See how this might connect to our upcoming legends trip…
Do you care if you’re lied to?
In the real world we avoid letting people in our lives who are dishonest and abuse our trust. We go to great lengths to make sure to protect ourselves and are careful with whom we let it. Then we hear a good ghost story, and it all drops away.
There is a difference between retelling an urban legend you think might be true and getting into a ghost story everyone knows to be fiction. The pressure to produce paranormal media has introduced a different kind of liar. The line between folklore and fiction is getting ever thinner, but you care?
So do you still care if you’re lied to?
You can contact us with questions, comments, and your favorite legend or tidbit of folklore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re still knee deep in the #hauntedlove project, so we’re especially looking for ghost stories with a love twist.
You can listen to episode 43 where we discuss the Silver Springs
Keep visiting the site for the trip log of our travels and other urban
legends at: www.trippingonlegends.wordpress.com
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Back in the day I posted stories of my experiences or rumors I heard about haunted locations throughout the state. Eileen (I’m pretty sure that’s not her real name, but more than 15 years later I have a hard time remembering what it might actually be) e-mailed me concerned over strange experiences she was having that she had no real frame of reference for. It was my first time talking to someone who was coming to me for help, and it was a trial by fire to get to the heart of what was happening while trying to confort her and help her understand what might be going on.
Eileen belongs to a generation that sees the paranormal as fiction. Ghosts are fine for the movies and eerie stories on Halloween, but the only true spirit is the Holy Spirit and tales of demons and things that go bump in the night are more cautionary tales for people who invite bad things to happen to them. She believes there are powers that cannot be explained, but if it happens to you then you wanted it to or it is a sign that something is wrong with you. That is what her Catholic upbringing taught her, and that is what she believed until she started to experience things that challenged what she felt about the other realm.
Eileen moved into her three family duplex in Chelsea 23 years ago with her small daughter and husband. Almost immediately she experienced things. The first night she had trouble sleeping and sat awake next to her husband. She was beginning to dose off when she noticed a figure in the room. Although there was no sound a dark shadow figure moved into the room and to her husband’s side of the bed. Although she could make out no features on the form, she got the feeling it was female as it bent over, picked up her husband’s pants and went through the pockets.
Although Eileen noticed something odd about the feeling of the house, it was not until her three year old daughter began to tell her there was a ghost in her room that Eileen started to get suspicious and remember that first night. She would run from her room screaming, Ghost in room.” Soon after her daughter developed an imaginary friend named Ekky who spent four or five years with them until she “moved to Florida”. Eileen did not think too much of it because she understood it was normal and healthy for a child to have such friends. Over the years her daughter would bring up the subject of the ghost in a nonchalant way, Eileen believes mainly because people did not believe her and Catholic did not believe in such things.
But other unusual things happened. Items would disappear and things would be misplaced and Eileen would tell herself it was her own fault. She had just forgot where she put it down.
Eileen’s daughter entered her late teens and she became more and more uncomfortable in the room. She refused to sleep sometime, never saying why, but it was clear there was something there she did not like. Once when she was twenty she went to sleep in her mother’s room. When they woke in the morning there was a cat at the foot of the bed although they did not own a cat and the house was locked up and secure. They opened the door and shoed the cat out with a broom.
In 2002 Eileen moved into her daughter’s old room and the occurrences began to happen more and more. One time she woke up to find her house sweltering. Sometime during the night the thermostat and been turned up and the cover had been thrown across the room. Another time she came home to find the orange juice she had left out spilled over her calendar and some papers she had on the kitchen table. The table was soaked but the glass was sitting straight up.
Although she does not feel the ghost is threatening, it has recently began to touch her. Once she felt her hair being lifted as she lay in bed. The most disturbing incident involved another night time meeting. Eileen was again lying in bed when she felt her leg being lifted up by her big toe. She closed her eyes and regained control of her leg.
There have been renovations that might account for some of the occurrences. The duplex is three floors and has been shared by family members over the years. At one point the house was gutted out and evidence of a fire was found, although she has not been able to find any account of it in old newspapers. There has also been construction on the second floor as her brother prepares to move in, although he is now giving it second thoughts. He led Eileen on a few goose chases after making up stories about the ghost in the house, but now he is finding it more and more uncomfortable to do the work to repair the house. He will not say why, but he does not like to be in the house alone.
