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