Methuen, MA, Gorrill Ghosts – Real People, Real History

History of Methuen's Gorrill family and its ghostsTenney Gatehouse and Greycourt Castle – today, the Methuen Museum of History – is known for its many ghosts.

Two of them seem to haunt the property behind the main building.

They’re the feuding Gorrill brothers, and they may still be searching for a disputed buried treasure.

Here are the facts.

Nathaniel (1784 – ? ) and Lavinia Smith Gorrell of Salem, New Hampshire had two sons.  One was Mark S. , born about 1816, and the other was Nathaniel W., born about 1821.

The family moved to Methuen, Massachusetts, in the mid-19th century.  Nathaniel Senior’s father – the late Major Nathaniel Gorrell (1734 – 1821) – had owned land there.

The Gorrells, the Gorrills, Daddy Frye, and the Tenneys

The Gorrell family – who later spelled it Gorrill – established their homestead “on Daddy Frye’s Hill near the Castle,” according to a 1937 book.

The “Castle” refers to Greycourt Castle, the Charles H. Tenney estate.

The Gorrill family was prosperous.  In the 1850 census, their property was worth $3600, considerably more than their neighbors’ land.  (That’s about $90,000 in 2009 dollars, though that parcel of land would sell for considerably more than that now.)

gorrill-census-1850

The sons, Mark (age 34) and Nathaniel (age 29), were both single in 1850.  Both lived at home with their parents.

And Then the Lies Began

In the 1860 census, the story takes an interesting turn.  Instead of being 44, Mark reported his age as 40.  Following his brother’s lead, Nathaniel claimed to be 36 instead of 39.  Both remained single.  Both still lived at home.

gorrill-census-1860

In the 1860 Methuen city directory, all three men in the family were listed with an East Street address.

gorrill-citydir-1860

By 1870, the brothers had recovered their maturity – or at least reported their ages correctly – and had acquired a housekeeper, Kate Robertson from Maine.  Perhaps she was the woman they fought over?

gorrill-census-1870

Alas, by 1880 they were on their own again, and left the “relationship to head of household” line conspicuously empty.

gorrill-census-1880

In 1900, their names weren’t in the census index.  According to the stories, they died within a couple of years of each other.

Questions Linger After Death

In 1909, the question of bonds resurfaced.  The estate of Mark S. Gorrill said that his bonds were missing.

gorrill-bonds-1909

Despite several later claims regarding the missing treasure, no one has firmly established what happened to both Nathaniel and Mark Gorrill’s fortunes.

If the Gorrill brothers haunt Tenney Gatehouse – at least the hill behind the Methuen Museum of History – they could be looking for the lost treasure… and still feuding.

My Methuen investigations suggest layers of hauntings, representing many power struggles at the Tenney site. I believe the Gorrill brothers are just two of the ghosts that linger there.


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:


humorous ghost divider

References

Ancestry.com

Legendary Massachusetts Lost Treasure Stories and State History (at Wayback Machine)

Massachusetts: a guide to its places and people (1937)

Police call Methuen treasure story a tall tale (2005)

United States Statutes at Large Volume 35 Part 2.djvu/278 (1909)

humorous ghost divider

Trivia: Charles H. Tenney is not the only Tenney linked to a tale of hidden treasure.

According to an 1888 story, John L. Tenney (b. 1855 in California) — then living in Catron County, New Mexico — was visited by a cattle driver named John Brewer.  Brewer was one of the few survivors of the “Lost Adams Diggings Curse,” and told his story to John Tenney.  (That legend was the basis of the Gregory Peck movie, “Mackenna’s Gold.”)  For more information on that buried treasure, see Wikipedia.


Photo credit, 19th century photo of Greycourt: EraserGirl [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

 

Ghost Investigation at Tenney Gatehouse, MA

tenney-reportfrom-125Tenney Gatehouse and the Greycourt Castle ruins are among Methuen’s historical treasures… and among that city’s most haunted locations.