Either does Eileen’s daughter. She still gets uncomfortable in the room, although she does not feel afraid. According to Eileen, she seem more upset by the whole thing, as if she had convinced herself that the things that had happened to her as a child were her imagination. To hear Eileen now talk of those things makes it seem more real.
They have reversed roles because Eileen does not fear the female spirit in her house. Nothing has happened in a while and the spirit is most obvious when she is not thinking about her. Eileen wants to talk to her, but does not know what she will say. She is now convinced she is not going crazy in her old age but that now, maybe because everyone has moved out, she has found a new roommate.
Old true stories that are meant to just give you a little chill as you go about your day…
Keep checking in to see the new one every day…
We’re going to start this week with a series of stories that all take place in an area of Woburn, Massachusetts, know as the Glen. We already told one story that’s related to the neighborhood, and our story on Horn Pond has gotten some interesting feedback, but there are several more we’ve collected over the years.
It makes you wonder if certain places are more haunted for a reason, and what those reasons might be.
If you have a Woburn story or legend, contact us at email@example.com.
There are places where the paranormal events are more extreme and more frequent. Whether it is because of energy in those places or some event that has trapped spirits due to trauma or joy, they become magnets for activity, like the Bridgewater Triangle or Salem.
An area known as the Glen in Woburn is such an area.
The Glen was originally apple and cranberry bogs when the town was first settled. It lies close to one of the first Shaker settlement in Massachusetts, a settlement eventually forced to leave. The houses were originally nothing more than shacks, like bungalows, and as the area expanded, there became less farming and the houses were built on. There are very few houses that stand as they stood when the town was formed.
Upon first looking at the Glen, you might think the numbers are consistent with other neighborhoods in Massachusetts, but a closer look shows something unusual lies on the street. Even in a town with a sorted health history like Woburn (read or see Civil Action), there is an unusual amount of cancer in the people that live there. There is also an anomalous amount of divorce and domestic abuse. Diane, being more sensitive than the average person, feels the energy around her, and her house has become a weigh station for spirits passing through and for those who have chosen to settle.
One house she used to own is now my sister’s, a house she owned but refused to live in because it felt “evil”. (Read Mr. Moustache) Although she feels there is something darker in that house, she counts several family members as the unseen residents in her own. Di often works nights and sleeps during the day and relies on her dog Bo to keep her company. Bo often walks up out of a dead sleep and follows things with his eyes that aren’t there. “If you ever had a dog you would know,” she says. “They have a perception of spirits.” He takes off down the hallway after things that cannot be seen, but Di doesn’t need to see them. She hears them. When she is home during the day, or even at night when she gets home, she hears the front door open and footsteps go into her Mother-in-law’s old room. The spirit that does the walking has changed though.
When they first moved in they lived with her husband’s father. Diane would often hear the footsteps and feel that something was watching her. She even began seeing things out of the corner of her eye. The father got sick and died in 2000, and the activity became more frequent and took on a slightly different feel. Although it was a much bigger room, they never moved into his bedroom, instead turning it into a “guest room”. Di and her husband bought the house from his siblings and gutted the place out. Di feels that her father-in-law doesn’t like that. They would disagree when he was alive about things having to do with the house. He struggled when he became sick and did not want to die. Di believe these two factors have caused an angry man to replace a curious wife in the house.
“When we bought the house we gutted it. Every time I was doing something I would feel guilty.” She thought it was in her head, but eventually the feelings become more “odd” than just guilt. “I know he’s there. It is a different energy. He didn’t want this stuff removed when he lived here, I don’t think he wants it out now. The air gets so thick I have to open the windows. I Never felt uneasy when it was her.” She still hears the footsteps and sees things she cannot explain and often wakes to think there is an intruder in the house, and once she even saw something hovering over her bed when she woke up that disappeared when she looked back.
She notices the activity most late at night and in the mornings. She also feels the two spirits have found each other, and that the mother is trying to help the father deal with the changes in the house and with his own death. “She would have liked the changes. I think she tells him to chill when he gets mad.”
