Personal and Paranormal: Hammond Castle

Here’s another paranormal post for you guys, but this one is definitely more personal for me.  I’ve been a fan of ghost hunting shows for years, Ghost Hunters in particular. I even got to meet Jason Hawes and Steve Gonsalves at Comic-Con last year.  In 2012, they aired an episode about Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA.

Here’s a bit of background about the place.  John Hays Hammond, Jr. was the son of a wealthy mining engineer.  His family traveled a lot, so he became fascinated with history and other cultures. He was also interested in science. When he was 12, his father introduced him to Thomas Edison, and he asked so many questions that Edison invited him to his laboratory. He eventually attended Yale University, and while studying there he was taken under the wing of another great inventor: Alexander Graham Bell.  He remained close with both men until their deaths. Upon graduation, he got a job at the patent office. Edison had once given him advice that if he wanted to be an inventor, the patent office was the place to be, as he could see which fields might be worth pursuing.  Hammond then founded the Hammond Radio Research Laboratory on his family’s estate in Gloucester.  He actually had over 800 patents in his name, both foreign and domestic, the majority of his inventions being in radio control and naval weaponry.

When he married his wife Irene, he built a castle on his family’s land as a wedding gift.  He filled it with artifacts he picked up in his travels, even using some materials from historical buildings in its construction.  It is believed that some of these items held on to the energies of the previous owners, hence the paranormal activity people have experienced there (we’re talking apparitions, disembodied voices, and objects moving on their own).  Hammond, like many others in his time, was also interested in spiritualism.  However instead of using it to communicate with deceased relatives, he wanted to use science to prove its validity.  

I mentioned the place to my then-boyfriend, and we decided to go check it out.  When we got there, we started going through the rooms and we got to a room where the bridal party gets ready when they rent the place out for weddings (there was an old-fashioned wedding dress hanging on the wall and everything.)  He said “I guess we’re in the right place, then” and he got down on one knee and “kinda” proposed.  I say “kinda” because I said yes before he could finish getting the words out. 

Needless to say, this place has been scratched off my paranormal bucket list in a very special way.  My now-husband and I got to make an amazing memory there. Whether or not you believe that Hammond the mad scientist still haunts his former home, its well worth the drive to check out collection of inventions and historical artifacts he left behind.