Here are three photos you’ve never seen from my Laconia investigation, and a larger copy of one you may have seen.
These pictures are from the haunted house near Laconia’s Parade Road. It’s a private residence, but in Colonial times, it had been a tavern.
Much later, according to stories told by the homeowners, someone was locked in the attic, possibly for years.
There’s plenty of physical evidence, including personal belongings from long ago. It’s difficult to tell which had been left there by previous homeowners, and which belong to the current residents.
But few attics have so many marks scraped into the walls and door.
This is a follow-up from my post about Rue Cote’s book, Ghost Hunting in Tilton, NH. It includes some of my story about an investigation in a private – and very haunted – home in Laconia, near Parade Road.
The scratch marks at that home’s attic were some of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen in a private home. It was reminiscent of hash marks carved into prison walls and in orphanages and hospitals where people were practically imprisoned.
The first photo shows the wall near the attic door, close to an old-school light switch. I’m not sure if the scratched-in date (near the top of the wall) says 1895 or 1896. I think it’s probably 1896.
Either way, it’s creepy.
Next, here are the marks on the inside of the attic door (by someone inside the attic). Some look like they may have been etched with chalk.
Next is a photo you may have seen before (in my article – Laconia, NH’s Ghostly Places) but this is a larger copy. It hasn’t been adjusted or changed in any way, aside from reducing it to fit on this webpage (and adding my name as photographer).
The fourth (next) photo shows an area just to the left of the previous photo. I did adjust the contrast (and I added an arrow) so you can see the date scratched into the wall: 1892.
If the photo at the top of this article shows 1895 or 1896 scratched into the wood, it’s possible someone was locked in that attic for a very long time. Three or four years, at least. That’s sad, but also shocking.
You can read more of my Laconia story in Rue’s book.
For me, the most chilling part of this Laconia investigation was what people said, afterwards.
I talked about this house with several friends in Tilton. Every one of them had a story about a relative that had been locked in their family’s attic, years ago. Or, they knew a neighbor or nearby cousin with a relative locked in the attic.
I understand that in the 18th and 19th centuries, mental health facilities could be barbaric. It may have seemed more humane to keep the person at home.
But, in an attic…? And for years…?
That explains a lot about why Tilton and nearby towns are so very haunted.
Tilton’s ghosts became famous in 2010 when the Ghost Hunters TV series featured Tilton’s haunted 1875 Inn.
After that, many ghost hunters came to Tilton and New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, looking for haunted places.
They found them… Lots of them.
Tilton may seem like a typical New Hampshire town.
After you learn about its ghosts, I think you’ll agree: Tilton is one of the Granite State’s strangest, most haunted towns.
Of course I’m biased, but I think the Tilton-Webster connections are fascinating. The Tilton area seems an odd place for two such eccentric, powerful – and haunted – families to settle, and to be among the area’s ghosts.
The Tilton link to the popular book & TV series, A Handmaid’s Tale, was a complete surprise. I’ll bet there’s more to Peter Tilton’s story, and if two of Oliver Cromwell’s supporters are buried near Tilton’s Connecticut house, in unmarked graves… well, I’d be very interested in investigating there.
Like author Rue Cote, I’m curious about Northfield, too. I’ve researched near the abandoned town center, without realizing anything important had been there. I never knew about the hidden cemetery, either. I’m always interested in haunted sites that have been concealed for at least 100 years.
Tilton is a sleepy little New Hampshire town off I-93, in the Lakes Region. If you’re going to be in that area, I recommend getting this book while it’s 99 cents. Then read it to plan some unique ghost hunting adventures when the weather improves.
(Also, if you have any Tilton-related ghost stories to share, leave them in comments. I’m very interested in that part of New Hampshire, especially since it seems such an unlikely place to have so many ghosts.)
Any site that claims to have a “satanic goat” (not sure what makes it “satanic”), recurring blood spatters, and three apparitions – and then boasts of a prison door and “Coffin Alley” just outside… that stretches credulity past the breaking point.
The owner claims she didn’t know the site’s history when she bought it. That may be true. But, I’d think the old sign in the wall, describing the site as The Cage – Mediaeval Prison, might have been a hint.
In general, this seems as over-hyped as last October’s Deerpark school videos. They show a preposterous collection of “poltergeist” incidents.
In the most recent video, I can’t see the fishing line clearly. (Other viewers said they saw it.) It’s probably off-screen, close to the camera. I’m fairly sure it’s attached to two legs of the chair. Then, they ran the line around the pipes at the lower right corner of the screen. Off-camera, a tug on the line would drag the chair across the room, just as in this video.
Neither October 2017 Deerpark video is credible. But hey, if that Irish school raises money from YouTube advertising revenues, I’m okay with that. Just don’t take the videos seriously.
We went to bed and when the lights went out, the room was black dark… then we heard breathing coming from the corner of the room. I never slept a wink all night. My boyfriend then told me he saw a shadow in the room at 3am!
Though that could be a fake review, she’s so critical of everything, I’d take it seriously. (It’s the kind of thing I look for, when I’m searching for haunted hotels and B&Bs to visit. A rant about the site’s ghosts is more credible than half a dozen raves about them.)
Americans interested in Irish haunts may appreciate the following video. (The special effects and unfortunate pronunciations are distracting, and I started to hate the word “creepy” after the first few minutes. Despite that, the overview of each location is pretty good.)
In the near future, I’ll post more information about haunted places in the U.K.
