Among the least-known form of Edward Stratemeyer’s writings are his short stories for newspapers, especially the Newark Sunday Call. This weekly from his home town ran a group of stories by Stratemeyer that were timed and themed to the holidays of the year. With only a local audience in mind, locations known to Newark-area readers were included. When some of the stories were republished as filler material in other story papers, they were edited to removed the regional details.
“The Ghost of Flydown Hill” is a ghost story from 1894 published about ten days before Halloween for the young people of Newark, New Jersey. The story shows Stratemeyer’s and his readers’ interest in bicycles. Even the ending says something of his views on hauntings of this type that would continue in series like the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.
On occasion we will publish other scarce Stratemeyer stories of this type. More than a dozen examples of his newspaper short stories, with variant texts, found illustrations, introductions and annotations may be seen in our Holiday Stories for Boys, volume 1.