In 1908 more than 2,400 Pennsylvanians succumbed to typhoid fever. But as far as Hauntingly PENNSYLVANIA™ can tell, only one of those souls was claimed to have imprinted his face in the window of the family home.
The home in question sat on 10th Street in Reading, Berks County. (It is still a residential site so no further location details will be provided.) In the early years of the 20th Century it was occupied by a tailor named Oscar Angstadt, his wife Annie, and their two children.
The couple had been married for 24 years when Oscar contracted typhoid fever. The disease, which lasts for weeks, kept Oscar bedridden and during his sickness one of his few joys was watching approaching storms and other spectacles of nature from his bedroom window.
Sadly, Oscar died from his illness in October of 1908 at the age of 47. His now adult children still lived with their mother which surely strengthened the widow as she administered her husband's estate. Likewise, a boarder probably helped ease the financial burden created by the loss of Oscar's income. Life seemed to go on normally at the 10th Street home until one day in May of the following year.
Both Annie and her daughter Estella were shocked and frightened to see Oscar's face in the window out of which he had so often stared. The image was, they said, very much like a photograph's negative with the features clearly recognizable. And, the women said, the apparition came only during the day.
The subsequent reappearance of Oscar's likeness was alarming enough that Annie Angstadt called the police. Reading's Sergeant Cressman came to inspect the window but found nothing out of the ordinary. Meanwhile, Oscar's widow and daughter were beginning to think someone was playing a cruel joke. They scrubbed the window repeatedly but still the vision returned.
Neighbors soon got word of the curious happenings at the Angstadt home and crowds began to gather outside. In their efforts to see the dead man's face in the window, these strangers trampled a fence and damaged other property. The police were once again called - but this time, to protect the home from unwanted visitors.
No further reports of Oscar's face in the window are found after May of 1909. Perhaps the family downplayed later occurrences to dissuade another round of trespassers. Or perhaps Oscar had simply passed on to another place - with a window offering a better view. 💀