Abandoned But Still Inhabited Factory Hollow (CT)

Factory Hollow isn’t a high profile place anyone would go to investigate the paranormal, but don’t let that benign facade fool you….. where there are cellar holes and lone standing chimneys – there’s a story.

In 1796 a small village sprang up along the Blackledge River in the towns of Hebron and Bolton CT. It seems Hartford, at the time, was home to a number of both Methodists and Congregationalists who couldn’t get along with one another. The contention was over booze – the Methodist Church members out-drank the Congregational Church members and the latter assumed an ‘holier than thou’ attitude against them. Tired of the dissension, Pastor Elijah Andrus led his people out of Hartford to a secluded spot of their own south of the city in what is now Tolland County.

About 25 families followed Andrus. John Gay was one of the founding fathers of the settlement as were most of his family members. Andrus left the group after about four years for unknown reasons and Pastor Henry Sumner took over ministerial duties. He also brought a lot of family with him.

In an effort to sustain themselves, the group built a sawmill. Lumber was needed for homes and workplaces and contributed to the village’s economy. It was also beneficial in building the distillery that kept residents content. But, that really wasn’t the case.

A large part of daily life in this community consisted in drinking. Even the twice-weekly mandatory church attendance was a venue for imbibing in one’s favorite quaff. Ultimately, as it can turn out, many fights ensued, vulgar language was common, and any culture that had existed soon degenerated.

The little community witnessed two murders, but no one was ever accused of the crimes. A frequent peddler made his last stop in Furnace Hollow. He was relieved of his wares and money. His body was found in a charcoal burning pit – not quite cooked. And although the village charcoal-burner was investigated, no charges were ever brought against him.

Maybe seeing that homicide was tolerated in town, the blacksmith who became overly angry with his quite young apprentice for being a little late one morning decided to slice him up. Not only did the boy die – he was beheaded. This horrendous act also went unpunished.

Having had enough, many people started leaving the hamlet. The Civil War was also on-going and many men and boys from Factory Hollow went off to war and died on the battlefields reducing the population even further.

Over the years, the lumber mill burned down, a woolen mill replaced it which a few years later also went up in smoke. A third mill, a paper factory, wasn’t a charm, either – it also ended in ashes. After about 80 years the small community that could – couldn’t.

Factory Hollow is now known as Gay City State Park and sits along Rt. 85 where Hebron meets Bolton. It’s named after the Gay family who founded the area. Old cellar holes, lonely chimneys, stone foundations, the burned rock structure where so many fires took place, a wheel pit that held the overshot water wheel, and stone walls once used for gardens and pastures all remain to tell the tale of what was. There’s even a small cemetery. And – there are unsettling vibes and hauntings.

While during the day hiking trails, Still Pond swimming beach, and remains of the community seem calm and quiet, once the hint of dusk starts – old residents wake up.

Over the years – and still happening, many people report hearing disembodied voices that sound like townsfolk are still enjoying their inebriation. Orbs have been seen and shadowy wisps of shades meandering through the trees are witnessed. Near the area of the old charcoal pit a ghostly figure has been spotted. Perhaps it’s the old peddler wanting his killer to be brought to justice. Some people have noticed a boy running through the woods holding his head in his hands.

This place has a distinct feeling of heaviness. Wherever you go, you are being watched. You can hear rustling through the brush where no one is walking. Something is moving and you catch a glimpse out the corner of your eye. The breeze seems to murmur. And dark figures definitely walk among the trees.

Furnace Hollow or Gay City, if you prefer, may be abandoned, but it still lives on.

     – ashanta

What’s In the Woods?

I am always looking for local places that are known or are thought to be haunted. After thinking about it for a few days it came to me. There is an area out here close to the Berkshires I’ve walked quite a few times in the evenings. It seems different and maybe it’s worth checking out.

There is a certain place on this road near Middlefield State Forest where you can hear a dog barking way off in the woods. Every time I’ve walked this stretch, that dog or coyote or whatever it is, is barking. There are no homes anywhere within a mile or so on this road and there are no intersecting roads – just miles of dense forest. From what I could see, no one had made a path or trail leading out there either. I had always thought perhaps there was a way in I hadn’t found yet, but not so. Anyway, until now I hadn’t been curious enough to explore.

