An Uncomfortable Story

This is a personal account and one of the first that confirmed for me that all the things I had been experiencing may have actually been real.  I was not yet a teen, my father had died, my mom remarried, and we moved to a different state, (MA), to a new life.  I had a step-sister about 17 years my senior.  She had a fantastic job in the Boston area and lived there alone with her very young daughter.

One day, not too long after our move, we got a call that Barb, (not her real name), had been found dead after a presumable jump from her 10th, (or so), floor apartment.  This didn’t seem right.  She loved her daughter and had plans for their future together.  Her job was secure and she was successful.  Suicide just didn’t fit the picture, but I guess it often doesn’t make itself apparent.   But, there was this mystery man in her life that no-one in the family had met or knew.  No one knew who her daughter’s father was, either. According to neighbors of hers, this man visited her place often.  But who was he?  Did she really jump?  Why would she have done something like that with such a bright future and a kid she loved so very much?

Since I was considered, by my stepfather, too young to go to the funeral, I stayed home.  There were subsequent investigations by police into her case.  There were things that just didn’t seem plausible or to fit into the scenario.  There were some clues that could have suggested foul play.  There were questions that no one found answers to, but nothing ever came to fruition that I know about.  If this situation may have been a homicide it certainly has remained a cold case.

As I got older I decided I’d like to visit her grave.  I knew she was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Florence, MA – a suburb of Northampton, but had no clue about where.  I parked the car and got out, walked around for a bit, and then just stopped and looked.  Suddenly, I saw this woman with short brown hair and a blue dress wave to me.  She motioned with her hand to follow her.  I did.  She took me right to the site I was looking for. I had found my step-sister and she helped me do it.

Later that day, after arriving back home, I related the story to the family.  They looked either shocked or surprised….  It seems Barb had been buried in a blue dress.  I couldn’t have known that – I never saw her in that attire.  Her hair was short and brown.  And the area of the cemetery was correct.  Her name was on the stone at my feet.

Either there were no more investigations by the police or the case just turned cold and stayed that way.  I don’t know, but nobody was ever accused of pushing her over her balcony even though suspicions loomed.  Yet, every year on the anniversary of her death there were red roses placed on her grave by someone no one could identify.

-ashanta

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A Mountain Adventure

One of the popular attractions in the Connecticut River Valley in MA includes Mt Holyoke with its many hiking trails and programs offered at the Summit House that sits atop the mount.

Early in the 1800’s a guest house was built on Mt. Holyoke by a local organization, but in the 1850’s the place was purchased by  John & Fanny French.  The Frenches added-on to it and increased the space to provide a number of guest rooms and a dining facility.  The new resort was then called the Prospect House.  John French also built a tramway to get supplies in and make transportation easier for his guests.

By the 1860’s the Frenches sold the place to John Dwight, but maintained management of the tourist spot.  After both the Frenches and John Dwight died the hotel found itself in the hands of Joseph Allen Skinner, son of silk magnate William Skinner of Holyoke MA.   Joseph Skinner was a prosperous businessman and his interest in the mountain was environmental rather than financial.  He was concerned that the fast growth in the valley would destroy the natural beauty and importance of nature and wildlife.  In 1940 Joseph donated about 375 acres to the State of MA to be preserved as a state park.  The only stipulation was that it bear his name.

Many people frequent Skinner State Park and extensive renovations have recently been completed.  But, there is a feeling on this mountain, in this place, that you are never alone.   Flashes of a white streak through trees can be seen.  Orbs of bright light suddenly appear.  Footfalls can be heard on the porch.  And occasionally, there is a soft murmur of what could be voices – or is it a gentle wind blowing from the woods?

For me, the feeling of unseen presences is the most consistent. It isn’t scary, it’s just there.  Maybe it’s one of the Frenches or Mr. Dwight wanting the welcome another guest.  Fanny was known for her graciousness and both men enjoyed their visitors and offering great hospitality.  Maybe they decided not to leave the place they loved best.

