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

 

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History for a Haunting

Due to the remote and secure nature of Quabbin it would make a wonderful place to hide out if you could. There have been numerous reports of unidentified animal sightings. We are all aware of the reports of mountain lions, or cougars, but, what else could be wandering around in the woods? Some believe that there are Yeti, “Bigfoot” who have made Quabbin their home. Although no-one has managed to photograph one here, or almost anywhere else, it would be a haven for a rare and elusive creature we have yet to “discover”.

Among the documented accounts of life in the Swift River Valley there is much fodder for ghost stories. I will now tell you two sad accounts that may explain some of the vibes that people experience in the seemingly serene settings of QuabbinValley.

In Dana in 1809 on the 23rd of November Joseph and John Lindsey, who were brothers, burnt to death in a coal pit (used to make charcoal). It was a cold night and they kept their fire burning. As it got late and they got warm and tired they fell asleep. In the early morning their father found what was left of their remains in the debris that was their shed. They were buried together, as there was no other way, in one coffin.

Also in Dana there lived the blacksmith Moses Marcille. In 1899 his house and place of business burnt to the ground. The family, devastated, moved to New Salem to start life anew. Marcille had some trouble adjusting to their loss and spent some time in an asylum. In 1904 they moved back to Dana and resumed their places there. On March 21, 1907 Moses Marcille was going to bed. Then he decided on something else. He got back up and put on his clothes, went out to his shop and grabbed his gun. He went back into the house, cornered his wife and shot her twice. He then shot himself in the head. His wife lived. The cornerstone of their old house can still be seen on the south side of the road to Dana. It is inscribed “O Marcille 1899” and has a bolt protruding from it’s top.

Even the Victorian period author H.P. Lovecraft was captivated by the darker side of this region. It is fairly well agreed upon that his classic tale of horror and necromantic rites, “The Dunwich Horror”  and his story “The Color of Space” are set in the town of Greenwich (before the flooding) and the surrounding areas. Today people claim to hear voices and see ghostly apparitions in Greenwich Village (Hardwick, MA).

Today many visitors to Quabbin still report strange experiences: seeing people walking who just disappear, having the feeling of being watched, hearing ghostly voices, seeing shadows moving through the woods. Some even claim to find odd shapes and lights in their photographs. Fog or mist that they didn’t see when they took the picture. Who is to say that there isn’t something otherworldly out there in the woods and clearings lingering and waiting for a chance to interact with someone once again?  Could it be you?

Other Local Activity
Local Reports: Haunted apartment in Ware near railroad track and lumber yard. Allegedly elderly woman died in 1st floor apartment. An internet post on Ghostsofamerica.com claims tenants heard moaning, scratching, smelled the “smell of death”, and saw the figure of a woman standing over them while they were in bed sleeping. Post says the 2nd floor tenants  heard footsteps and an unexplained  voice that seemed to come from another room. The poster identified themselves as “Naomi”.

Also, listed were a 300 year old house on South St. in Ware with slamming doors. Submitted by “Lynn” and an anonymous posting by a person claiming to have lived on Spring, Otis, and Dale Streets and experiencing *poltergeist* activity at all of them, as well as being pushed down stairs, feelings of being watched, and auditory phenomenon.

Aspen Grove Cemetery:  Reports list “misty” images in photos, humanoid images, auditive phenomena, and sensation of being “pushed”. (ghostsofamerica.com) Also, reports of *orbs*, feeling of being touched, apparition of a girl, “black images” or possibly *shadow people*, voice heard. (texashauntsociety.com)

Rutland State Prison Camp and Hospital: This facility operated between 1903 & 1934. It was a home for prisoners with tuberculosis operated in the Western area of Rutland. In 1907 a 30 bed hospital for prisoners was constructed for the prisoners. The detention center and hospital were shut down in 1934 to make way for the Quabbin Watershed and the property sold to the Metropolitan District Water Supply. Today the property and remains of the facility remain in the Rutland State Forest. The grounds are reputed to be haunted by the wife of the Superintendant. There is also a cemetery holding the remains of 59 prisoners in 3 rows. All the graves are unmarked and for all purposes the cemetery is abandoned. (neparanormalresearch.com)

Shad Factory (The Palmer River Manufacturing Co.): This plant was built in 1811 and manufactured cotton yarn until 1826 when it expanded and renamed to “Orleans Manufacturing Company”. In 1831 the mill burnt down. It was was rebuilt in 1832 and remained active until the Civil War. After the war the mill quickly re-opened, but burnt down again in 1884. The corporation was this time abandoned and never re-built. There have been reports of non-existent fires being spotted inside the ruins, *orbs* have been spotted in the wooded area surrounding the site, also the figure of a shadow “man” has been seen walking the premises. (neparanormalresearch.com)

Belchertown State School: The Belchertown State School was in operation from 1922-1992 and was comprised of ten major buildings. It was not actually a school, but an institution built to house the mentally handicapped. It was shut down due to gross negligence, unsanitary inhumane living conditions, and patient cruelty. According to the Site Development Feasibility Assessment prepared for the Town of Belchertown, “The school was nearly self-sufficient, with its own water system, sewage treatment system, power plant, fire department, and telephone system. Other services provided on the campus were hospital, dental, kitchens, laundry, print shop, shoe repair, etc”. One of the “etc.”‘s includes it’s own cemetery. Until 2004 at the Warner-PineGroveCemetery the interred were only identified my numbered markers. Screaming , crying, and mysterious lights are some of the most frequent reports. Other alleged activity includes slamming doors, running footsteps, extreme fluctuations in temperature, apparitions seen on the grounds, a ghostly man spotted in the woods, moaning, lights in the tunnel system, and swings swinging by themselves. Specifically reported at the Tagdell Primary School (which was re-purposed from an original BSS building) are mirrors vibrating and falling from walls, blood trails found in basement bathrooms, feelings of being watched, pencils and other objects being moved around, objects falling off walls or appearing to have been ripped from the walls, and bathroom stall doors slamming and locking. (realhaunted.com & theshadowlands.net) Interestingly, in some of the reports filed during litigation against the state school it is mentioned that the residents bathrooms were lacking doors.

– moonchild