After lunch, as I wanted plenty of time, I left to check things out. I arrived at the barking spot on the road and hiked about a half a mile into the woods when I started seeing animal bones. Nothing much at first, but more numerous as I got further in. I assumed a lot of these bones were from deer as a few antlers were found also. There were piles of smaller bones, too. In my experience, people find bones in the forest all the time, but usually not in such large quantities in one area. I kept thinking what would explain what I had found. Something feeding such as a bear or maybe coyotes or maybe even, although unlikely, wolves. I searched and .there were no tracks to be found. So, was it just coincidence these bones were located in such a small area? No matter the reason, I was just happy that I had a knife with me. Of course it wouldn’t make much difference, but I still felt better having it with me.

It was getting to be mid-afternoon as I continued on further into the forest. There was still plenty of time to get out before it started getting dark. As I walked further in, here and there were rocks that had been stacked one upon another. Others had been placed to create designs. Someone had to have made them. Nature doesn’t arrange stones in specific patterns.

It occurred to me that possibly someone was living out here maybe to get away from people or some other reason. I made sure to pay attention all around me as I continued on. For no reason did I want to surprise or be surprised by someone if they happened to still be around.

I continued on, but soon and for no apparent reason, I started to feel a chill and it didn’t have anything to do with the weather. It was a warm day. I also, increasingly, got a feeling of what I can only describe as impending doom. I felt as if I stayed there, it wouldn’t be a good thing.

On my way back to the road, I neared the area where the stacked stones and rock symbols are located. I have an idea what they could be. Am I right? I don’t know, but I did break up some of the rock design symbols, just in case…

I haven’t been back yet, but do plan to go later this year with some fellow investigators. I also spotted an old cellar hole on my way out, and want to check back on that when the sun is high in the sky and darkness isn’t creeping into the woods.

Bran

 

Hauntingly Beautiful Napatree Point RI

Napatree Point is a beautiful strip of sandbar connected to Watch Hill on the westerly side of town. It’s beautiful, peaceful, and a great place to enjoy numerous activities in the warmer months. Napatree today belies it’s horrendous past events that disrupted the lives of hundreds and ended some of those lives forever.

At one time the spit was abundant with trees, but in September of 1815 a fierce windstorm – also known as, “the Gale of 1815” – destroyed many trees in the area and wiped out just about all of them on Napatree Point.

Over time the peninsula was built up. The U.S. Army built Fort Mansfield at what used to be a bend at the end of the peninsula at Sandy Point and a spit of land that reached toward the bay.

Until 1938 Napatree and Watch Hill became a mecca for wealthier families in the area – and tourists – to get out of cities in the heat of summer and enjoy the sun, sand, numerous shops, and restaurants the area was known for. People built cottages and houses on Fort Road that followed the golden sand along the Long Island Sound.

Then on 21 September 1938 the “Great Hurricane” struck the area. In a matter of hours life was never the same. You have to remember that at this point in history weather predicting was nowhere near the scientific endeavor it is today. There were no satellites, no buoys in the ocean, no internet, and not much of any other technical advantages we have today. Most storms were discovered by reports from ships out at sea. It was known there was a hurricane that was expected to pass Cape Hatteras and keep going east, out to sea. That didn’t happen.

The tempest hit the Napatree area around 2:20 in the afternoon on the autumnal equinox. People had no warnings and most didn’t know about it until they saw the 50-foot wall of water approaching them at about 60 miles per hour. There was no time to prepare – or get out of the way. Winds were blowing between 90 and 120 mph, rivers, ponds, and streams were overflowing their banks everywhere and flooding started happening immediately.

Within six hours houses, boats, cars, ships, and trains were being swept away and smashed into whatever was in the way. So were people. Bodies were strewn everywhere. Many were found under feet of rubble The coastline was remade. Sandy Point became Sandy Island. In the Watch Hill area about 100 people died and many more were missing. Statewide the destruction was estimated to be about $400 million dollars – and that was at 1938 currency value. Reconstruction took and long time and emotional scars lasted forever.

