By Tyler Webb
I grew up in
It sat on the corner of New London Turnpike and
Details of the home’s actual history were unknown, but for young boys with wild imaginations haunted stories and tall tales were easy to create. My friends and I never were brave enough to explore in and around the house but we had a pretty good idea of what we would find if we did. We constantly talked about the terrifying things that went on in the home. One story that frequently was discussed and exaggerated concerned a dead raccoon found in an upstairs bathroom. The animal was supposedly found in a dingy bathtub with an ax still stuck in it. We never doubted the story’s validity, much like a small child never questions Santa Claus’ existence.
We expanded the story, giving cause to the presence of a murdered animal in an abandoned 19th century home. According to us, there was a group of devil worshipping pagans who used the home to perform their rituals. Supposedly, candles were littered throughout, trails and streaks of blood on the walls, and from time to time (according to my friend) shrieks could be heard by those passing the home. I never met a pagan, or a devil worshipper for that matter, but I was certain of their existence. Many of the stories and legends my friends and I shared depended on these mythical social deviants and I imagined them dwelling in homes like the stick Victorian I passed every time I went to my friend’s.
The haunted home of my youth was eventually knocked down, leaving nothing but a grassy field in its place. Its absence does not mean it is forgotten in my mind. I have found a new home, just like it to fill my mind with thoughts of scary happenings and tales. The house is close to my father’s home, just off the Berlin Turnpike. Its appearance mirrors that of the home of my youth; it stands alone, and just like the other house it is in disrepair. A little twist with this home is that people live in it, making me believe that if I rang the doorbell I would meet a devil worshipping pagan for the first time.
Tyler Webb is currently a Wesleyan GLSP student, with plans of completing his Master's in Summer 2009. He is a high school history teacher in