The English family moved into the Peel Mansion in the 1920s. Mr. W. L. English was an agricultural agent for the Frisco Railroad. He purchased the house and 180 acres on which he planned to have an apple orchard. He was also the man who put stucco on the outside of the mansion. There were two girls and two boys in the family. The family member we're going to look at is daughter Margery, who had a twin sister Elizabeth. The kids had the run of the farm. They also listened to a lot of tall tales told about the house by tenant workers.
One day when Margery was outside playing tennis, she suddenly felt a pain in her side. The doctor was called but could find nothing wrong with her. What the doctor may not been aware of is that with twins, sometimes one of the twins will have their appendix on the opposite side of what is normal. That was the case here and the appendix had swelled and ruptured. The surgeon was called for and arrived with his nurse. By this time Margery wasn't doing very well. Two kitchen tables were brought to an upstairs bedroom and scrubbed down, and sawdust was put on the floor. The surgeon opened her up and the infection was so bad the nurse fainted. The doctor determined that there was almost no chance she would survive. The doctor didn't even sew her back up. The nurse was left behind to care for the girl. For the next 10 days, the girl stayed alive. At one point Margery woke up to see her father beside her crying. She asked him why he was crying and he said "because you're so sick". She looked at him and replied "don't worry, I feel so wonderful." At that point she passed away.
The father called the nurse who pronounced the girl dead and put a sheet over her body. Margery slowly felt herself being lifted up and passed through a wall. The next thing she knew she was in a meadow floating above the ground. At that time she could see no colors. Everything was peaceful and quiet and she wasn't afraid. Then there was a bright light she felt was beckoning her. She headed toward it but ran into something that would not let her go any further. She tried to go around it, but she couldn't. She was unable do anything but go back the way she came.
Margery was under the sheet for 5 hours when all of a sudden, someone saw the sheet move. They pulled the sheet off of her and much to their surprise found her alive. They went ahead and dressed the surgical wound. When she was able, the family moved her to a bed downstairs where she could be a part of family activities. For the next year, all she did was recover from her illness as daily routines went on around her. The tenant workers on the farm who were very superstitious said her spirit couldn't finds its way back to the body because it was covered with a sheet. Margery said she never talked to anyone about the experience because she didn't believe anyone would listen to her, and people just didn't talk about death back then.
One time after Margery was married, she brought her husband, William Toalson, back to see the house. At that time the house was owned by Lee Allen. As the Toalsons walked around the house, she noticed that the room where she had her surgery was locked. When she asked why, she was told he "didn't want anyone going into that room because it was haunted by a little girl." She said she tried to tell him that she was the one who had died in that room, but he didn't believe her.
She said that the events of that day didn't make her more religious, but rather more spiritual. She also had strong views on resuscitation and life support, believing that the machines deprived the dying person of a pleasant experience. It keeps them hovering and won't let them go. She has never been able to fully understand why she had to come back to her body. She did believe in life after death, and she believed death would be one of the most beautiful experiences anyone will ever have. As a result she was not afraid or anxious about dying again. Margery passed away again in August of 2000.