People have gotten odd sensations in her house, but no one had heard anything until her husband was home alone one night. He was watching television when he heard someone open the door, close it, walk right by him and then down the hallway. He then heard the “guest room’s” door open and close. He stopped making fun of Di after that.
Di also feels the energy in the area allows her already sensitive spirit to call upon her father and sister. She feels the room change when they arrive and sometimes hear them out loud speak with her and often hears there voices inside answer questions she asks. She knows it sounds crazy, but it makes her feel closer to them.
Regina always felt close to her grandmother, Maria, living with her most her life, surviving tragedy together and sharing all of the best times of her life. After Maria’s death from cancer in 1989, Regina found herself feeling guilty over her death and saddened that her grandmother and friend would not be able to share the most exciting stage of her life. She was dating the man she would eventually marry and soon there would be children. “I think she would have gotten a kick out of my sons. She never had a grandson except Paul and Michael a bit later. She would have loved them.”
Lately Regina has begun to feel that Maria might not be missing out but is sharing her family’s lives in the apartment she used to live in. Regina has felt her grandmother’s presence since her death, but since the birth of her second child and the boys moving into what was once her grandmother’s bedroom, the feelings have turned to physical experiences, and as the moments seem to intensify, Regina is left more confused than scared. “It’s scary, but more or less positive,” says Regina, an energetic mother and cataloger at a library in Boston. “Ever since she died there’s been a connection there. What’s the message? I mean, what’s the main purpose?”
Regina lived in the same house as her grandmother for most of her life. After a fire in 1981 they were separated for a few months, but when her parents bought a two family house in Everett, Massachusetts, Maria moved in downstairs. Regina would climb down the backstairs to her grandmother’s apartment to have tea and spend time talking. When Regina left for college in the late Eighties, Maria became sick. She tried to come home as much as possible, but the college was in Western Massachusetts and her grandmother was in and out of the hospital. The night before Maria died, Regina had a confusing dream that seemed to trigger the connection between the two. She dreamt of standing over her mother’s casket, her grandmother at her side. The next day, although she was doing better, Maria passed away. Regina never fully got over the guilt she felt about not being there, and it did not help when years later she heard her grandmother had responded to her absence by saying, “What, is geography more important to her than me?”
The first time she noticed something unusual about the apartment was shortly after her grandmother’s death. She was staying there with some riends from college. They joked around and watched scary movies, but some time during the night each of them experienced something they blew off until the next morning when they all told what had happened to them. They each distinctly heard tea being made, from the sounds of things being moved to the clinking of the pot and the sound of the spoon against the cup. Regina sees it as a sign of their connection.
“As soon as I would get home from school in the afternoon she would yell up the backstairs, ‘Are you coming down for tea?’ It was our thing.”
Four years later, now married, she moved in to the apartment. Through the years she noticed small things but constantly pushed the idea aside. “You look back and make the connection.” There was often a smell in the apartment she associated with her grandmother, even though the apartment had not been lived in for years and her father had renovated the place. They both would smell her grandmother’s perfume, White Shoulders, mixed with cigarette smoke, often coming from the bathroom. Maria would often sit in the bathroom smoking and doing crossword puzzles. Regina would also see shadows out of the corner of her eye and experience vivid dreams about her. One involved Maria standing on the newly renovated upstairs porch, dressed in black, holding a baby, and eerily cackling. She also woke up once to her grandmother in the room glowing white with angelic wings. She felt it might have been a dream, but the next morning she found feathers in her bed.
She attributed most of the dreams and experiences to her imagination and guilt. When her second child was born, however, things began to intensity. “When I had Anthony I needed more room so the two kids could share a room.” She moved Anthony, and his older brother Tom, into the bedroom where her grandmother once slept. Almost immediately things started to happen. There was a fire alarm installed in the room that ran off the electrical of the house. It started to beep as soon as the kids moved in, although her and her husband had lived there for three years without any noise. They cleaned the alarm, reset it and had an electrician take a look at it, but every time they put it back up it went off.