Many investigation teams have visited Tenney Gatehouse and documented its ghosts.

The following are my notes from one of my investigations at the house.

Basement

The basement is an odd location.  I don’t sense a lot of history there, though other investigators have reported significant energy.

Mostly, the atmosphere seems to get heavier (or denser) the longer you stay there, as if something is crowding you out. If you’re prone to headaches, especially migraines, stay away from the basement.

Some very hostile energy lingers in one corner of the room where the furnace is.  That’s odd, since I’m fairly sure it’s a recently excavated area. [See the Methuen Historical Society’s page that describes the basement work.]

I also sensed a distraught young woman in a maroon dress.  She’s from the second half of the 19th century.  She has very high, elaborate braids and curls, characteristic of the 1860s and later.  (Her hairstyle reminds me of a Swedish woven loaf of bread, but upright.)

Her skirt is fairly narrow, also suggesting a time from the late 19th century.  She’s pacing and very unhappy, but also seems to enjoy the drama of it, as well as the attention she gets.

There’s also the energy of a little boy, but my “gut feeling” is: this is phantom energy.  I’m not sure that there was actually a tragedy at the staircase where he seems to linger, and I wonder if he’s the created energy of several imaginative researchers.

Whether he’s a real ghost or not, the energy remains there.

Between the amount of running electrical equipment, fuse boxes, and pipes, the basement is unreliable for EMF studies.

Ground floor

In the parlor, the doll and the sofa she was on have been replaced by a lovely organ from Greycourt Castle.  The wooden organ belonged to the Tenneys and not only survived its years when the mansion was a drug rehab center, but it’s also one of the few items to survive the fire as well.

We found a “cold spot” on top of the organ, and a couple of variable cold spots on either side of it.

Because of the organ’s surprising energy, it’s an item to research in more detail, especially in light of the Searles family’s connection with organ making.

Several items in the museum area seem to hold residual energy, in addition to fascinating history.  In light of the history I’ve learned since this investigation, many of the museum’s objects are worth closer study.

emfx2-orbIn the far room in the museum area, several people saw dramatic dowsing rod activity in one corner.  We also saw baffling EMF meter readings.

At one point, it was as if the EMF meters were dueling; one would beep and flash three times, and then the other would, and so on.

I took a picture while this was going on, and there’s a very faint orb over the EMF meter on the right. As you can see from the light, that EMF meter was signaling when I took the photo.

(I wish I’d taken more photos, showing how the orb bounced back and forth between the meters as they beeped.)

Immediately beneath that floor, a large electrical box emits high levels of EMF.  Though that would explain continuous, high EMF levels, it doesn’t explain the intermittent surges.  (In fact, at one point the EMF meter closest to the floor showed no unusual readings, while another meter — about four feet above it — was surging off the scale.)

Several people felt very strong energy in that area as well, and some thought they were being gently pushed or otherwise in physical contact with a ghost, perhaps a ghostly dog.

However, when researching in areas of high EMF, normal disorientation is possible.  So, we looked in other, low-EMF areas for additional and supporting information about the house’s ghosts.

In another room, a 19th-century dresser holds the residual energy of a grandmother who often laced her corset too tightly, and collected small figurines.  I also detected the energy of two priests around that dresser, but not the priests (or monks) who lived at Tenney Gatehouse.

Upper floor

The upper floor continues to be my favorite.  In one room, both mirrors — but one in particular — seems to have anomalous energy.  It’s worth far more study than I’ve had time for.

That’s the same room where we previously used a K-II meter to communicate with a spirit that wanted the lights turned out.

I did not investigate the room next to it, where refreshments were served to event attendees.

The largest room on that floor had seating for about 30 people, and it was used for “Shack Hack” sessions presented by Chris G., another invited psychic and paranormal researcher.  The Shack Hack indicated several spirits in the room, including two or three men and perhaps one young woman and a little boy.

