Thursday, June 13, 2024

HGB Ep. 542 - Haunted Mystic

Moment in Oddity - Cooking Cicadas (Suggested by: Mindy Hull)

Every spring, most southern states east of the Mississippi River experience male cicada insects sharing their serenade 'love call' to female cicadas. Some people may describe their sound as 'relaxing', while others may choose the adjective 'annoying'. Most residents of these southern states however, would not use words like, scrumptious or delectable to describe this particular insect. Recently, Chef Tad Yankoski, senior entomologist at the Butterfly House in St Louis, Missouri, described cicadas in just such a way. Apparently cicadas, also known by the scientific order Hemiptera, taste just like shrimp. As a matter of fact, they can be substituted for the crustacean for any scampi, tempura or other shrimp recipe. Surprisingly, cicadas and shrimp are closely related enough that if a person has an allergy to shrimp or crab, that person should NOT consume cicadas for fear of a reaction. I'm not allergic to shellfish, but for the sake of this oddity I'm going to say that I am. The nutritional content of the insects is said to be high in iron and low in fat. Chef Tad prefers to cook with newly emerged cicadas vs ones that have molted and already possess wings. The latter, he states, are more chewy. Yankoski advises boiling the cicadas in water for two minutes before using them in any crustacean recipe one chooses. Maybe deep fried cicadas with a side of aioli for the dipping or cicada scampi with butter and garlic? Personally, I will pass. For Diane and I, regardless of how they are prepared, consuming crusted, crispy, cooked cicadas, certainly is odd.

This Month in History - Eugene-Henri-Paul Gauguin Born

In the month of June, on the 7th, in 1848, French painter Eugene-Henri-Paul Gauguin (Goh-gahn) was born in Paris, France. As a Post-Impressionist, Synthetist and Symbolist, painter Gauguin is well known for his artistic relationship with Vincent Van Gogh. His father died when Paul was a year old and his mother died while the 19 year old was enlisted in the merchant marines. A business-man, Gustave Arosa, was given guardianship of Paul and his sister Mari. When Gauguin was released from the merchant marines he began work as a stockbroker and married Mette Sophie Gad. His first interest in art began with Arosa's collection of works by Camille Corot, Eugene Delacroix and Jean-Francois Millet (Mee-yah). He started painting and began studying at a studio where he learned how to draw from a model. In 1876, Gauguin's 'Landscape at Viroflay' was approved for the annual exhibition at the Salon, in France. From 1876 to 1881, Gauguin established his own personal art collection ranging from Cezanne to Pissarro and even Monet, just to name a few. Paul studied under Pissarro for a time and continued to develop his skills spending holidays painting with Cezanne and Pissarro. At this time he joined a social circle of avant garde artists comprised of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Manet. In the French stock market crash of 1882, Gauguin lost his job as a stockbroker, however he saw it as a favorable outcome due to it allowing him more time to paint. Unfortunately he was unable to secure work in the art world and his meager income was supplied only by odd jobs he would take. Gauguin's artistic style changed over the years, but he was only moderately successful during his lifetime. After his death in May of 1903, his art drew more success after the efforts of art dealer Ambroise Vollard who organized showings in two posthumous exhibitions in Paris. Fun Fact, according to art historians Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans, after examining police records, Van Gogh's mutilated left ear was actually due to a disagreement between Gauguin and Van Gogh and it was Gauguin who cut off Van Gogh's ear with a sword. The two men agreed to state that it was self mutilation to protect Gauguin.

Haunted Mystic (Suggested by: Jay Littman)

Mystic, Connecticut was a seafaring village in the early settlement of America. This was the scene of a horrific massacre that more than likely has left behind a negative spiritual residue. That residue leaves many believing that this is a cursed place. Based on the ghost stories and devastating fires of Mystic, we tend to agree. Join us for the history and hauntings of Mystic, Connecticut!

