During the Ackerly Green Secret Society, Saberlane began encountering a ghost within the Ackerly Green offices. The ghost first appeared while Saberlane was upstate, when some office neighbors filed a noise complaint saying it sounded like a brawl was going on in the office. Saberlane drove back to the office and, when he entered, saw someone looking back at him for a moment before disappearing. Saberlane said he could barely tell what he looked like, noting that he had a mustache and maybe a short beard or unshaven stubble. His hair wasn’t long, but it was kind of disheveled and hanging in his face so he couldn’t really see much else.
In “The Ghost of Ackerly Green,” Saberlane describes hearing someone walking about one night in the office. He opened the door and saw the ghost, Woolie, who was frantically pacing the office. Saberlane described him as not looking like a typical ghost, but more of a blur who sometimes came into focus. He was in clothes from another century, possibly from the 17th or 18th century, and he had a blue coat on. Parts were light blue, some were darker blue, and the colors looked like they were moving, changing. The two were able to communicate with each other. The ghost told Saberlane that he was a member of the Path of Wool and that he was massacred by the Silver.
Saberlane encountered the ghost again soon afterward and nicknamed him “Woolie,” in reference to his origins. This time, Woolie told Saberlane that by going to the old Ackerly Green warehouse while wearing the Herman the Hippocampus pins, he had triggered some of Woolie’s memories to return. He then told Saberlane that there were strange shards left in his new memory—small pieces that didn’t belong there. He gave them to Saberlane, saying he believed they belonged to him and his friends, the Mountaineers. These pieces typically came in the form of clues and riddles that would appear at the end of each memory, prompting another search for the next lost pieces of memory.
Woolie would appear to Saberlane four times in total, each time reciting a memory recounting his discovery of magic and Neithernor, culminating in the story of his death at the hands of the Silver. After the fourth memory, Woolie became distraught in his grief over what he had lost, and Saberlane attempted to console him by sitting beside him on the floor. This was the last time Woolie appeared in the office, but Saberlane later discovered that he was experiencing dreams through Woolie’s eyes, which culminated in the recording of a final memory in Saberlane’s dream journal without Saberlane’s realizing. The Mountaineers discovered that a piece of Woolie had somehow latched onto Saberlane’s mind, which affected his speech and mood and made him feel out of control.
The Mountaineers cast a double grounding hex, effectively separating and protecting the two consciousnesses of Woolie and Saberlane, but it wasn’t until Saberlane was able to knock into Neithernor for the first time through a door in the abandoned City Hall subway station that he was able to fully extricate Woolie’s presence from his mind, reuniting him with the spirits of his family and bringing his spirit peace.
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