Visiting the picturesque, soft-sand beach today, you’d never guess all the devastation that happened 82 years ago. Old foundations have been hidden by sand dunes and seaside vegetation has taken root. The beach is pristine and the water is beautiful. Many shells dot the sand along the shore. Sometimes even a fork or spoon still washes up onto the beach.

It isn’t always so serene though. People have heard sobbing and some hear what sounds like children yelling for help, There seems to be an older man who can sometimes be seen looking over Little Narragansett Bay toward the harbor. Maybe just as he did in life. And then there is the woman who appears to walk out of the ocean and disappear when she reaches shore. With all the pain and suffering that took place in this locale, it isn’t surprising that some of the energy of that trauma still lingers.

– ashanta

COVID-19 – A Paranormal Take

This horrendous pandemic is not only viral, but gives a message to all who will listen. If you can get past the multi-media craze for 24/7 alerts, updates and raw-nerve panic tactics, this disease has something to say to all who will listen. It’s a message that’s been out there since time started, but no one has listened or learned – yet.

This existence we are all in called life is not an individual experience. It’s commonly shared amongst us. The vibrations by one persons activities, thoughts, and intentions create repercussions that affect all the rest of us. Everyone of us affects all others. We live in a vibrational matrix. That’s how this Universe we all inhabit works. And it’s time we all learn that, know that, and understand that.

This existence was never intended to be an egocentric one. It’s designed to be a conglomerate of individuals all concerned about one another and understanding the fact that everyone residing within it is interdependent.

If this caronavirus pandemic hasn’t shown you that – then you’ll never understand anything of any value for a significant life experience.

The message is clear – understand that we need to be a worldwide community of caring people concerned about one another to stay safe and healthy. Or – we can carry on these feckless ethnocentric bigotries that spew hatred and hypocrisy and we can all perish.

Will you listen to this message from your higher power? Or do you think you are the higher power in this wonderful Universe that you obviously are oblivious to and face Armegeddon?

– ashanta

 

A New Look at Mercy Brown, R.I.’s Vampire

Mercy Brown was not a vampire, but she is a ghost – and an active one.

For those not familiar with the story, Mercy Brown put Exeter, Rhode Island on the map. In the last half of the 1800’s consumption was on a rampage throughout the area. Death tore families apart and wiped out large populations of cities, towns, and small rural villages like Exeter. The Brown family was no exception.

Mary E. Brown, wife of prominent farmer George Brown, was the first in the family to die of this infectious illness. Twenty year old daughter Mary Olive soon followed. In 1892 younger daughter Mercy drew her last breath. Shortly after Mercy’s death her brother Edwin was diagnosed with the same disease as were many other townsfolk. This became too much for the local villagers to handle and with ill-equipped physicians and little known about medical issues, fears started to mount.

As panic set in rational thought went out. Rumors of vampires spread quickly throughout the community and a demand to find the vampire became an exigency. Since Mercy was the most recent to pass on, she was targeted by villagers. It’s not a positive, but it is believed that since Mercy died in January 1892 her body was kept in an above-ground crypt until warmer weather would make a ground interment easier.

George Brown didn’t believe much in vampires and especially didn’t think his daughter was one, but with the townsfolk unbridled fear and demands for proof, George agreed to an exhumation.

A short time after her death, Dr. Harold Metcalf assisted in the examination of Mercy’s body. It was found that she still looked very much alive and still had blood in her heart. The superstitious vampire hunters were convinced they had found the revenant attacking the living among them. Her heart and liver were removed from her body and burned on the spot.

Now, 128 years later, we think we know vampires don’t exist, but in 1892 people believed more in them than they did a doctor’s explanation of disease. So back then the people were relieved they had slain their monster. But, people in the years that have followed that vile mutilation of a person much loved by her family, know Mercy was not laid to rest. After such a desecration is it any wonder Mercy is still very much with the living?

Mercy’s, (I’d like to say resting spot, but that wouldn’t be true), grave is located in Chestnut Hill Cemetery behind the Baptist Church on Ten Rod Road in Exeter. If you visit the cemetery, the Brown plot lies near a pine tree about mid-way down. Mercy’s headstone is quite obvious – it’s the one with the steel reinforcement around the bottom to prevent souvenir hunters from once again going off with the famed marker.

