Her favorite haunt has been torn down. Now all eyes are on he lookout for Overlee's homeless ghost.
Whether or not you believe in apparitions, you have to feel for Margaret Amelia Febrey, born in 1899, who recently lost her favorite haunt. The house of her youth, the Febrey-Kincheloe residence at 6030 Lee Highway, was demolished in March of 2013 to make way for a new Overlee Community Association clubhouse and pool.
Before the home’s demise, its history had long raised paranormal speculation. Built in the 1890s by Ernest J. Febrey (father to Margaret, who died young), the Victorian structure later became Crestwood Sanitarium, an old folks’ home. More than a few people are thought to have taken their last breath there, and the house contained some creepy contraptions, including large ceiling hooks, a caged sprinkler system and a dungeon-like stone basement.
Ever since Overlee purchased the property in 1957 (for use as a clubhouse and club manager’s residence) eerie happenings have been reported there: the jingle of keys turning in locks; doors slamming shut without reason; and lights going on and off at odd times.
Bob York, who lived in the house in the early 1980s, says he once heard ballroom music and dancing downstairs. The music ceased the minute he opened his door, then started back up as soon as he shut the door. Another time, he heard similar sounds moving from floor to floor, in direct opposition to his location. “They just kept moving around, like they were playing a game with me,” he says.
York’s brother, Greg, now the resident manager at Overlee, has his own tales from the occult. In the spring of 2012, he was clearing junk from the basement when he saw a girl in his peripheral vision and thought it was his daughter. When she didn’t respond to her name, he did a double take, only to see a transparent figure with “long curly hair…wearing a Civil War-type dress.” Later, he saw a 1907 photo of a Febrey family reunion taken outside the house and recognized the ghost: Margaret Amelia Febrey, 1899-1913.
In January 2013, an operator from the demolition crew assigned to raze the house similarly reported seeing a little girl in a vintage dress in the hallway for two to four seconds. He also identified her as the little girl in the picture.
“The house keeps delivering on creepy stuff,” Brian Yost, an Overlee coach and former team swimmer, said shortly before the bulldozers moved in. “It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we take the ghost’s home away.”
With the demolition impending, Overlee board member Megan McMorrow wasn’t taking any chances. She and her daughters tracked down Margaret’s grave in Falls Church and, on the 99th anniversary of her death, left a bouquet of flowers and a note to appease her that read, “Dear Margaret, We are building you a new house. Please come visit any time. Your Edgewood Family.”
Cue the Twilight music.