Turret

The turret room may be the most famous haunted area in Tenney Gatehouse, and it’s also the part of the house that will be restored with the help of the funds raised at this event.

According to legend, but no historical evidence that I know of, a monk hung himself in that room.  The stories say that he continues to haunt that room.

Whether that’s a true tale or not, the energy in the turret area is powerful and almost disorienting.  I look forward to researching it further when it’s more fully restored and I can rule out normal EMF (from electrical wiring) as a factor.

Summary

Tenney Gatehouse (or Gate House) is a light, easy haunting for first-time investigators.

However, due to the large amount of traffic through the house, nothing truly scary is likely to happen during a casual investigation or event.

This site is ideal for in-depth investigations by small teams who’ll focus on specific areas and objects that may reveal far more than they do during a brief walk-through.

Next, see my notes and photos: Investigation – Ghosts at Greycourt Castle ruins

To return to Tenney Gate House for your own investigation – formal or informal – or to participate in another ghost-related event at the site, contact the Methuen Museum of History. (That’s the current name of the Tenney Gate House.)

Ghosts at Greycourt Castle Ruins, MA

tenney-reportfrom-125Greycourt Castle (or Grey Court Castle) was the estate home of Charles H. Tenney, his wife Fanny, and their son Daniel G. Tenney.

The castle-style mansion was built in the 1880s and used as a summer home by the Tenney family.

In the 1950s, it was sold and used as a drug rehabilitation facility in the mid-20th century, and largely destroyed by fires from 1974 through 1978.  The 1978 fire was the result of arson.

As I explain in my book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, we’re always looking for any of four characteristics of most hauntings:

  • Money
  • Power
  • Drama
  • Tragedy (sudden or extended)

If I see more than one of these elements, it’s a red flag that suggests the site is worth investigating.

In my earlier article, History of Tenney Gatehouse, I described Greycourt Castle’s intriguing and tragic past.

From the land’s connections to a Colonial blockhouse, to the fire that destroyed Greycourt in the 1970s, the site’s history contains all four elements — money, power, drama and tragedy — that make it a prime location for paranormal investigations.

My “gut feeling” is that we’ve barely scratched the surface on the energy and ghosts around the Greycourt Castle ruins.

I’m also certain that the park-like areas of the Tenney grounds hold additional reasons for ghostly activity.

The nearby Searles site is certainly worth investigating, as well.

My October 2009 investigation

I did not spend time at the area where the monks’ graves were rumored to have been. (The graves were moved when the site stopped being used by the order.)

Earlier in the evening, I’d heard that some people had formed a circle to summon the energy or spirits from any remaining graves.

Unless you really know what you’re doing, that can open doors best left closed. Even with the best of intentions, this can create unhealthy dynamics with the spirits.

So, I rushed past that area.

tenneyorb1
Unexplained orb at Tenney.

Walking up the path from the gatehouse to Greycourt, I immediately took a photo where I feel intense energy from… well, I think it’s the Gorrill brothers.

(For their story, see my article, Tenney ghosts – Gorrill brothers.)

Though my photo shows only a vivid orb (sorry, no landmarks with it), that confirms it as a location for additional on-site research.

The orb may be something entirely normal… but it might not.  It’s a little too solid looking for a typical “ghost orb.” The shape is too perfect for it to be an insect, and there’s no solid-looking dot inside the orb to indicate dust, bugs, or pollen.

Whether that’s a legitimate “ghost orb” or not, I’m interested in this part of the Tenney property.

As I continued to Greycourt Castle, I felt the familiar sense of entering an area with very different energy, as if it’s a portal to another time.

The castle feels like something incomplete… in our world.  However, I often feel that the stairs leading down from it actually show more than just a great view of Methuen (albeit blocked by trees).  I feel that it may offer something else, if you have patience, suspend disbelief, and use all of your senses to perceive what’s really there.

horiz-lights1a
Pretty, but not paranormal.

