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Is There a Ghost in My House?


Surprisingly, this is not an uncommon question asked in the Ralph W. Stark Heritage Center, the Genealogy/Local History department at the Lebanon Public Library,
 
To determine if your house is haunted by a ghost from the past, first you would have to figure out who lived there, what events may haven place and if and when a person may have died in the house.
 
1.  Start with the year of your house’s construction, or take a guess if it is not known.
It is possible there has been more than one house at that location, but for now work from the angle that it is the current house. 
 
Resources to determine the year of house construction:
  • Lebanon City Directories
  • Boone County Courthouse –Recorder’s office (deeds) 

2.  Determine who lived in your house.

a. City directories from 1900 forward can be checked by address to see who the head of the household and spouse were. 

b.   For 1900-1940 you can check Federal Census records seeing who the minor children were in a household once you have established the parents’ names. 
 
3. Determine which of these people are deceased.

a. LPL’s online index of obituaries and death notices: Obituaries and Death Notices Page
Once a name is found in the index you can get the obituary from the microfilm.  How much information is in the obituary will vary greatly from one to the next.

b.Ancestry Library Edition database – subscription at Lebanon Public Library. 
(Free In-house Use)

c. Boone County Health Dept.  For a fee you can purchase death certificates which may list cause of death.

d. http://www.familysearch.org/

4.Figure out the cause of death of the deceased.  If an elderly person dies a peaceful death after a long productive life, this may not be the person haunting your house.  If there is a tragic story behind the death, it may have been reported in the newspaper.  The death certificate might state the cause of death.  An obituary may or may not state this information.  



 

Subscription Databases -View More-

Heritage Quest
(Access with library card number)

Database 1

P4A Antiques Reference
(Access with library card number)

Database 2

Ancestry Library Edition
(On-Site Only)

Database 3

World Vital Records
(Access with library card number)

Database 4