[NH] Wilton – Vale End Cemetery, Wilton – Possible Demons

vale-sarahDemons…? At Vale End Cemetery…? I used to laugh at this idea.

In November 1999, our research focused on haunted Gilson Road Cemetery.

I wrote the following report in 2000:

One night when our team was at Gilson Road Cemetery for an investigation, one of our photographers — Nancy, my closest personal friend — brought her teenaged daughter, Alice, with her.

We had a mixed group that night, including believers and skeptics, new researchers and experienced ghost hunters. A few teens were with us.

The investigation went fairly well, with many manifestations and psychic experiences. It wasn’t especially scary. However, some people became frightened, including my friend’s daughter.

A side trip to ‘safe’ Vale End Cemetery

On their way home, Nancy and Alice stopped at Vale End Cemetery in Wilton, NH. According to Nancy, her plan was to take Alice to a comfortable, familiar cemetery near their home, so she’d feel better about the evening. Besides, Nancy wanted more photos.

They parked the car near the middle of the cemetery, as most of us do when we’re at Vale End. (Remember, this was 1999. From what I’ve heard, the parking area has been moved — or perhaps filled-in, for graves — in the past 10+ years.  I won’t be returning there to check it out.)

The “Blue Lady” gravestone.

And, they strolled towards The Blue Lady‘s headstone. (That’s it, on the right.)

Nancy mentioned being near an attorney’s headstone (identified by the ‘Esq.’ notation on the marker), when something dark seemed to come up out of the ground. She couldn’t tell what it was.

Alice ran in terror back to the car. As Nancy described the scene, she said that something screamed through Alice.

They drove away in such haste, a branch took their outside mirror right off the car.

Some time later that night, Alice called me at home. Fortunately, I was still awake.

She was terrified, and asked if anything follows people home from cemeteries.

I assured her that no, nothing follows you home. If ghosts could leave where they were, they probably wouldn’t be haunting.

A victim of haunted Vale End?

Five days later, Nancy — Hollow Hill’s lead photographer — was found dead as she sat in her car in a busy parking lot in Wilton. Her death must have been sudden, or she’d have hit the horn on the car to get attention. Nancy was the epitome of common sense.  She was also a very physically fit woman, and younger than me.

The hospital declared it a heart attack, and I thought nothing more about the odd circumstances. Mostly, I missed my good friend.

Looking back, if I could have prevented them from visiting Vale End that night… I would have.  And, I wouldn’t have treated Alice’s concerns so lightly.

However, for several months after my friend Nancy’s death, I refused to believe that tragedy had anything to do with ghost hunting.

A terrifying ghost vigil

The following spring, some of us began keeping vigil at Vale End Cemetery, hoping to see the Blue Lady.

One night, four of us were at the cemetery, chatting. Nothing dramatic was going on, although I’d measured some significant EMF levels near the large evergreen just north of the Blue Lady grave.

We were about to call it a night as darkness fell, when I decided to stroll over to the Blue Lady’s headstone for some last-minute photos… just in case.

I was feet away from the attorney’s stone that Nancy had mentioned, when I spotted what I’ve since called ‘a little Grover guy’ about two or three feet from me. (Today, I might call him a little Elmo guy.)

He was short, between two and three feet tall. He looked like he was covered with fur, and disproportionately skinny like Grover.

I paused, startled, but decided to keep walking. After all, if the Grover guy — who was a vivid shade of red* — hadn’t bothered me yet, he probably wouldn’t. And, the figure seemed more amusing than anything to inspire fear.

Then, I walked into something like a force field from Star Trek.  It felt as if I’d hit a glass wall, but there wasn’t anything there.

My story continues at Fear at Vale End Cemetery.

*People have asked why I don’t describe him as “Elmo.” Well, Elmo wasn’t a popular Sesame Street character at that point. Also, Elmo doesn’t have the same distinctively long, skinny arms that Grover has. So, I describe the figure as a “red Grover guy.”

[NH] Wilton – Vale End Cemetery – More Ghosts

Vale End signHaunted Vale End Cemetery sits, somewhat troubled, at the top of a hill in Wilton, New Hampshire. (For a map to visit Vale End, see this link.) The location is deceptively quiet. Few people visit this historic cemetery, often out of fear.

