The Ghosts of Block Island
“People have reported seeing a woman in a long, white dress. Aren’t they always in a long dress?
Block Island has a long and storied history. Since it’s settlement by European colonists in 1661, the island has been the home to over twelve generations of residents and a myriad of homes and structures. Each person and place have a story to tell… some of them are just a bit more vocal about it than others.
Fran Migliaccio has worn a lot of hats on Block Island. From writer to Boat Basin management to former owner and operator of the Mig’s Rig Taxi Tour company, Fran has done it all. While she was a journalist with the Block Island Times, she began collecting and publishing stories of the spooky and supernatural as told by the residents of the island. In 2005, she compiled these stories into a book called Ghosts of Block Island.
Her collected accounts span the range of different types of hauntings: scary, mundane, and downright weird. What all of them have in common, though, is how each is so perfectly fitted to Block Island. Don’t believe us? Here’s a taste of what Ghosts of Block Island has to offer.
New Shoreham House’s Permanent Tenants
Many of the motels on Block Island have been around for decades and have seen their fair share of history. So, it should come as no surprise that many of these buildings have had reports or bizarre and spooky activity. One such place is the New Shoreham House on Water Street. Employees and guests of the inn have reported the sounds of furniture being dragged across the floor, doors opening and closing on their own, and a sudden sulphureous odor appearing in the rooms.
The Clock Lady
On West Side Road, over by Southwest Point, a strange pedestrian has been seen on the side of the road for years: a distressed-looking woman in a white nightgown pointing at an alarm clock she is holding. You might initially write her off as some kind of eccentric. But when you turn around to look at her again, she has disappeared. Is this a prank or is she somehow connected to the former clockmaker who had lived on West Side Road years before?
The Phantom Steed of Mitchell Pond
A bizarre sound can be heard some nights if you’re near Mitchell Pond and Lakeside Drive. From the distance, the thunderous noise of a galloping horse hooves comes down off the nearby hills at full speed towards the former Sprague farmhouse, stopping just short of the front door before mysteriously disappearing. Pay no heed, though. After all, according to L. David Sprague, “… it’s never come in here yet!”
Norman the Mad Cook
Some ghosts are malevolent. Some just want to mess up your kitchen. The Coast Guard Station over on Great Salt Pond is known to have the usual creaks and bumps often heard in old buildings near the sea. But do those those noises sound like voices? Does it have anything to do with a Coast Guard cook in the 50s named Norman who went crazy? And why is my silverware all mixed up?
The Most Haunted House on the Island?
Planning on renting Lynn’s Way for your next vacation? Congratulations! You’ll be stating in (potentially) the most haunted house on Block Island! It’s got it all: strange human-like vapors, weird temperature changes, invisible people coming-and-going, floating paintings, and more! Don’t worry, though. The spirits have gotten much nicer over the years!
These are just a taste of these terrifying accounts. We don’t want to give too much away! If you’re interested in delving into the complete stories, be sure to check out Fran Migliaccio’s Ghosts of Block Island. Pick up your copy in-person or order online at Island Bound Bookstore (http://www.islandboundbookstore.com/)!
Peer beyond the veil and Sail Away…