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As It Was: Current McCully House Owner Awaits Ghost

It is said that the McCully House in Jacksonville has been haunted by a “friendly, calming” gentleman sitting in a chair.  Some who say they sighted him believe he is the ghost of the original owner of the house, Dr. John McCully.

McCully left town in financial disgrace shortly after the house was built in 1861.  He never returned.  His wife, Jane, and their three children did not despair for long.  She took in boarders, started Jacksonville’s first school for girls, and became a pillar of the community.  Her family lived in the house until 1946, and it remained a boarding house for many years.

The ghost story says McCully died and his ghost returned to haunt the house he had left so abruptly and so long ago.  Mary Ann Ramsden, who lived in the McCully house for 12 years, said that guests reported seeing the ghost sitting calmly in a chair in their room.  Instead of screaming with fright, the guests “felt comforted, like he was basically a nice guy,” Ramsden said.

The McCully House is now a restaurant and inn.  Its current owner is still waiting to meet the ghost.

Sources: Darling, John. “Mystery mansions: Historic haunts of Jacksonville.” Medford Mail Tribune, 23 Apr. 2006; Historic Jacksonville, Inc.: Bringing history to life, Historic Jacksonville, Inc.  http://www.historicjacksonville.org/mccully-house-1.  Visited 18 Aug. 2017.

Sharon Bywater of Ashland, Oregon grew up in Southern California. She taught English literature and writing at Syracuse University in New York, where she also wrote and edited adult literacy books and published freelance articles in local media. Later, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked as an international telecommunications policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has Master’s degrees in English and Communications Management.