Ghost Stories

The Old Beecher Farm

"In 1967, neighbors told us it was haunted," said Marjory, "but the price was right, and it's a big old place, so my parents ignored them. It had sat vacant for over a year. From time to time folks told us of having seen someone in the window of the corner bedroom, even when the house was deserted. After awhile I came to believe it was haunted, too. I never felt alone there. It was almost as if the [i]others[/i] here were still going about their business-it's just that I couldn't see them."

She referred to the old Beecher Farm on Beecher Road, west of Poland, NY. The Dygert family had lived there in the early 1900's. Marjory knew little of the house's history, except that neighbors said that it had burned and been rebuilt years ago. Since that time there had been stories of inexplicable knocks on the front door when no one was there.

One night her sister, Sue, heard pounding on their bedroom door, and woke Marjory. Marjory hadn't heard it, so Sue woke their father. He'd heard it, but thought it was his daughters. In the mid-1980's the father awoke to find a man in a three cornered hat rummaging through his dresser. Not realizing it was a ghost, the father blurted, "do you want my shoes too?" The specter vanished.

In 1986 her brother began to hear thier guitar, which had been stored in the attic, playing itself. He went upstairs to seek the musician. He found nobody, left quickly and begged his sisters to accompany him back to the attic, saying he'd seen a strange letter on the floor. In his panic he'd left it behind, but was afraid to retrieve it without help. However, when the trio went upstairs, the letter had vanished.

After marrying, Marjory's husband came to live there. She and her husband were early risers. She made breakfast and sent him off to work before 6 a.m. each day. Some mornings, after he'd left, she would go back to bed for awhile. Often, just as she began to doze, she'd feel the weight of someone sitting on the other side of bed. Startled, she'd look, but there was never anyone there. On one occasion, while she slept, she felt the mattress levitate and drop back onto the springs. No one was there that time either, however, she moved to another bedroom. In less than a week she awoke feeling someone's hand on her breast. Glancing sideways at her sleeping husband, she was terrified, realizing that the hand couldn't be his. Fortunately, it didn't happen again.

Today, her daughter Lisa lives in the house, with the ghosts still active. Lisa's three year old, Sara, crawled out of bed one night and came downstairs, talking about "the man in the air" in her bedroom. This was new to her mother, so she accompanied Sara back to the room and, seeing nobody, lay down with the child. She slept briefly and then awoke in fright, but couldn't explain, what troubled her.

When she left the house to Lisa, Marjory thinks the ghost relocated, frequently joining her in her travels. One recent day, Marjory drove westward toward Herkimer on winding Route 5. Just outside Newport, she heard a loud voice announce from the empty rear seat, "Stop, car in your lane!" She hit the brakes as she rounded a turn and, sure enough, found herself face to face with a car stopped in her lane. Without warning she would have had an accident. Uttering a silent thanks to her spectral companion, she drove on. "About then, I decided that whoever these spirits are, they have my best interests at heart. I take it all in stride now," she said.

Taken from: Ghosts of The Northeast, by David J. Pitkin