Mystic, Connecticut was originally spelled Mistick and was named by the Pequot tribe probably meaning a large river whose waters are driven into waves by wind. The Pequot tribe was very prominent here with several thousand in what would become Connecticut. Dutch and British settlers were the first Europeans to come into the area. It was shortly after this, a very dark time in Connecticut history took place. The Mystic Massacre took place during the Pequot War, which was waged from 1636 to 1638 between the Pequot tribe and colonists from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Plymouth. The colonists were joined by the Narragansett and Mohegan tribes and they defeated the Pequot, which caused the tribe to go nearly extinct eventually. Before the war, the New England colonists had traded with all three tribes, but tensions rose after a hurricane caused a scarcity of food. The massacre occurred on May 26, 1637 as retaliation for an attack by the Pequot on a small village where they killed nine unarmed men and women. Captain John Mason of the Connecticut Colony gathered some men and tribal allies from the Narragansett and Mohegan allies and they set fire to the Pequot Fort that had been established near the Mystic River. As people ran from the burning fortress, they were shot. Nearly all of the Pequot at the fort were killed. This included women, children and the elderly. The History Channel included this devastating action as part of their series "10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America."

It's not surprising that this first major event in the Mystic area would leave behind spiritual residue. The location of the massacre was at the top of Pequot Hill in Groton approximately a quarter mile west of the Mystic River. This was the highest hill in the area. No one knows where the hundreds of Native American bodies were buried, but more than likely in mass graves in this area. Curses were left in the wake and many attribute the devastating fires that seem to plague Mystic to the massacre. The Central Hall burned down four times, most recently in 2000. It wasn't rebuilt after that. The Avery Block has burned multiple times. Could these fires be the spirits reliving what happened to them before or is it some kind of spiritual payback?

Mystic grew slowly over the years. It was considered part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony until it broke away with the Connecticut General Court. There were many disputes and courts finally figured it all. Captain John Mason was granted 500 acres because of his service on the eastern banks of the Mystic River. An island was also given to him that bears his name now. A man named Captain John Gallup, Jr. moved to the east part of the Mystic River in 1653. Three villages grew up along the Mystic River and Mystic was one of them. Stonington and Groton became two sides of the village of Mystic, so Mystic itself is no longer a village. It's considered a census-designated place today. Regardless of what it is today, it clearly is a haunted place. A company named Seaside Shadows offers ghost tours. Courtney McInvale Reardon founded the tours and she is the author of "Haunted Mystic," which we will be referencing through this episode.  

For people who don't know, the Mystic Pizza movie was based on a real place. There is an actual Mystic Pizza. The 1988 film was based on the lives and loves of three waitresses, one of who was played by Julia Roberts. While the movie was filmed in Mystic, it wasn't done inside the restaurant because it was too small. Seven hundred Mystic residents got to play extras. The place isn't haunted but other restaurants are.

Voodoo Grill and Factory Square

The Factory Square is home to some of these restaurants, one of which is the Voodoo Grill that serves up Cajun food, of course. The building was originally built as an actual factory that made machinery that was shipped around the country. Factory workers here were from the working-class and some met with accidents and death in the factory. The factories were in business for nearly 200 years. The main piece of machinery made here was the cotton gin. Michael K. Stern of Stern Builders bought the building in 1978 and he renovated it into a commercial and housing space. There are both residual and intelligent spirits here. 

A female bartender at the Voodoo Grill would insist on not working any late hour shifts because of all the experiences she had. A patron was sitting at the bar when he noticed a wine glass moving forward on its own. He didn't say anything because he had been drinking and thought maybe it was the beer. But pretty soon he knew he wasn't just seeing things when the glass came off the rack, hovered for a few minutes and then fell to the ground shattering. Several patrons saw it happen. Courtney wrote of one incident the bartender experienced, "On that slow afternoon, one of the customers ordered his usual Tanqueray and tonic. The bartender provided him his drink and delicately placed the bottle back in its seat on the shelf. A couple minutes passed, and as she was chatting with her customer, there was a loud banging sound. They looked out the windows and around the restaurant, seeing nothing. It was almost like a car backfiring. Everything seemed steady. Moments later, in domino effect, the liquor bottles began to tumble off the shelves one after the other after the other. The bartender ducked for cover, and when the clamoring ended, she nervously peeked around her to see what mess had been made by the unseen force. Sure enough, every bottle was on the hard ground in front of her, but not one bottle was broken. Astonished and a little bit shaken up, she and some other staff began to clear up the mess. They simply could not determine what caused this. When the bartender finally reached to pick up the last bottle on the floor, she noticed it was the Tanqueray bottle she had utilized last before the liquor bottles came tumbling down. As she picked the bottle up, she couldn’t believe her eyes. There was a single hole going through the top of the bottle, yet seemingly no liquid had spilled out. It almost appeared to be a bullet hole. What could possibly have left that?"

