A Haunted Historical Site – Keystone Arches

One of the things I love about the area I live in is that there are more than a few haunted locations in the Chester, Middlefield, and Becket areas of MA. One of the places that come to mind most people have probably never heard about – even though it has an important place in American history.

The story begins in the mid-19th century. Boston could no longer compete with New York in the transportation industry because of the Erie Canal, which had opened in 1825. New York offered traders and manufacturers access to the expanding Western frontier by way of the Great Lakes. To remain relevant, Boston had to overcome the main obstacle between itself and the young nation’s interior, the Berkshires. The mountains blocked any reasonable chance for a rival canal.

Railroad technology was still young, but the promise was evident. So for dreamers, planners, and engineers, the challenge boiled down to one question: through the mountains or over them?  Investors conceived another route that would utilize the natural gorge cut by the Westfield River on the eastern slope of the Berkshires and the path of the Housatonic River on the west. Investors decided to go over them and build a railroad access.  A series of 10 bridges had to be erected in the rough terrain to create a suitably straight route along the Westfield River. The project was agreed on and started in 1839. It was completed in 1841.

What happens next is what, I believe, leads to the activity some people experience now if they visit the Arches. To accomplish this massive project, the railroad had to employ large numbers, (up to 3000), of laborers.  These men were mostly Irish immigrants who were sought as they were very poor and willing to do the hardest, most dangerous labor, for very little pay. Research tells me those brave men were paid approximately $10 to $15 a month for work no one else wanted or dared do.

Living conditions for these workers were bad as they lived in quickly erected shanty towns also known as squatter areas. Their shelters were constructed of any scrap materials they could gather. Often times during construction workers died either accidentally or due to illness. These deaths were never reported.

Many times while hiking to view these lost stone arches, I have personally experienced what sounded like hammering, and shoveling, and I’ve heard voices mumbling.  Could these men still be working and living in those terrible conditions hoping to leave soon?

–  Bran.

 

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A Haunting or A Lingering Energy?

We’re still fairly new to the Quiet Corner of Connecticut.  This area got its nickname because this is a fairly rural area.  It’s a very rural area if you’re used to suburban living with everything you need just down the street from where you live.  Around here, groceries can be half an hour away.  We’ve found, also, that some of the ‘quiet’ comes from the fact that unless you’re born around these parts, you’re always an outsider.  Conversations are kept polite and stories about ‘happenings’ only come from other transplants that still haven’t been completely taken into the fold.

We bought this place out of necessity.  Our other house sold quickly, we had to move out even faster, and there wasn’t a lot of inventory on the market at the time.  The first time we saw it in person is when we moved in  —  Unless you find an exceptional real estate agent,  not motivated only by the vision of commissions dancing in their head,  this method is not recommended.

The surroundings here are quaint and quite pretty.   Wildlife, and I mean the forest kind, is abundant.  And crime is low on the scale – which is a nice thing.  The energy here, though, is odd.  It doesn’t have a good flow and it’s not an even flow…there’s a strangeness about it.  It’s something that was difficult to put your finger on until a couple of months ago when something may have become plausible.

Someone from another town told us of an accident that happened many years ago somewhere in the vicinity of this house.  If it wasn’t our house, there are only three others it could have been.  We’re all lined up on the same side of the street.

A child was on her bike and started heading down the driveway.  These houses sit on the side of a mountain and as such, the driveways are a nasty pitch upward from the street out front to the rear of the houses.  The road out front is the only major route connecting area towns to major highways.  The child could not stop at the bottom of the driveway and careened out into traffic.  Traffic couldn’t stop in time.

In the short time we’ve been here there have been three or four major crashes right around the front of these houses.  Two have hit our retaining wall that abuts the sidewalk.  The last one split the utility pole next to our driveway into two pieces.  A truck flipped over on its side in front of the next house down from here.   Our neighbor right next door, who we partially share a driveway with told us that a couple of years ago a car took out three utility poles right in front of both our houses….

I can’t help but wonder if the tragic event that took that little girl’s life so many years ago didn’t create an area of negative energy that precipitates other accidents.  Negative energy could certainly be created by such an horrific situation that affected so many lives.  The child may not know how to leave the area or find her way to a different plane.  When she feels she is able to pull someone to her that may be able to help, another accident happens.

I also wonder if this negative pocket of energy hasn’t existed in this particular part of town for a very long time causing many accidents over decades that go unremembered or recorded.  This thing almost feels as though it waits and claims what it wants when its energy starts getting low.

I’m not sure if the little girl can be helped or if any of this energy can be mitigated, but have decided to try and reach out to both and see where it goes from there.  It’s a start.

–  ashanta