The ghost of Bessie Bartlett in Parkersburg
In the 1980s, a family bought a home in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The father took photos of the interior of the house, including the basement. When the photos were developed, he was shocked to see the ghostly image of a young girl in a white dress. She seemed to have her hands folded neatly in front of her.
The family decided to investigate the history of their home and discovered that the house was built in the 1870s by Dr. Charles Bartlett and his wife, Margaret. The Bartletts had several young children, including a daughter named Bessie. Dr. Bartlett was a successful dentist, and ran his practice out of the family home. Unfortunately, a typhoid epidemic swept through Parkersburg in 1879, and Bessie, who was around 10 at the time, caught the disease.
Dr. Bartlett was at a loss of what to do. He knew that if anyone found out that Bessie was ill, the home and the family would be quarantined, and his business would be ruined. He also couldn’t bear the thought of sending his daughter away to a hospital, left alone to be cared for by strangers.
In a desperate decision, Dr. Bartlett arranged for the basement of the home to be turned into a hidden sickroom for Bessie. He had hoped the cool air of the basement would help break her fever, and that her recovery would be much swifter if she were cared for by family members.
However, Bessie eventually succumbed to the fever and was found dead in the basement. She was buried in the family plot in Odd Fellows Cemetery, off of Murdoch Avenue in Parkersburg.