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Bank Street, New York City

In 1951 Mr Harvey Slatin (an engineer) and his wife Yeffe Kimball (an artist) began renovations on their home in Bank Street, Greenwich Village. The property had been a large nineteen room boarding house which had been run by Mrs Maccario before the Slatin’s purchased it. Without lodgers, Mr and Mrs Slatin decided to make into a single family home again. However, they and their maid started to hear movement from the upper stories when they knew no-one was up there. They reported hearing a woman’s footsteps and a slight hammering on the second floor which would start around 11.00am and stop around 4.00pm. Each time the second floor was searched they found no explanation for the noises.

In 1957 Arthur Brodie was working in the house removing a ceiling that dated back to 1880. He found a metal container from the ‘The last remains of Elizabeth Bullock, deceased, cremated January 21, 1931’. When the ashes of Elizabeth Bullock were finally treated with respect and positioned on the family piano, the noises stopped.

Elizabeth Bullock had lived in Greenwich Village on Perry Street and worked for Farrar and Rinehart. Sometimes she would review mysteries for The New York Times. She died in January 1931 after she was hit by a car on Hudson Street. She passed away in a local drugstore where witnesses had carried her after the accident. She is supposed to have had a friend who lodged at the Bank Street address during the Depression and this probably explains how her ashes came to be in the ceiling.

The story was related in Meyer Berger’s column of The New York Times, 26 June 1957 and this drew the attention of Hans Holzer who carried out a séance in the house with a medium called Ethel Meyers.

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The Seance

In his recommended book "Ghost Sightings", Brian Innes mentions the seance done by Holzer and Meyers, along with a brief transcript of what was said:
Quote: As Mrs. Meyers went into a trance, she described a woman, "Betty" who walked slowly, being paralyzed on one side, and who had a heart condition. Speaking with an Irish-accented voice of "Betty", Mrs. Meyers said she and her brother Eddie, who now lived in California, came from Pleasantville, New York state, and that their mother's maiden name had been Elizabeth McCuller. "He didn't want me in the family plot -my brother- I wasn't even married in their eyes… but I was married before God… my husband went with Eddie… steal the ashes… pay for no burial… he came back and took them from Eddie…hide the ashes…Charles knew it…. Made a roof over the house… ashes came through the roof… so Eddie can't find them… and I like being with you!", nodding toward Mrs. Slatin. Who arranged the cremation? "It was Charles's wish, and it wasn't Eddie's and therefore they quarreled. Charlie was a Presbyterian… and he would have put me in hi church, but I could not offend them all. They put it beyond my reach through the roof; still hot… they stole it from the crematory". Then Mrs. Meyers relaxed, an emerged from her trance. Holzer suggested to Mrs. Slatin that the can should be buried in the garden at the back of the house, but she felt that it should be put on the family's piano in the living room – and there is remained.



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