Monday, September 11, 2017

The Ghost Train of Mont Pleasant

We can't wait for Halloween over at the Schenectady County Historical Society, so when one of our volunteers found this letter about the "Ghost of the 9:15", we were thrilled and wanted to post it right away. There is not much backstory to it, so we've transcribed the letter below.

December 28, 1992

To: Larry Hart

Larry, here is the real story of the "Ghost" Train.

As a teenager living in Mt. Pleasant in the early 1950s, entertainment for young teenagers was non-existent. The "flockey" as it was called was our playground, the wooded area between Mt. Pleasant and Bellevue. We explored and knew every inch of that land from Altamont Ave. to Lower Broadway Hill.

The "Ghost of the 9:15" was the actual name of the event.

The Ghost was a bed sheet attached to a fishing pole and dangled from a tree branch which was along side the railroad tracks. The white sheet was painted black on one side so as not to be seen when transporting our ghost to and from the tree. The sheet was reversed and the black side covered the fishing pole.

The original story that we had heard was that a hobo was killed in that location years before and that his ghost haunted the 9:15 train. We helped the story to be true. 

You could probably see the ghost train pretty well from this vantage point of the Congress Street bridge. Courtesy of the Grems-Doolittle Library Photo Collection.
We could travel the Mont Pleasant area from yard to yard, alleyway to alleyway in the dark as well as in the daytime. Our schedule was to pick up the "Ghost" bed sheet attached to the fishing pole around 8:30. Wait until it was dark enough, then walk or run from the alleyways between Cutler and Davis Terrace, down to Park St. into the woods and down to 3rd Ave. We then would climb the tree, wait for the train, flip the bed sheet over to the white side, dangle it as the train passed, flip it to the black side, down the tree, through the woods, alleyways, and home. When the news about a ghost got out of control and crowds would gather to try to see him, we would not appear that night and eventually retired him for good. 

That's the story of the "Ghost of the 9:15"

Yours truly,
One time member of the "Cutler St. Gang"


  1. Love this story! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Beverly Zarzycki MurphySeptember 13, 2017 at 6:20 PM

    Can't believe I never heard this story. I lived on Davis Terrace until May 1955, sounds like I missed out on great fun.

  3. i to grew up in that area,had a lot of crazy times and did a lot of crazy shit

  4. Thanks for the replies, everyone. Glad you liked it!

  5. Those 2 houses in the picture looks like the 2 on top of the hill looking up behind the DSS Building today on Broadway... In back of DSS parking lot, what do you think eh???? Wow!!!

  6. I used to work at the broken arrow bar at the corner there. The owner's name was janiec. Bobbie, the Vietnam veteran son and Stephanie(?) Was a body builder when female body builder were RARE.
    There was a family across the street that had a daughter Ruth.
    A guy who was an old whiskey drinker was sweet pea, he was a crusty old bastard, lol.