Century-old newspaper stories of a
Cortland man buried alive for 24
hours and a haunted Cortland home
appear in a new book that compiles a
series of strange newspaper accounts
from 1860 to 1910.
Wisconsin native Chad Lewis released
Headlines of New York: Strange,
Unusual and Bizarre Newspaper
Stories 1860-1910” in early
up the original articles took about
a year and a half,” Lewis said.
has been researching paranormal
cases for more than 14 years and
began to write about them in the
last six years. He holds a master’s
degree in psychology.
researching UFO cases in my hometown
(Eau Claire) when I started running
across weird and unusual stories, a
lot of them from New York,” he said.
“I couldn’t believe the amount and
weirdness of them. I looked through
50 to 60 different newspapers.”
percent of the book, which is one of
three he has written on strange
newspaper articles, includes
articles from New-York-based
newspapers. Lewis said the other 10
percent comes from newspapers from
across the nation.
Cortland stories were printed in the
Syracuse Post Standard.
first, on Oct. 20, 1899, reported a
Cortland man being buried alive for
24 hours after being hypnotized and
placed in casket 6 feet in the
the same newspaper wrote about an
unspecified Cortland residence,
reportedly haunted. The article
states after the disappearance of an
Italian laborer, townspeople heard
unearthly noises including moans and
the sound of dripping blood, and saw
flashing lights in the windows.
historian Mary Ann Kane said she has
never heard of these stories
concerning Cortland, but said the
story of the haunted house isn’t
“It doesn’t surprise me because
there are innumerable homes in
Cortland that are supposed to be
haunted,” Kane said.
200 articles in the book, “Sounds Of
Death Struggle Heard In Haunted
House” is one of Lewis’ favorite
said he found the articles by
looking in libraries on microfilms
and through online resources.
reprinted each article and photo if
it had one, and also has information
about what the place would have been
like in the time the article was