Houghton Mansion, Massachusetts
Located in North Adams, Massachusetts is one of the most haunted locations that people can visit. The walls of this mansion hold the tales of brutal deaths, tormented souls and is said to be one of the most paranormal locations in the area. Ghost Hunts USA, as always, was intrigued by the stories of the Houghton Mansion and the family that once spent their time there. Hang out for a while, while we tell you the winding story of Houghton Mansion.
Paranormal activity is something that has been noted in this location for quite some time, but it’s the residents that once lived there that are said to still haunt it. Built in the 1890’s, this victorian mansion served as a home for Albert Charles Houghton and his family. Houghton was the first Mayor of North Adams, and this was his third home in the area, built right before he finished his term as Mayor. The house boasted of wealth, status and a unique taste. With a roof made from Spanish tiles while there were plenty of Greek features and touches throughout the home. With a formal garden and a beautiful front porch, this home was one that you would see and immediately relate to a beautiful family living a put together life, but the paranormal activity that happens within suggest differently.
The Houghton family moved in around 1990. Consisting of Mr. Houghton, his wife Cordelia, and their daughter Mary. The family once had another daughter, Laura, who passed away as an infant. They had three other daughters who had grown up, married and had families of their own, and didn’t live in the home, but Mary was different. At the age of 23, she decided that she wasn’t going to wed, and devoted her life to providing care to her father. Five years after moving into the home, Mr. Houghton's health began to decline. While his health was suffering, he refused to quit his job, though he did back off. Even though his health had declined quite a bit, this isn’t the factor that led Mr. Houghton to his death. An entirely chance accident, on a day that was intended to be beautiful, would be the cause of a horrible family tragedy.
In the year of 1914, the Houghton family made the decision to invest in their first car. It was a seven passenger Pierce-Arrow car that their longtime chauffeur would drive them around in. This was the first car in the area, and it was one they were excited to make the most of. The chauffeur was sent off to learn to drive it so that he would be comfortable driving the family around. On August 1, 1914, Mr. Houghton and his daughter Mary chose to take a trip to Bennington, Vermont simply for the drive. Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hutton, family friends, joined them on the drive. While on the drive, the John Widders, the family chauffeur, tried to avoid some horses that were on the side of the road. On the left shoulder of the road, the car tilted and rolled down the steep hill. It rolled over three times before stopping upright in the middle of a farmer’s field. Every individual was thrown from the car, except for Mary. The men both walked away from the accidents with injuries that seemed minor, Mrs. Hutton died instantly when the car rolled over her, and Mary died later that day, in a hospital, from injuries that could not have been helped. Ten days after the accident, Mr. Houghton passed away. While Widders was not blamed for any of the deaths that occurred because of this accident, he put the blame on himself and shot himself on August 2, 1914, in the cellar of the Houghton barn.
The Mason Family
After this accident, Florence, one of the living Houghton daughters, moved into the house with her husband. The couple cared for Mrs. Houghton until she passed away in 1916. She and her husband called this place home up until 1926 when he retired from his job and they chose to move to Boston in order to be closer to their son. The house was then sold to the Mason family. Some changes were made to the house at this point, but not many. Aside from a new roof and some changes to the tile, the house looks almost entirely the same as it did when it was built. This family did, however, choose to get rid of the garden that was on the land and in its place build a Masonic temple that still remains on the land.
There have been various hauntings noted in the house of the Houghton mansion. It’s said that the spirits of Mr. Haughton, Mary, and the chauffeur still live in the house. Aside from that, it’s also been said that there are hauntings by a young girl who is completely unrelated to the Houghton family. The story goes that this house was built on the property where another house was previously and that while the rest of the house was entirely new when it was constructed, the basement of the house is still the original from the prior. This has been the only explanation as to where this young girl’s spirit could be coming from.
Now, this may not seem like a ton of hauntings that occur in the space, especially when you consider some of the other locations that we visit and the various spirits that haunt the location, but what separates these hauntings from the rest is the emotion that each of these spirits still holds onto. In Mary’s room specifically, people that have visited note an intense feeling of sadness, one that overcomes you as you walk around the space.
Aside from that, the guilt of John Widder was so intense that he felt the need to take his own life, even though he was not found guilty. The heavy emotions of this spirit are felt, especially in the barn. You can also expect to hear footsteps and footfalls throughout the building. More often than not, it’s electrical reactions that people notice while they’re at the mansion lights unexpectedly turning on and off. Bangs, knocks and whispering voices have also been said to have been heard while visiting the Houghton mansion.