Skip to main content

Tales from Beyond

Hartford’s Haunted Railroad Bridge

By Thomas D’Agostino

Sometime between 2 and 3 in the morning on Saturday, September 5, 1887, Vermont’s worst railroad disaster took place a few miles from White River Junction as the Vermont Central Railroad express train from Montreal jumped its tracks and plummeted onto the frozen White River below. The engine was towing a baggage and express car, a mail car, two ordinary passenger cars, and two sleeper cars. Many were on their way from Boston to see the circus in Montreal.

A Curious Trial

By Thomas D’Agostino

In typical New England fashion, the story you are about to read seems beyond that of plain fact, but such events are common in the strange and wonderful place we call New England. This account was reported in the Connecticut Courant, August 31, 1813. New England is famous for such incredible news and the most astonishing part is that it actually happened. The court heard the case of Simers vs. Woolbridge and a jury was selected to decide the case.

Spirit Meets Science

By Thomas D’Agostino

The first Spiritualist movement in the 19th century opened many pathways for communication with the dead. The idea was not new, but with the advent of the movement, many new ideas and ways to speak to the other side were born. Inventors such as Thomas Edison and John Hays Hammond tried to create machines where we could better communicate with the spirits in real time as they spoke. By the middle of the 20th century the movement had slowed, but never quite vanished.

The ghost who solved a probate error

By Thomas D’Agostino

James “Pink” Chaffin was not an avid believer in ghosts, that is, until his father paid him a visit. Pink’s father, James, had been dead for four years and in the meantime, Pink and his brothers, Abner and John, had felt slighted and dismayed that the will produced by their other brother, Marshall, awarded their father’s full estate to the latter. Still, they toiled on with their lives, realizing that their father may have awarded Marshall and his wife Susie everything as a gift for taking him and his wife in when their home burned to the ground.

Wood Island Light

By Thomas D'Agostino

Lighthouses have a certain mystique that makes them alluring. Throw in a ghost or two and you have a perennial tale to forever be told by the flickering light of a campfire. There are many lighthouses in New England that are haunted by their former keepers or their families. The Wood Island light is no exception. In fact, there are a few ghosts roaming the island and the best part, you can actually visit them during the summer months.

Plymouth's Haunted Pram

By Thomas D'Agostino

The Trask Museum at 35 North Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts, became one of the most haunted buildings in the area, but not for its long-tenanted ghosts. The 1829 structure acquired a most curious artifact that soon proved to be haunted: an ancient perambulator, more affectionately known as a pram.

Strange New England Superstitions Part 2

By Thomas D'Agostino

In the first part of this series I spoke of certain superstitions pertaining to cats, witches, and apples. This part may delve a bit deeper into the macabre or arcane. New England folk were, and in some cases, still are a very superstitious lot. Whole books could be written on the number of different superstitions and how they vary from state to state and town to town.

WDO Scholarship winners 2019

Five local students were awarded $1,000 scholarships each from the Webster-Dudley-Oxford Chamber of Commerce, with official presentations given aboard the Indian Princess on Webster Lake on June 25,

The Chamber awards a scholarship to a student from the each of towns’ high schools, Bay Path and one to the son or daughter of a Chamber member.