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The Old House Web

From selected OHW bulletin board postings by Rick B.

Indian shutters
Indian shutters failed to protect inhabitants of this New Hampshire house in the 1700s -- or so local legend has it.

When we bought our 1700s New Hampshire farmhouse, the sellers disclosed thatthe house was "haunted." This seemed odd, but it didn't bother us. Weasked about the "ghost" and were told it is a female ghost that can beheard at times in the back bedroom. She mumbles, so it is not clear what shesays. People who have slept in this room claim to have felt the bed being kickedor shaken. Personally I think it's just gas from the furnace going up thechimney (which is near that room) or air from the forced hot air system. We werealso told that earlier owners reported actually seeing a woman walking in andaround the house.

I'm very much a skeptic but I would love for this ghost story to be true. Wekeep finding more and more out about this mystery.

As we began moving our belongings into the house we met the people livingacross the street. Their teenage daughter asked if we knew the house washaunted. We said we did but wanted to hear what she knew about it. A few yearsago while she was babysitting a little girl in the house, they heard what shedescribed as a crying woman from within one of the chimneys. They were both soscared that she called the her mother from across the street to come over andstay with them. The mother also claimed she's heard voices in the house othertimes when she knew no one was home. But neither the daughter nor mother haveever seen the ghost. Other family members claim they've heard music from behindthe house in the woods: a harp or flute playing a wild rhythm. Yet when they'vecrossed the street to check it out, they haven't been able to find its source.

One local legend has it that the back bedroom where the voices are supposedlyheard used to be a birthing room/ nursery. Sometime in the 1800s a woman livingin the house died while giving birth in this room. She may be the one stillhaunting the house.

Another story I've heard is that  I have heard is that the house wasattacked by Indians in the 1700s and the entire family was murdered. The youngdaughter was reportedly tortured before the Indians killed her. The house doeshave Indian shutters, but I've been unable to confirm any town records of Indianattacks on the house. an.

On a trip to the library, we found that in the 1970s someone discovered adateless headstone in the yard. There was no grave at the house, and the name onthe headstone -- "Moody Dodge" -- never appears anywhere in the townrecords. Then, during the house inspection we found a trap door, hidden underthe wall-to-wall carpeting and leading to a second basement. This eight by eightbasement is six feet deep, and lined with brick walls. I've heard many theoriesas to what this room was, ranging from a hiding place for escaping slaves on theUnderground Railroad to a root cellar . As of yet, I haven't been able toconfirm any of them.

trap door
The mysterious trap door -- what was the hidden cellar used for?

I still don't believe there is really a ghost in the house but I would findit kind of neat if there really were. There is a  superstition that as longas the ghost lives in the main living area it's a good ghost. Supposedly, it'sthe ones that reside mostly in the basement or attic that would try to causeharm.

To other scary stories

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