First Ghost Story Ever Recorded in the U.S.?
Written By: James Paradie
Maine’s close, but believe it or not, the first ghost story recorded belongs to the Granite State. All the way back in 1682 is when a New Castle, New Hampshire family experienced some interesting activity that made them move out of their house, and it even followed them there too!
The documented account takes place in 1682 in the small town of New Castle, when, even as it is today, was the smallest town in New Hampshire. A family named the Walton’s woke up one morning to the sound of heavy rain. Thinking this was strange they soon realized it sounded like the house was being hit by stones. Rowdy kids? You’d think so, but more like rowdy poltergeists.
The family went outside and realized that the house was being pelted by stones, but by unseen hands as it was practically falling out of the sky. Some were small others were big enough to cause some serious damage if they were to hit anyone, but they were falling from the sky like rain, but elsewhere it was nothing, but just an ordinary spring day. As if the pure astonishment of it raining stones outside was strange it was even more odd that it was raining stones INSIDE the house as well! What was going on?
The Walton’s were not mad, they were a highly respected family around New Castle, so the thought of them doing this for attention or to get people talking was simply mind blowing. But, there they were, watching the house being filled with falling rocks, and before they knew it the whole floor was covered with several inches of the raining rocks. Windows were locked, they were not smashed, but yet it was raining rocks inside the house.
It was almost like the Walton’s were plagued with these falling rocks, because it lasted for months. No matter which friends house they used to get away from the rocks, it followed them their as well, and then when they moved back the rocks would cease at their friends, but then start up again at the Walton household.
One day, George Walton, the head of the house, gathered some of the rocks that rained upon them, and painted them. He then went and locked them away, but they would soon find a way out -on their own accord- and the painted rocks would rain inside the house all over again. Even the secretary of the colony of New Hampshire, Richard Chamberlain, saw these unexplainable phenomena’s happen before his eyes. Soon, talk got to other sections of the country, and scientists were coming from all over to see what exactly was going on to this plagued family. The scientists were frustrated that they couldn’t find an explanation for it and to this day it remains a mystery of how or why this happened.
Soon, the falling stones stopped, for good, and an old woman was accused of witchcraft and held accountable for the falling rocks of the Walton home. Lucky for her, she got away free and was ten years shy of when they used to execute people for using witchcraft.
What could explain these strange phenomena’s? One thing that can be said about this, is that ghost stories are as native to the state as the Old Man of the Mountain or the Passaconaway Native American’s. The state motto may have the word "Die" in it, but the spirits and the ghost stories that reside in this state will never die.
Primary Resource: "Manchester Ghosts" by Renee Mallett
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James Paradie is a paranormal columnist who has been seen in such newspapers as the Northcountry News, Littleton Record, and the White Mountain Shopper. His stories can also been seen on paranormalnews.com where he is a regular contributor.