A maintenance man was doing some deep cleaning around 4am when he looked up in the mirror and saw a group of men sitting at a table. He at first thought he had left the door unlocked and they came in for a late night drink. He turned around to tell them the bar was closed and there was no one there. The maintenance man looked back at the mirror and sure enough, there was a group of men at a table. He now saw that they were wearing factory clothes from probably the 1920s. Turning around again, he saw that the tables were all empty. When he looked at the mirror a third time, he saw nothing but his own reflection. He figured he was tired and his mind was playing tricks on him so he started cleaning again and suddenly the radio blasted on playing big band music. He went over and turned off the radio, but the music continued to blast on. He unplugged the radio and the music continued. The music eventually stopped and he finished up his cleaning.

Ancient Mariner Restaurant 

The Ancient Mariner Restaurant building at 21 W. Main Street was constructed in 1974 and it serves up some great seafood. It's owned by Anthony J. Torraca. He had a friend named John who had been a federal agent.When he would come into the bar, he would always comment before leaving that when he died, he was going to haunt the place. John died from a heart attack and his picture was set up near his favorite barstool. Six hundred oars line one of the walls and one day when the employees came in to open up, they found several of the oars turned upside down. John's picture was also askew. They fixed everything. A couple days later, the employees found the same stuff. Courtney wrote, "As if to give the owners and staff the confirmation they required to know for sure that it was their friend, yet another defining incident occurred. That very evening, a very telling object moved on its own. When the staff went to close the restaurant, they turned down all the lights, stacked up all the chairs, wiped down the tables and the bar and finally stacked the barstools on the bar. Everything was routine as usual. As they headed toward the door to depart, the owners, who happened to be the staff members closing that night, felt compelled to take one last look around the restaurant. As their eyes scanned the premise, one thing immediately caught their eye. The barstool seated by John’s photograph, his favorite barstool where he always sat when he came to enjoy the food and drink, had reseated itself. It happened almost as if to say, 'Yes, it has been me that has been moving the oars and the photo. I told you I was going to haunt the place. I’m not quite ready to leave you guys just yet.'" The barstool reseating itself is the most common paranormal activity here.

Anthony J's Bistro

The same people who own the Mariner Restaurant own this one at6 Holmes Avenue. Anthony J's serves up Italian food and seafood in a building that features gables roofs and shingled sides with aged wood. It's a very cute two-story building. This was a home originally and was built by Daniel Patrick in 1844. Anthony J. Torraca, whom everybody calls Skip, bought the home in the 1980s and opened AJ's Food Store, which eventually became AJ's Restaurant and now Anthony J's. Skip likes to put pictures of his loyal patrons up on the walls after they pass away. One of these people was named Rich and his picture is up behind the bar. Rich loved the place, except during the holidays. He thought the decorations that Skip put up were gaudy and tacky. The first holiday season after Rich passed away, the staff put up the hideous large ornamental balls that Rich despised and as they did it, they joked about how they wouldn't have to hear any complaints from Rich about them anymore. There was one ball that the staff couldn't find in storage anywhere. This decoration reappeared in the middle of the floor in July. They blamed Rich.

