Haunted Wachusett Dam & Reservoir

We hear about Quabbin Reservoir a lot, but little has been written about the Wachusett Dam and Reservoir.  That project was the first to confiscate land, homes, and properties to create a larger water supply for the thirsty residents of Boston.   Quabbin was the second and larger water supply, carried out by politicians, to give water, and themselves, the comfort they needed at the expense of others.

The Wachusett Dam and Reservoir Project was begun in 1897 and completed in 1905.  Four towns in Worcester County, MA became the target of the land grab.  Clinton, Spencer, Boylston, and West Boylston forfeited over 4000 acres to create a roughly eight mile by two mile water basin for people living on the east coast of the state.

Hundreds of people lost their homes, their livelihoods, churches, stores, their land, and their cemeteries.  Houses, churches, and factories were moved, but mostly they were razed.  It is said that over 4000 bodies were removed and some re-interred in St. John’s Cemetery in Lancaster.  There is an isle in the reservoir named Cemetery Island.  It’s the site of the initial St. John’s Cemetery where many residents were buried.  I wonder, though, if some that had passed on were perhaps laid to rest on a family property, as was sometimes the case back then – what happened to those remains?

These people being forced to move lost a way of life they were familiar with.  Many didn’t know where they were going. They didn’t know what to do.  They no longer had jobs and they had no way to provide for themselves.  There was no government assistance at that time. Residents could no longer go to their churches to seek solace.  Visiting those that had passed on may not have been as easy anymore, either.  After exhumation, coffins were stacked on wagons six high.  Tombstones were carried away, too, but some were lost or broken along the way.  And, how did they identify who went where?

This event has been mostly forgotten today, unless you live around that area.  The water for Boston laps the shores around Boylston, West Boylston, Clinton, Spencer, and Cemetery Island. It still harbors the energies of those who used to call it home and of the many who died working on the construction of the dam and reservoir.

Like Quabbin, this area seems to have a different energy.  It feels haunted by emotions of the past.  Black masses that cannot be explained are seen by some.  Lights have been observed meandering around the trees on Cemetery Island.  Shadows are seen walking in the area. Whistles that seem to come from the water can be heard.  It has been said that if you hear a whistle and return it,  you’ll get an answer.  This is not a residual energy….it’s an energy in the here and now.  Intelligent responses imply there is still active energy existing in the area.  Some have even heard disembodied voices.

It doesn’t seem fair.  Boston gets water and others get loss and hauntings.

– ashanta

Please see our other article on Quabbin  published as:

A Reservoir that Has Created More than Drinking Water

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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

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

Who Were They?

I grew up in a small village in southern Rhode Island. It was one of those places that if you were driving through and sneezed, you’d miss it. We had one main street through the center, three small side streets, and a long earthern private driveway. There was also a church, a mom and pop small store, a volunteer fire house, and very few street lights.

What we did have in addition to a surrounding forest were lots of trees, plenty of wildlife, and a dark, magnificent night sky. Stars shone like brilliant diamonds and the Milky Way stood out as the special thing it is. When a growing moon slid across the vastness of space above it lit up the earth and you could see the countryside like a Norman Rockwell night scene.

At the time UFO’s were a popular topic of conversation. Roswell had happened a few years before and even though I was very young I had a good understanding of the prevalent skepticism of the government’s flimsy explanation of the event. There were strange things seen in the sky on various occasions and no one doubted there was always the possibility it could be something unknown.

One bright night when I was in bed trying to get to sleep I noticed a movement by the window. As I watched, the sight turned into something that looked like a black-robed hooded figure. While not liking this very much, it became more curious than frightening. The figure walked to the side of the bed and stood there looking at me. I closed my eyes thinking maybe I was dreaming. When I got up enough courage to look again – the figure was still there.  (At this I pulled the covers over my head and probably yelled for my parents……(don’t remember that part).

Now if this was just a one-time deal, the memory of it probably would have gone away a l-o-n-g time ago, but that’s not how it happened. This event occurred many times over the course of several months. On the last time, I had been asleep and felt something touching the inside of my wrist. I opened my eyes to see this same clothed figure standing by the bed with an arm outstretched and the pointer finger touching me. I asked, for the first time, “Where do you come from?”. The being moved closer to the window, raised it’s arm, and pointed to the sky. With that it vanished.

To this day, I cannot sleep with an arm hanging over the side of the bed. I also prefer long sleeves no matter what the weather…..the ones that cover your wrists!

– ashanta

A Haunted Museum – Wistariahurst

Wistariahurst Museum is the magnificent homestead of silk manufacturing mogul William Skinner. It is nestled in the southern Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts and houses a wealth of history. And – it’s haunted.