A visit to Chestnut Hill could well introduce you to Mercy. On entering, there is a feeling of being watched and sometimes followed. Many people have reported seeing a woman walking around the grounds – an ethereal woman dressed in white. There have been observations of blue lights weaving their way around grave stones. White orbs are abundant, also, especially around the old crypt where her body may have been placed to await ground interment in the warmer spring months.

While Mercy Brown wont be waiting in Exeter to bite your neck, she most likely is waiting for you to know her real story. So many brutal acts have been committed as the result of superstitions and ignorance. And the sadder part is that many actions still happen today with the same illogical reasoning and stupidity.

– ashanta

Becket Quarry, MA Who’s Still There?

Becket Quarry, formerly Chester-Hudson Quarry, now defunct, is noted for being one of the most intact historic granite quarry sites in Massachusetts and, also for its paranormal activity.  It is an interesting place to visit, as it seems almost frozen in time. There is a feeling that those who once worked there will be returning to finish their shifts at any moment. 

As you get a short distance into the quarry you will see where granite, succumbing to father time, is slowly be eaten away by the elements. Rusted out shells of machinery and rigging give off a feeling as though they are waiting patiently for their operators to continue.

The original quarry filled with water after the business was abandoned and is now a deep pool of calm reflection. Looking across the hillside you can see the granite jutting out from the mountain going far into the distance.  As I understand the stone is of such high quality it had been used to build some structures in our nation’s capital.

I had visited the quarry a few times and had some interesting results while searching for paranormal activity, so decided to return and see what I could find further. When I first entered the quarry I felt the presence of spirits belonging to who I felt were workers from the past. Did they have an attachment to the place where they spent a large portion of their adult life working or are the rumors of men dying during the construction of the quarry true? I plan on investigating any records pertaining to the quarry’s operation that are available in the near future.

I stood there waiting to see what more I could glean from these spirits for several minutes, but sensed nothing else and decided it was time to venture further into the preserve. As I walked up the narrow dirt path passing the rusted remains of an old work truck I started to hear what I believed to be the sound of old cables coming from the excavation area to the top. I hurried to the remains of the old building at the top not far from where the cables start, but the sound had stopped. I had been using a recorder at the time, but it had not recorded anything other than my footsteps. I left it on for the remainder of my visit, but did not find anything unusual in the recording.

I checked out the remains of a building that looked as though it was getting ready to collapse. There was only one room and its sole contents were an old wood stove. I had the feeling of someone who was not very friendly, maybe a bit angry, watching me from afar.

I continued up the path and as I got closer to the excavation site I started getting increasingly uneasy. I could feel the presence of evil, more than one entity too. As strange as it sounds they were very gleeful. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with me, but I felt I couldn’t remain there even for a second longer. I moved quickly down the path until I was far beyond feeling anything of whatever they were.

As a child I had heard adults talking about a story of organized crime using it to dump a body inside a car. Is the old story true?

As soon as I got back to my car, which was a ways down the road, I performed a cleansing on myself. When I got home I did another cleansing on myself, car, and home. This time with everything I needed to do it properly. Even then I couldn’t sleep that night.

Bran

Deer Warning

This is an experience my wife had a couple years ago. She has never had much interest in the paranormal, although she is open to it. It seems apparent to me she is sensitive to this type of phenomena and these kinds of experiences like the one I am about to share.

She was driving from the country towards the city when she saw a person on the side of the road. As she got closer to the figure she was shocked to see that it appeared to be a Native American medicine man. She had an intense feeling that she was being warned to slow down, then the figure disappeared.

About 200 feet further down the road a deer stepped out into her lane from the forest and was followed by a second one with three fawns. They stopped in the center of the road and just looked at her. It took about thirty seconds before they continued on their way. On her way back home from the city two more deer stepped out into the road and wouldn’t move. She got out of the car and walked towards them trying to shoo them away until they finally they moved on. She told me they were unafraid and she could have touched them if she had wanted to. It didn’t end there, either. As she was getting close to home three more deer stepped out of the woods and stopped in the road. They moved on and she finally got home.

