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New Hampshire’s ghosts are among our specialties at Hollow Hill, but this is one ghost story that we removed from our website for several years. Now, we’ve decided to reveal everything that we know about the ghosts — and possibly demons — at Wilton’s beautiful Vale End Cemetery.
The ‘Blue Lady’ is one of Vale End’s most famous ghosts. We’ve never seen her, but we’ve sensed her many times. Her headstone, shown in the photo at the top of this article, is broken but still majestic. It bears her maiden name — Mary Ritter — as well as the married name of her widower’s second wife, Mary Spaulding. (The second Mary Spaulding was Mrs. Mary Flynn Colburn before her marriage to Isaac Spaulding.)
Mary Ritter Spaulding was the mother of seven children between her April 1795 marriage, and her April 1808 death. Her husband, Isaac Spaulding, was a tanner and a descendant of an early Jamestown settler.
According to folklore, Mary Ritter Spaulding was a good, church-going woman who healed with herbs and prayer. No one is certain why she haunts Vale End Cemetery (and possibly Langdell House, where she may have lived), but her appearance is dramatic.
Many Wilton, NH, residents have seen Mary Ritter Spaulding as ‘the Blue Lady’ over her grave. She appears on warm, foggy nights, especially in the spring and fall, especially around Halloween.
According to one witness, she manifests as a bright, pale blue column of light, similar to a transporter beam in the TV show, Star Trek.
The column of light is about three feet wide, and starts a foot or two over her grave. It is about six feet tall. It seems to vibrate with energy.
(However, when I asked the witness whether the light vanished abruptly or faded away, he looked at me with amusement and replied, “I don’t know. We were having an egg fight.”)
We’ve checked nearby roads, houses, and outbuildings, and there is no logical reason for this column of light to appear at all, much less as often as reported.
Real ghosts’ stories – Notes from the other side
Mary Ritter Spaulding remembers her life as a series of pregnancies, during which she was uneasy about something that she never defined. When her last child was born, it was a turning point for her. However, while genealogical records show Lyman (born 1806) as her youngest child, she insists that James was her last.
We have found no records of a son named James, and perhaps that has something to do with her haunting.
Since her death, there has been something — perhaps a lie — that she has not resolved. I’m not sure if it was her own deceit, or a lie that someone told to (or about) her. She seems to be more troubled than angry or upset.
However, Mary Ritter Spaulding is not alone at Vale End Cemetery, and she may remain there to defend her family — or perhaps the living — from less pleasant spirits at Vale End and nearby Wilton, NH.
One more note about the grave of ‘the Blue Lady’ is important to note: From time to time, people perform Vodun-style rituals at her headstone. Near it, you may see shiny coins or other evidence of this. Please do not remove anything from her grave; that would be disrespectful and… well, it’s inviting trouble.
Next, real-life ghost encounters, and a list of the other spirits at Vale End Cemetery: More ghosts at NH’s Vale End Cemetery.