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Warren Gibbs of Pelham, Massachusetts

By Thomas D’Agostino from A Guide To Haunted New England.

This is one of those stories you have to read to believe. But it is not only set in paper, but in stone as well. The story of Warren Gibbs is just one of the many strange tales of the Quabbin Reservoir region.

In early spring 1860, Warren Gibbs became suddenly ill. Neighbors attempted to assist in his return to health by bringing him cider to quench the strange burning and swelling in his throat. He soon felt a little better and his wife prepared a great meal of oysters for his repast. Very shortly after ingesting his supper, his burning and thirst returned. Gibbs grew increasingly ill and died a few days later.

Warren’s brother William suspected Mrs. Gibbs was up to no good. He accused her of mixing arsenic with the oysters and other meals thus sealing the fate of his brother. The authorities had no evidence to support this claim and therefore refused an autopsy. Warren Gibbs was buried and all was to be forgotten but William had other ideas.

Being convinced that his wife did away with him, William had a tombstone erected to let all know of his suspicions. It reads:

 

Warren Gibbs

Died by Arsenic Poison

March 23, 1860

Age 36 years 5 mos 23 days

Think my friends when this you see

How my wife has dealt with me

She in some oysters did prepare

Some poison for my lot and share

Then of the same I did partake

And nature yielded to its fate

Before she my wife became

Mary Felton was her name

Erected by his brother

Wm Gibbs

 

Mary’s family was outraged by the marker and pulled the stone from the plot. William replaced the marker and threatened legal action if they removed it again. He also placed a curse on the stone to give his warning impetus. The stone stood unscathed for many years until vandals caused the Pelham Historical Society to remove it and put a copy in its place. The stone in the hands of the society, however, is claimed to also be a fake.

There are tales of the stone mysteriously vanishing, only to be returned due to the impending curse. In a strange incident, a certain Professor Valentine of Springfield College purchased a farm in nearby Palmer. In 1947, while renovating the home, he unearthed a gravestone in the dirt floor of the cellar. He immediately called the authorities, who recognized it as the Gibbs stone. The stone had disappeared in the 1940s. It was replaced and since then has rested peacefully, but does Warren Gibbs?