This 26-room historic mansion has been situated in Holyoke, MA since 1874 after being moved, piece by piece, from it’s original site in Williamsburg, MA. The Skinner’s lived there until 1959 when the youngest of their children, Katherine Skinner Kilbourne, deeded the homestead to the City of Holyoke for philanthropic purposes.

The first incarnation of the Skinner estate, “Wistariahurst” as it came to be known (and spelled in it’s German variation), sat across the street from the Skinner’s first three-storied brick manufacturing plant on the Mill River, which supplied its power. When the Mill River Dam broke in 1874 it brought death and financial ruin to mill workers and owners alike. William Skinner, finding himself in almost complete financial devastation and mill-less, accepted an offer from the Holyoke Water Power Company to move his silk business and family home to Holyoke. A deal too good to refuse, Skinner accepted and the house was moved from “Skinnerville” in Williamsburg to the city block it now occupies in Holyoke.

The house was built large after the fashion of any wealthy manufacturer of its time. It was made larger,and more magnificent by Ruth Isabel “Belle” Skinner, a spinster daughter of the silk industrialist. Money was no object and Belle didn’t mind spending it – especially if it made her look even better in the society to which she had become accustomed.

Many stories have been written about the family, the house, and their history. Nothing, yet, has been mentioned about the peculiar activities that happen on the premises when the visitors leave…and before they arrive.

Formerly, I worked as a volunteer for the museum and was responsible for preparing the house to open for visitors and closing it down when museum hours were over. I’ve been throughout the house on many occasions and have had a number of experiences that weren’t ordinary and cannot be easily explained.

I was on the second floor of the house one late afternoon turning off lights, closing displays, and getting ready to lock doors when there was the sound of a door banging loudly. Could it have been another volunteer or administrator coming in? I called out, “Hello! I’m closing up, up here. (Listening) Hello?.. (Listening. Walking toward the noise.) Hi, where are you?..” No reply. Nobody. No closed doors.

I found the other staff and volunteers downstairs and mentioned the noise. All present said they had heard it, but none knew where it came from.

Other things seen and unseen:

Moving shadows out the corner of one’s eye.

Plugs and extension cords thrown into the middle of hallways.

Footfalls.

Doors closing behind you when you enter a room.

A few of the former servant’s quarters have been closed to the public for one reason or another, but those are the places where a lot of the activity takes place. Perhaps that’s why they aren’t opened that frequently.

On another occasion I was on the second floor locking up one of the servant’s areas. There was always an uneasy feeling in these rooms, like you were never alone. I made sure everything was secure and locked the door. As I was walking down the hallway toward the back staircase when the space between the door and the jamb rattled violently and then slammed shut again. It had been closed when I left it moments before….

Sometimes I had to go to the third floor where the head housekeeper had her bedroom and office. Her name was Hulda and she was like a member of the Skinner family. You never feel alone on the third floor. There are footfalls that follow you and doors will close behind you – even when you don’t want them to.

While the servants quarters seem to be the most active areas of activity, some of the family members also still remain – at least during some parts of the year because you can hear them. And – sometimes see them.

I’ve seen Kittie, the youngest of the Skinner children, at the top of the wrap-around staircase from the main hall. She was elegant in her long, champagne silk gown starting her descent along the suspended stairs. When she got to the landing overlooking the great room she vanished. Her hair was swept up in a loose twist and she wore a string of pearls.

Although Wistariahurst now offers candlelight tours around Halloween time, their actors and effects cannot produce anything like the real thing!!! Seeing and hearing are believing. Artificial presentations don’t produce the same phenomena as the real thing does.

– ashanta

Unanswered Questions

I was doing a tarot reading for an acquaintance of a work friend for the first time. I have read the cards for friends and family for several years now. This reading started out
as usual, but when it was over something new to me occurred.

A thought kept coming to me, “ask her if she knows [this person]”. I ignored it at first, but the voice-thought kept coming back. I eventually asked her and found out it was her
dead brother. She then told me this had happened once before when seeing a psychic. She said that he is always letting her know he is with her by seeing him in her dreams.

She then said she wished she could hear from her dead husband, but never had. Then his name came to me. I told her and she was excited, he proved who he was to her satisfaction
by bringing up things from their life together. She said she had one question that she always wanted-needed to know and that was the one thing that never came through.

I have since been told by an established medium that not getting an answer to a question is sometimes the answer. It could be that the spirit didn’t have an answer, or that the
asker needed to find out for themselves. I, too, believe that there are sometimes lessons to be learned that the asker will have to find out alone.

-Bran.