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.