-ashanta

A Mystic Experience in CT

Mystic, CT draws hundreds of tourists each year to experience its many attractions.  The town is rich in history.  It’s home to Mystic Seaport, one of the best maritime museums in the country,  Mystic Aquarium, and numerous marinas and restaurants.  As in most early settlement locations, Mystic has its share of old cemeteries.  Two of them are quite interesting each in its own way.

Elm Grove on Greenmanville Avenue, (Rt. 27), was established in the mid-1800s by a board of leading families from the area. Their Victorian influence created a resting place that looks like a park bordering the Mystic River.  Streets were laid, plots were planned out, trees and flowers were planted, and benches dotted the area for people to relax during their walks around the grounds – a common weekend activity.

One of the last times we were there, we were on the west side of the cemetery.  The land slopes down to the water and you can look out and get a picturesque view of the Seaport Museum.  There are many boats traveling up and down the river, too.  As I was turning around I saw a woman dressed in a flowing white dress.  She seemed to come from somewhere near the middle of the area.  She floated to a spot on the shore and just stared out to the sea as if waiting for someone.  She remained visible for two or three minutes before fading away.

The woman looked to be in her mid-thirties.  She had long dark brown hair. She looked like a living person and if she hadn’t floated I probably wouldn’t have watched her.  I tried talking to her, but her gaze stayed riveted on what she was looking for.  She could have been residual energy, or just very focused on perhaps finding what she had lost.

Whitehall Burying Ground on Whitehall Avenue, close to the Whitehall Mansion Inn, is quite  stark in comparison to the gracious Elm Grove environment with its artistic monuments.  It dates back to the 1600s.  The stone markers are mostly rectangular and domed and seem to be made of sandstone, limestone, and/or slate.  Decorations run from willows, angels of death, scrollwork, skulls, and other earlier types of art generally reflecting the solemnity of death.

Whitehall seems to host early settlers, sea captains, veterans of wars gone by including the Revolutionary and I think, Civil Wars.  It’s a rather small spot, but larger than the older, widely used family burial plot usually established on the person’s property who once lived there.

You don’t seem to ever feel like you’re alone when walking around Whitehall.  Shadows can even be seen in broad daylight.  Shadows are apparent at night, too, as well as orbs.  Orbs are commonly thought to be circles of energy visible to the naked eye.  Some skeptics call them ‘dust’ or ‘bugs’ and this could be true in some instances, but I find it difficult to believe that in a place as dark as Whitehall is at night, you’ll be watching illuminated, dancing dust particles.  And if you happen to visit in the autumn when dried leaves have fallen, sometimes you can hear what sounds like footfalls crunching them behind you as you walk through that spot of eternal rest  —  or unrest as the case may be.

So maybe next time you’re in Mystic you can add a couple of more places to your ‘have to see’ list.  And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to experience even more.

ashanta

A UFO??

A few nights ago, after quite a hot day, we went outside to sit under the stars and enjoy the coolness of the evening.  We live in Stafford Springs, CT and there isn’t a lot of light pollution here to obscure the night sky’s vista.  There were a few planes going over here and there and a lot of lightening bugs signaling in hopes of finding a mate.

Suddenly my son-in-law said, “What is that – right up there?”  pointing to the South-Southeast.  There was a bright circular light about the size of a large star traveling in a straight line toward the North-Northwest.  It didn’t twinkle as a star does and it didn’t have any blinking lights that would indicate it was some sort of airplane.  We wondered if it could be some kind of satellite.

As it got right overhead from where we were sitting, or more accurately now standing, it stopped.  It stayed stationary.  The object didn’t move for maybe four or five minutes.  It then got darker and almost disappeared.  Just as quickly, it got very bright.  It moved forward again, maybe another degree, and stopped once more.  The darkening and re-brightening process repeated.  The object stayed still for another few minutes before continuing on its path until it just vanished.