The Emporium/Port of Call Restaurant and Dive

The Emporium sat at 15 Water Street and ran for 48 years from 1965 to 2013. The building was built in 1859 in the Italianate style by Isaac Randall and Dwight Ashby who were involved in the whaling industry. This served mainly as a general store. This building had also been the Civil War office in Mystic and legend claims a brothel might have been housed here. The structure was restored in the mid-20th century by actor Lee Howard and artist Paul White. It then became a space for the Mystic Art Association. The association put the place up for sale in 2021 and today it is the Port of Call Restaurant and Dive. The inside is spectacular with an award-winning executive chef and live entertainment. The bar is in the shape of a horseshoe and made from wood slavaged from old ships. Dive is the bar in the basement where one can get a cold beer and a gourmet hot dog. People claim to catch anomalies on film regularly.

Haunting stories go back to the Emporium days. One of the owners was painting as they prepared to open and he heard someone come into the building. He thought he had locked the front door, but clearly he hadn't, so he hollared from upstairs that they weren't open yet. The response was the sound of footsteps, like someone wearing heels. The owner yelled again, but the walking continued. He started to head for the stairs when he heard someone climb the stairs and whatever this was, was heading straight for him. The heels clacking continued and entered his new paint job, which included the floor. He glanced into the room and saw the prints from high heels and even more incrdibly, he watched more of them form. Those heel prints were left and customers took to calling the spirit the "Lady Upstairs." People often feel uncomfortable upstairs, as though someone is watching them. Unfortunately, a fire erased them.  The spirits of two young boys are also thought to be here. People call them Willy and Billy. They are seen sometimes covered in soot.

Courtney McInvale told Damned CT about an experience a tour guest had outside the Emporium, "So one time before I was in the middle of telling my story, this young woman, she looked at me and said, 'Oh excuse me, you mentioned in your story that a manager at the store used to live in the building and I think she’s up there, looking down at you talking. I saw her—she’s got a bun in her hair . . .' and she described her in detail, pointy nose, etc. And her boyfriend said, 'Where? I don’t see her!' and she was pointing at her and the rest of the guests were saying 'I don’t see her, either.' And I had to break the news to her that the building had undergone renovations and there was no floor on the second floor, it was completely gutted, there was no place that anybody could have stood and the manager had long since moved out. The poor girl was terrified, but I thought it was a really cool experience to have because we always talk about at this location a lady upstairs, and I think that she probably caught a glimpse of her that evening without intending to."

Old Mystic Inn

The Old Mystic Inn was located at 52 Main Street. It's permanently closed now as the inn, but runs as an Air BNB with Mystic Vacation Rentals. John Denison built the house that became the inn in 1784. He quickly gave it to his son Nathan the following year. Nathan's brother-in-law John Baldwin obtained it in 1789. Lucy Williams owned the house in 1804 and when she passed , her will left people perplexed. It read, "From the north to the south 5 feet 11 inches wide to 5 feet 2 inches wide, then six people to have shares in the dwelling house to extend from the roof to the ground three feet three inches wide." The heirs really didn't know what to do with the house divided up in this way, so they sold and eventually the house came under the ownership of just one person. In 1839, a portion of the property was given to the Sixth School District in the village of Mystic and a school was built. This was the first school in Mystic and was the idea of a man who had thirteen children, so it makes sense. This started as a one-room schoolhouse, but eventually it was added to and became a two-story building with grades broken up. A newer school was built on the property later, sometime in the 1890s. The original schooolhouse then became a family home until a fire burned it down. The other school ran until 1959. That schoolhouse was replaced with a playground and there apparently are spirits that hang out in the playground.

The William Harvey family was living in the main house by the 1920s. A couple more families lived there, but by 1959, the house was turned into a business property. The first business was a bookstore and it operated for twenty-five years. Every room was filled to the brim with books. The bookstore closed in 1986. The house then became the inn it is today and since this had been a bookstore, the rooms are all named for famous authors. Old Mystic Inn opened in 1987 and a Carriage House was added in 1988. The Old Mystic Inn ran for 33 years before closing in December of 2019. For 20 of those years, it was run by Michael Stephen Cardillo, Jr. Shortly after becoming the new innkeeper, Michael had a terrifying dream that scared the crap out of his mother who was staying with him because he started screaming. She woke him up and he told her that he had seen a woman wearing a white Colonial dress standing by the wood pile he had stacked outside the inn. The woman had just stared at him in the dream.

