By Thomas D'Agostino
Many New Englanders do not know Lyndon, Vermont, but the spirit world seems to favor it, especially one of its oldest homes. The home known as the Cahoon Farm was built in 1798 and stayed in the family for almost two centuries.
A former resident, Madeline Hoffman-Holt, grew up in the house and in her later years, opened the home to guests and tours from local schools. It was not only the history and its antique furnishings that attracted people to the house; it was also the fact that it is haunted.
The home was originally built by Daniel Cahoon Jr. Unfortunately, he died of consumption a few years later and his father Daniel Sr. moved into the house. In 1811, Daniel Sr. was gorged to death by a bull. One account states he was rescuing a child from the charging bull and another relates that he was heading to his wine cellar when the bull got loose and attacked him. Either way, his wife sealed the wine cellar so no one would ever find it. To this day, legend states that Daniel's ghost can be heard clomping up and down the stairs and through the hallways searching for his wine.
Another guest once engaged in a tug of war with a spirit that wanted her bed covers. The covers were pulled from the bed and in an instant the startled guest found she was pulling the covers against unseen hands.
One overnight guest got quite a scare when she suddenly saw the edge of the bed she was lying in suddenly sink as if someone was sitting down on it. This just happened to be the room where the Cahoon family laid out its loved ones for funeral preparations. Daniel Jr., Sr., and other subsequent members of the household were laid out in the room for viewing and preparation up until the time when Ms. Hoffman occupied the room as a child growing up in the home.
One of the more odd incidents took place while another friend was visiting the farm. In the wee hours of the night she woke to the sound of 18th century music being played on a piano. The Cahoon Farm, incidentally, was home to the very first piano ever known in Lyndon.
The music grew louder and was followed by voices and the clinking of glasses and silverware as if a celebration of some sort was taking place. There is a room that was used for such events as weddings, funerals and the like. A partition slid open to lengthen the room for larger parties. Here is where a couple was witnessed wearing what appeared to be bride and groom outfits from long ago.
Other events include the visages of family members past wandering through the rooms and voices coming out of nowhere. When the home was sold to new occupants, the haunting continued. The next owner claimed she saw a woman dressed in black lace float by the kitchen door shortly after she had renovated the countertops. A few weeks later a friend came to visit and stayed the night. In the morning she described seeing a woman dressed head to toe in black lace standing in the hall. It was the same ghost the owner had seen. A short time later the same woman once again made her appearance after another renovation to the kitchen took place.
There are tell-tale remnants of where the kitchen was once partitioned off and walled up. This was common in the early days of the country as contagious diseases ran rampant. It was basically used to quarantine the sick from the rest of the family. The owner of the home who witnessed the woman believes that her ghost is held to that spot perhaps for a loved one that may have died in that room and is prone to return whenever a renovation in the kitchen is performed.