Tuesday, July 19, 2005

HAUNTED! The Benton Homestead

So here’s the info I promised on one of our upcoming investigations.

There’s an old farmhouse in Tolland Connecticut that was built in 1720.

The history surrounding this house includes a tragic love story, captured Hessian Officers, a son back from the Revolutionary war (bringing with him smallpox) and the dead buried right in the front lawn!

The rich history of this place is well documented and while I plan on getting into the details at a later date, I thought for now I’ll offer up the more recent freaky tidbits.

The first time I experienced the Benton Homestead was when some friends of mine wanted to show me a Haunted house in Tolland. I was only 13 years old at the time. We all piled into the car of the only friend we had at the time who was old enough to drive. It was a dark and chilly night as we drove down the winding back country roads. We pulled up in front of the house and dared each other to get out of the car. Of course none of us had the guts to do it!

Now this old house sits really close to the road as is typical of many old New England farmhouses. We could plainly see through the bare windows that there were portraits on the walls in the upstairs bedrooms. With our faces pressed to the car windows we watched the eyes in the paintings glow red! We were freaking out! "Did you see that?!" we were screaming at each other. "GO, GO!!" "DRIVE!!" we screamed at the driver.

We were scared out of our wits. So we burnt rubber out of there but as the road was a dead end we had to once again drive by the house! Our friend who was driving decided to stop in front of the house on the way back. This time a light came on in one of the upstairs rooms. We again freaked out and begged the driver to go. The thing is here folks. . . No one lived in the house. At that time there was no electric lighting. There were no wires going to that house!

This was only the beginning of what would be many spooky experiences with this Haunted house.

I’ve been back many times since and have brought others to see these haunted happenings. We’ve yet to be disappointed.

One occasion that comes to mind is when a group of us went up to investigate during the day.
It was a bright sunny Summer afternoon and there was no one around but us. We walked around the house peering into windows and checking out the graves in the front yard. This time we weren’t scared at all and it seemed to be just another old abandoned farmhouse.

I recall looking through a side window and seeing a room that was fully furnished in colonial period furniture. Right by the window was a small wood cradle with a baby doll tucked in with blankets. Its little eyes closed tight, forever sleeping as plastic baby dolls do.

One of my friends called me over to check out this old well on the other side of the house.
I told her you could see into this room really good by standing on a rock and that she should come check it out. When we went back to window where the baby doll was, I saw something that to this day makes the hair on my neck stand up. The Baby had been turned over face down and the blankets were removed!! THERE WAS NO ONE IN THE HOUSE!! NO ONE LIVED THERE!!

That was just another example of the bizarre things that happened at this place.
It is now open to the public as a historical museum. Although you are not allowed to go upstairs.
Unless of course your name is Seeker and you happen to convince the curator on a day that no one else is there but you and him. ;)

The second floor is by far the creepiest place in that house. A very narrow crooked stairway takes you to a small hallway with a couple of bedrooms. The first bedroom on the left had some of the original furniture from the Benton’s. Including a sampler hand stitched by the very Woman who now haunts that place with a passion. The tragic Jemima Barrows. She was the forbidden lover who while not allowed to marry the Benton’s son was allowed to care for him in the house while he suffered from smallpox.

There I stood in her bedroom. I could feel her eyes on me as I examined the detail of her work.
Why did they hide her things away up here? The floors seemed unstable as I walked down the hall to the second bedroom. This room was used as storage for the museum and didn’t feel active in any way.

Downstairs you can see the window where they removed the body of their son to his final resting place in the front yard. He was so contagious they didn’t want to carry his body through the house so they pulled him out the window!

In the basement you can see the fireplace that warmed the souls of the Hessian officers and still barely make out where they carved the word "Hessian" and the date 1777.

Yes I have a knack for "feeling" ghosts. She didn’t want to follow me into that room. She stayed behind in her bedroom. She’s still there now I’m sure. She never fails at showing her presence to me whenever I return to visit. Much to the dismay of those who brave the trip with me.

The Seeker team is planning a new trip to the old Homestead and we’ll be sure to capture her and her departed love on film. That is unless the old Benton senior ghost doesn’t scare us off!

Here’s a link with more spooky info on the Homestead.


Blogger Allie said...

That is the scariest thing! I live near there and drive by every day. I'll have to check it out!

October 09, 2011 7:24 PM  

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