Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #82

Cozmo's Food and Spirits in Stockertown, Pennsylvania, is supposedly haunted by a ghost named Marvin who hanged himself in a stairwell. The Pennsylvania Area Paranormal Association was called in to investigate.

Team researcher Regina Sell said she found in 1900 U.S. Census records that a Marvin Hoff, born in New Jersey, was living at the hotel with his mother Susan, an assistant cook.

Legends differ on the details, but the gist of the tale is Marvin was spurned by a woman he fell in love with at the saloon and committed suicide. [Link]
Could Marvin Hoff have been the jilted lover at the end of his rope?

Drew Smith

Hmmm...this doesn't seem quite right. First, Marvin Hoff, born in New Jersey, shows up in Bethlehem, PA, as a 7-year-old with his married mother Susan (an assistant cook) and his 9-year-old sister Louisa P. in the *1880* census.

In 1900, it may be the same Susan Hoff working as a housekeeper in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, PA, a widow with two living children. No sign of Marvin then.

But in 1920, there's a 46-year-old black railroad porter named Marvin Hoff living in Newark, and he was born in New Jersey with Pennsylvania parents. He's married with 6 kids. If that's the same Marvin, the ghost story seems to go out the window.


The Marvin living with mom Susan was in the 1880 census.(along with his sister Louisa).

I found the same Marvin, wife Josephine and children in the 1900 PA and the 1910 NJ Census listings. I'm pretty sure it's him because his sister Louise is living with him in the 1910 census, so this couldn't be the same Marvin that was hanged.

I thought the article said he was in the 1900 census with his mom.... I found him in the 1880.



Yes, Marvin seems to have survived his hanging. Must be some other Marvin haunting Cozmo's.

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