It’s not even halfway through June, but the colder temperatures here in New England are reminiscent of autumn. That got us to thinking about Halloween and all things ghoulish. Have you ever been to a haunted house? We’re not talking about the fun ones the PTA put on at school, we are talking about a legitimate haunted house. Shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures have brought the whole haunted house phenomenon into everyday popular culture, but we often forget that most of these homes are not empty. They are inhabited by very real, live people like you and I. Some folks buy homes well aware of (and excited by) the paranormal activities supposedly occurring in the space and on the grounds. Then you have the people who are selling these homes, desperate to get away from whatever experiences they’ve had as owners.
Would you buy a house that was reportedly haunted? Why or why not?
While you ponder the answer to that, check out our list of some haunted homes right here in the Ocean State!
(As always, if you’d like to visit, many of these homes are private property so please contact the owners for permission)
Old Brook Farm – 1677 Round Top Road, Harrisville, RI
This house was featured in the 2013 horror movie, The Conjuring, so you know there are some freakish things going down at 1677 Round Top Road. Eight generations of the Arnold family lived and died in the home before the Perron family purchased it in 1970. While the movie was based on the experiences of the Perron family, it is noted that every owner of the home has endured strange occurrences – though not all attribute them to spirits. A man who moved in to begin restoring the home fled the home one night without his tools or clothes, jumped in his car and drove away screaming. The current owners, Norma and Gerry Sutcliffe, have restored the home, and are trying to live a nice normal life in their famous abode. After being disturbed by curiosity seekers (c’mon folks, that’s just rude), the Sutcliffes made a video attempting to disprove the Perrons’ story. Watch here and decide for yourself: <a href=”http://www.historyvshollywood.com/video/conjuring-homeowner-disproves-movie/”>Conjuring House’s Current Owner Disproves Movie</a>
Belcourt Castle – 657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI
I have actually been to one of the Ghost Tours at this home. Well, prior ghost tours. Harle Tinney sold the estate that she and her husband purchased for $25,000 in the 1950s to Carolyn Rafaelian, owner of Cranston-based jewelry company Alex + Ani. It is currently undergoing an extensive renovation and will be open again soon for tours!
We were lucky enough to meet Mrs. Tinney during our tour, and she was a delight. The home is gorgeous, no doubt, but the structure itself does not have any ghosts. What is haunted in this home are the many antiques and artifacts collected by the Tinneys over the years. There was a suit of armor that was purported to echo with the screams of it’s former owner, who likely met his demise while in it. There was also a chair in the ballroom that had an energy force whereby you couldn’t lower your hand to actually touch it. I did not experience this, but my boyfriend at the time was able to ‘feel the force’. Once the home reopens, I hope Ms. Rafaelian continues with the ghost tours. Even if the structure isn’t haunted, it is an architectural masterpiece and the workmanship inside the home is incredible.
Aldrich Mansion – 836 Warwick Neck Avenue, Warwick, RI
Reportedly haunted by a child who committed suicide by jumping from the balcony, the Aldrich Mansion is one of the top wedding venues in the state. Owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence since 1939, it is located by Narragansett Bay on picturesque grounds. Not exactly the place you’d think of when it comes to paranormal activity. Employees and wedding guests have described ghostly encounters on the property throughout the years – most involving the aforementioned child. You’d think being owned by the Diocese, a cleansing of some sort would have happened at some point. Then again, maybe they just don’t want to keep it hush-hush. Visit the beautiful property and see for yourself!
Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity House, University of Rhode Island, 29 Old North Road, Kingston RI
Amongst the joyful laughter, drunken parties, and end-of-year revelry of your typical frat house, Lambda Chi Alpha at URI also has to contend with not one, but TWO female spirits who haunt their hallways. Normally, a young woman at a frat house would be welcomed by the inhabitants, but not so here, where a young girl named Abigail who fell to her death on the stairs now scrawls “Help Me” on the walls. No matter how many times the frat brothers try to paint over the text, it keeps reappearing. Spooky. Also, in Room 7, a woman’s apparition is said to appear and pull covers off the bed, slam doors, and write “Welcome” on after-shower mirror dew. Are these spirited women really haunting the frat house? Perhaps it is a set-up by the University to get the brothers to behave. If you’re inclined to visit, contact the chapter first to make sure it’s okay with them.