This is the second time I’ve smelled the vanilla-like aroma of tobacco around the stairway, too.  (I describe it as a little like Swisher Sweet cigars.  Others have made reference to pipe tobacco.)

During this October 2009 investigation, several other people have commented on that aroma as well, not knowing that I was already aware of it.

My photos from nearby showed some great lights, blurred as the camera moved, but nothing paranormal.

tenney-treemist
I have no idea what this is.

However, one of my next pictures caught an odd, colorful mist.  Someone else commented on her mist photo, around the same time.

We both tried to replicate the mist by breathing near the cameras lenses as we took additional photos, but couldn’t duplicate the effect.

Though this still may be mist (it’s not cigarette smoke), it’s more likely an anomaly.

In the photo at right, that’s a tree on the right, surrounded by the mist.  At the lower left, you can see the promontory where the stairs lead, and where I feel that the energy is different from “normal.”

Though city lights interfere with night photos, and there’s nothing obvious there to see… I still feel that’s a location for in-depth investigation.  But, because that could be something frightening, I’d only recommend it for very experienced ghost hunters.

(By “frightening,” I don’t mean that it’s necessarily dangerous. I think that it might be something very different from what we usually encounter at haunted sites like this.  Perhaps “startling” might be a better word, but when something radically different happens at haunted places, beginners can interpret it as scary, frightening or dangerous.)

Next, I walked along the corridor.  None of my photos showed anything unusual.  castle-shadowareaHowever, I kept noticing moving shadows on the columns as I stood and took pictures.  The shadows were very crisp and well defined.  It was as if someone was immediately behind me.

Every time I turned to look – at least four or five times – no one was there.  Since there were only about four of us at that part of the ruins at the time, I don’t have any explanation for it.

I wasn’t afraid of the shadows, and I don’t think they indicate anything malicious… just odd.

castle-ftn-orbNearby, the area around the fountain seems very active, but with happier energy.  Generally, I connect this with the “flower child” energy that may have resonated with earlier, Spiritualist activities at the site.

Or, it may relate to the ritual energy in a nearby wooded area.

Though the woods feel somber and even creepy to me, the energy around the fountain seems joyous.  I wasn’t at all surprised to see an orb in the photo at right.  In fact, I was amazed that I didn’t have more anomalies in the pictures I took there.

searles-orbOn the walk back from the ruins, I was – as usual – intrigued by the Searles’ property and stone buildings.  That location also contains very powerful, paranormal energy.  That’s the only way I can describe it; it doesn’t feel like anything that’s from this world.

However, my “gut feeling” is that it’s not just the ghost of Mr. Searles.  I’d fully expect cryptozoology reports there, because – in addition to something vaguely ghostly – there’s… well, something else.

A second photo included some lines that I’m still studying.

oddlines
Insects? Falling leaves? Pretty but probably not paranormal.

Everything else – full depth of field – is in focus.  If the camera moved enough to create those lines, other objects should be blurrier.

Of course, it helps that the area by that stone wall feels unsettling.  It’s the kind of site where we often see apparitions.

Yes, this is probably a perfectly normal photo, and it may be an insect (and lens flares) or falling leaves.

The earlier orb picture may be an insect as well.  I’m displaying them because they’re interesting, not necessarily paranormal.

When we look at odd things in photos from haunted places, we’re not just asking if an orb or blurry shape is an actual ghost. (We’re not sure what anomalies actually are.)

Instead, we’re asking, “Why does this photograph show insects, dust, or lights in this photo… but they’re not in other photos taken at the same time or place?”

No matter what you think of these photos, Tenney Gatehouse and Greycourt Castle ruins are worth investigating.

Summary

For a first-time or casual ghost hunter, Tenney Gatehouse is the ideal place for an investigation.

For an experienced investigator, I think the rest of the Tenney property offers more intriguing energy and anomalies that haven’t been reported yet.

Tenney Gatehouse is maintained by the Methuen Historical Society, 37 Pleasant Street, Methuen, MA.  The gatehouse and grounds are open to the public.  Please check with the Methuen Historical Society for hours and additional information.

