What better way to celebrate Halloween than ghost stories about places not quite far enough away for comfort? Less than 20 miles of Western New England University there are at least 7 haunted locations, some were even featured on SciFi's TV series "Ghost Hunters."
Theodore's and Smith's Billiards
Springfield, MA (2.4 miles from WNE)
In 2009, thirteen paranormal investigators from "Ghost Hunters" spent two nights at Theodore's and Smith's Billiards in Springfield. One of the members, Stephen Gonsalves, is a city resident and has been going to Theordore's for years before eventually bringing it up to his team. There are reports of shadows, footsteps, cold spots, and hearing pool or bowling balls well after closing. There was also an employee who claims to have seen a little boy sitting on a pool table but when he looked back, the boy was gone.
This is where the team started their investigation. One of the investigators saw what appeared to be the shadow of a man walk across the room; another saw a small shadow running around near the pool tables. They heard footsteps and pool balls and other unexplained sounds. These kinds of occurrences continued in different parts of the building throughout the whole night. They also caught a recording in the basement of a voice saying "Welcome to Theodore's." Creepy, but at least the ghost is polite.
Are there more spirits—aside from the bottled kind—at Theodore’s? If you want to see this for yourself it was on "Ghost Hunters" Season 4, episode 21.
Springfield, MA (3.6 miles from WNE)
Legend says that two boys died in the pond in Van Horn Park sometime in the 1920s. Visitors claim to hear the boys laughing, playing, and splashing in the water. They even say they've seen the water move when nothing is visible.
Interestingly, there are no reports of the two drowned boys. At least 9 people have died in Van Horn Park, the only double drowning occurred March 19, 1932. Six-year-old Louise Musante and four-year-old Shirley Hannon were playing when they fell through the ice. Maybe this is how the story of the two boys started and the story has become a little distorted since then.
East Windsor, CT (12.3 miles from WNE)
This restaurant in Connecticut used to be the residence of the Revolutionary War soldier Captain Jonathan Pasco. The house, built in 1776, is still filled with memorabilia and antiques and some would even say ghosts. There is said to be an apparition of a tall, thin older man that some believe is Pasco himself. Staff say they get uneasy feelings, doors open and close on their own, cold spots can be felt, and there's a paper towel dispenser in the ladies' room that runs wild, causing general mayhem for the cleaning crew.
East Granby, CT (12.6 miles from WNE)
The tunnels of a copper mine were made in Connecticut's first prison. It operated from 1773 to 1827 and is now known for a mass amount of paranormal occurrences. There are reports of apparitions, screams being heard, and guests have felt like something has touched them. All the usual creepy ghost stories bundled up in an old abandoned prison.
Belchertown, MA (15.3 miles from WNE)
School is scary enough without ghosts being added to the mix. When it was established in 1922 it was known as the Belchertown State School for the Feeble-Minded and gained a reputation for the poor treatment of its charges. There is a story about two residents who fell in love but were kept apart. Their ghosts still run between the dorms trying to find each other. Witnesses say it is haunted by its tragic past. There are reports of apparitions, footsteps, breaking windows, cold spots, screaming, crying, doors slamming and locking, and much more.
Before you even think about going to investigate trespassing is not allowed on the property.
Northampton, MA (17.1 miles from WNE)
Another haunted school, because finals aren't scary enough. The story goes that this historical dorm was originally built in 1710 by Captain Jonathan Hunt. He included in it secret passageways so the family could hide from attacking Native Americans. These passageways were a secret meeting place of Hunt's granddaughter Lucy and her lover, Johnny Burgoyne, a British general who was held captive in the house during the Revolutionary War. When he was sent back to England, he promised Lucy he's come back to her, but he never did; it is said that their spirits haunt the house together.
A lot less romantic is the story of a woman who killed her own children with an ax, mistaking them for burglars. There were also two students who fell to their deaths while searching for the passageways, which just enforces that no one should investigate haunted places that don't have a tour guide to show you where to go.
Tolland, CT (18.4 miles from WNE)
Our last stop on this haunted road trip was built in 1720 and was home to six generations of Bentons. Elisha Benton was captured while fighting the British in the Revolutionary War, and caught smallpox on the prison ship. When he came home, Jemima Barrows took care of him and caught smallpox herself. Because they weren't married, they were buried on opposite sides of a carriage path. Witnessess say shostly figures move in the home's windows at night, a girl is heard crying, a soldier' apparition roams the grounds as well as a woman in a wedding dress.