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Over a hundred years ago, a woman was locked in the attic of a haunted Laconia (NH) home. She spent years up there, perhaps clawing at the walls and door. She may have died up there, and pieces of her body may still be in the home’s backyard.
These pictures are from a house near Laconia’s Parade Road. It’s a private residence, but in Colonial times, it had been a tavern.
Later, according to stories told by the homeowners, someone was locked in the attic, possibly for years.
I was fortunate enough to be invited – privately – to spend a few hours ghost hunting at this extraordinary site. Even in broad daylight, it was unusual.
And, the ghost stories at that site are credible.
There’s plenty of physical evidence of its turbulent past, including personal belongings from long ago. It’s difficult to tell which had been left there, abandoned by previous homeowners, and which belong to the current residents.
But few attics have so many marks scraped into the walls and door.
I’ve mentioned this house before, including in my review of Rue Cote’s book, Ghost Hunting in Tilton, NH.
The scratch marks in the Laconia home’s attic were among the creepiest things I’ve ever seen, ghost hunting in private homes. Those scratches are reminiscent of hash marks carved into prison walls, and in orphanages and some hospitals.
Here’s the evidence
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.
Probably the latter.
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 in any way, aside from reducing it to fit on this webpage.
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 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 shocking.
You can read more of my Laconia story – and more true, ghostly tales – in Rue’s book.
More ghost hunting opportunities, nearby?
For me, the most chilling part of this Laconia ghost 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. If you’re ghost hunting in NH’s Lakes Region, Laconia and Tilton should be on your must-see list.