Haunted Williamstown? Read some spooky local stories!

Posted by on Oct 17, 2021 in Featured slider | Comments Off on Haunted Williamstown? Read some spooky local stories!

Haunted Williamstown? Read some spooky local stories!

Local kids dress up for Halloween in 1992

By Effie Skinner, Volunteer

As Halloween comes around, you may be wondering if there are any ghosts in Williamstown. There is, in fact, a history of haunted buildings and ghosts being reported in the area.

A photograph of “Old Coot” from a 1939 issue of the North Adams Transcript.

On Mount Greylock, the place deemed to be North America’s wizarding school, there are rumors of a ghost named “Old Coot.” A man named Bill Saunders from Adams fought in the Civil War and did not immediately return. When Saunders came back after several years and discovered his wife had married another man, he became a hermit in the woods of Greylock. He lived there for several years. “When Saunder’s body was found about 100 years ago by some hunters, they swore they saw a shadow-like substance leave the hermit’s bones and dart like the wind toward the deep and dark woods of Mt. Greylock.” There have been a few reports since then of a ghost named Old Coot roaming around the mountain, so if you’re up for a hike in the fall foliage, keep an eye out for him.

There are also many tales relating to the Bennington Bigfoot. In 1879, two Pownal men saw a creature “being about five feet high, resembling a man in form and movement, but covered all over with bright red hair, and having a long straggly beard, and with very wild eyes.” A similar figure was sighted by Art and Ella Rosenburg, who lived at Sheep Hill, and then by Dave and Barbara Taylor while horseback riding on Berlin Road.

A long time ago at Kidder Hollow in South Williamstown, “Old Man Kidder” would scare trespassers off his land. If people were passing through, he would “hide behind big rocks or trees and leap out to scare them off.” After he died, he continued to protect his land and “his sudden appearances would be even scarier.”

The old Stratton Inn.

A building near Stratton Road has had reports of mysterious, possibly supernatural, events. Throughout its life, the old Stratton Inn has “served as a stagecoach stop, a boarding school, a speakeasy, a motel and research offices for the Getty Foundation.” While the building was being used by the Getty Foundation, it had several spooky occurrences. Two women working in the building reported that a hanging plant began swinging oddly. On a separate occasion, a custodian also noticed the hanging plant “violently swinging.” 

There have also been reports of hauntings in our local Milne library. When the property was being used as the Pine Cobble School, some cleaners discovered strange appearances of a chair and “plumes of steam” coming from a basement faucet. One librarian heard footsteps while alone in the building. There is even a report of “a woman in white walking in the building after hours.”

Have fun this Halloween and keep an eye out for strange occurrences in historical houses around town!