Teenagers and Haunted Places


Teenagers and Haunted Places


Phelps Mansion
Phelps Mansion

Phelps Mansion, Stratford, Connecticut demolished in 1972

Pre-teens and Teenagers always seem to migrate to scary places. Sometimes it is intentional to scare their friends. Sometimes some “strange” things happens to them.

My inbox greeted me with the article from my husband, Michael D. Butka, who lived in the area of Stratford, Connecticut. I will allow him to tell his story when he is ready.

It reminded me of my youth in Saugus, Massachusetts. Our family was temporally staying with my Aunt Eleanor [Stearns Duncan] and cousins, Lillian May Duncan and Jean Reid Duncan, after our house burned. Cousin being cousin we always shared ghost stories with each to see who could gave the best story. Sometime ones imagination can seem like reality. I was upstairs in the back bedroom I shared with my sisters, Vickie, Marjorie, Eleanor and baby Susan Stearns., look for my shoes under the bed.

I remember seeing a dungaree overall with a red plaid shirt rolled up into a ball. Thinking it was one of my sisters play clothes I reach to grab it. It moved, I felt a cold hand push me away. I pushed back thinking it was one of my sister’s or cousin playing with me. A cold chilly voice said leave him alone, we will leave you alone. I stood up walked downstairs; I confronted my sisters and cousins. I wanted to know who is playing games upstairs with me. I suddenly realized they were all downstairs. So who was upstairs?

I retold the story to my aunt and mother, Shirley Stearns Pease, who suddenly both became very pale. Strange reaction, I thought. My aunt then told me the tale of the house.

It was originally belonged to a mariner and his wife. She was a fouled mouth mean old women, it is told, and that finally had enough of her husband’s antics. She took the kitchen butcher knife and sliced off his ear. He died shortly after. Rumor be told that the house was haunted by the mariner and his wife.

I was not convinced of the truth of this story. I did return to our upstairs back bedroom that night. I was awakened in the middle of the night feeling cold hands around my neck. It was my sister sleep walking. She was trying to strangle me for blaming her for something I did that day. At least that is what my mother told me.

That was the last time I slept in the upstairs bedroom. I slept on the couch in the living room until we moved to our own home. This was in 1969. My aunt and cousin continued to live there. My cousin Lillian still does. The back bedroom is used only as a storage room.

Teenagers, imagination and ghost stories can create for an interesting story. Don’t you agree?

Maybe I should do a Historical house genealogy on that home in Saugus, Massachusetts.


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