Worthington: Have you seen the ghost of Tom?

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Worthington:  Have you seen the ghost of Tom?

Kilbourne Commercial Building Worthington  Ohio

Have you seen the ghost of Tom?

Long white bones and the rest is gone?


There are lots of versions of the song on YouTube. 

Did you learn the song as John?  Or Tom?

I think I learned the song as "Tom."  I am going with the ghost of Tom because Worthington is named after Thomas Worthington.  Thomas Worthington was  the Governor of Ohio when settlers from New England founded Worthington.  I believe Thomas Worthington never visited Worthington...  Thomas Worthington was in Chillicothe, the state capital and a more settled and sophisticated part of Ohio at the time.  

Worthington: Have you seen the ghost of Tom... er I mean John?

Here's one version of the classic song. They do the second verse different than me too. No John or Tom is NOT standing on the banks of the Olentangy River... he is in downtown Columbus, just south of the confluence of the Olentangy and the Scioto at the Santa Maria, of course. 

On one version of the song on YouTube, someone commented with an idea which plagued me as a child.

"Ghost is different from skeleton, right?"

but really what rhymes with skeleton?

Worthington Ghost Story - the tale of Rap, Rap, Rap  - The story of Blue Frost Cupcake's building, it used to be a stationery store.  Like many Old Worthington buildings, it's had many reincarnations over the years. 

Worthington ghosts - The Worthington Medical College

The building pictured is the Kilbourne Commercial Building in Worthington, the oldest commercial building in continual use in the state of Ohio, built by James Kilbourne, the founding father of Worthington. 


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Comments (3)

Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Maureen, it is so interesting where these cultural stories come from. As a kid in my family there was a book of fairytales "Andersen's Fairy Tales" by Hans Christian Andersen. I had my head in that book all the time and begged my parents and sister to read to me. The same book as been around in the family until now. My daughter asks me to put it away when her boys are here. She thinks it is too scary. There are some of the illustrations that are pretty strange but for me, they just make we want to know the story. I like you post here....the photo is cool and the video....it was nice hearing the song. A rather scary Ghost is Tom or John? Have a good day!

Oct 27, 2011 12:45 AM
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Are Andersen's fairy tales scary?  I knew Grimm's fairy tales were scary.  Thanks for stopping by.

Oct 27, 2011 01:45 AM
Trebor Rose

I think it’s just a regional thing. “Have you seen the ghost of Tom?” Is more common in the UK, for example. While “ghost of John“ is more common in the United States where are you learned it likely depends on which state you are from.

Aug 22, 2020 07:38 PM