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Since Thanksgiving is less than a week away, I thought a story near Plymouth Rock might be fun. So, this story, from Plymouth Massachusetts, might make you shiver slightly.
The Spooner House in Plymouth, Massachusetts was built sometime around 1749 on North Street, which is just one street over from Leyden Street. And Leyden Street is where the Pilgrims built their settlement in 1621.
Five generations of Spooners lived in the two-story home. It was originally constructed for Hannah Jackson, a widow living in Plymouth. But the Spooner family purchased it from her and the first Spooner to take up residence was a successful business man and patriot of the American revolution, Deacon Ephraim Spooner.
James Spooner was the final Spooner resident. He died in 1954 and willed the house and all of its furnishings to the Antiquarian Society to be turned into a museum. Today it contains over 200 years of original furnishing and, according to the stories, at least one of the original residents.
During the summer of 2005, a group of workmen were hired to do repairs at the Spooner House Museum. When the group of men arrived at the house, they knocked on the door and were delighted to have it opened by a little girl dressed in an old-fashioned white dress. They weren’t surprised to see someone dressed like that because it was a museum and often featured reenactors.
A little while later the curator came downstairs, surprised to find the men at work. When she asked, who let them in, they shrugged and told her the little girl did.
“What little girl?” the curator asked.
The workmen led the curator to the room which the little girl had entered, only to find it, as well as the rest of the house, empty. The workmen, not used to encountering ghosts in broad daylight, packed it in and left.
Since that day, tourists and other visitors claim to have seen the child, too. One woman, who used to live in the house next door, said she woke up one night to find the little girl standing at the foot of her bed.
Most believe the child is Abigail Townsend, an eight-year-old who died in the house in the 1700s. There are two stories about little Abigail’s death. One claims that a toothache ended up becoming an abscess and, since there was no such thing as penicillin in the 1700s, the infection spread through her small body and killed her.
The other story, not quite as innocent, is that her father was a fisherman and he was away at sea most of the time. Abigail and her father had a good relationship, but her mother was abusive, especially when her father was gone.
One day they received word that her father was lost at sea. Abigail’s mother blamed the child and took her anger out on her. Abigail soon died of mysterious circumstances. The mother claimed it was a bad toothache, but many people believe Abigail’s mother murdered her daughter in a fit of rage.
According to local legend, if you stand on the street in front of the Spooner House Museum and say, “Abigail, come play!” you will see the ghostly figure of a little girl standing in the upstairs window.
Writing in Haunted Massachusetts, Thomas D’Agostino, relates how on a Colonial Lantern Tour of Plymouth, outside the Spooner House, a woman felt someone touching her shoulder. Turning, she saw a little girl who said “I have to go now” and promptly vanished. The group was amazed at the special effects, until the tour guide assured them that there was no special effects.
Happy Friday! And Happy Thanksgiving!!!