We haven’t seen it again since, but will keep looking to see if anything else happens.  I wonder if anyone else noticed anything unusual?

ashanta

A Reservoir that Has Created More than Drinking Water

Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts is a beautiful place, but many things haunt it, and their presence is palpable.  Construction on Quabbin began in the 1930’s as it was created to supply water for Boston.  The project was completed in 1946.  During those years pain, sadness, upheaval and relocating bodies – maybe,   left their mark.

The western MA towns of Dana, Enfield, Prescott, and Greenwich were decimated to quench the craving of eastern MA for more and more water to support its burgeoning population.  The satisfaction of some came as a severe sacrifice to others.  Politics, it seems, never changes.  Lives of those who were displaced, those many years ago, were never the same and the emotional scars never went away.  This agony alone can cause disrupting energy that can still be felt today.

In all, approximately 2500 people were forced to leave the only home they had ever known.  Whatever they could move was saved, what couldn’t be moved or carried was gone forever.  Houses were razed, homesteads were destroyed, and what remained was bulldozed and then set on fire.  Even the six to seven thousand dead were said to have been moved.  But, were they?

According to the documentary Under Quabbin:  The Search for the Lost Towns  …[i]

there were many stacks and broken shards of grave stones lying next to old cemeteries. These markers were not taken away when the supposed exhumation of the long dead happened in the lost towns of the Swift River Valley.  Bodies were allegedly taken and reinterred at Quabbin Park Cemetery in Ware – dedicated as the new home of the dead from the drowning villages.  But, with so many memorial stones left behind, can anyone be sure no bodies remained with them?

No mention has ever been made about the sacred grounds of the Nipmuck Indians who lived in this central Massachusetts area for hundreds of years.  They had settlements around the Swift River Valley and surely had dedicated burial grounds for their people.  These dead were not moved by any account I can find, so it’s possible that some of the deceased still remain under the waters.  [ii]

If you ever go to visit Quabbin, the beauty of the spot is wonderful.  But, as you  walk around, view the water, and listen to the wind in the trees, you start to feel something.  The energy isn’t as comforting or easy as such a scenic place might inspire.  There’s a restlessness, a sense, that something isn’t quite right.  And you feel like you aren’t alone.  It feels like those who were forced to leave have come home.  They have reclaimed what was always theirs.

http://www.foquabbin.org/valley.html

[i]

Author:

            Ed Klekowski; Libby Klekowski; Jonathan Williams; Michael Volmar; University of Massachusetts (Amherst campus); All authors

Publisher:

Springfield, Mass. : WGBY, a division of the WGBH Educational Foundation, 2003.[ii]

                “The only graveyrads left untouched were those known to be old Native American burial grounds. For some reason, the decision makers chose not to disturb the dead from such consecrated locations.” -referencing the relocation of the deceased to Quabbin Park Cemetery.

Haunted Massachusetts:  Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Bay State, by Cheri Revai, Stackpole Books, 2005.

–  ashanta

ashantaofthelema@gmail.com

 

October Mountain Mystery

This is an experience I had years ago while living in a different town.

About 5 miles from where I was living, in Western Massachusetts, there is a state forest that covers roughly 16,500 acres[1]. I had been told by numerous people it was a bizarre place, so a friend and I decided to go for a hike around an old Boy Scout camp that used to be there[2] next to Felton Lake. Being curious we hiked around for a while and found it. The camp no longer existed because someone had burned it down at one time or another. We had decided to hang out by the lake and look around for a while. When it became late afternoon we realized it was time to leave if we were to get out of the woods before dark.

After a while, as we were hiking back, we started hearing these grunting sounds. They seemed to be coming from quite a ways away from us. The first thing we thought was that it was a bear and so we picked up our pace. The noise seemed to pick up pace with us,although it still sounded to be a distance away.

As the sun went down and it got closer to dark the grunts seemed to get closer to us and started to come from different spots. It was as if something was communicating, as strange as that sounds.

When we got out of the forest and back onto the road I looked back and saw these eyes looking out at us. I swear they seemed to be 6 or 7 feet off the ground!

