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Iowa Families:

The Myths and Legends


submitted by Dennis L. Sasse

     Whipple, a small cemetery Northwest of Griswold, Iowa in the 1860's was part of a small town named Whipple. Then it boasted a church, school, post office, a general store, blacksmith, and a few other retail stores. It lasted only a decade or so and now all that remains is the lonely graveyard bordered by tall evergreen trees.
     But on one night in the year of 1909 there was a ghost roaming the graveyard at the top of the hill! It was seen by young Art Sasse, a local man who was someday to become my grandpa. It was also seen seen by Jake, a man who was passing through the area working by the day doing farm labor.
     On that warm summer evening in 1909, Art & Jake was returning back from a house dance west of Whipple. To get home, they had to pass the graveyard in their horse drawn wagon they were traveling in. As they they drew closer to the cemetery, Jake became nervous and frightened until when they finally did pass the cemetery, he was shaking in his shoes!
     Then suddenly from behind a tombstone in the northwest corner of the cemetery, arose a white figure making the terrible wailing sounds. Art Sasse then yelled "GHOST", and poor Jake's heart almost stopped!    He leaped from the wagon seat and ran like the wind the two miles to the farm he was staying, screaming most of the way!
     Poor Jake never said much about the night he saw a ghost and he shortly moved on to other parts.   Art Sasse never forgot that night either and he told his son Lawrence the story who later told me. Funny thing was, Art was never scared of the ghost, why? Because he knew all the time it was his older brother Fred Sasse hiding there with a sheet over his head!
     By the way, you can still visit Fred out at the old Whipple cemetery. He was laid to rest there in 1973, 64 years after he scared poor Jake. His tombstone stands just a few feet south where he played a ghost in 1909!



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