No Valentine This Halloween

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In Hampton, Some Things Go 'Bump'
in the Night All Year 'Round

By Jon Phillips

Atlantic News, Tuesday, October 25, 1994

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

NO MORE MAYHEM AT THE MARSTON HOUSE -- Ghost stories flew wildly about when unexplained incidents kept occuring at the Marston House which was located at the corner of Watson's Lane and Lafayette Road. Apparently, apparitions don't like to relocate because, when the house was moved to its new spot on Woodland Road, the so-called ghost of little Valentine Marston, who died of lockjaw, wouldn't budge and the household has been run without incident since. Other spots in Hampton have not been rid of their rumored ghostly guests, however.
[Atlantic News Photo by Heather Gibbons]

HAMPTON -Black cats. Vampires. Monsters. Ghosts. Haunted houses.

Those are images one thinks of during the Halloween season, but depending on what one is willing to believe Halloween isn't the only time of year spooky things happen in Hampton. Ghosts and haunted houses, according to some, are eternal occurences at certain Hampton sites.

Perhaps the most famous "haunted house" in Hampton is the Marston House now located on 194 Woodland Road.

As legend has it, in 1890 an 11-year-old boy named Valentine Marston died of lockjaw following a freak hunting accident. The house was then situated on the corner of what is now Watson's Lane and Lafayette Road.

Since then, Hampton lore has stated Valentine's ghost haunts the house. Many people claim the house is haunted, and others dispute the fact, but one family in particular experienced some strange goings on in the house.

From December of 1972 to August 1977, Jacqueline Salvatore and her family lived in the Marston House. She says there certainly is a ghost haunting the house.

"My kids all saw apparitions," Salvatore said. "We all had experiences of one kind or another."

Salvatore spoke of the time she was cooking in the kitchen and some strange things started happening.

"One morning when I was cooking I was holding on to a paperback cook-book," she said. "All of a sudden, the pages began to flip by themselves. There was no breeze. I put the cook-book down to compose myself, but when I picked it up it happened all over again."

Salvatore also said there were "numerous things" that happened which could not be explained such as the sound of footsteps going from the living room to the dining room when no one else was in the house.

"Then there was the time my sister, brother-in-law, my husband and I were listening to organ music," she said. 'There was a tremendous pounding on the back door. When we got up to check, there was no one there. As soon as we sat down it happened again. This was in broad daylight and no one was there."

The claims of paranormal activity attracted many people to the house. Russ Charron, a now retired Winnacunnet history teacher, brought two of his classes to the Marston Hose to conduct seances.

Salvatore describes the scene.

"We all sat in a circle on the floor and had a big, fat candle in the middle," she said. "The candle wouldn't burn. The flame kept flickering. The medium kept asking Valentine to make a sign if he was there. One of the time's she asked, the candle burned and the flame shot right up casting a shadow that extended 3- or 3-1/2-feet in diameter which was not at all consistent with the flame size. When this happened, a young girl screamed and the candle began to flicker again. She had scared Valentine away.

"At the other seance, a young boy placed a jackknife on the windowsill. During this seance, people claimed to have felt things touching them, but no one had moved. When the seance was over, the jackknife had gone from the windowsill to under the bed. No one had touched, it."

The lore surrounding the Marston House even attracted New Hampshire's famed ghost hunter, Norm Gauthier. Gauthier is the author of 'Guide to New Hampshire's Haunted Places You Can Visit Vols. I & II.' He is also the founder and president of The Society for Psychic Research of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. His other credits include stints on 'That's Incredible' and numerous television and newspaper interviews on ghosts.

Gauthier visited the Marston House and the grave site of Valentine Marston in 1988. Although he didn't experience anything himself, he said there was a definite psychic presence in the house.

Since Jaqueline Salvatore and her family moved out of the Marston House in 1977, numerous families have called the house home, but not for long according to Salvatore.

"After we sold the house and it was moved [to Woodland Road] we saw some of the neighbors and they said the landlord couldn't keep a tenant because things would happen," she said. Salvatore also said she never used to believe in ghosts before she moved into the Marston House, but added, "I do now."

Richard and Kathy Thomas currently reside in the Marston House. They say nothing odd or strange has happened since they moved in, but Richard added he could, "make something up."

The spirit was probably in limbo or in its final resting place after the house was moved," Kathy said. "When we first moved in we thought things were happening only because we were told about it. If Valentine does exist, he is a well-adjusted little boy now."

A North Hampton resident claims the house located on 38 Mill Road in Hampton is also haunted. He says the ghost of an old undertaker used to live next door to the site, but when that house was bought and gutted the ghost assumed his new home at 38 Mill Road.

The resident says many odd things used to occur when he lived in the house. He recalled the time he aid two friends were sitting on the couch when the couch started to, "jump around."

He also relayed the bizarre incident which occurred when one of his friends supposedly encountered the spirit.

"We were standing in a doorway," the resident said. "And all of a sudden he [his friend] ran right past all of us and went upstairs and got sick. He said the ghost had passed right through him."

Other strange incidents, such as pictures being moved around and rearranged, or windchimes blowing in the house when there was no breeze also occurred.

Another reputed haunted house is the General Moulton House located on "haunted house curve" at 212 Lafayette Road.

The house was built in 1769 by General Jonathan Moulton, a Revolutionary War figure who was the wealthiest man in town. The legend states Moulton sold his soul to the devil in exchange for gold. Now, his doomed spirit supposedly wanders throughout the house.

The Olbres', who currently live in the house, were not available for comment on whether or not Gen. Moulton still walks among the living.

"Goody" on Meeting House Green?
[Photo courtesy Ralph Morang]

Perhaps the most famous ghost in Hampton's history is the ghost of Eunice "Goody" Cole. Cole was the only woman from New Hampshire sent to jail for witchcraft during the witch trials of the 1600s.

Back then, people stated she was "familiar with the devil" because her well water was pure and theirs contained salt water.

To this day, people claim to have caught glimpses of Goody's ghost walking along Meetinghouse Green on Park Avenue in Hampton. However, no substantiated sightings have been reported.

Hampton's ghost stories are especially poignant given the Halloween season, but keep in mind when strolling about the town at night, according to some people, these ghosts are around all year long.

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