'Revolutionary War Ghosts of Connecticut' Sept 30, 2016 0:41:39 GMT -5
Post by Joanna on Sept 30, 2016 0:41:39 GMT -5
Revolutionary War Ghosts of Connecticut
More than 225 years after the Revolutionary War ended, a new book has more stories to tell about the soldiers who fought in Connecticut and the spirits they apparently left behind. Revolutionary War Ghosts of Connecticut is the second book by Colchester resident Courtney McInvale Reardon. Her interest in haunted history comes from an academic interest in history and a personal connection with the paranormal. “My family purchased a house in East Hampton when I was just 2-years-old and supernatural phenomena appeared to begin then,” McInvale Reardon explained via email. “Small things (like) flickering lights, power outages, opening doors, phantom footsteps.”
Far from frightened, McInvale Reardon plunged deeper into the mysteries of the paranormal and eventually in 2013, she started leading historical ghost tours in Mystic. Her Seaside Shadows tours in Mystic – exploring locations in where ghostly activity has been reported – fueled her first book, Haunted Mystic, published in 2014.
Revolutionary War Ghosts of Connecticut continues her investigation into the paranormal in New London County and throughout Connecticut. While Haunted Mystic effectively wrote itself through the research for her tours, McInvale Reardon said the new book took her to historical societies from Norwich to Fairfield.
One of McInvale Reardon’s favorite subjects is Stephen Hempstead, a sergeant in the Seventh Connecticut Regiment. After surviving grievous wounds in the bloody Battle of Groton Heights – “he was shot twice, stabbed, thrown down a hill and left for dead,” she noted in an email – Hempstead lived to the age of 77. Though he died in Missouri in 1831, a paranormal investigation at the Hempsted House revealed that he still visits the family homestead. McInvale Reardon, a participant in the investigation, reports that the group witnessed a “full-bodied apparition” in a first-floor room of the house. A comparison of a sketch of the apparition drawn post-investigation showed similar features to those in portraits of Hempstead.
McInvale Reardon also enjoyed learning about the many women involved in the fight against the British, including Lucretia Shaw and her hospital at the family mansion and Abigail Hinman’s assassination attempt against the infamously traitorous Benedict Arnold during the Burning of New London. Many of the women are buried at the Antientist Burial Ground on Hempstead Street and her investigations were able to detect their voices at the cemetery, which dates back to the 17th century.
Revolutionary War Ghosts of Connecticut also reveals reports of the Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale at his schoolhouses in East Haddam and New London; the spirits of Hale and his brothers at the family homestead in Coventry; McInvale Reardon’s own report of a possible celebrity appearance in the Leffingwell House Museum in Norwich; and much more.
Over the almost two years from research to publication, McInvale Reardon encountered too many Revolutionary War ghost stories to include in the book. But for her, the abundance of information provides a valuable lesson. In writing the book, she said, “I learned that the American Revolution is present in nearly every corner you turn or historic road you drive down in Connecticut, that in every cemetery lies buried a true Patriot leader and hero, that in every town there was someone, a hero, who sacrificed for the greater good of freedom. ... We as a people can still look up to those figures now more than ever for guidance to help light our way.”
In addition to the Seaside Shadows tours, McInvale Reardon will hold book signings and lectures throughout the state.
Source: Amanda Hutchinson, The Day, September 19, 2016.