Kentucky Ghost Stories: Uncle Fred
In the late 19th century, Alfred DuPont along with his brother came came to Louisville, Kentucky from Delaware to run a paper mill that their family business had recently acquired.
After getting settled into Louisville, the wealthy DuPont brothers built the mansion on South Fourth Street in 1879 for family members that would travel from Delaware to work for the family business. Alfred or as some called him, ‘Uncle Fred’ rarely stayed at the DuPont Mansion. He preferred to stay at the Galt House, closer to the action in downtown Louisville.
Alfred was a very wealthy man and had a large number of investments around town including a controlling stake in a railroad company. But hiding beneath the success and good deeds was a broken man who slept with married women and visited brothels on a regular basis.
It was no secret that Alfred visited prostitutes downtown and he had his eye on one in particular, a lady named Mrs. Payne, a widower in Louisville. Alfred spent an extraordinary amount of time with her. One night when Alfred went to be with his lover for hire, something was different. Alfred asked Mrs. Payne what was wrong and she began to sob uncontrollably. It was then that the woman revealed she was carrying Alfred’s child.
Unlce Fred quickly realized the shame he would bring upon his family by having a child out of wedlock with a lady of the night. Alfred began to yell at Mrs. Payne, telling her that there was no way he had gotten her pregnant. Surely this was another man’s baby.
Mrs. Payne was overcome with emotion and ran to a nightstand where she pulled out a gun. As Fred’s tone began to soften he told the woman they could talk about it, but she needed to put the gun down.
She didn’t put the gun away. She pulled the trigger. Alfred fell the floor clinching his chest as he began to bleed out into the floor in front of the mother of his forbidden child. He would die a few minutes later.
When the police came, the family went into crisis mode. Running around with a widow in the early 20th century was bad. Getting shot by a prostitute you got pregnant was even worse. The family went into panic mode and paid some officials off to have the story changed to Fred’s death being from a heart attack at a hotel The body was quickly sent to Wilmington Delaware by train where it buried in the family cemetery.
Today locals believe that Fred’s spirit has returned to the DuPont Mansion. Employees and visitors to the mansion have reported seeing a well-dressed man on the stairs who disappears as you get closer. The faint scent of a cigar has also been smelled in various parts of the mansion.
Uncle Fred hasn’t let death slow down his womanizing ways as guests at the bed and breakfast have felt someone touch them when no one else is around. Some guests have also reported feeling as if they are being watched by someone while they staid in the mansion. In addition to the DuPont Mansion, Alfred’s ghost has been spotted in nearby Central Park as well.