by John Zaffis
I would like to go into the case of Boothe Homestead in Stratford, Ct. The Boothes are one of the originals 40 Founding families of Stratford. It was a 32-acre estate and is now a park. The estate has been listed on the National Registry for Historic homes since 1985. Richard Boothe home built the original in 1663. From 1822 to 1830 a new home was built over the original foundation. The home has been renovated many times since then. The last Boothes to renovate were Stephen and David Boothe. They had added stained-glass windows, and amazing puzzle floors to the home.
Today the Boothe estate is known as Boothe Park. There are several different buildings that the two brothers had bought, and then assembled on the property. The old barn dates back to the 1800’s, and is topped with a clock tower from Massachusetts, from about 1913. Several bells inside the tower have information on the Boothe family, a miniature lighthouse, a trolley station, black smith shop, and a old chapel known as the Putney chapel dating from around 1844. It was moved onto the property from where it used to be at the Crossroads, not that far from where it sits now. It also has a sunken rock garden area with a rock podium.
I have had the opportunity of spending many of evenings in the old homestead from 1985 to 1989, with an organization dealing with contacting spirits. About that time the park had reports of people having eerie, uncomfortable feelings in the old home, the organization that I was with normally gathered in the room called the billiard room around a big massive wood table. This group consisted of ten to fifteen people. We would try to communicate with the spirits in the house. During that time we were able to discern what we believed were the spirits of Hannah, Stephen and David at that time. We could here rapping and banging and a telephone ringing in the distance. I believe several members of the family now try to protect their old home. Many people have picked up a lot of vibrations in the civil war room since it opened in May of 1987. Those experiences have continued, according to the park commissioner at the time, and who also said that close to 100 people of all ages have complained about the room and the feelings of sadness and oppression it brings?
The experiences have ranged from a first-grade pupil’s complaint about feeling chills in the room on a 90-degree day, to an elderly woman’s fainting when she went into the room. Many others have walked into the room and then walked right back out. Saying they had to get out into the hall. The experiences have become so commonplace that park officials keep a chair by the door in case anyone feels faint. But the odd experiences inside the homestead spread from the civil war room to another bedroom, according to another park commissioner.
On separate occasions, a staff member at the facility, who were alone in the house at the time, heard a woman’s voice coming from Mrs. Boothe’s bedroom. The staff member said she was sitting in the kitchen when she "very distinctly" heard a woman’s voice coming from upstairs. She went to the staircase and called out hello, but nobody answered. As she started to go up the stairs, the voice disappeared.
Many sensitive people have picked up vibrations all over and have gotten numerous psychic photographs. I myself have taken a photo of a coffee pot levitating off the old wood stove. After many years of not being inside of the old homestead, I decided to take a trip up there along with Mike Roberge and we went through the home. At that time I was able to pick up on the spirits in the home. Mike was touched once in the upstairs bedroom and again in the outside flower bed. Stories concerning this estate have been in many newspapers such as: Bridgeport Post June 4,1989, Stratford Star June 7,1989, The Stratford Bard October, 25,1990 and The Bridgeport Post October 31,1990. The homestead is open to the public but you have to contact them to see what times they are open.