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Ghosts of the Roundhouse

The N.C. Transportation Museum, site of Spencer Shops, Southern Railway’s largest repair yard and now a state historic site, employed thousands of men in the boom years of the steam engine. Many worked at the 57-acre facility their whole lives.

Some died in accidents at the repair yard, at least one was murdered there. The number of hobos and drunks struck by trains steaming down the nearby tracks will never be known.

The Bob Julian Roundhouse seems to be the spook center of Spencer Shops Museaum. Unexplained footsteps and whistling – a ghostly apparition dressed in bib overalls seen more than once – an employee of the early 1900s going about his chores.

Some have reported seeing him carrying a chain or hammer, apparently intent upon completing the task at hand. For one museum volunteer, the spirit was so real he spoke to the apparition, mistaking him for another staffer he told him that it was closing time and the doors to the roundhouse were about to close. [Must have been the spooksperson].

Trick or Train: Haunted Roundhouse tours at N.C. Transportation Museum, Spencer n October 26-28. Roundhouse ghost tour (not recommended for under 8). For younger children, not-so-spooky children’s area. All children must be supervised by adult. Train rides depart Barber Junction Visitor Center at 6, 6:45, 7:30 and 8:15 p.m. Tickets for train ride and all activities $8, children under 3 free. 704-636-2889.

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