Michael never saw any ghosts himself in waking life, but he had a friend named Robert who claimed to see spirits as did a psychic who visited the inn. Courtney wrote of one of Robert's experiences, "One morning, as he was standing at the counter preparing breakfast, his friend Robert, who had been assisting in the kitchen, caught sight of something shocking. As Robert moved to the side of the kitchen, a person appeared in his peripheral vision, stopping him dead in his tracks. What he saw was the silhouette of a woman in colonial attire with the traditional tight-fitted waist standing on the opposite side of the counter watching quite closely as Michael cooked. She appeared almost as if she wanted to get more involved herself in the food prep and cooking that was taking place. Robert stood there, mouth agape, and completely bewildered. At first, he was unsure what to say when Michael noticed him standing there and naturally asked why he looked so confused. “Are you kidding me, Michael?” Robert nervously laughed. How had Michael not seen her standing right in front of him? Immediately, Robert began to explain what he had witnessed. He described in detail that a woman adorned in colonial-style clothing, middle-aged or older, was standing there watching them cook. Michael tried to brush it off, not wanting to be scared in his own kitchen, yet it didn’t seem surprising to hear. He knew the history of the home was vast and there were always strange noises happening about. What if it was the lady in white from his dream? If so, he definitely knew who she was! Robert called his friend with psychic abilities so that she could visit the inn and perhaps pick up more information regarding the lady in the kitchen or any other spirits that may be there. When the psychic arrived in the kitchen, a smile overcame her face. She had immediately sensed the colonial woman’s presence. After focusing for a bit, the psychic let Michael know that the kitchen’s spirit had some culinary advice. She had wanted to use more fresh herbs and spices and put grated nutmeg over eggnog, and the list carried on. Clearly, this colonial woman—whose name is believed to have begun with H, according to the psychic-medium—had her opinions about proper cuisine and even had suggestions for the most well-trained chefs. On a more somber note, it was reported during the psychic’s contact that the colonial woman was waiting for a loved one to come home, yet they never could. Her loved one likely drowned in the Mystic River, as did so many hundreds of years ago when numerous people had no ability to swim. Before the colonial woman’s communication with the psychic ceased, she made sure to ask that a chair be placed back by the kitchen table rather than a hutch, as she would like to sit there."

Ghost hunters have reported that they communicated with a man who claimed that he had hanged himself in the inn and there are child ghosts, one of whom is named Hannah. She likes to sit on a stool and likes rolling a hoop around the property. A young boy who drowned in the Mystic River hangs out here as well. Investigators picked up an EVP in the playground area saying, "Help me! Help me!" When they asked if they could return before leaving, a voice answered, "No!" This wasn't a child's voice. An EVP in the house caught a woman with an Irish accent saying, "I thought Nathan was here." Other EVPs have said, "Are you a policeman?", "That's a vehicle" and "Come on in."

Captain Daniel Packer Inne

The Captain Daniel Packer Inne was built in 1754 with additions made in the early 1800s. Daniel Packer was both a sea captain and a Captain during the Revolutionary War. His service during the war entailed bringing supplies to the army. The Captain married Hanna and they had seven children. The inn was well known to travelers and as they dined, the Captain would regale them with tales of his adventures on the high seas. One set of guests that Packer journaled about included a traveling circus. Packer also ran a transport system across the Mystic River and he would ferry horses, stagecoaches and much more by using a rope ferry. The Packer family would hold onto the property for generations until the late 1970s. It was in 1979 that Richard and Lulu Kiley purchased the inn and began restoration, which took years.

Daniel's great-grandson Captain Charles Carroll Packer lived in the house with his wife Fannie and their children starting in the 1830s. His sister-in-law was "Muddie" Morse Clift and her husband Lieutenant Amos Clift had passed away leaving her and their daughter Ada alone. They were lonely and Charles invited them to come live with them at the inn since they had plenty of room. Ada loved the inn. Unfortunately, Ada became ill with Scarlet Fever when she was only seven and it took her life in 1874. And she may be one of the spirits that is here in the afterlife.