Tom, her three year old son is often heard talking to someone over the baby monitor. Regina hears a soft buzz and then her son whispering low enough so that she cannot understand what is being said. When Regina finally got up enough courage to ask him who he was talking too he explained, “I’m talking to my friend, the lady. The lady that watches me sleep.” Tom has started to not sleep in his room, preferring to sleep with his mother in her bed. Recently, Regina was talking with her mother upstairs with the boys asleep in their room. Her mother heard Tom talking over the monitor and asked what he was doing. Regina explained to her skeptical mother, Maria’s daughter, who she feels has had things happen to her but refuses to talk about them. Regina went back downstairs and right before she opened the door to the boys’ room, she heard Tom say, “Shhh,” over the monitor.
There have been other signs that there might be someone else living in the house. The family dog does not go in the room unless there is someone in it, often circling around the door when it goes by and running from the room into Regina’s lap. Regina has seen a figure in the hallway out of the corner in her eye. She has not gotten a solid look, but she knows there is someone there. Keys hanging from hooks in the hallway start to swing when she feels someone is there.
Lately things have gotten stranger. Near Halloween she was sleeping in her bed with her son. From the angle she was at she could see her mirror and through the mirror the reflection from her television. All of a sudden there was a bright light about the size of a grapefruit in the mirror, slowly moving from side to side. She tried to rationalize what was happening, thinking it might have been the Halloween lights outside, but she could not tell where the light was coming from. She closed her eyes, but when she opened them, the light was clearly in the room inches from her, right above her son. The light then seemed to move into the bathroom, at which point Regina ran into a different room.
A few nights later she was again lying in bed with her son Tom when she felt someone sit on the bed. She could feel the pressure and thought it might be her husband. When she looked there was no one there. She asked, “Nana, is that you?” The pressure on the bed felt like someone just jumped up and Regina felt as if the room had become suddenly empty. This experience has confused Regina more than the others. She always felt the presence was her grandmother, but she does not understand why she would run away when she tried to make contact.
Regina is convinced the spirit is that of Maria, but she is not fully ready to see her grandmother in the kitchen making tea. “I’m afraid to know. I like to hear it on the other side but I know it’s not in my head any more. At some point you have to say, ‘there’s something here. There’s something going on.” She feels her grandmother was not ready to die and was on some much medication towards the end she did not know what was happening to her. If she had, she would have fought it. She feels Maria wants to see her great-grandchildren grow up and share their experiences. “She won’t have wanted to miss out on everything she’s missing out on.” She also feels the nature of what happened points to her grandmother. “I think the stuff that is happening is her personality.”
Regina also believes the activity will get stronger as Christmas approaches. “It was her thing,” she says thinking about the holidays spent with her Nana.
Regina has gotten use to the idea of the ghost she might share her house with. Although she is still not sure what to make of her grandmother, she accepts the signs that are around her.
It was somewhat discouraging for her though. Just when she was ready to listen to what her grandmother had to say, she stopped talking. She continued to smell the roses and cigarettes in the bathroom and sometimes felt someone watching her when she was alone, but the lights and noises stopped. Pretty soon Regina felt her grandmother must have passed on.
That was until Christmas.
Maria had always enjoyed the holidays. Regina was able to look back on her experiences in the apartment and see her grandmother had always made herself known around Christmas. She was not really thinking about it when she put up her decorations this year. There were other things to think about. Her husband had just gotten out of the hospital with a heart problem. More importantly, this was the last Christmas they would be in the apartment. They had bought a house several months before and were only waiting to finish fixing it up before moving in. When she had purchased the house she had wondered briefly if Maria would move with them.
Tom, now almost five, made his way downstairs from his grandmother’s upstairs. He stopped to look at the tree and then went into the kitchen to brush his teeth in the sink.
As Regina finished up the last of the decorations, she heard Tom talking from the kitchen. He was not singing or babbling, but talking in complete sentences with pauses as he was listening to someone else and responding. Regina thought it must be her father and went it to say hello.
Tom stood alone on his stepladder with his wet hands in the sink. He was alone. “Tom, where’s Papa?”
Tom looked confused. “Papa’s not here.”
“Well, who were you talking to?”
“The lady with the white hair on the stairs.”
Regina wanted to ask him who the woman was. What did she look like? Had you talked to her before? But all she could do was watch little Tom make his way to the TV room as and think about all the times she had run down those same stairs to go see her grandmother.
