In this edition, UpCountry Editor Jennifer Huberdeau writes about the haunted places one can find throughout the region. Leading off her article, she asks: Do you believe in ghosts?
Well, if you don’t believe in ghosts, perhaps you’ll believe my story.
I grew up in Adams in a house built by a stonemason. The home was completed around 1905, and it underwent just a couple changes in ownership until my parents bought it in 1968.
The cellar the stonemason built included several rooms, including one that had no electricity. As a kid, I occasionally opened the red door and peered into this room — a musty and foreboding coal cellar full of darkness.
Above ground, the stonemason and his wife ran a successful florist business on the property. Meanwhile, the mason was also busy building arched bridges, stone churches and foundations around town. He died first, at age 64, in 1926. And his widow carried on the greenhouse business, specializing in growing dahlias that bloomed in July, earlier than any others. Her obituary indicated how active she had become in life, in the florist business, in her church, as the head of the Ladies Aid Society — perhaps a conscious decision to occupy her time rather than indulge the sorrow of her husband’s death.
Later in her lifetime, illness apparently confined this woman to a wheelchair on the first floor. What is now a living room had at one time served as her bedroom. One can only imagine these last years at the home were the least happy ones for a woman who had been otherwise active.
In the first few years of living in the house, my parents would later tell me, odd things could happen at the most unexpected times. While one was walking up the stairs, an unexpected whoosh of air would come down. Rooms would go hot and then cold and from cold to hot. Keys left in one place the night before would be in a different spot the morning after.
Could it have been the ghost of the stone mason’s wife, yearning to escape the trappings of her mortal homebound years?
One day, my father opened the red door to the coal cellar. He ventured into the darkness, intent to finally clean out the place of items, many of which had been there since buying the place. He reached into one dark corner and grabbed what felt like spokes. As he pulled it toward the light from the other room, he realized he was pulling on an old wheelchair.
The wheelchair went to the dump later that day with a pile of other junk. And thereafter, the odd things stopped happening.
That is, until late one night, when I saw her …
Kevin Moran, Executive Editor