My related report: Tenney Gatehouse ghosts (October 2009)

History of Tenney Gatehouse’s Ghosts, MA

tenney-reportfrom-125Tenney Gatehouse (37 Pleasant Street, Methuen, Massachusetts) and the nearby Greycourt Castle ruins are great, gently-haunted sites.  They’re ideal for first-time ghost hunters.

I compiled the following history from a variety of sources.  I’ve done my best to be accurate, but I only briefly surveyed the history.

The Methuen Historical Society – and the Tenney site, now the Methuen Museum of History – are good resources for additional research.

In this summary, I’ve included story elements and additional notes that could relate to the hauntings at Tenney Gatehouse and Greycourt Castle.

(Note to ghost hunters: This is the kind of research that adds depth to any investigation. It reveals the most likely “hot spots” for on-site research, and can support existing ghost stories.)

History of Tenney Gatehouse and Greycourt Castle

The bedrock beneath Methuen includes Merrimac quartzite.   That could be important.  Sites built on quartz tend to report far more hauntings than those that aren’t.

The land around Tenney Gatehouse (also spelled Tenney Gate House) was originally part of the Pawtucket Plantation. Its boundaries were established in 1640, and the land transferred by Indian deed in 1642.

The Pawtuckets were also called Penacooks and Pentuckets.  50 – 85% of the Methuen Pawtuckets died during the 1617 – 1619 epidemics, and the Indian wars that followed.

Though no known Indian battles were fought in Methuen, events related to the  “Battle of Bloody Brook” in September 1615 (not the 1675 event) may have involved local members of the Agawam nation, fighting off the Tarrantine raiders.

Methuen was first settled in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

The town was named for Paul Methuen, 1st Baron Methuen (21 June 1779 – 14 September 1849) of Corsham Court, Wiltshire, England.   Methuen was a Privy Court friend of Massachusetts’ Royal Governor William Dummer.

The first buildings

A blockhouse was the first reported use of the property later owned by the Tenney family. A blockhouse was a heavy, plank-style house where settlers could gather for protection from fierce weather, roving bands of wild animals, or reported Indian attacks.  The building wasn’t quite as formal as a stockade, but served a similar purpose.

Around 1726, Methuen’s community meetinghouse and parsonage were established near where the Tenney Gatehouse and Greycourt Castle ruins are today.  The site was called Meetinghouse (or Meeting House) Hill.*  The meetinghouse was about 40 feet by 30 feet, with 20-foot posts.

Soon, a burial ground (1728 – 1786) – where all the gravestones point west – and a schoolhouse completed the development.  Much of that land – later part of the Tenney property – was the original center of the village.

There’s reference to a devastating meetinghouse fire in 1796, and a second meetinghouse being dedicated for public service.  That story is worth researching, to see if it parallels the later fires at Greycourt Castle.

The hill was also nicknamed Daddy Frye’s Hill. That name referred to  Frye Tavern owned by Jeremiah and Elizabeth Hall Frye and their six children.  (The Frye family had been in the Methuen area since the mid-1600s, after emigrating from Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.)

Interestingly, a 1916 book, A Handbook of New England, mentions Frye’s Tavern and the Searles estate, with no reference to Tenney Gatehouse or Greycourt Castle.

Frye’s Tavern was probably at the northwest corner of East and Brook Streets.

Also, another Frye Tavern, “provender for man and beast,” was located in Lowell and owned by Ira Frye.

The origins of Tenney Gatehouse

Between August and November 1830, a stone house – later renovated and expanded as the Tenney Gatehouse – was built as a farmhouse by the Richard Whittier family, and it soon became a popular stagecoach stop.

In the 1840 census, Richard Whittier’s household was large, including 2 males ages 10 – 15, one between 20 and 30 years old, and one between 40 and 50.  Females included one between ages 5 and 10, two between 20 and 30, and one between 40 and 50.  (Richard has been noted as the brother of Ebenezer Whittier, part of an extensive family that is famous throughout the area.)