We were freaked out to say the least and got the hell away from there as fast as we possibly could. I haven’t been back there since for obvious reasons. Now, many years later I want to go back with our paranormal group and maybe get some answers to what I saw, as well as the things that have been reported by other people. Over the years spirits have been reported near a long abandoned cemetery and along the path that leads to it. UFOs have also been seen in the area.

Felton Lake is in October Mountain State Forest. It consists of several parcels of land located in Becket, Lee, Washington, and Lenox, MA. It is the largest State Forest in Massachusetts. (www.mass.gov)

Reported sightings include anthropoid creatures, like Bigfoot, mysterious lights, and a ghost girl in the abandoned 1800’s cemetery.

[1]    October Mountain State Forest

[2]    Camp Eagle

–  Bran

A Beautiful and Haunted Museum

A beautiful and haunted museum sits next to the Connecticut River in rural Hadley, MA.  Situated on acres, amongst farmland, this c. 1752 Colonial-style house has been home to many of the same-family members over the course of a couple hundred years.  In 1949, Dr. James Huntington opened the home to the public and the Porter, Phelps, Huntington House Museum was born.

After such a long history, it isn’t too surprising that the house seems to be home to more than one family member who just didn’t want to leave.  Phenomena associated with the house are doors that open and shut on their own, footfalls walking the halls and rooms,  disembodied voices, and encounters with someone that quickly moves past visitors.  It seems that most of the activity is from a woman or two, and possibly a child who seems to like the staircases best.

Moses Porter constructed the house outside the Hadley village stockade on about 600 acres of fertile land and created a home for his wife Elizabeth and their young daughter Betty.  Things went well until the French and Indian War broke out and Moses was called to duty.  He was deployed to the Lake George area in 1755.  Capt. Porter was killed in battle and buried in New York.  One night, one of the Porter’s servants handed Elizabeth her husband’s sword from battle.  She knew then, he’d never be home again.  Elizabeth never got over the death of her husband.  The house experienced a long period of sadness and emotional distress that continued in a downward spin.

Eventually, the house was passed along to Elizabeth Porter’s daughter Elizabeth. Betty lived in the mansion with her husband Charles Phelps, Jr. and their several children.  After Charles died, Elizabeth hoped her son, Charles, would bring his family and come to the house to live with her.  He never did.  After Betty’s death, the house went to her daughter, Elizabeth Whiting Phelps,  who had married Dan Huntington, the parents of Dr. James Huntington.  The House is now managed by the Porter Phelps Huntington Foundation.

It has been purported that an impression in the bed can be seen in the front bedroom that belonged to Elizabeth and Moses….the place where Mrs. Porter got the devastating news her husband was dead.   We’ve toured the property on several occasions and on one of them a definite shape could be seen in the bed.  We’ve heard knockings, and there are definite shadows that can been seen out of the corner of one’s eyes.   I understand that the family themselves, and only among themselves, knew some of their relatives never left the property.

Who is the woman there?  It’s up for grabs.  It could be either Elizabeth Porter or Elizabeth Phelps.  They both seemed to have reason enough to stay on.  Maybe if you go and visit you can determine the source of activity…..and experience it for yourself.  There’s a prominent feeling of being both watched and followed.   I don’t think you could ever feel like you were alone in the place.  And the child?  Maybe one of the children who never reached adulthood and left this world at a very young age.

It’s worth a visit to this museum for it’s historical, architectural, and aesthetic value alone.  But, if you’re fortunate enough to have a family member visit you while you’re there – it’s an extra treat.

–  ashanta

ashantaofthelema@gmail.com

Announcing Western Mass Paranormal now covering Tri-State area

WESTERN MASS PARANORMAL NOW COVERING TRI-STATE AREA

We just can’t get enough of New England or its mysteries. We want to invite all of our loyal followers to explore more of it with us and welcome new friends

from the ENTIRE MASSACHUSETTS, CONNECTICUT, AND RHODE ISLAND AREA.

