The Booth Park Homestead, Grounds & Cemetery, Stratford, CT
See photos from an eventful evening investigation and filming with Connecticut Fox61 News and Rebecca Stewart (2004). Many orbs on video and photographs. A direct response during an EVP session and much more!
The Booth Park Homestead has a high degree of paranormal activity with active poltergeist occurrences, ghost and apparition sightings, and psychically impressed messages (through thought transference, trance states and dreams of many individuals).
Some individuals have had bodily physical contact from an entity.
The grounds have been desecrated through immoral, illegal and unsavory acts including rape, illicit sex, drug use, robbery (of priceless Civil War artifacts), animal cruelty and abuse, occultist conjuring. The outbuildings have a slightly lesser degree of activity.
The Booth Cemetery has a moderate degree of paranormal activity with new psychic photographs being obtained regularly. Present day burials.
What qualifies this case as poltergeist?
Firstly the conditions for this type of activity are for the most part present; a lot of teenage energy in the building as well as older volunteers, mostly retirees.
The land and property lend itself to the paranormal conditions. In most instances, poltergeists are of a highly negative nature and are attracted to places that carry the vibrations of past acts and occurrences, using that energy in addition to usurping the environment, people, plants, etc. in order to manifest.
The nature of the actions of the entity are indicative of poltergeist activity.
In most instances involving poltergeist(s) the presence of earthbound spirits are prevalent – especially with those of differing or opposing agendas. Poltergeist energy can usurp and at times manipulate, impress their will or dominate the earthbound spirit(s).
Ghosts sensed and seen are; Mr. David Beach Booth, patriarch of the Booth family, his wife Betsy Booth and at least one of their sons. A girl with white nightgown has been spotted, as well as numerous sightings of a hooded figure on top of the clock tower. A man running with a lantern is a common specter. An unidentified woman has been seen beckoning night watchman/worker standing by a tree next to the homestead who quickly vanished as he approached.
32 Acre estate. Listed National Register of Historic places since 1985. Original House (homestead) built 1663 by Richard Booth, first Stratford settler in Booth family and one of the original 40 founding families of Stratford. 1820 home built over foundation of original house. Renovated 4 times since then. David and Stephen Booth renovation of 1913 added stained glass windows, four safes in walls, and several puzzle floors. Barn built in 1880 was topped 1913 with a clocktower from Massechusetts. which was exchanged for a carpet sweeper. 5 massive bells inside the tower are inscribed with Booth genealogy. Museum started in 1913 also.
Also on the grounds:
Carriage House, Americana museum, miniature Lighthouse, Clocktower/Barn museum, Trolley Station, Blacksmith shop, Putney Chapel (1844), Redwood Building, Miniature Windmill, Coliseum (made from old barn), Basilica (up to 4000 people attended Easter Sunday services here of ALL denominations… situated on the property also are 3 large wooden crosses and a round circular area for seating), Ice house, Toll Booths, Rose Garden.
One previous caretaker had been arrested for child molestation (on the grounds) and the present caretaker is responsible for leaving over 80 cats in the building (he was supposed to be living in and tending) for an unknown period of time. Many were dead and dying when the tragedy was discovered. An animal show was being held on the grounds when a small cat exited one of the windows and was spotted by one of the show’s participants. Noticing that the animal was in dire need of medical help and covered in feces, the person alerted workers who were barely able to enter the building as the stench of dead animals and feces (up to three inches thick on the floors) was overwhelming. Extensive damage resulted to the building. The caretaker has never faced any charges and still receives a pension.
One woman is known to have been raped on the property, and has spoken with Cosmic Society regarding her experience.
Booth Park has been a scheduled stop on many of Donna Kent’s Haunted CT Tours. Recent happenings include:
At least 10 different tour participants feeling ill upon entering the homestead (at different times and on different tours) and having to be physically removed from the building.
Innumerable people including many school children have sensed temperature shifts, a feeling of being watched and feeling physically sick to their stomachs in a particular room of the homestead (formerly the area where Civil war relics were housed). The room has been converted into a nursery type of bedroom just for this reason and still the negative vibrations are discerned.
Typically, on a tour at the park with Haunted CT, the groups are divided and will sightsee with several docents at differing intervals. One group happened to be upstairs in the former Civil War room while another was traversing downstairs. Everyone at once heard a single extremely loud bang or thump (much like a cannonball dropping onto the wood floor). It seemed to emanate from upstairs. We actually looked for ceiling damage due to the forcefulness of the sound. The folks upstairs said it came from the room they were in but with no logical source. Some tourists were too frightened to continue the itinerary and headed back to the bus.
During a recent filming of Cosmic Society at the homestead for a seasonal news program, many paranormal activities happened just prior to our arrival; for instance the phone system went “wacky” ringing with no one on the line and not working at all. Brand new, fully charged video camera battery packs were completely drained (four separate cameras). Two professional TV show video recorders refused to operate (power was established but on one we could not get it to record and the other, although completely connected would not show power was being received).
Cosmic Society member Barri Scinto was attempting an EVP session. She began by stating her name and intentions and then inquired if any spirits present would like to address the recorder. At that moment, three LOUD bangs sounded. They had never been heard before or since that time. Also that evening a red orb and several white ones were videotaped (the red one being used as part of the segment), as well as several on digital and 35mm cameras.