The Almshouse on East Street in Walpole has been the sight of hauntings since a fire in the late 1800’s and may have been the site of more than one tragedy before that.
Built in the early 1800’s by the houses original owner, Daniel Allen, the house was transformed into a house for the poor of the town and a weigh station for the homeless who jumped the railroads tracks nearby. The poor farm allowed people to work in return for room and board and was supported mainly by town funds. Because many of the people who lived in the house were unregistered with the farm it was difficult to keep track of who was there and tragedies that might have happened to people who lived a high risk lifestyle, but in the late 1800’s a fire killed anywhere between 16 and 26 boarders. The house switched hands many times after the fire and in the early 1900’s children accidentally set fire to the barn and caused other damage to the property. There are also rumors of the house being used as part of the Underground Railroad, and as we have seen in other stories, there has been a coloration between these locations and hauntings, often because of escaped slaves caught, but also because of the emotion releases during the tense moments hiding for one’s life.
The house has been known to be the spot of several hauntings, the most regular of which is known as Uncle Joe. He is said to be responsible for tickling people on the back of their necks and misplacing thing. There is a bit of sadness in his haunting, as he seems to play out his failed escape from the fire by opening and closing windows and rattling windows.
There have been various investigations of the hauntings at the Almshouse, but they have yet to produce anything more than medium impressions and scary stories.
The majority of information for the Almshouse came from a 1970 article by Janathan Kannair and an Article in The Walpole Times which ran on October 31, 1985 by Steve Mackinnon
Thank you to The Walpole Public Library and librarian Warren Smith for the information. Libraries and Librarians like them are vital to the research I do and proved most helpful. Help them keep up the work they do by checking out the Friends of Walpole Public Library and giving what you can.
This is another old post from Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads and one of my favorite Ouija Board stories. It also appeared in my first book Ghostly Adventures.
Federal Government is the strongest proof I have that a Ouija board might indeed be a useful or effective tool in paranormal research, and also a great argument for why you might not want to use them. He seems to be a powerful spirit with negative intentions, a long memory, and some influence on our world.
In the Spring of 1995 some friends and I spent too much time using the board. We were living in the old Charlesgate Hotel in Boston, considered one of the most haunted building in Massachusetts. We had been using the board and getting mixed results when a very strong spirit pushed a weaker one off. He immediately told us to be scared. When we asked of what he moved the pointer slowly over the OUIJA label on the top of the board slowly enough to give me goosebumps.
FedGov quickly became obsessed with one of my roommates at the time. John (name changed) was a womanizer and I had joked earlier that semester that he was sleeping his way through the alphabet. We asked FedGov why he did not like John and he said because he made girls cry. When we asked how he made girls cry and scrolled through all the letters on the board in a “z”, movement he would often mimic through our interactions with him. He said John had to die, and it was his goal to do it. Whenever we would be talking to a spirit he would force them off and start spelling out John’s name and making a “z” across the letters.
FedGov once caused our fire alarm to go off, but it wasn’t until he almost killed John that we took his threats seriously and understood the kind of power he had. We were using the board and John went to take a shower. We were talking to a spirit that claimed it was one of our guardian angels and FedGov came on. After identifying himself he started to spell out “HAHAHAHA”. When we asked why he was laughing he spelled out “ACDCACDCACDC”. We were all confused until John came back into the room. His hair was wet and the color was gone from his face.
When he had gone to use the shower the light had been out. He screwed it back in and began the shower. Just as he was washing his hair, the light went out. His first instinct was to screw the light in, but he stopped. He was soaking wet and standing in a pool of water. He washed his hair in the dark rather than risk electrocution.
All of this could be a coincidence if it wasn’t for Sarah, one of John’s old girlfriends. They had dated on and off over the years, almost always ending with John doing something horrible to her. They talked that summer, and John brought up ghosts. Sarah said she believed in them because she had talked to someone who claimed to be the devil. She had first talked to him when she was young and he had told her that when she died he would have her. Her soul was his forever and he was just waiting for her to join him. When she had used the board earlier that year the same spirit had gotten on, asking her if she remembered him. She said she knew he was not the devil and begged for his real name. It spelled out FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.