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Darrah Pond

Thomas D'Agostino

Roy Memorial Park in Litchfield, New Hampshire, features ample playgrounds, two baseball/softball diamonds, soccer field and a talent hall. In the summer months Litchfield residents can enjoy fishing, swimming and boating in Darrah Pond within the confines of the park.

Darrah Pond is the showcase of this quaint little park in many ways, one of them for its ghost. During the daylight hours, the shouting and laughter of visitors to the park permeate the air but as the sun begins to fall below the horizon, the voices thin out as only the more brave remain. It is then that these hearty souls may catch an earful of the cries emanating from the pond, as a child who appears to be drowning screams for help.

The ghostly appearance of the screaming child at Darrah Pond is known around the region but his identity seems to be lost to antiquity. Arlene and I visited the park on a late Sunday afternoon to check out the claims of the ghost. We encountered several families playing on the swings and slides. Upon interviewing them, they stated they were aware of the watery specter but had never actually seen the ghost.

They, like others, also knew that the twilight hours became a signal to vacate the property, as that is when the screams would begin to echo through the open fields and woods. It was apparent no one really cared to witness the ghost of the little boy in Darrah Pond.

Darrah Pond is not the only spot that is haunted by a child. Just a stone’s throw away is Griffin Memorial School. The school itself is interesting, but the ball field is where the ghost of another boy is seen.

According to residents, a young boy accidentally hanged himself some twenty years ago while climbing the chain link backstop of the playing field behind the school. He was found the next day. Since then his ghost has been spied roaming the area where he suffered his unfortunate fate. Many witnesses have claimed to see a dark form of the phantom child on warm starry nights, climbing the chain link fence before vanishing into thin air.

If these little paranormal ventures are not enough for your road trip, just a half-mile down the road from the school is the "Cemetery With No Bodies." I have written on this in a previous edition of The Yankee Xpress. In the 1840s the Merrimack River swelled over, washing away the cemetery and most of the graves. Residents used vital records to recreate a cemetery across the road from the original one. Some of the stones were recovered but many had to be recut. The stones that were recovered were used as models for the newer ones. They were then reset into the ground but placed very close together as there were no interments under them. Many are the same-style cut although the dates on the stone may vary drastically. Though burials did take place in the cemetery since, it is quite obvious by the extremely close proximity of many stones that the name "Cemetery With No Bodies" is appropriate. And yes, it is also haunted.