, November 1872.
It appears that a few years ago "a little old woman" named Ann Murphy committed suicide by hanging herself in this cell, and since that event no fewer than thirteen persons shut up in the cell have attempted to destroy themselves in a similar manner, four of these attempts being attended with fatal results. One of those lately cut down before life was extinct was girl named Mary Taylor, who on recovering consciousness declared that while lying on the floor of the cell she was aroused by a little old woman, dressed in a faded calico cress "with brown jeans and josey", no stockings, and down-trodden slippers, with a faded handkerchief tied round her head. Her faded dress was bound with a sort of reddish-brown tape, and her hand was long, faded and wrinkled while on the fourth finger of her left hand was a plain thin gold ring. "This little woman," said the girl, "beckoned me to get up and impelled me by some mysterious power to tear my dress in strips, place one end of a strip round my neck and tie the other to the bars. I lifted my feet from the floor and fell. I thought I was choking, a thousand lights seemed to flash before my eyes, and I forgot all until I found myself in the room with the doctors and police bending over me. It was not until then I really comprehended what I had done, and was, I believe, under a kind of trance or influence at the time, over which I had no control."
What prompted Ann Murphy to hang herself was apparently never ascertained. She was not known to have evinced an suicidal tendency prior to her occupying the cell, or while she was in it. Although no tragedy had occurred in the cell before Ann Murphy's advent to it, it was rumored to have been haunted for a long time, so that it was quite possible her suicide was due to the prompting of some very evil supernatural entity.
The police even tested the supernatural occurrences by placing a man who had been picked up for drunkenness inside the cell. They had several officers placed outside ready to intervene. Despite being heavily intoxicated when arrested, later that night the police barely saved him as he was attempting to hang himself. After this event, the cell was closed up and used only for storage, no other prisoners were placed there.
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