The Church Apparition Part Two

      Just then another knock, and the priest began to speak to the ghost, but was cut off when the artist yelled, for he had seen the ghost sitting in the fourth pew. He could see him clearly, and later, when the priest told him he imagined it, he would become angry, forgoing any further conversation and retiring to bed. The priest, though, would have his own experience later that night.
      The priest lay in bed. What really was that the artist saw? He wasn’t sure he exactly believed the artist, but he hadn’t meant to upset him either. As he was beginning to fall asleep, he heard three clear knocks close by in his room. They sounded odd—not quite something of this world. As with anything before in his life, he knew there was a dead man in his room. He began to pray. He prayed for the dead man, and as he did so, he began to feel the chill in the air and soon fell asleep. 
The next few nights passed in peace. The priest congratulated himself on freeing the ghost.

      “I really think I scared the ghost.,” laughed the priest. The artist smiled and began to climb up the scaffold.

      Knocks from one corner, then the other.

      The artist felt cold and wanted to leave. He finished the paint he mixed and left. However, the priest grabbed hold of his arm. 

      “Let’s face it.”

      The artist freed himself and looked to see the ghostly form of a man, all in black, glide down the aisle toward the sanctuary light.

      “Father! Do you see him? There! There! He’s just blown out the sanctuary light.”

The priest went to investigate, while the artist left.

      The following weeks passed with a familiar rhythm. The artist and the priest would work, and as soon as the chill became present, the artist would pack up and leave.

           On the nights that the priest did not join, the artist would make newspaper blinders and do his best to ignore the ghost, even when the ghost began to burn candles.

      This story is quite incredible and is written in detail by Louis Adamic in his article for Harper’s. The artist’s name is Maxo Vanko, and the priest who was the Father of the Croatian Catholic Church of St. Nicholas is Father Zagar. 

      The author wrote that he believed his friend and wrote the article before other publications picked it up.

      What I find amusing is that in his book “Real Hauntings: America’s True Ghost Stories,” Hans Holzer apparently speaks to the priest and is still upset at having never seen the ghost for himself. “Father X. paused. I was impressed by his well-told story, and I knew at once why Father H. wanted no part of us. How could he ever admit having been in the presence of a spirit without having seen it? Impossible.”

  1. The Millvale Apparition
  2. Holzer, Hans. “The Restless Ghost of the Parish Priest.” Real Hauntings: True American Ghost Stories.

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