Breaking News Bar
updated: 10/26/2013 7:52 PM

What ghosts lurk through downtown Geneva? Local author leads tours

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Donna Latham shows a photo of an orb thought to possibly be the energy source of the ghost of the old Kane County Courthouse dubbed Clarence. She led a ghost walk through downtown Geneva Saturday hosted by the Geneva History Center.

       Donna Latham shows a photo of an orb thought to possibly be the energy source of the ghost of the old Kane County Courthouse dubbed Clarence. She led a ghost walk through downtown Geneva Saturday hosted by the Geneva History Center.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Donna Latham, author of "Ghost of the Fox River Valley" and resident of Batavia, talks to a crowd about the ghost of the Rev. Augustus Conant, whose presence has been felt at the present day Unitarian Universalist Church at 102 Second St. in Geneva.

       Donna Latham, author of "Ghost of the Fox River Valley" and resident of Batavia, talks to a crowd about the ghost of the Rev. Augustus Conant, whose presence has been felt at the present day Unitarian Universalist Church at 102 Second St. in Geneva.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Donna Latham, author of "Ghost of the Fox River Valley" and resident of Batavia, talks about the 1936 cold case murder of Geneva resident Nella Panunzi while leading a ghost walk through downtown Geneva on Saturday.

       Donna Latham, author of "Ghost of the Fox River Valley" and resident of Batavia, talks about the 1936 cold case murder of Geneva resident Nella Panunzi while leading a ghost walk through downtown Geneva on Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

Donna Latham, author of "Ghost of the Fox River Valley" and resident of Batavia, led four ghost walks through downtown Geneva on Saturday.

The walks focused on stories of several ghosts, including one called Clarence, seen around the old Kane County Courthouse dressed in 19th-century attire and wearing a derby hat, and known to be a prankster, floating papers from the top of the rotunda as well as slamming windows and doors shut.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Latham also told of the 1936 cold case murder of Geneva resident Nella Panunzi. Panunzi is thought to have been murdered out of revenge by a man 30 years her senior, named Rinaldo DiPietro, whose advances Panunzi rebuffed.

Panunzi lived at a home on Franklin Street, which is a private residence today. Her ghost reportedly has been seen in the front window of the home. Another ghost, thought to be her mother, has been seen crying in the area. DiPietro fled the area after the murder and was never found.

And the spirit of the Rev. Augustus Conant has been felt at the present day Unitarian Universalist Church at 102 Second St., Latham said.

Conant was the first minister of the town and helped organize the First Christian Society of Geneva in the building. He also founded the Kane County Anti-Slavery Society.

He died of pneumonia in 1863 while helping the wounded at the Battle of Murfreesboro. People claim to have felt his caring hand on their shoulders, as well as hearing sighing and footsteps.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.