The Whittiers’ neighbors included Major Nathaniel Gorrell (or Gorrill) and his wife, Jane Armour Gorrell.  Two of their descendants, Mark S. Gorrill and Nathaniel W. Gorrill, became part of a later, ghost-related story. (See Tenney ghosts – Gorrill brothers.)

The Tenney Gatehouse – purchase and development

In April 1882, Charles H. Tenney bought the Whittier’s house as a gatehouse and then added the adjoining acreage, then called Jones Hill.

Charles H. Tenney was the youngest son of Methuen grocer John Ferguson Tenney and his wife, Hannah Woodbury, who’d previously lived in Salem, New Hampshire.

Charles H. Tenney had started a manufacturing business in Methuen in 1869, and expanded it to a much larger hatmaking factory in 1872.  At its peak, the business employed about 150 people.

Starting in 1882, Charles H. Tenneys had the gatehouse remodeled and used it as a residence.

In 1883, Charles H. Tenney sold his interest in the Methuen hatmaking business to his brother and business partner, J. Milton Tenney.

(The hat business faltered, and – after selling the factory building to neighbor and friendly rival Edward F. Searles – the Tenney Hat Factory was torn down in 1906.  The site was used for the Selden Worsted Mill. Today, 225 Broadway has been restored as the Espaillat Mills building.  It’s probably worth investigating for ghosts.)

Also in 1883, Charles H. Tenney moved to New York and became a wholesale commission agent, representing most of the U.S. hatmaking business.  His new Methuen estate became the family’s summer home.

In 1884, a stock stable was added to the property, and an 1885 newspaper article describes a “tally-ho” drive to the front entrance.  That stable was remodeled in 1966 at 30 East Street.

In 1887, Tenney renamed his Methuen property Fair View Park, and in 1890, began building Greycourt (or Grey Court) Castle.  The project took three years, and no expense was spared in creating the spectacular estate home.

Later years

By around 1950, the Tenney family had stopped using Greycourt Castle as their home.  In 1951, the estate of Daniel G. Tenney donated 26 acres to Methuen for Tenney High School.  That school, at 75 Pleasant Street, is now Tenney Middle School.

The Tenney estate sold the remaining land, castle ruins and Tenney Gatehouse to the Basilican Salvatorian Order of the Melkite Rite.

For several years, monks lived in the gatehouse, and the Tenney’s former mansion was used as a drug rehabilitation center.  But, by the 1970s, the mansion needed repairs and it was further damaged by a series of fires starting around 1974.  A 1978 fire, set by an arsonist, left the castle in ruins.

In 1985, most of the Greycourt Castle ruins were removed as a safety hazard.  However, the foundation and some of the walls are still part of the site, which are open to the public.

The land owned by Charles H. Tenney, and several locations near it, offer a considerable (and sometimes confusing) history to suggest a wealth of reasons for hauntings.

Today, Tenney Gatehouse is the home of the Methuen Historical Society (Methuen Museum of History)… and several ghosts.


NEXT READ: An Investigation at Tenney Gate House


References

Ancestry.com

Early Methuen Histories (was at http://methuen.essexcountyma.net/Early_Methuen_Histories.html )

A Handbook of New England, by Porter Sargent

Historic Sites 225 Broadway – Brown

History of Lowell, by Charles Cowley (2nd revised edition, 1868)

Methuen 2007 Town Report

Methuen History Historical Photos (images not working)

Naming of Methuen (was at http://methuen.essexcountyma.net/Naming_of_Methuen.html )

Tenney Family Association

Treasure of Tenney’s Grey Court Castle

Wikipedia: Paul Methuen, 1st Baron Methuen

*A second Meeting House Hill can cause confusion.  It was located on Forest Street and had some similar buildings to the main Meeting House Hill.  Most notably, the Forest Street site had a cemetery that was vandalized and has since vanished.