My belief is that she was being shown that the deer is her spirit animal.  She is the kind of person that doesn’t much care about her ancestry, but when I asked she told me she had been told as a child that both sides of her family had some Native American ancestors. She has had other similar experiences usually of being forewarned.

Bran

White or Black Magick?

White magick is good, black magick is evil. Really? I don’t know who decided that magick should be defined by the terms white or black, but do have to think it may have been someone employing the craft to get something they wanted and then feeling guilty for doing it.

There is no such thing as white or black magick. Magick is magick. Magick doesn’t care what intention the user has. It works the same way for anyone employing its power. Some practitioners might have purer reasons than others, but it isn’t the magick that’s good or not so good. That onus is on the one using it.

The one catalyst that effectuates results in magick is will. Intention will see results if the will is strong enough.

There’s an interesting consequence of designating magical practices either white or black. The usual tools of rituals and spells have become biased also. Historically, candles, crystals, herbs, pentagrams, stones, and the like are part of the spell-casting process. Now, if black candles are used they must mean one is invoking negativity or the devil. Only white candles are a symbol of purity. And one should make sure to only use the favored herbs and stones of those on the so called white side.

And pentagrams! One of the first thoughts that comes to the minds of most is that the pentacle represents Satan. Wiccans will point out that the use of the five-sided star is fine as long as it has only one point upright. Otherwise, two points up would indicate the horns of the evil one. My question is, Why? Horns have always symbolized wisdom.

Have you seen Michelangelo’s painting of Moses with them?

Pentacles have become one of the most maligned symbols in use today. They once were considered sacred. The Catholic church was one of the first to use them as such. Pentagrams are interesting and far from representing the Prince of Darkness.

The pentagram is known as a star polygon and ultimately it’s measurements equal 1.618 or phi, which also equals the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio is a line that is divided into two parts.  The long part divided by he short part equals the entire length divided by the long part. 

The Fibonacci Sequence will also converge on the Golden Ratio. In the Fibonacci Sequence, which is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc., each number is the sum of the two previous numbers.

While these two functions seem diverse, the Fibonacci Sequence will converge on the Golden Ratio – it will produce 1.618.

The Golden Ratio is also called the Divine Proportion. It is ubiquitous in nature and also found in science, the arts, and mathematics. The idea of associating the pentagram with Satan lacks reason and rests only on a manufactured paradigm.

Over years, Hollywood and other media, and some religious groups have portrayed magick, witchcraft, meditation tools such as tarot and astrology, paranormal occurrences, and other like interests, something to be wary of and basically evil. There’s still a lot of interest in these things though, as evidenced by the many tv shows and movies on them available to the public every day. The problem with a lot of these programs is they generally adhere to the idle belief that pentagrams, black candles, ouija boards, people getting three scratches, etc. prove something evil is happening. Again, according to whom? Where do these tenets come from? Probably the same people or organizations that attempt to manipulate and control people into conforming to their own belief systems.

I am not saying that dark things don’t occur. They can and do at times. But bad things can happen with bouquets of pretty flowers, white clothing, and hearts and smiley faces, just as easily as not.

Tools of both ritual and spell work hold neither good nor evil energy within themselves. The energy that infuses them is the energy coming from the person / persons using them. White isn’t pure, black isn’t evil, and pentagrams are mathematically interesting.

– ashanta

The Haunted Half Mile

There is a certain area on a local dirt road where I’ve heard of several people that have had paranormal experiences. The one thing that really got my attention was their stories were very similar to something I have experienced myself and written about before.

I have spoken to some of these witnesses and found all of their stories have at least one thing in common: a feeling of being followed by something from the forest along the side of the road when walking. I believe this is likely a spirit or, at least, something out of place, possibly from another realm-dimension.

I had been planning for a few months to check it out and had decided the best time to try and make contact would be at Samhain, when the veil between life and death grows thin. I was going to bring a small group with me, so as to get everyone’s input, but as things worked out it wasn’t to be. So, I gathered up my K2 meter, recorder, and laser grid pen and started out on my adventure alone.