Wilton seems like a charming old New England town. Visitors may not realize that Wilton’s history has been scarred with tragedy from its earliest days.

The mysterious, repeating meetinghouse disasters

Charles E. Clark’s book, The Meetinghouse Tragedy, describes the 1773 tragedy when, during construction, the roof beam of Wilton’s new meetinghouse — and 53 workers — fell three stories in a tangle of bodies and tons of construction materials.

According to folklore, the meetinghouse was rebuilt, but collapsed again, perhaps two more times. Each time, more people died.

In one version of the story, a new meetinghouse was constructed, but fire broke out during a dance in the hall, trapping many people within its flame-engulfed walls.

Whether to avoid bad luck or for more ‘sensible’ reasons, the townspeople chose a new spot for their next meetinghouse, and moved the middle of town to where Wilton center is today.

Wilton’s quartz foundation may be the source of many hauntings. Quartz can be a magnet for paranormal forces. We’ve had a steady stream of reports from Wilton about haunted basements (hewn out of the quartz underneath each house) and possible ghost ‘portals’ throughout the town.

stolen grave marker from Vale End cemetery
Grave marker once at Vale End Cemetery. Stolen prior to 2008.

We know that there are many ghosts at Vale End Cemetery, and some entities that aren’t ghosts and were never human.

Vandalism — including the theft of headstones and markers such as the lovely Mary Magdalene statue shown at right — have compounded the disturbing psychic energy at Vale End.

Ghosts at Vale End Cemetery

In addition to The Blue Lady that haunts Vale End Cemetery in Wilton, NH, there are several other known ghosts.  The following energies have been reported by multiple readers.

A Native American ghost — perhaps several of them — lingers around the northeast side of the cemetery. When you’re in the middle of the cemetery with your back to the entrance, look to the far left wall. You’ll see a wide opening where maintenance trucks can come and go. If you walk just outside the wall, at that path, you’ll start to sense some slightly territorial spirits. There are also some who are simply curious about visitors.

A little boy, perhaps one who’d been abused, haunts the very back of the cemetery where the ground begins to slope. He’s timid and is looking for reassurances. He’s the ghost most likely to ‘cross over’ if the right person can reach him.

The ghost of a military man and perhaps his daughter have been sensed in many parts of the cemetery. They seem fairly nice most of the time, and appear to be ‘just visiting’ their own graves.

Spirits just outside the cemetery walls are represented by gravestones several feet in back of Mary Ritter’s headstone. These graves are generally outside the walls because the deceased could not be buried in hallowed ground. They may have been accused of a serious crime such as murder, or they may have committed suicide.

Vale End features a surprising number of these outside-the-walls graves, and we suspect that many of them are haunted by the ostracized people buried there.

I will not go there again for any reason.  Whatever else is there… it’s not a ghost.

Real ghosts’ stories – Notes from the other side

One of the ghosts is a young man from Colonial times. He was embarrassed by his friends, and felt that he could never recover from it. The shame was too much, though he accepts that he brought the charges — and some ridicule — upon himself. He talks about giving up too soon. I believe that he committed suicide, or at least deliberately put himself in harm’s way. He did his best to stage it so it would look like an accident. He was genuinely remorseful, and didn’t want his family to suffer further embarrassment because of him.

However, there’s also a bitter edge to his grief, and he wanted his accusers to know that they caused his death. (His logic seems a bit murky in this area. He wants his death to look like an accident to most people, but he wants his former friends and acquaintances to feel guilty for embarrassing him. He wants them to wonder, for the rest of their lives, if they caused his death.)

Until he is able to accept that there were — and still can be — good things in his existence, and even true friends, he is not likely to cross over. When this reading was completed, he was far from being able to move forward. If his grave is outside the stone wall, he may be upset that his death wasn’t determined as ‘accidental.’

Judith Thompson’s Vengeful Ghost

This is part two of the story that began with The Haunting of John Alford Tyng

Judith Thompson Tyng - the ghost who killed her killersJudith Thompson Tyng’s ghost has lingered since the 18th century.

