Skip to comments.Is Town Hall Haunted?
Posted on 10/11/2004 7:39:33 PM PDT by CurlyBill
TOWNSEND -- It was around midnight when Tim Casey heard a cough coming from the small tower at the top of Town Hall.
Casey, the head custodian who cleans the Town Hall between 9 p.m. and midnight, was wiping down a table in a third-floor room when he heard a distinct sound from above roughly six months ago.
"When I heard the cough, the hair just stood straight up on my head," Casey recalled Wednesday.
Casey decided to investigate the noise, and after climbing a short ladder to the small tower floor, he was even more scared.
"I had to go up there, and saw four chairs around in a circle," Casey said. "I felt the cold come up behind me. You just have to accept the fact that (ghosts are) there."
Casey said on another evening, when he had a large barrel that holds cleaning supplies next to him, he again felt a nearby presence.
"It was, like, hanging on me, like a little kid. I could feel it," Casey said.
Casey decided to talk to the spirit.
"I said, 'If you're going to follow me around, why don't you help me?' and the barrel went flying across the floor," Casey recounted.
Known by many as "George," numerous past and present town employees have heard Town Hall's friendly ghost walking around late at night.
Custodian Jennifer Pettit was on the first floor of the Town Hall late one night a few months ago.
"I heard footsteps through the main hall on the second floor and exiting through the main door," Pettit recalled Tuesday.
She ran upstairs and looked out the window to see if anybody was outside.
"Potentially, someone ran out the exit. But it wasn't a hurried exit. It was a measured step," Pettit said.
However, not all employees believe George really exists.
"I don't personally believe the Town Hall is haunted," said Inspector of Wires John Pelletier, who's been involved in local government since 1958. "I think it's an old building and it cracks."
Built in 1894, the Town Hall at 272 Main St. was renovated in the 1990s.
Town offices are located on the first two floors of the building, and a large meeting room, known as the Great Hall is on the second floor.
The ladder to the tower can be accessed from the third floor.
Casey said George likes to hang out in the tower, Great Hall, the selectmen's office on the second floor and the small balcony on the third floor, where a long basket that was used to carry sick and injured people in the early 1900s still stands.
Town Hall was built to commemorate Townsend's fallen soldiers from the Civil War.
The police communications center was housed on the first floor of Town Hall during the 1980s.
Dispatcher Diane Babineau started working the midnight shift in 1983.
"We heard George all the time," Babineau said Wednesday. "George was friendly."
Babineau said she regularly would hear distinct footsteps coming from the second floor, and often asked patrolmen to go upstairs to check the building for a person. Town Hall was always empty.
"We'd always just joke that it was George, the friendly ghost," said Donna Miller, who worked for the police department for 23 years.
While Miller didn't work the graveyard shift, dispatchers often described the noise to her.
"It sounded like it was a chair being dragged across the floor. It was nothing threatening. It was just like someone moving furniture," Miller said.
Former Town Administrator Julia Stockwell recalls working late nights during the late 1980s, before Town Hall was renovated.
Stockwell said many of her files were stored in a room on the second floor that did not have electricity. She would frequently use a flashlight to rummage through file boxes after dark.
Stockwell recalls one evening when she entered the dark room and felt a presence.
Suddenly the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. Stockwell said she ran downstairs before she saw anything.
Town Administrator Greg Barnes said he often works late nights and has never heard or seen George.
"I have not had the opportunity to meet George the ghost. I remain a skeptic," Barnes said.
Selectman Dan Murphy said he doesn't believe in George, but enjoys the folklore.
"I don't believe, but I think it's nice to have some sort of curiosity floating around," Murphy said.
Assistant Town Clerk Sue Funaiole said she also doesn't believe Town Hall is haunted.
"I don't believe in George. I haven't seen him, haven't heard him, and I've been in the building alone before," Funaiole said.
Selectman Paul Concemi said he hasn't seen or heard George.
But he did say he's been in the building alone at night and felt someone's or something's presence.
"Nobody tickled me or slammed the door," Concemi said Thursday. However, he added, "I always felt like I was never truly alone."
Calling in the Ghostbusters
Pettit has contacted the Cape And Islands Paranormal Research Society about spending the night in Townsend's Town Hall.
"We're really factual," said Brandy Maynard, who joined CAIPRS a year ago. "We take a video camera and inferred light and go for a few hours. We then review the tape and give a report."
Selectman Peter Collins said it's okay for CAIPRS to spend the night in Town Hall.
"I have no problem having the Town Hall monitored for ghosts, among other things," Collins said. "I do believe there are mysterious forces, but I have no experience with this ghost. But I don't doubt the place is haunted. I think somebody spent a lot of time there and didn't get much satisfaction."
Casey believes you can see at least one ghostly face in two photographs taken by a fellow employee during the Town Meeting in May.
In the two pictures, a white, round light is clearly visible. Some employees, including Casey, can make out a face in the light.
"Keep taking pictures like that," Casey said. "I completely believe that they're here and they don't know they're dead or they don't want to move on."
I love a good ghost story! I'm going to Savannah in a couple of weeks and doing the nighttime ghost tour while I'm there.
Personally, I'd be looking for another job, if I were those workers.
Where is this?
Taxachusetts I believe.
Anyone wanting on or off the ping list... just Freepmail me.
Thanks; added to my bookmark collection!
Thanks for the invite! I'd love to be added to the list! Boo!
Just another case of dead RAT voters hanging around government buildings waiting to vote again.
Several companies offer both walking and bus tours of supposedly haunted sites around the city of Savannah.
thanks for the ghost ping...
Thanks for the ghost story- BUMP
Come to think on it, do you think it's possible that John Kerry just doesn't realize he's "moved on"?
cool! i loved the part about the two ghosts buried near each other arguing!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.