Courtney shares an unusual story in her book about a direct descendant of Captain Daniel Packer coming to the Kileys when they started renovations and telling them that she had a dream about the Captain and he wasn't pleased with what was happening to his inn. The Kileys reassured her that when they were done, he would be pleased. And that ended up being the case. The woman returned when they were finished and claimed that she had another dream of the Captain and he was indeed pleased. She added that he told her that he would be looking in on the place. Construction workers and staff members did claim to see a sea captain sometimes who would disappear when approached. These sightings have continued today. There are some who think this is Captain Charles Carroll instead. The inn has been protected from fire. This is how Courtney describes it, "Just a short time later, the night manager, who was trying to depart, felt stopped by an unseen force. She tried to exit the door and simply could not. The manager simply was not being allowed to leave. In a frenzied panic from such a strange sensation, the manager called the owner, and he arrived at the restaurant once more. Upon Mr. Kiley’s arrival, he and the manager went down to the bar area, where the smell of smoke was even stronger. It turns out that the wrong appliance had been turned off, and the wire had turned red hot. If left all night, a major fire would have been certain. When the correct appliance was unplugged, the unseen force let both individuals depart without hesitation."

Whichever of the Captains is haunting the place, he is a prankster. One night, a glass was removed from a glass rack above the bartender's head, went under the bar area, across three tables and smashed against the wall. The cool thing about this is that it was witnessed by several people. The bar door is slammed during quiet times, fires start themselves in the fireplace and disembodied boot stomping is heard. Patrons claim that Ada likes to play on the stairs. Two women ran into her on the stairs and they told the waitstaff that it was rude to let a little girl stand on the stairs, bouncing a ball while people were trying to get by. Another guest complained about a child running around near the bathroom who almost tripped her. The staff couldn't find any children near the restroom.  

Courtney may have experienced her when she visited the inn to talk to Allie who was the Kileys' daughter. She thought she saw a small person run behind Allie and then there was a giggle before the girl ran off to the kitchen. Courtney thought that a staff member may have brought their child to the inn. She then heard a giggle again. Her husband and Allie heard and saw nothing. Allie told Courtney about a friend who visited with her daughter to help Allie set up for a party. While the women worked, the daughter ran around and seemed to really be enjoying herself. She came over to her mother after a bit and told her that she was playing hide-and-seek with a little girl named Ada who she could hear, but she couldn't seem to find her anywhere.

Whitehall Mansion Inn

Captain John Gallup, Jr. had moved here in 1653 with his wife Hannah and they built a home near where the Whitehall Mansion stands. They raised seven children in that home and then eventually bought the land where the mansion would sit. The Gallups' son William built the first Whitehall Mansion. He and his wife Sarah raised six children in the home. William was a representative of the government and a friend to the Native Americans. Members of the Pequot and Mohawk tribes attended his daughter's wedding. The house passed down through the family and Temperance Gallup sold to a man named Colonel John Williams in 1760. He then sold to Dr. Dudley Woodbridge. Dr. Woodbridge was born in 1705 and he graduated from Harvard College in 1724. He married Sarah Sheldon in 1739 in Groton, Connecticut and the couple would have nine children. The doctor tore down the original mansion and built the second Whitehall Mansion in the late Georgian architectural style. The house was 2.5 stories with a gambrel roof and a large central chimney plan. The interior featured parlors on either side of the chimney and there was a winding staircase. Woodbridge also represented Groton in the state legislature. He died at the age of 85 in 1790. His wife Sarah followed in 1796. 

The Rodman family was related to the Woodbridges and they inherited the house and they lived in it from 1825 to 1850. The mansion was then sold to Joseph and Mary Wheeler in 1852. The Wheeler family would hold it until 1962 with their youngest daughter being the last resident. A local highway project threatened the mansion with destruction, so it was moved and then restored by Florence Grace Bentley Keach. She donated it to the Stonington Historical Society and they opened it as a museum. In 1993, the society received permission to move the house again to a different area of the property so it was more visible and it was converted into a bed and breakfast in 1996, which is what it is today, located at 42 Whitehall Avenue. There are five bedrooms to rent named for the Woodbridge family and many guests who have stayed have shared their personal unexplained experiences in journals.

