Spooky Sites

Hannah Foley and Ellie Gavin

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Around this time of year, ghosts and their stories become as clichéd as your little brother’s bedsheet ghost costume. But if the over-portrayed image of the translucent white face in the window at night satisfies you, you clearly need to read on. Inklings has gone on a ghost chase to bring you real ghost stories of Fairfield County- and let us tell you, we’ve seen it all. We found inner city ghosts, slutty ghosts, Chinese fortune tellers, screeching roosters and decapitated chickens. Enjoy: something wicked this way comes…

The Factory

Once an arms and munitions manufacturing facility, Remington Arms Factory in Bridgeport is famous as one of the most haunted locations in Connecticut.

Just across the street from St. Augustine Cemetery, Remington Arms has been the site of 10 deaths- seven in an explosion, one electrocution, and one beating by a security guard.  The factory has long since shut down, but the mystery of Remington has lived on since the doors closed in 1986.

“Things move. You see figures,” says Lorrain Laurren, psychic and longtime Bridgeport resident. “There is a very swift change in temperature.” Laurren, who claims to have begun developing psychic ability at the age of 9, has visited the Remington property. “The energy is almost drained right out of you.”

If the mystical fortune teller, with four pet roosters screeching in her home (it’s a long story), doesn’t have you sold on Remington’s spooky aura, there’s still more to the tale. The phenomena at Remington doesn’t stop just at spirits and energies—there are documented accounts supporting these unbelievable claims.

These accounts say that in addition to the unsettling number of deaths, Remington is home to many freaky occurrences. Sergeant Meyers of the Bridgeport Police reveals that dead, decapitated birds can often be found lying on the factory floor, the culprit gone without a trace of evidence linking them back to the scary scene.

Due to rumors about the factory, it’s become a curiosity and the scene of regular break-ins, and therefore is continuously patrolled by the police. On one of these routine patrols, Meyers himself claims to have seen ‘misty ghost-like legs’ in the distance.

In addition, it is said that one can usually hear a young female voice screaming in the night. Despite constant searches of the factory, the police have never been able to locate such a girl.

Why is this factory subject to spiritual inhabitance?  Laurren believes that such presences stem from the occurrence of “many tragedies,” As she put it. “The haunting phenomena is brought on by old buildings—things of the past.”

 The Chinese Psychic

Eight years ago, a dilapidated house in Westport was the cause of worry for the superstitious. According to a Westport real estate agent—she asked that her name not be printed–this house was the home of evil spirits and ghosts.

The story begins with a young woman, who in 2004 had a brother that was searching for a local house to fix up as a project. She went to this agent looking for an old house that her brother could renovate.

The agent took the woman to see a fixer upper that was on the way to Compo Beach. She said that the woman loved the house and was going to bring her brother and the rest of their family to see it that Sunday.

That Sunday, the family, 25 people strong, came to look at the house. As the relatives split up and went to explore the property, the grandmother of the family remained in the kitchen with the realtor.

She motioned for the grandmother, who was a famous Chinese psychic and spoke very little English, to see the basement.

After two minutes, the realtor heard a “high-pitched squealing.” She described it as a chirping noise. “Within two seconds everyone rushed out of the house,” she said.

She was given no explanation as to what had happened.

The next day, the daughter called the realtor and told her that her mother had said “there were bad spirits in the house.”

According to the realtor, the mother “had seen an enclave of ghosts, and they were bad ghosts, not good spirits.” The chirping was a cultural signal to warn people that there were bad spirits present.

Eventually the house was rebuilt and sold to a buyer who was unaware of this account and claimed that after moving in, “her life had been turned around in such a positive way,” the realtor said.

The Man With The Hat

On the border of Westport and Norwalk, there is a very old house. Built in the mid 1800’s, it’s the quintessential setting for a scary story.

“How do you feel about ghosts?” a young bachelor and the home owner asked his realtor, Margret Lebedis.

“Hmm. The jury’s still out,” replied a skeptical Lebedis.

As a realtor, Lebedis has heard it all when it comes to haunted houses. According to her, some people are so convinced of paranormal activity in their home that they have pursued and won lawsuits on account of being sold a haunted house. But Lebedis says she still isn’t quite convinced.

The young man goes on to tell his story.

The man had had a girlfriend. After sleeping over one night, she told him she had seen a tall, thin, pale, old man in a black top hat standing at the foot of the bed and watching her as she slept.

At first the young man scoffed at the warning. But girlfriends came and went, and, and as each of them told him the same terrified tale about the same tall, thin, pale man in a black top hat, it got harder for him to dismiss their impossible story.

One cold winter afternoon, around 4 o’clock, Lebedis was locking up the old home after an open house. As it was winter, it was already dark and cold outside.

As she was getting ready to leave, an old woman, probably in her late 80s according to Lebedis, came to the door. She told Lebedis she had been born in the house, and her great grandfather had built it himself.

“I want these pictures to stay with the house,” she said, handing Lebedis a pile of black and white photographs depicting her childhood in the home.

Lebedis sifted through the pile of old photos, but there was one in particular that caught her eye. It was a scene of the whole family outside on the front porch together. And there was a one particular man who interested Lebedis.

“That was my great grandfather” said the woman. “The one who built the house.”

She was pointing to a tall, thin, pale man in a black top hat standing in the back.

The Doctor and the Tramp

They say true love never dies, and that may be exactly the case with the Wheeler house ghost. According to Margaret Lebedis, a local real estate agent, Doctor Wheeler, an old widower in the 1700’s, spent almost 30 years in a clandestine love affair with his housekeeper and lover, Ms. Darby. The two never married, probably due to her less than virtuous reputation around town, but upon dying he left her his home, currently the Westport Historical Society, and all of its belongings, where she spent the rest of her life, and where she reportedly spends her afterlife.

Years later, David Quigley, a florist from Miss Plums’ Particulars, was commissioned by the Westport Historical Society to work on an arrangement for an exhibit opening. Faced with some inclement weather, Quigley was worried about safely making his way home and opted to spend the night in the one of the old bedrooms in the Historical Society, just to be safe.

Quigley claims his attempts at remaining safe landed him in a paranormal encounter with none other than the ghost of Ms. Darby herself. However, despite being spooked, Ms. Darby never threatened Quigley. “Not all ghosts are supposed to be malevolent. Some stories say that ghosts want to be around very happy people, so they will be found in the houses of happy families with children,” says Lebedis, the local realtor and ghost story guru. “They say that ghosts are just left on earth when they have something unfinished,” she said.

What might Ms. Darby’s unfinished business on earth be? No one knows for sure, but the Historical Society has a guess. “There is this old Victorian love seat that we saved. It was original to the house,” says Lebedis, “It’s a joke that that’s why she’s still here.”

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