(Meanwhile, my friend Jen recommends Pendle Hill, Bolsover Castle, and Jamaica Inn in Cornwall. The latter surprised me, as I’d expected that to be pure hype. But, I trust Jen’s advice. I’m pretty sure she’s investigated more of England – and more recently – than I have.)
Closer to home (currently the U.S.), I’m interested in ghost reports around Niagara County in upstate New York.
I believe that part of the U.S. may have many undiscovered haunts… more than most other parts of the country.
In that story, I’m most intrigued by Cold Springs Cemetery in Lockport, NY. I don’t see much about it, online, and – as of late November 2017 – no YouTube videos about its ghosts.
To me, that suggests a site that hasn’t been over-investigated… yet.
But, it seems to be a private cemetery, open to people who own cemetery plots, and only between 8 AM and 8 PM. (See site info: Cold Springs Cemetery.)
That might dampen my enthusiasm, but the Lockport area offers some great investigation sites. For example, Lockport Caves was featured in an episode of Ghost Hunters, and on Off Limits.
The following video shows some of the area’s highlights. (Info starts around the 1:03 mark, and Lockport is more prominently mentioned around 4:55.)
Mix abandoned buildings, a labyrinth of tunnels, a tragedy or two, plus lots of water… that’s exactly what I look for, as a ghost hunter.
I’m not sure how often the caves (and nearby building sites) are open for ghost tours, except at Halloween. If I were in the area, I’d organize a group of interested ghost hunters, and ask the tour company about specialty tours for investigators.
Those are a few recent ghost hunting news articles that interested me. Several feature locations I didn’t know about, and I’d like to explore.
If you’ve visited any of these places and have insights, I hope you’ll share your comments at Hollow Hill.
In yesterday’s Hollow Hill article (about haunted Haverhill), I mentioned the Westford Knight. I’m not sure that Westford (Massachusetts) site is actually paranormal, though it might be worth checking out.
In my ley lines (for ghost hunting) research, I include the Westford Knight site because it has a weird (and credible) enough context.
Of course, between age, vandalism, and decades of acid rain, the artwork on the Westford Knight grave marker is barely visible now. (30 years ago, it was still fairly impressive. Today, it’s more likely to evoke a big yawn.)
So, here are references that may explain my enthusiasm when the Westford grave shows up on a ley line.
First, here’s a link to a lengthy history supporting the Westford Knight theories. (Illustrations aren’t so great.)
Whether or not you take the Westford Knight history seriously, it stands out as an anomaly. It’s something weird and incongruous in an otherwise typical, lovely New England town.
In the future, I’ll talk more about ley lines and how useful they are to ghost hunters. But, for now, the Westford Knight is a great example of a not-necessarily-ghostly point that increases the potential of any ley line that crosses it.
Haverhill is haunted. In fact, it may be one of New England’s most overlooked — and reliable — haunted communities.
That makes it a great location for ghost hunting. But, many of the best locations are off-limits at night, or require a fee to explore.
Don’t let that deter you. Haverhill’s ghosts can be worth the extra effort.
In 2017, I was interviewed for an article that describes many of Haverhill’s best haunts: Haunted in Haverhill, by Alison Colby-Campbell, in the October 2017 issue of Haverhill Life.
Here are some of my notes from my research for that interview.
My early Haverhill ley line research produced two maps.
The first included points related to known haunts and suspected ghosts.
In that map (courtesy of Google Maps), you’ll see two triangles.
In the first triangle, dashed lines connect the Northpoint Bible College site (former location of Bradford College) and Buttonwoods/Pentucket Burial Ground area to Hilldale Cemetery.
In the second triangle, the solid lines connect the same initial points to St. James’ Cemetery instead of Hilldale.
Anything within the two, overlapping triangles might be worth extra research. Those areas have a greater likelihood of ghosts.
The problem was: when I was working with that map, it just didn’t feel right.
That’s difficult to articulate, and it’s one reason I’m rewriting my ley lines book.
At this point, it’s simplest to say that some of my ley lines work is intuitive. Further, if I keep working on the troublesome map that “guesswork” almost always rings true.
That was the case with the Haverhill map.
On a whim, I took a fresh look at the map. I studied everything in the area, and thought about weird news reports and nearby paranormal sites.
That’s when I remember the Westford Knight. (That site is in Westford, MA. I’m not sure it’s still worth visiting, but — many years ago, when I first saw it — it definitely looked like a primitive, medieval knight’s burial.)
When I connected the dots between the Westford Knight site, Northpoint Bible College, and Buttonwoods, it went through Walnut Cemetery and over the Isles of Shoals.
That line made more sense to me. It hit more major weird/paranormal sites.
Buttonwoods? Very haunted. I’d go back there just for another look at the haunted mirror in the parlor.
Walnut Cemetery? Strange. Something was odd (not just haunted) when I investigated it. It seemed as if the cemetery amplified unhealthy impulses among the living. (Yes, I know how bizarre that sounds. It’s more likely my imagination was working overtime.)
If I were scouting haunted locations for a TV series (something I’ve done in the past), I’d focus on that line. I’d follow it exactly, and ask questions at any shops, restaurants, or other public sites along the way.
Frankly, that line is so strong, I’d stake my reputation on it leading through some other very weird (and probably haunted) locations.
It’s just a matter of looking, and asking questions of enough people. That takes persistence, patience, and a little audacity at times. But, it’s usually worthwhile, if you’re looking for unreported haunted places. You might find some so dark and weird, people avoid talking about them.
So, yes, if you’re a ghost hunter, Haverhill can be a goldmine of investigation sites, with very vivid ghosts.