Rediscovering the Past: Local History & Hauntings

Local Hauntings

Hauntings at the Deerfield Inn? Some claim to have seen a ghost of Cora Carlisle, the Inn’s owner from the 1930’s. Others say to have witnessed a ghost known as Hershel in Room 148.

Hauntings and history go together because ghosts are often traditionally seen as apparitions that once lived and therefore represent a past not entirely forgotten because it crosses realms and lingers in the present and future.

Many historic tales of hauntings are passed down through oral histories of places.  Through word of mouth, legends and ghost stories are passed down from generation to generation and become a part of a town or city’s character. Curious to explore some of Western Massachusetts’ haunted places? Head out and visit some of these intriguing places:

Deerfield Inn at Historic in Deerfield
Some claim to have seen a ghost of Cora Carlisle, the Inn’s owner from the 1930’s. Others say to have witnessed a ghost known as Hershel in Room 148.

Theodores’ Tavern in Springfield
Investigators from the SciFi Channel’s Ghost Hunters came to Theodores’ Tavern to see whether the historic building was haunted or not. Many say they have heard whispering, balls rolling, footsteps and apparitions!

Smith College’s Sessions House in Northampton
There’s a Revolutionary War legend that Lucy Hunt died of a broken heart after being separated from the man she loved, General Burgoyne. The Sessions House was the 18th century home of Lucy’s family. The two lovers used to secretly escape to a hidden staircase in the house to spend time together.  It is said that Lucy Hunt still haunts that staircase today!

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Ancestors Come Alive in Local Cemeteries and Tours

Cemetery Tours

An experiential way to learn about local history while satisfying an intrigue for ghost stories is to participate in a guided cemetery tour. With some local cemeteries pushing their 400th birthday, Western Massachusetts’ burying grounds are community-based resources filled with primary source artifacts that support an interest in history.

Through facilitated tours, often hosted by local historical societies, self-directed teens and lifelong learners can explore local graveyards together in order to deepen their understanding of community history.

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Featured Events: Graveyards & Cemetery Tours

Graveyard Tours Support an Interest in Local History and Cultural Studies

Graveyards are filled with stone markers that chronicle a community’s history. Everything from the names of buried people to the style of the stone can tell visitors something about the time period to which a headstone dates back. Photographing and sketching gravestones is a creative way to explore local cemeteries, alongside a self-guided or facilitated tour. Here are three featured guided tours for this haunted season: Read the rest of this entry »

Featured Events: Haunted Historic Buildings & Tours

Haunted Building and Tours Support Curiosity, and Learning!

Hunt for ghosts at Ventfort Hall in Lenox, MA.

Towns across Western Massachusetts have tales of haunted historic buildings, ghost sightings, and supernatural suspicions that lead people to wonder whether a place is haunted or not.  Haunted tales are sometimes rooted in actual events or historical accounts from people of the past, and can add to the mystery and curiosity of a place. In the Berkshires this haunted season, three events support learning about local history through the lens of hauntings and paranormal tours: Read the rest of this entry »

Literature Spotlight: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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