House of the Seven Gables

When it comes to seeing old houses in the United States Salem, Massachusetts has an abundance of them. In this post, we are going to learn about the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion also known as the House of the Seven Gables. The home is immense in size and has been refurbished and preserved to its original state. It has a link to the American literary figure, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and through him a link to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Its history is long and storied and even holds some paranormal activity. Yay! Ghosts! My favourite.

7gables.org House of the Seven Gables

History

The building of the House Seven Gables began in 1667 and was completed in 1668. The construction was overseen by John Turner, the owner of the property who was a sea captain and merchant. As the years went by the Turner family lived in the home as it passed down in the wills of three generations. John Turner II lived there after his father passed away and willed the home to his son John Turner III. The home was sold to Captain Samuel Ingersoll in 1782. When Captain Ingersoll passed away the home was inherited by his daughter Susannah. Susannah Ingersoll was a spinster and she and her mother, who was also named Susannah, lived in the home for many years.

Susannah Ingersoll adopted a child named Horace Connolly. Susannah Ingersoll’s ownership of the home led to its fame. Her cousin, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a novel that was published in 1851 entitled The House of the Seven Gables. Nathaniel had spent a lot of time visiting with Susannah and he knew the house well. Although Nathaniel Hawthorne’s best known literary work is The Scarlet Letter, many of his admirers have visited the home for many years. It is said that Henry Upton who bought the home from Horace Connolly used to offer tours of the home for 25 cents. Henry Upton’s daughter loved to paint pictures on fine china and she would sell her creations to people who toured the home.  (gothichorrorstories.com)

A picture of the author Nathaniel Hawthorne
americanliterature.com Nathaniel Hawthorne

In 1908 the house of the seven gables or the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion was bought by Caroline Emmerton. Emmerton worked alongside architect Joseph Everett Chandler to restore its 17th-century appearance as described in the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. The home was large when John Turner had it built and his son and grandson each added to as the home became theirs. Emmerton was able to bring it all together in a cohesive style. She also began work on moving other historic Salem buildings to the area of the house.

Image result for Caroline Emmerton
Caroline Emmerton, newbostonpost.com

The site includes the Retire Beckett House which was built around 1655 and moved in 1924 to prevent its destruction. The Hooper-Hathaway House that was built in 1682 was moved in 1911 to save it from demolition as well. The Counting House that was built in 1830 was moved to the site at an unknown time.  Although Miss Emmerton passed away in 1942, the charity that she set up and ran made sure to acquire the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace that was built in 1750 and to move it to the site in 1958.

The Seaside Garden that is next to The House of the Seven Gables was laid out in 1909 by the architect J.E. Chandler. It is set out in a Jacobean style and it still maintained through hand pruning and cultivation to this day. (7gables.org) Caroline Emmerton was a lifelong resident of Salem and a philanthropist. Her family was well-known for their charitable giving and she carried on that tradition.  The House of the Seven Gables Settlement has operated for over 100 years and continues to help immigrants and children in Salem. Miss Emmerton was a believer in preserving the past and she did so in a wonderfully successful way while she was alive.

Paranormal Activity

It is challenging to find stories about the paranormal activity that occurs at The House of Seven Gables site. The reason for that is said to be that the Settlement wants to concentrate on the education and preservation of the history of the site and not turn it into a tourist attraction for those seeking the paranormal. That does not mean that the ghosts aren’t there though. It has been reported that the electrical and plumbing systems seem to have a mind of their own, that lights and taps turn off and on by themselves on a regular basis. There are reports of shadows and full apparitions appearing before workers and guests before quickly disappearing. It is said that the ghost of a woman commonly believed to be Susannah Ingersol has been seen peering out windows. While reports have been made of a small boy playing in the attic, and the garden.

Wrap it Up

It is fine with me that the ghosts and other paranormal happenings are not public knowledge. I am a huge history nerd and would love nothing better than exploring a historic site and encountering some paranormal activity. Is there anything better?

We are adding The House of the Seven Gables Settlement to our bucket list of places to see before we die.  Are you?

Cheers,

The Other Half

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Do Ghosts Have Shadows?

I found myself wondering if ghosts have shadows and decided to see what I could find through researching this subject. What I discovered was that ghosts do not cast shadows but a ghost can be a shadow. Confused yet? Sorry if you are. Let me try to explain what I mean.

A ghost cannot cast a shadow because only solid objects can do that. But a ghost can be seen as a shadow. Those types of ghosts are referred to as shadow figures within the paranormal scene.

Amazon caries many books on ghosts and the paranormal in Kindle, paperback or hardcover. If this subject interests you or if you are looking for anything else have a look at their huge selection.

Shadow figures or shadow people have been explained through different theories within the paranormal world. One theory I found states that if you think you are seeing a shadow figure that your mind is actually filling in the blank areas to make a shape that appears to you as a human would. Shadow figures are usually seen from the corner of your eye as a quick movement. To me, this theory is discounting the existence of shadow figures and explaining them away as an over-active imagination. Therefore this theory seems too simplistic of an explanation.

Do Ghosts Have Shadows? Are They Shadow People?

Another theory regarding shadow figures states that you may see one of these when you awake from a nightmare or night terror. As if the dream state has not ended and the inability to catch your breath is accompanied by seeing a shadowy figure sitting on or pressing down upon your chest. This theory could be a way for our human brain to try to explain what is happening if you wake up with sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is when you wake up and are fully conscious but you cannot physically move. Sleep paralysis is said to occur in about 6% of the population and most often the “victims” are young adults. Scientists believe that stress and sleep deprivation can increase one’s chances of experiencing sleep paralysis. It is said to be terrifying and that sufferers often feel an unseen presence or even see a shadow figure.Do Ghosts Have Shadows?

Yet another theory states that shadow figures are demonic. This theory of them being evil relates to the dark and frightening feeling that the witness has when in the presence of a shadow figure. Often witnesses of shadow figures will communicate that the shape did not seem to be of human origins.

Click here to watch a video of Psychic Medium, Amy Allen speaking about shadow people on her TV Show “The Dead Files.”    
I hope you have learned something new today or at the very least I have given you something to think about. Let us know if you have had experience with a shadow figure or any other type of spirit. We would love to learn of any paranormal experiences you have had.

Cheers,

The Other Half

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