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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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