An early 20th Century owner had a close encounter with a spirit.
A spirit still loves gossip!
The basement is still a makeshift prison ship for a war-traumatized spirit…
Family members may be keeping an eye on him.
DESCRIPTION & HISTORY
The Hale House mansion was built around 1746, when Deacon Richard Hale bought a large farm and married Elizabeth Strong. Its size grew to accommodate their family of 12 children, of which the Revolutionary hero, Captain Nathan Hale, was one. While on a daring spy mission for the Militia, Nathan was captured by the British and hung as a spy, barely 21 years old. His famous last words, were “I regret that I have only one life to give for my county.” He lived fully and believed the sentiment behind those words, even if they may have been slightly different, in reality.
Mrs. Hale died in 1767 after the birth of her 12th child, when Nathan was 12 years old. Two years later, Deacon Richard married a widow, Abigail Cobb, who brought seven teenage girls along with her. What a huge blended family! The Deacon Hale expanded his house into a two family mansion. It had its own schoolroom, and plenty of space for such a large family.
After the children grew up and moved away, members of the Hale family lived in Hale House for several decades. Brother John Hale married one of his stepsisters, Sara, and the couple lived and died in the house (1802-1803), shortly after Deacon Richard had passed away in 1802. Another brother, Joseph Hale, came back to the area, and raised a family near his father’s mansion. When he came down with tuberculosis, he retreated to his father’s mansion, passing away there in 1784. His widow and four children came to live afterwards at the Hale Homestead.
Time wasn’t kind to the old mansion, and by 1914, it was described as being “isolated, dilapidated, unpainted, and vacant,” in a sad state of affairs. Luckily, the mansion was rescued by George Dudley Seymour, a Captain Nathan Hale admirer, who restored it to its former glory. He dedicated his life to make Nathan Hale famous, and took copious notes of all the legends and stories of the Hale family, including the reported ghostly sightings at the Homestead.
The Coventry Society for the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society believes in bringing history to life, and offers special programs to the public that demonstrate the way of life of the people, and their special historical occurrences. Employees dressed as members of the Hale family often greet visitors, give tours of the place, and tell about life in the 1700s. During the Halloween season, and on other selected weekends, the Nathan Hale Fifes and Drums put on colonial encampments and even perform battle reenactments. Nathan Hale comes home to his family’s mansion to try to recruit men to join the militia, and will sign autographs using an authentic quill pen! Unseen Hale family members and servants may also be enjoying the festivities!
Deacon Richard Hale
Just after George Seymour purchased the property in 1914, he and a friend took a trip out to see the old place. His friend jumped out of the buggy and ran to the front school room window and peeked inside. He came nose to nose with the apparition of Deacon Richard Hale, who had been peeking out of the window, looking to see who was coming. The entity inside the room stepped away from the window and vanished. He was never seen again by the living.
Local neighbors told George Seymour that Lydia was a family servant of the Hales.
Her apparition could be seen listening/eavesdropping around doorways and in the halls/kitchen area as she went about her chores. She liked to hear bits of personal family business, as she was addicted to gossip.
She has been seen sweeping the upper hall in the early morning hours, as well as going about her business in the kitchen.
Was one of the six Hale boys who served with the Militia against the British. He was captured by the British and spent time on a prison ship, until he was swapped for a British soldier. At the end of his life, he died in the Hale Homestead of TB, as mentioned above. It was reported to George Seymour that Joseph haunted the huge cellar, clanking his chains from the prison ship.
John and Sara Hale
Their presence was witnessed by Mary Griffith, who moved to Hale Homestead in 1930, when her husband, George, became its caretaker for George Seymour. She lived there for many years.
In 1988, she told the following story, for the oral history archives. In the early morning, her husband had gone out to milk the cows, and she was the only one up. She suddenly heard someone come down the back stairs, with a distinctive, loud clomping.
It’s hard to tell.
Current staff members haven’t seen any apparitions, or seen/felt any evidence of them. However, many of the reported hauntings happened at night, or in the wee hours of the morning, when the museum is closed. If they are still hanging around, they must be insanely happy that their beloved home has been so well taken care of, and for now don’t want to call attention to themselves. They may have found the kind of peace that they didn’t have in their lifetimes and gone to the other side.
2299 South Street
Coventry, CT 06238
In South Coventry, Connecticut, this large, two family mansion is now a museum run by The Coventry Society for the Antiquarian and Landmarks Society of Connecticut.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr