This is part three of the story that began with
The Haunting of John Alford Tyng.
Ghosts still haunt the Tyng Mansion. Today, only some stairs, a stone wall, and the foundation of the house remain. They’re at the front of the property at 72 Tyng Road in Tyngsboro, MA, once owned by Boston University.
John Alford Tyng’s sister, Sarah, may have been the last Tyng to live there. The heiress married John Winslow, but they had no children.
Frantic that the Tyng name was about to die out–perhaps fulfilling Judith Thompson’s curse–Sarah offered to bequeath her fortune to a nephew if he changed his surname to Tyng.
Of course, he did.
She also supported the town minister, and funded a grammar school. In return, the eastern part of Dunstable became Tyngsborough, named after Sarah’s family.
The site of that school is among the many haunted locations in Tyngsboro, the more modern spelling of Tyngsborough.
After Sarah’s death, Tyng Mansion sat empty. However, a 19th century Nashua newspaper reported a curious story.
The ghost of Judith Thompson Tyng
One night, a carriage from Massachusetts had been traveling up the frozen Merrimack River. A suddenly, fierce snowstorm forced the carriage driver and his passenger to seek shelter.
Not far from the river, the driver spotted lights in a large home, and knocked at the front door. A beautiful woman in a green ball gown opened the door. Behind her, the men could see a large party in progress.
The woman invited the men to spend the night. The carriage driver was given a bunk in the stables, and the passenger was shown to a well appointed bedroom upstairs in the main house.
Too tired to accept his hostess’ invitation to join the party, the passenger accepted a light supper in his room, and fell into bed, exhausted.
In the morning, the passenger awoke and found that his bedroom had transformed overnight. He was sleeping in a dusty, dilapidated old room. Downstairs, the rest of the house was also empty and had clearly been vacant for a long time. His lovely hostess had also vanished.
He roused the carriage driver, who’d had a similar and strange experience as the stables – well-maintained the night before – were abandoned and in need of repair.
The two continued their journey north, and told their tale to the newspaper, which reported it the next day. Most people recognized the description of the lovely woman in the green ball gown. She was the ghost of Judith Thompson.
The destruction of haunted Tyng Mansion
In 1977, the Tyng Mansion – also known as the Col. Jonathan Tyng House – was put on the National Register of Historic Places (#77000188). In the late 1970s or early 1980s, it burned to the ground under suspicious circumstances. (Reports vary between 1979 and 1981.)
Before it burned, the late historian Robert Waugh toured the empty house. He reported that he’d seen the chains and shackles, and perhaps some blood stains, in the Tyng Mansion attic. According to local lore, the Tyngs had kept their slaves in that attic, and some of the slaves may have haunted the home as well.
Today, visitors still report eerie experiences – day and night – around the Tyng Mansion site.
And a Native American ghost
Another ghost lingers at the huge boulder not far from the Tyng Mansion. According to legend, the Tyngs bought the Merrimack River island across from Tyng Mansion. The terms of the sale were questionable, and the Native American chief who sold it didn’t realize that he was losing his home in the sale.
Feeling remorse in later years, the Tyngs allowed the man to stay at the Mansion. Every day, he’d walk down to the boulder and sit there, staring at the island and mourning the loss of his home.
On many nights, his ghost has been seen near the boulder where he used to sit.
A wooded path, shown in the photo at upper left, leads between the Tyng Mansion and the Tyng Family Cemetery. It has its own ghost stories: John Alford Tyng’s cursed grave.