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The Most Haunted Places in Berkshire County

By Tabitha Jean Naylor

For those that love a good ghost story and enjoy investigating haunted places on their vacations, Berkshire County is a great place to take a haunting holiday.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood, summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra boasts two haunted houses on the Tanglewood grounds. The first house is Seranak, which was the home of Sergei Koussevitzy. Ever since the house became part of the Tanglewood estate after his wife Olga died in 1978 guests and VIP's staying there have experienced cold spots, strange noises from empty rooms and presences roaming throughout the place. Some think it might be Koussevitsky himself but others think it may be his second wife Natalie. In 1986, Highwood Manor house and the grounds around it, formerly belonging to the Tappan family were added to the complex. Shortly thereafter, rumors began about mysterious occurrences happening in the hose. One story relates how Leonard Bernsteinwas literally spooked out of his chair by an eerie presence not long before his death in 1990. Caroline Taylor recounted how she was hit by an unexplained blast of hot air from a closet, and the former house manager reported being shoved around by an invisible force. Tanglewood offers more than music to its guests.

The Mount

The Mount, Edith Wharton's historic estate is also well known to locals as another haunted house. Ghosts are reported to date back to the Mount's days as the Foxhollow girls preparatory school. Media coverage reached a pinnacle when it appeared on an episode of the Sci-Fi channel's "Ghost Hunters." The most commonly reported happenings at the Mount are mysterious footsteps, creaking floors, door closings and sensations of being watched. The former artistic director for the Berkshire Theatre Festival reported seeing an apparition of Edith Wharton, along with a man she thought resembled Henry James, who was a close friend and frequent visitor at the Mount. Actress Andrea Haring also described an incident of walking in on an appearance of Edith and Teddy Wharton, and James engaged in a conversation. You can explore it for yourself in one of the Friday night fright tours during the regular tourist season.

Houghton Mansion

The Houghton mansion is the most promoted haunted house in the Berkshires due to the fact that the Berkshire Paranormal Group, founded in 2005, uses the mansion as their base. The group has hosted tours, haunted sleepovers and paranormal themed weekend conferences.

The mansion is associated with the deaths of four people in 1914. The mansion has been the subject of rumors and mystery since 1918 when the Gallup family bought the property. Reports of haunted happenings here include hearing voices, slamming doors, loud knocking noises, cold spots, lights turning off and on, and frequent experiences of being touched or pushed by something invisible. One of the psychics who visited the house believes that Mary Houghton and John Widders were lovers and that her father Mayor Houghton forbade the match. The psychic believes their three spirits are locked in an ongoing Victorian battle that the psychic believes is the root of the angry paranormal happenings in the house.

Hoosac Tunnel

The Hoosac train tunnel was proposed in 1819 and started in 1851. The tunnel was finished in 1875. Known as the "bloody pit" almost 200 people died in the tunnel before the first train ever made it through the tunnel. Workers died in many different ugly, rather grisly ways from suffocating and drowning, to being blown to bits in explosions and murdered. People have seen and heard unexplained phenomenon in the tunnel as long back as 1868. Phantom workers, disappearing and reappearing lights, and echoes of screams and moans have been reported by several hundreds of witnesses.

The Eunice Williams Covered Bridge

In 1704 Mohawk Indians savagely attacked the village of Deerfield killing many citizens and taking over 100 hostages, including the town's minister and his wife. The attackers would strike down anyone who could not keep up. Eunice Wiliams, the minister's wife had just given birth a few hours before the attack. She knew she was too weak to survive and said goodbye to her husband, with a final wish that he and at least some of their children would survive. She fell and was struck and killed by a toma hawk blow while crossing a river in Greenfield. Her daughter, also named Eunice stayed with the Indians and later married one of the tribe and renounced all English ways. Many believe the spirit of Eunice is still not at rest. The legend says her ghost can be seen at night in the water or inside the covered bridge that is named after her. It is said that Eunice can be summoned to appear, perhaps believing that her family has finally returned to her.

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