Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Ghost Who Walked the Sausage Factory (New Orleans)

Lyle Saxon, Edward Dreyer, and Robert Tallant, Gumbo Ya-Ya: A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1945), pp. 285-6.

Miss Rica Hoffman, a New Orleans resident, remembered the case of 'The Ghost Who Walked the Sausage Factory,’ a fantastic crime and supernatural aftermath which occurred in the city some years ago.

'A long time ago, right before I was born, my mother met Hans Muller,' Mrs. Hoffman said. 'My parents and the Mullers had both just come from Germany, so naturally they were friendly. Hans Muller was a hard-working young man, but he was in love with another girl and tired of his wife, who, working very hard in the sausage factory they owned, grew old and wrinkled before her time. One night Hans pushed his wife into the big meat grinder in the factory. Nothing of her was left. But a few days later customers began to complain of bits of bone and cloth in their sausages. Even his girl, hearing the gossip, grew cold toward him and would not see him any more.

'One night, soon after, he heard a "thump! thump! thump!" around his boiler vat. Then he saw the bloody ghost of his wife, with her head crushed to a pulp, coming toward him. Shrieking, he fled from the place. Neighbors, hearing his screams, questioned him, but he said he had suffered a bad dream. He had told everyone Mrs. Muller was out of town.

'Then a customer found a bit of a gold wedding ring in a sausage. She called the police, but they found Hans Muller in his factory screaming and crying, a raving maniac. He kept saying his wife was coming out of the sausage grinder and would get him. He spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum.

‘A man bought the factory, but the ghost continued to appear. Nobody could stop it. At last Muller committed suicide in the asylum, and the phantom never appeared again. My mother ate some of the sausages Mrs. Muller was made into.'