The information I had gotten from various people about where their experiences occurred covered an area of about a half mile in length along a particular road. My plan was to walk this section of road, see where and if I felt anything, and, if I did, set up my circle of protection to work from.

I arrived at the location in the late afternoon, a bit before dusk, and got out of my car to begin the walk. As I started walking my imagination started taking over. I then realized what was happening and had to stop to ground myself before continuing. I did this because I wanted to be sure that anything I picked up on was not tainted in any way that I could help. In the beginning all I noticed was a dog barking in the distance, but then something seemed just a little different to me. I can’t describe exactly what the difference was, but somehow it was as if I were isolated in my own space separate from the area around. As if I were in a bubble.

I stopped for a moment, noticing how silent things seemed, and really listened hard, but this intense silence persisted. I had the feeling that if someone were nearby yelling to me I would still hear nothing. I live out in the country and can tell you it is often quiet at night, but never like this.

As I continued on things gradually returned to normal and nothing more happened as I reached the end of that half mile stretch and turned around to return to my vehicle. I didn’t have that experience of extreme silence on the way back, although I stopped numerous times to try and recapture it.

Near the end of my walk I felt I was being watched. I didn’t get a feeling of being menaced, just observed. I stopped to the side of the road and pulled out my K2 meter to try and get a reading. There was a spike for a few moments, but that was all. I heard no answers to my questions when I played back the recorder, but the battery had died shortly after I started using it. The thing was I had replaced the batteries just before leaving the house. Were they defective? Maybe, but I don’t believe so.

I got back to where I was parked and decided to cast a circle of protection about 20-30 yards down the road to work from as I attempted to communicate with any spirits or other beings in the area. I surrounded myself with protective energy as I reached out and let my mind open to discover what I could, and hopefully communicate.

I received no information other than feelings of sadness, loss, and anger, but mostly sadness and loss. I decided to leave then. When I started my car, as I looked down the road I saw someone walking towards me. I continued watching for a minute and then turned on my headlights. No one was there!

–  Bran

AI and the Paranormal

Is AI a paranormal subject?  I can’t give a definitive answer to that question, but I do know that it certainly isn’t normal.  If it is paranormal, it is the only paranormal entity that scares me – a real lot.  When the elitists and power-grabbers start infusing machines with the minds of humans, the question of whether ghosts are real or not won’t have to be discussed.  They won’t be.  And – those greedy for power, (under the name of science and technology),  started their subtle quest to conquer humanness into the body of a robotic back in the early 1960’s. After their first attempts to conquer space, NASA figured out that man could not make years-long travels to other destinations in space without changing biological structures as they presently exist.   Even after a few days of weightlessness in space, man starts losing both bone and muscle mass.  It became clear that mechanical intervention has to happen.  But how much is considered necessary?  Now 50-odd years later, the push is on to gain general acceptance for AI and so is the hypnotic rhetoric to the walking sheeple.

Movies like Bionic Man, Wonder Woman,  etc. started making appearances in many flics over the next decades.  This genre has since increased in frequency and great effects like those seen in Arnold Swartznegger movies and others help introduce and romanticize the effects of implanting and sharing human qualities with machines.  This ploy, I think, is meant to lull the masses into acceptance and eagerness to participate in this great new venture.  If Hollywood does it – it has to be good.

The proponents of this technology offer eternal good health, immortality, and the ability to know all you want to know about everything, and do what you want to do forever.  But, will you still want to know? Will you still want to go skiing, biking, to bars, to restaurants, still love your hobbies?  After your mind is sucked into a machine what happens to your enthusiasm for your passion about something or someone?  Does passion still exist?  Passion, dreams, goals to aspire toward, enjoyment, and other emotional drives that make us who we are would no longer be exist within the framework of techno-bionics.   You may be able to live eternally, but who will you be?  Will you be able to recognize yourself?  Will you care?  And, if you do care – what kind of prison have you allowed for yourself to become trapped within?

The fusing of mankind into machines  —  AI  —  Accepted Imprisonment.    It would be nice if this new technology would be used for the betterment of humanity, advancements for the environment,  and general well-being for the concommitance of existence we live within, but who determines and governs what measures of integrity will be accepted and enforced?  Does integrity still exist today?

–  ashanta