We’d like to invite you to share your thoughts and/or questions with us.  Is there a location you’ve heard about and would like more information on?  Do you have an interest in us investigation something special to you?  We’d love to have your input, suggestions, and your stories, if you’d like to share them with us.
Please contact us at:  ashantaofthelema@gmail.com
Thank you for reading and thank you for sharing.
     – ashanta

And Death? – a thought…

Everyone has thoughts about death.  And, mythology, movies, religion, and most other aspects of life all have their own thoughts, ideas, and expressions of this eventual destiny we all face.  But, what would you do if you met Death face to face and it was bright, flashy, and had a big smile?

I mean, we always think of death as this end-all thing.  Darkness, nothingness,   (etc.), but what if it isn’t?   What if what we now think of as life is really death?  What if when we die we are actually re-born into an existence that is exhilarating and meaningful?

So what about that dark, black- hooded one holding a scythe?  Who is he?  Have you thought about or taken a good look at the world around you right now?  Maybe that dark one doesn’t represent what comes next.  Maybe, that one describes what we are living in here and now.

What if death is wrapped in light, contemporary clothing, and a smile?  Would it seem so ominous then?  What if death offered reuniting with those we’ve lost that have gone on before us?  There are so many accounts of people we know and care about coming to visit us after their passing at other times – why not be able to be with that family after we, also, go on?

Have you ever sat back and contemplated death?  How do you feel about it as it pertains to you?  It isn’t something that you want to do to take up a lot of your time, but it is worth a think or two.  Take away the thoughts of pain at not being with those you love again on this plane of existence.  Time won’t heal that raw-ness, but it will mitigate some of those feelings.  But, if you know will you will re-unite with them again at a future point   —  it’s like going on a sabbatical of sorts.  Just think about dying.  If you know it’s still an existence on another level of what the Universe gives, then, it’s like moving to someplace new.  Will we be alone?  Who knows, but I think we are all born into spiritual families and I also believe we return to them.  There are too many accounts of people upon death being reunited with those we love and know.  And, I don’t believe these are only figments of our minds upon that final farewell to this material plane.  That brings us to what is consciousness?  I don’t know, but neither do scientists.  No one knows, but I’m willing to believe that it is part of the Universe that we are all a part of and doesn’t end.  We are all a thread in the fabric of the Universe and that fabric isn’t torn regardless of what state we are in, be it life or death…..and, who really knows what state is what or when.  We are all a thread in the fabric in the concomitance of life in the Universe.

Life gives strife, worry, disease, pain, anxiety, emaciation, dissatisfaction, frustration, and depression.  Death offers relief from that.  We have no idea of what else it may offer, but since all things in life seem to operate on a diametrical symmetry, things on the other side can’t be all that bad.

– ashanta

All Hallows

Happy New Year to all of you who celebrate the Celtic New Year at this season.  The harvests have been collected, the air usually gets a bit crisper, the nights are getting longer, and Halloween is just around the corner.

Samhain is a wonderful time of year to go a haunting.  The veil gets thinner as the end of the month approaches.  You can feel the energy change and get more charged with higher vibrations.  The spirit world in all its manifestations lies close and communication happens faster.

Maybe those feelings you get of being watched are true —  because you are!  How about that something you notice out the corner of your eye?  Perhaps it isn’t a “floater”.  Are you getting more feelings of deja vu?  Do your animals act weird and stare at something you can’t see?  Do they bark or meow for no apparent reason?  Run out of a room they are usually comfortable in?  Do you feel like you may have some sort of message coming that you can’t quite figure out?  This could be a good time to look more closely into the things that just seem like a coincidence.  There’s no such thing as a coincidence.  But, synchronicity is real.

History has it that people dressed up at this time of the year…when they paid tribute to those that had gone on before and paved the way.  The day celebrated the dead, but those who ventured out of their houses didn’t want to be recognized, for fear those dearly departed would follow them home, come in, and stay for a while.  So — people wore masks to keep their identities secret.

The tradition to dress up on Halloween has stayed with us…..even though we know if anyone wants to haunt a house a mask won’t stop them.  Enjoy the day —  and night —  and set an extra place setting at the dinner table.  You never know who may come to visit.

 

–  ashanta