RICHMOND, Va. — Last Sunday evening, Union Hill resident Rachel Morgan accused Francis Attig, the ghost she co-habitats with, of consuming her ginger kombucha.
Shortly after purchasing the 64-ounce growler of small batch, Blue Ridge Bucha fresh from the fermented tap of Union Market, Morgan began to notice the bottle growing less and even less full.
“He’s been sneaking swigs all day,” Morgan stated. “It’s so obvious. He keeps burping. And, since he’s practically transparent, you can actually see the ‘bucha,” she added, gesturing to the bubbling fluid in Attig’s stomach and small intestine.
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Attig, an 18th century immigrant from Hamburg, Germany, has lived on and quietly haunted the high western bluff above Shockoe Valley for over 150 years. Morgan, a nurse at MCV who moved into the apartment in 2013, established an unofficial sublease agreement with Attig. In exchange for free range of the apartment and regular use of the television and Netflix, Attig employs his specter qualities to keep the cost of rent stabilized by spooking neighbors and the landlord.
Now the kombucha theft has Morgan questioning their relationship. “That growler cost $21. I thought it would last me a week,” she explained. “And I don’t even know what kind of germs he might have. Weird undead shit, probably.”
“I am pretty cool about his being a ghost and everything,” Morgan went on. “Not everyone would be this cool. But when he starts doing invisible stuff and stealing things, well, then he betrays my trust. That’s not OK … regardless of how long he’s been dead.”
Attig says his actions were not spiteful and he wants to atone for them. “When I was a child, my family ate pickled foods and we loved fermented teas,” he shared, wistfully. “Now Rachel brings home giant bottles. So many flavors.”
“I suppose, though, I am sorry,” he added. “I got carried away.”
A former soldier and cobbler, Attig has previously teased Morgan about her need for proper footwear. He plans to repay her for the kombucha by putting his craft back to use. “I shall make her bespoke boots,” he resolved, covering a belch with his translucent hand. “Maybe then she will even bring me a doggie bag from this ‘Metzger’ she’s mentioned.”