Tenney’s Greycourt Ghosts – the Gorrill Brothers (MA)

tenney-reportfrom-125Two ghosts on the Charles H. Tenney property (Tenney Gate House and Greycourt Castle) may be the Gorrill brothers, or their residual energy.

In my opinion, this part of the site’s history has been badly overlooked.  Ghost hunters may strike paranormal gold around Tenney Castle Gatehouse in Methuen, Massachusetts (USA).

I’ve investigated the Tenney Gatehouse property several times. Each visit was more startling. It’s a great site for ghost hunting.

The Gorrill brothers are just part of the story. The main site – often called Tenney Gatehouse (or Tenney Castle Gatehouse) – includes the former Tenney family residence, and what’s left of a modern-day castle, Greycourt.

When the house was on the verge of collapse, it was rescued by the Methuen Historical Society. Today, the Tenney/Greycourt site has been renamed the Methuen Museum of History.

Here’s the short version of the story

Nathaniel and Mark Gorrill (also spelled Gorrell) were brothers.  In the mid-to-late 1800s, they lived in their parents’ home near the site where Greycourt Castle was later built.

Greedy ghosts of Methuen, MassachusettsAccording to local legend, the brothers fell in love with the same young woman.  She rejected both of them, but both blamed the snub on the other one.

The brothers never married, never left home… and never spoke to each other again.

Though they shared a home, they claimed not to be related to each other.  (In the census records, they reported “something other than direct relationship.”)  They also claimed exactly equal interest in the house and their farm income.

Additional stories suggest that, under the cover of darkness, the brothers used to sneak out of the house.  Each one buried his half of the money somewhere at the hill near their home.

Neither wanted the other one to have access to the money, even if one of them died first.

In the early 20th century, someone in Methuen had a dream about buried treasure at Greycourt Castle.  According to the story, he dug in the basement of the Castle and found the brothers’ treasure: $20,000 in bonds.

Are Greycourt’s Ghosts Really the Gorrill Brothers?

There are several problems with the buried treasure story.

The biggest one is that Castle was probably built after the brothers had died.  (There’s no census record for them after 1880.)

Also, the Tenney family still maintained the house (no neighbor would have access to the basement) at the time of the story.

The Hidden Treasure – Lost and Found?

But, there is one report to support the tale of discovered bonds: In 1909, the estate of Mark S. Gorrill reported that his bonds were missing, and asked for replacements.

The story of missing treasure surfaced again in 2005, when some workmen claimed to have found money that matched the Gorrill legends.

However, their tale didn’t make sense.  Police charged the men with stealing antique money that was found on a nearby 200-acre farm, not at the Tenney site.

Maybe the Treasure Is Still There.. Along with the Gorrill Ghosts

That said, if one or both of the Gorrill brothers really buried their money (in gold or silver coins) at the hill, it’s probably still there.   Most websites that specialize in buried (and missing) treasure continue to list the Gorrill brothers’ fortune as missing, and still buried in Methuen.

In addition, with a lifetime grudge like the brothers’, they’re probably haunting the treasure regularly, making sure the other brother doesn’t steal it.

My “gut feeling” is that the brothers haunt the Greycourt Castle area.

When the site is open for ghost tours, it’s definitely worth investigating. Be sure to walk along the path in back of the main building, and climb to the top of the hill. Several points are especially active.

And, if you’re like me, you may feel that chilling sensation of being watched by something unseen… and ghostly.

humorous ghost divider

Trivia: Charles H. Tenney is not the only Tenney associated with a tale of hidden treasure.

According to an 1888 story, John L. Tenney (b. 1855 in California) — then living in Catron County, New Mexico — was visited by a cattle driver named John Brewer.  Brewer was one of the few survivors of the “Lost Adams Diggings Curse,” and told his story to John Tenney.  (That legend was the basis of the Gregory Peck movie, “Mackenna’s Gold.”)  For more information on that buried treasure, see Wikipedia.