THIS IS AN OTHERWORLDLY TALE that starts with a purchase that’s very much of this one: life insurance. When my husband and I bought a home in Loudon, New Hampshire, in May, I decided to increase my life insurance coverage. The medical technician sent by the insurer took an interest in our four-bedroom Shaker-style house, built in 1750. I happily showed him around because he didn’t give off a creepy vibe. He didn’t give off a creepy vibe, that is, until he told me he had seen a ghost in the upstairs hall. He said that many people in his family could see ghosts and that he had spotted a woman from the 1820s. He could tell she loved children and would be a happy presence in our family’s lives. Then he packed up various containers of my bodily fluids and drove away.
I’m officially agnostic on the existence of ghosts, but the fact that someone had seen one in my own house intrigued me enough to decide to invite another medium or two to visit. I’ve been researching the house’s history through the New Hampshire state archives, and I figured a few unconventional sources would round out my project. The Northeast has the oldest houses in the country, and at 263 years my house is among the oldest of the old — surely there have been a lot of opportunities for supernatural mischief, right?