2 Quick Takes on Thanksgiving Ghosts Forgotten

Optional audio transcript

So, Thanksgiving has ghosts. Well, they have ghostly things that have happened on Thanksgiving. With every holiday celebration, there is always a ghost involved. This is the U.S. Thanksgiving as other countries do celebrate something different with their thanking holidays. So, this time around, Thanksgiving ghosts get to shine.

The history of the U.S. version of Thanksgiving is not a pretty one. Honestly, really nothing about American history is pretty. The first Thanksgiving was in 1621. After a draught in 1622, Thanksgiving was skipped for that year and continued in 1623.

It became a national holiday in 1789 thanks to George Washington. But the modern-day Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated by all until around 1941. There was an issue figuring out which day to celebrate the holiday on.

Because this holiday changed so much in its own history, there has been issues with the research portion of this posting.

And sorry to my international friends. This one is another post about the United States.

Therefore, we can’t have linear things

Of course, while doing my research on ghosts of Thanksgiving, there wasn’t much on ghosts haunting the day. It was just a coincidence or a tale of specific events. Folks talking about how a ghost ruined their dinner or tales from grandpa about murders of the past. So, I decided to make a change on what the post is about.

I am not one to celebrate Thanksgiving as I typically work on the day. Or, used to. On top of having Celiac Disease and not being a drinker, this holiday lost half of its appeal right off the bat. It is like being allergic to presents on Christmas. The base of the holiday did not lose the appeal, though. I live on a farm with my family, so we pretty much just make a slightly bigger dinner then call it a day.

So, you will start with some very minor ghost stories and then move on to the strange ghost ordeals that Thanksgiving has adopted.

The ghosts that haunt the day of Thanksgiving

There aren’t many on this front and only one really jumps out on the internet. Honestly, for a bit there it was the only story posted on many different websites. Oddly enough, they were different websites with the same text of information. The only change was the years of events.

Woman holding a pumpkin

But there must be something on ghosts of the time surrounding multiple killings and eating too much. Sadly, there really isn’t that is considered mainstream. The history of Thanksgiving is grand, but it doesn’t give much to the reader. Sure, you have some haunts surrounding Thanksgiving. But, with so little ghost haunts showing up, I was very confused.

How Thanksgiving started was incredibly deadly. We have ghosts of wars, but not of massacres and extreme famine? So, here are some mainstream haunts of the day.

The Thanksgiving ghost from 1902

In this year, there was a steam train heading to Geneva. An engineer and fireman were aboard, going over the Marsh Bridge. Unbeknownst to them, there was a ghost waiting for them.

A ghost seemed to be waving them down and the engineer slammed on brakes. There have been theories on who the ghost is, but there have been many accidents near Geneva. There was a crash in 1873 and another in 1875.

It could also be a Lubbock, Texas railroad haunt where death around the railroad could have an influence on the ghosts. You never know who is really haunting the area until you get a good representation of the ghost.

The entirety of Plymouth, Massachusetts

Now, Thanksgiving ghosts don’t exactly have to be murdered on the everchanging day of the holiday. November is the month of turkeys and squash, so any massacre followed by haunts is a go. Between the years of 1614 and 1620, there was such a massacre, one of the native Americans.

This massacre wasn’t with weapons, though, but with disease. To make things worse, there was winter. The buildings in Plymouth weren’t winter ready and 45 of the 102 pilgrims died from a variety of nature murdering them and scurvy.

So many people died those first years of colonization, and it is known that they still walk on the other plane. Captain Thomas Phillips, a known slave trader from the 1600’s, has a home in Plymouth. It is the only home in Massachusetts that is legally haunted.

This town is incredibly haunted because of the history it holds. From the pilgrims to the oldest burial site in America, it is the birthplace of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving ghosts.

Move over Halloween, ghost tours are in November now

Thanksgiving is in such a weird state on the calendar. After a few months of no major holidays, there are three in a row, two being very prominent for marketing. Thanksgiving is in the middle of these two, being shown in stores for about 2 weeks in October.

Thanksgiving ghosts getting a piece of the paranormal pie.
Thanksgiving getting a piece of the paranormal pie.

When you see the Halloween items leave the store, you know red and green Christmas items are replacing them. Thanksgiving get a few shelves of “Home is sweet” faux wood signs and some tiny plastic pumpkin pieces that didn’t sell well last Halloween.

But Thanksgiving is somehow getting a new tradition seen with Halloween. It is all about ghost tours. I’m definitely okay with this new tradition and hope that we get two spooky holidays a year. Seriously, there is so much to learn on ghost tours, and they are only really advertised one month out of the year.

So, why Thanksgiving ghosts and not Christmas ghosts?

Well, Christmas has its own ghosts and Thanksgiving just has more valuable history. When I say this, I do not mean religious. Thanksgiving ultimately is about thanks and forgiveness of the past. Nowadays, it is mostly about dealing with crazy family and a mass murder of turkeys, pigs, and sweet potatoes.

I am buying so many sweet potatoes on Friday. They aren’t apart of Black Friday, but I bet they will be on sale.

Anyways, Thanksgiving is the perfect time for ghost hauntings because of the history. There are, of course, many states doing Thanksgiving ghost walks. It is a craze that I am all about. With understanding our history and having ghosts involved, more people will be educated on the past and how horrible it really was.  You can’t have a massacre without ghosts following. You also can’t have a good grasp of history without a haunted walk around your town.

I honestly think I learned more fearing what will happen during a tour than in any classroom. Fear is the true motivator.

What you should do with the spirits of Thanksgiving ghosts

This country, like others, have a gruesome past. We cannot change it, but we can learn from it. Those who were in such a disarray of land wars, religious wars, and well, just death in general, are still around. The haunts of our past, even during a holiday, are still with us. You can take a walk around your local town and see what is haunted in your area.

Thanksgiving was one of the more deadly starts of the United States. You can look at the wars and see that is what they are. But this one forgotten holiday that marketing cannot get a good handle on was insanely dangerous at the start.

So, for this holiday, go on a tour and learn what your town did to handle what terrors occurred during colonization. It may not be a pretty history, but it is American history, and you must learn from it if you live in the states. If you don’t live in the states, research anyways and see how it compares to your own Thanksgiving. 5 countries do celebrate their own version of it.

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