It started when her husband (or the man she thought she’d married) – John Alford Tyng – arranged her murder. He had their children killed, too.

The murderer was Dr. Blood – the same “minister” who’d married John and Judith, years earlier.

John let Dr. Blood into the home. Then John waited in another room as Dr. Blood killed his victims.

As Dr. Blood fled into the night, John took care of burying the bodies beneath the hearth.

Was there a reason for the murders? No one knows. Most people describe John Alford Tyng as a ne’er-do-well, a wastrel, or an outright psychopath.

Dr. Blood left town for a while, and Tyng pretended that his family had gone to visit some relatives near Boston.

That’s when John Alford Tyng’s father, Eleazar, invited his son to return home for a visit.  According to some stories, Eleazar wasn’t comfortable in his home. The more guests, the better.

Why? Well, the Mansion was already haunted by the ghost of an Indian whom the Tyngs had cheated of land.

Edward Tyng's haunted grave
Edward Tyng’s grave.

That tragic history is blamed on Edward Tyng. It’s why his nearby grave might be haunted, even now.

But back in the 18th century, Judith (as a ghost) probably felt perfectly comfortable joining the ghostly party. After all, it meant she could continue to torment her husband.

Soon, Judith Thompson began her murderous revenge.

Judith Thompson Tyng sought vengeance on both John Alford Tyng and Dr. Blood.

Dr. Blood was probably the easiest to kill. And Judith may have liked the idea that Blood’s death would strike terror in John Alford Tyng’s cold, tiny heart.

Here’s the story:  One night, Dr. Blood was walking alone on a country road not far from Nashua’s haunted Country Tavern restaurant.

It was just past dusk, and Blood felt uneasy when he heard footsteps behind him. When he turned, no one was there, so he kept walking.

Soon, Blood realized he wasn’t alone. He must have frozen with fear, as – in the morning – there was no sign of a fight.

According to lore, Judith Thompson’s running footsteps and her jubilant laughter were heard as far as a mile away, as she shoved Dr. Blood to the ground.

As Dr. Blood fell face forward, his weight crushed the ceramic flask that he always carried. Of course, the liquor formed a puddle.

When Dr. Blood was found the next morning, he’d choked and drowned in the liquor. Judith’s small footprint was still clearly outlined on the back of Dr. Blood’s head.

When John Alford Tyng heard the news, he knew that he was next.

He immediately moved to a third Tyng mansion. This one was also known as “the Haunted House.” According to a 19th century history, ghosts had been seen there from Colonial through Victorian times.

(This home was probably north of the more famous Tyng Mansion, near Middlesex Road – Route 3A – before it meets Westford Road. You can see it marked as “the Haunted House” on old Dunstable and Tyngsborough maps.)

That’s where Judith Thompson killed him.

The stories are consistent about Tyng’s death. After moving into the third house, Tyng became very ill. His servants took care of him for awhile, until Judith Thompson’s ghost drove them out.

John Alford Tyng’s family tried to visit him, but Judith turned them away at the door, too.

Since they didn’t know Judith was dead, Tyng’s family didn’t realize how serious the problem was.

After that, they turned to an old family friend and neighbor, Captain Joseph Butterfield.

Butterfield’s diary still exists. In it, he described what he witnessed. (As a seasoned soldier who’d fought in several battles, Butterfield’s diary has credibility.)

As a favor to the family, Butterfield called on John Alford Tyng. When Judith answered the door, Butterfield forced his way past her ghost, and rushed upstairs to the dying man’s bedroom.

Butterfield’s notes say that Tyng tried to lift himself from the bed to greet his friend, but – apparently – the effort killed Tyng.

As Captain Butterfield watched in horror, Judith Thompson’s ghost materialized and cursed John Alford Tyng.

The stories vary, but – before vanishing – Judith swore that Tyng’s name would never remain on a headstone and he’d be forgotten in history.

Apparently, her curse worked. His gravestone had to be replaced many times. The town finally gave up, and his current grave marker contains some deliberate errors. I guess that’s good enough for Judith.

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