Did you know that Museum of the Albemarle is haunted? With all the artifacts in buildings some spirits can attached themselves to it, but it’s the good ghost not the evil one, if you disturb the ghost, they will become evil ghost and they will be a sword fight in the middle of the room, that would never happened.
Anyway, when Fred Fearing was still alive, he was 93 when he passed away in 2007, he made a point that he would take care of the museum; they did not need a security guard. He would be a security ghost for the building, so if a burglary wants to rob a piece of artifact in building, Fred would stop them scare the living day lights by saying “Boo” and the robbery would dropped the artifact and he would catch it without breaking it.
These days, if you ask the folks at Museum of the Albemarle, he’s also known as the hall of history’s resident ghost.
According to Pendergraft, Anne Burgess Jennings was working the front desk of the museum when a visitor asked directions to the bathroom. She was an out-of-towner, so she knew very little, if anything, about the local history here.
“She comes back five minutes later with a startled look,” says Pendergraft. “She told Anne that she met a man in the back hallway.”
The man was described as old with very white hair. The woman told Jennings that he had shared stories about the museum with her.
Pendergraft says the woman described the man’s baseball cap and a rose he was holding. He wore a shirt and shorts and talked about his wife Florence, and then he put his hat to his chest and told her local stories.
When the man was finished, the woman reported that he turned and walked away, disappearing at the end of the hall.
The woman, Pendergraft explains, did not know Fred Fearing, nor would she have known those details. Jennings, he says, told her that she had just described Fearing.
“The woman that was in the hallway seemed to be the only one who saw it,” recalls Jennings. “There were other people in the area. I was at the desk and there may have been someone else in the lobby.”
People that knew Fearing know that he loved history and was a big supporter of the museum. He served on the museum board and Pendergraft says Fearing would often bring things in to share with the staff.
He would also be the first to complain if he saw something that he did not believe was historically accurate. Fred Fearing was known to be ornery from time to time.
“He loved the museum. He was one of the biggest supporters of the museum, even to the last of his life,” says Pendergraft.
Although the museum building is relatively new, there have been other haunting reports there. Staff members are quick to say they’ve heard things, or even seen a thing or two.
Mary Tirak works on the third floor, in the administration offices. She says there have been plenty of reports but she hasn’t seen or heard anything. If she does, however, she says that she would be pretty unsettled.
“They all know I don’t like ghosts,” says Tirak. Jennings says the museum has been “spooky” in the past, but she just can’t put her finger on one incident outside of the Fred Fearing sighting. Of course, with a building full of old things, there’s no telling who came with the artifacts.
“There was one incident,” Pendergraft said “The staff had put on a presentation for their annual membership meeting when archeologist Clay Swindell reported something odd. The room had emptied out except for Swindell and I and Clay saw a guy walk behind the screen,” recalls Pendergraft, who says he saw no one other than Swindell. “Clay was sure someone walked behind the screen. Being a scientist, he doesn’t make up stories. If he’s having fun with you, you know he’s having fun” Like a regular Casper the friendly ghost.