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The Friendly Ghost of Valentine Marston

By Thomas D'Agostino

A family vacationing at Hampton beach were out walking one morning when they saw a little boy who looked about 12 years old standing in front of an old house smiling. The boy appeared to be glowing brighter than the surrounding area he was standing in. The daughter of the family became frightened over the appearance of the handsome smiling boy who wore coveralls a blue sailor's shirt and sailor's cap. He appeared not be looking at them but through them. The father approached the boy and asked, "Hello sonny, do you live here?" The boy instantly vanished. The three then realized they had just encountered a ghost.

Most ghosts are friendly or at least harmless. There are some surrounded by negative energy that may be part of them or the place they haunt. This is not true in the case of the ghost of 11-year-old Valentine Marston of Hampton, New Hampshire, who is always smiling when he makes an appearance.

Val, son of C.C and M.A Marston, was born on Valentines Day in 1879 and died on October 12, 1890. His father had an old gun, which Valentine found one day and decided to take to the woods near his home and try out. The gun exploded, almost blowing his hand off. Although he was not injured too seriously, his wounds gave way to lead poisoning, which became deadly.

All subsequent owners of the home that once sat on the corner of Watkins Lane and Lafayette Road have seen the boy on many occasions. He appeared to be surrounded by a halo of light. One time he came to the door of the house with flowers. When the woman of the house reached out for the bouquet, the boy and flowers vanished.

Others have encountered the smiling young boy while passing the old house, which was many years ago, moved a few blocks from its original location. Some claim to have witnessed the glowing boy in the sailor suit walking along the beach. Each time he is approached, he vanishes into thin air. There is no special time he makes an appearance but those who see him never forget.

One family had many run-ins with the little ghost while living there between 1972 and 1977. One time while cooking in the kitchen, the pages of the cookbook began flipping furiously. The mother quickly shut the book. When she opened it again, the pages started flipping rapidly once more. Her children reported seeing the ghost on many occasions and guests once saw the little spirit run right by them.

It seems Val Marston liked to look at pictures as they were always found either crooked on the wall or placed somewhere where they would no normally be. Footsteps going from the living room to the kitchen were also a common occurrence for the inhabitants of the home.

Valentine Marston is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, the same small burying ground that houses the famous Jonathan Moulton memorial. A large boulder with the name “Marston” carved into it marks his grave. Although his body may be at rest, the young boy's spirit seems to be wandering the area, perhaps hoping to fulfill his dream of wanting to become a sailor when he grew up.