Home » Herman, the friendly ghost, haunting next-door shop. Or is it Henrietta?

Herman, the friendly ghost, haunting next-door shop. Or is it Henrietta?


SOMERSET — A possible pair of ghosts might finally be at peace this Thanksgiving after their former home was turned into a farmer’s market.

A lot of businesses have been there. But before those businesses, there was a home at 254 W. Main St. One could see a section in front of the structure that was the home until the building was demolished earlier this year.

But that demolition might have awakened some spirits unhappy with the loss of their home.

When demolition started, coincidences began at its next-door neighbor, Great Day Juice Co. at 253 W. Main St.

The occurrences began even before the recognition of Herman the ghostly figure or the possibility of Henretta, another ghostly figure, by the staff and owner of Great Day Juice Co.

When it began

It was 2021. The Great Day Juice Co. opened its doors to provide smoothies, juices and healthy foods for the public in an older section of uptown Somerset.

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“When we opened here, a lot of my staff, my younger staff, would be working and say, ‘I swear I saw someone walking up there in the building,'” said the smoothie and juice bar’s owner Michele Rhodes.

What made that strange was the building next door had been long deteriorated. The roof missing. Ivy was growing up the sides and front of the building, thick and green, hiding the building’s facade from passersby.

The crew laughed and joked about it. They didn’t think anything of it.

They had some fun with what seemed to be happening as the demolition of the adjacent building progressed.

“We had weird coincidences that would happen, that happen to everybody,” Rhodes said. “You’d talk about somebody – ‘I haven’t seen somebody in four months’ – and then the next thing you know they would walk in the door.”

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The staff and the owner would talk about products, ideas they might have. Within an instant, those discussions would show up on the owner’s personal social media.

They decided to name the phenomenon.

“We named it, Herman, among ourselves. We never told anyone else,” Rhodes said.

Everything happening was not scary, it was all positive and maybe a bit of fun.

“I think he was just trying to get our attention,” she said.

The silhouette

It was a Monday. The crew at the Great Day Juice Co. was getting ready for the week. In the adjacent building, the crew saw the silhouette of a person in the top-floor window. It looked very ghost-like. The sighting brought out the jokes. The silhouette looked more feminine, so the joke was it was Henrietta instead of Herman.

Then, Rhodes’ text message on her phone dinged.

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“I pulled up a note from someone named Henrietta,” she said. Rhodes said she did not know a Henrietta.

“Those kinds of coincidences that happened, so many times,” she said.

“It wasn’t that a ghost opened and closed doors. Literally within minutes of things being verbalized, they would happen,” Rhodes said.

But, this time was different. The note from someone named Henrietta moved Rhodes to find out more about the building next door. She reached out on social media asking if anyone knew anything about its history and the people who lived there.

Responses began to come in, among them Somerset Inc. Executive Director Regina Coughenour.

Sharing history

“I was told it was called the Countryman home,” Coughenour said.

“Apparently the Countrymans owned a store uptown that burned down in one of the fires and lived in that home. When their store burnt down they relocated their business to their home and started to build around it and transform it into a storefront,” she said.

The next thing

“I’m not heavy into paranormal. But, I’m not close-minded,” Rhodes said.

So, she and a few friends decided to visit with a Tarot card reader. What came from the visit was a bit haunting.

The reader did not know about anything happening at the smoothie and juice bar.

“The first card she put out was of a house,” Rhodes said.

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Later she told the group that a woman appreciated what was being done by the business, that she appreciated the business being there and that it provided a good space for her.

That was when Henrietta became more real, and Herman faded somewhat, because of what the group got out of the reading.

The little things, like stuff being moved, something falling on the floor, there was no bad feeling.

“It was all positive. Never anything bad. A couple of things to get our attention,” Rhodes said.

“Once we brought all that to the surface (with reaching out on social media for information and the reading), things started to quiet down,” she said.

“Energy has to live somewhere. It can live within something. Not just in the air. It can live within the stones,” Rhodes said.

This is probably why as the building was being disturbed by the demolition, more and more energy was being released, she said. And during the main thrust of the demolition, the coincidences became more and more frequent, Rhodes said.

All’s well?

However, ghostly incidents have been quiet lately after something new came to the lot.

Now, every Saturday morning through November, there is a So.Co. Farmer’s Market where the building used to stand. The market will reopen in the spring once the snow stops falling.

It seems Herman and Henrietta are satisfied – for now.