One couple had settled in for the night when they were awakened by the raucous laughter of a woman. They tried to get back to sleep, but the woman continued to make noise. they didn't want to make trouble, but they finally had enough and called the front desk to see if they could call the neighboring room and get the woman to shut-up. The receptionist checked the log books and saw that no one had rented the room that evening and explained to the couple that there wasn't anyone in that room. The guests insisted that they be allowed to check out and go to another hotel and the bed and breakfast obliged.

Courtney wrote, "The sound of others in the inn seems to be a common complaint. Children are not allowed to stay in the inn due to the older nature of the floors and the building itself not really being conducive to housing playful kids. Therefore, it is mostly couples and sometimes the lone traveler who stay in the inn. Another couple again heard laughter, but this was not that of a woman. They distinctly heard children running around giggling as if playing in the inn. Wanting to inform the hotel staff of the disturbance, the couple grabbed the phone in their room and tried to ring the front desk at the Residence Inn. To their dismay, their phone was dead. Though they thought it strange, they decided to call from their mobile phone, which could not be found anywhere. After much searching, they found their mobile phone under the center of their bed. Repeatedly, they dialed the phone to no avail, and they kept getting disconnected. After dialing three times, they finally were connected to the desk. When they finally reached the attendant and found out that they were the only guests staying in the inn, they, too, promptly ran over to the Residence Inn, leaving the room in disarray and requesting more modern and ghost-free lodging."

A staff member was staying in Betsey's room below the attic and he reported hearing sounds above him all evening. There are legends that claim that the mansion may have been part of the Underground Railroad and some people wonder if these are residual sounds from escaped slaves who had hidden in the attic. Housekeepers report doors opening all on their own, even after they have been locked. Guests have reported tables and chairs that move across the room after the guest has left the room for minute, either to use the bathroom or visit other areas of the inn. Sometimes the bedsheets turn themselves down. We don't recommend eating any chocolates left by spirits on the pillows.

One Halloween, Courtney got to take a tour group through the mansion and she wrote of an experience they had, "Everything seemed calm on the front in our pre-tour walk-through, and the tour itself was going quite smoothly. When we went to enter Lucy’s room, the door was a bit hard to open. It wasn’t all the way open, as we had left it. When we entered, we realized a table had been pushed almost up against the door. Before the guests came in, I asked our friend and employee of the inn if he had noticed that the table had moved or if he had come back up in the room. He looked at me for a second, kind of puzzled, and assured me that he had not moved that table and that he could vouch that it wasn’t there before. We, of course, excitedly and nervously shared the story with our guests and admitted that we never quite expected in our ninety minutes within the home that the ghosts would grace us with such an active display of their antics."

Pig Man

The weirdest bit of folklore about this area involves a Pig Man. Pretty darn creepy. So apparently, this dates back to the 1970s. A couple of teenage boys claimed that they were walking around downtown when they heard a woman screaming. They thought the sound was coming from down by the river, so they ran over to see if they could help. When they got there, they saw what they described as a man with a pig-like face and he looked like he was trying to drown the woman. Both the Pig Man and the woman disappeared below the water and the boys didn't see either of them resurface. They reported what they had saw and indeed, a woman had gone missing. When the boys were later shown her picture, they said that she was the woman they saw the man trying to drown. They even said that the Pig Man had made vocal noises that sounded like a pig. A Reddit user shared the story this way, "The Mystic Pigman was a story of some kids biking across the drawbridge and seeing a fat dude with a pig face drowning a woman to death at the boardwalk before dumping her body and jumping in himself without resurfacing." No one saw the Pig Man ever again.

There are some interesting legends and haunts connected to Mystic. Are any of them true? Are these places in Mystic, Connecticut haunted? That is for you to decide!

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