Donna had found David Booth’s straw hat and was wearing it as a goof when she suddenly heard a voice say “It’s disrespectful.” Needless to say she removed the hat…
Several teens volunteer their time as tour guides at the homestead and have experienced many things for themselves; one boy, who happens to have strong psychic tendencies, has had his hair pulled and been physically pushed around by the entity scaring him away for awhile and this same boy had a dream of a cross being on the floor somewhere in the building. Weeks later as furniture was being moved in the pantry, a wooden inlaid cross was found hidden under a rug, on the floor.
Two sisters, also volunteer docents, Chelsey and Jessica were invited by Cosmic Society to join in on the TV program in order to relate their unique findings and personal observations; one time Jessica was talking with a small group of people and excused herself to go to another room. A moment later “Jessica” walked past the group and into the dining room with attached pantry, as she did so, someone from the group asked her to retrieve a soda for them. Staring straight ahead and not acknowledging the request “Jessica” strode into the dining room and turned the corner out of view. Just then the real Jessica walked out from another section of the dwelling. The group commented on how she accomplished this since the dining room/pantry had no other exitways except the one “she” had entered into earlier. “And where’s my soda?” was another comment. The real Jessica explained that she had never come back to this section of the house until just that moment and no idea what they were all talking about.
Another incident involved the finding of a secret room in the basement. The sisters and a few other school chums were looking over old blueprints of the property. They realized there was a walled up section in the basement that did not correspond to any of the prints, even the earliest originals. Excited they decided to do some digging (literally) in the basement and first went to ask permission to remove a few bricks or stones from the strange room’s outer wall. Getting to go-ahead they headed for the cellar and were confronted at the top of the stairs by a most foul smelling odor. They got a bit scared by it and decided to ditch their plans at unearthing the secret room. At that point the smell slowly dissappaited. It was later discovered that the wooden inlaid cross on the floor sits directly above this “secret” area.
They have witnessed many occasions of having been the ones to turn off interior and exterior lights only to find them on again within moments and also coming from sources that have no light sockets or outlets for lighting.
Many of the volunteers of Booth Park and members of Cosmic Society have heard their names called – most often by a woman’s voice, but not always, and always without having a living human source.
What’s interesting to note is back in the 1970’s the Rosicrucians and other spiritualist groups held meetings there on one occasion they had a séance, intentionally summoning a dark entity when suddenly almost all of the participants suffered pains in their heads and ran out to the front lawn vomiting…they claimed to have seen a man with a lantern. Shortly after this no more meetings were allowed inside the homestead.
Another eventful thing happened to Cosmic Society members and Donna Kent as they left the property after a photo shoot one evening… Gary made a right hand turn out of the driveway and we needed to turn around. As we did so, lights in the upstairs offices came on… and went back out. We know no one was inside the house. Previous to this while taking photos, Donna saw movement in a downstairs window and immediately following this we saw a white “mass” of energy “WHOOSH” from the window and straight at/through Gary. Gary sensed a young girl in white nightgown by upper window of home and a man with a handle-bar mustache. Bonnie snapped a few photos capturing a flesh colored looking head that moved from left to right in upstairs window seemingly with a handlebar mustache. Also while driving home, she was aware of a man staring at her from the backseat of her car with a handle-bar mustache (It was Bonnie who shot the photos of man with handlebar mustache in upper window of home – this was a 35 mm camera and since this was the night of the incident – she had no idea what she had captured on the pictures until she had the film developed).
On another occasion Donna and friend, Rob were taking photos in the adjacent cemetery, and walked to the back. Donna suddenly heard the sound of running water…Rob thought she was imagining things but then heard it himself. Following the sound they found an old hand-pump gushing water! It took some effort for Rob to get it to shut off. It got very cold where they were standing and they took a few more photos and left. Since that time Donna had spoken with the niece of the caretaker of the Booth estate who told her “That pump hasn’t worked for years!!!!”
One other quite important event happened to Gary as he and Donna walked through the graveyard one evening in the 1990’s. Upon reaching a certain tombstone, Gary felt stabbing pains in his back and actually feel to his knees on the ground, in pain. This lasted for about a moment, and they exited the burial grounds. Gary returned to his normal composure and it was later determined that the site of the grave this occurred in front of was the site of a Booth family member who died of a stabbing injury.
Interesting to note that Betsy Booth is not interred in the booth family cemetery. She was buried alongside her first husband in a different area.
Upon entering the home unstable energy was felt. Felt “fields” shifting. Sensed 2 women who had lived in one of the rooms at different times. Heard many people talking and laughing but could not make out what was being said.
David Beach Booth Sr. (1800’s) is one of the resident ghosts haunting the building
Upstairs was “told” by David Sr. “You can be here, but don’t touch anything!” He’s a furious spirit for many reasons.
His wife Betsy, is also said to haunt the house as a protecting spirit. Apparently she was thought to be a witch by her husband (in a time frame that any type of psychic abilities were completely unacceptable) who tried to “beat it out of her.” Betsy had a very rough life losing her first husband in the Civil War, followed by the death of both her parents and then a baby child. Her energy is quite noticeable.
Betsy believed her sons had psychic abilities and encouraged them. Both sons were thought to have practiced witchcraft (some say Satanism) and summoned their father back to the house in spirit…through ritual it is thought they bound his spirit here and now David Sr. doesn’t want to leave anyway. It has been psychically conveyed that folks should ask permission to be on the grounds, dress conservatively, and refrain from picture taking. Mr. Booth has expressed that he does not like children, psychics, witches or photographers! Betsy has said that she is “staying to protect the people” and that the TRUE story of the Booth family is being listened to by “us” (the psychics).
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