Is the James House haunted?

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By Skip Webb

Hampton Union, April 3, 2015

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

 To the Editor:

Is the 1723 James House haunted? Residents on Towle Farm Road will tell you so. They have reported for years seeing figures through the windows when they knew most likely no one was in the house. The past Mrs. Grandmaison, who lived across the street, reported such activity many times to the Hampton Police and to the president of the James House Association. Investigation showed no human activity at the house at the time of the resultant investigations.

In 2001, a 1702 salter (humnal) was found on the floor under an opening in the ceiling. It appeared that the salter had fallen from the plenum between the ceiling and the attic floor. But what caused it to fall or be where it was? It and its cloth envelope were too heavy for a mouse or squirrel to move. When visitors ask if the house is haunted, docents tell them it is thought that George the ghost wanted us to see the salter and placed it where it could be found.

In 2006, a visitor was taking a group tour. The tour was passing through the area where the salter was found. She started shouting a ghost screaming [sic] and turned and ran down the staircase and out of the house never to be seen again by those present. This happened without the docent making mention of George.

The James House officers and directors had not personally witnessed paranormal activity at the house and thought seeing figures through the window might be folklore. There was no evidence as to what caused the salter to be where it was found and what caused the screaming lady to run out of the house could have been the sound of two floor boards rubbing together. Thus, the above was frequently talked about but no further action was taken.

During a recent event at the James House, Willy Hassell and Lynne Nickerson, of North Hampton based Spirit Chasers Paranormal, took a self guided tour of the House. In the buttery, Lynne got an impression of possible ghost presence of the lady of the house. A lady in her mid '30s. But her vision was not conclusive. They approached Skip Webb, president of the association, and asked if their firm could do paranormal research in the house. The association's board of directors approved their request. Research has started. Several orbs are in photographs taken. Orbs show past or present spirit activity.

We will inform the public of findings as the research progresses. It appears that the 1723 James House is haunted, but at this time more conclusive evidence is needed.

The 1723 James House is an active living museum located at 186 Towle Farm Road in Hampton, N.H.

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