The Stinson House, Quechee, April 2005
We’ve heard a lot of stories about the yellow house since we moved in 5 years ago. We’ve been told at various times that our house is haunted, was built from the first lumber out of the Dewey Mills sawmill, belonged to a successful Quechee businessman named Mr. Tinkham, is the oldest house in Quechee, was a major party house in the 1980s, had a front door painted lavender, and was once condemned.
Some of these things are true: one of the partiers who lived here is a friend. Some are false: the Dewey Mills churned out woolens and satinet, not lumber. Some things we made up ourselves.
As to the question of ghosts–it’s easy to understand why one would assume we are haunted. We are situated near the old and new Quechee cemeteries. The old, “inactive” cemetery is just across Old Quechee Road. It’s a lovely place, and the destination of a Valley Quest treasure hunt.
The new cemetery is at the top of the hill behind our house. You can see a corner of it in the photo above. I walk Cammy there from time to time. I haven’t investigated how many plots are still available, but fresh graves appear regularly. Some of the grave markers don’t have death dates–a kind of planning I’m not capable of yet.
But we do not appear to have ghosts. Sure, we get spooked walking by the cemetery at night, but have seen no evidence of paranormal phenomena. Sometimes when I’m home alone at night, I’ll look up from what I’m doing and wonder about all the people who have passed through these rooms, treading the uneven, creaking floors, living through their own moments of joy or sadness. So odd that they seem not to have left a trace.