Scotchtown and the Haunting of Sarah Henry

Scotchtown has a long history and over the years has had many owners. On of the most notable owners was the Famous orator, Patrick Henry. He moved into the plantation with his first wife Sarah and his then six children.

When Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech “Give me Liberty or Give me death!” he was keeping a deep and dark secret. His wife and the mother of his then 6 children had just recently died. She had suffered from a long and lingering disease and before her death had been confined to a 18th century equivalent of a strait jacket. She was locked in two rooms in the cold basement, accessible only by a secret stair case.

The facts are a bit confused on exact what was ailing her. Most people believe that some kind of mental illness had over taken her. In the 18th century knowledge of mental illness was very limited. She would have been left alone most of the time as most people would have been afraid of catching the sickness. Even in death Sarah was treated a low blow as she was berried in an unmarked grave. Thus her exact resting place is still unknown. One fact that is generally agreed on is that is that Sarah Henry never left Scotchtown!

There are many accounts of ghostly happenings. Monition sensing alarm systems, which will only alarm for things over four feet high, have been set off frequently when no one is in the house. When the police arrive no one is to be found. Pieces of furniture move from one place to another over night with no explanation. Often a cradle is moved from beside the bed to the middle of the room. Possibly where “Sarah” deems that it is supposed to be. Once a Tea Caddy was moved from the center o the table to a chair seat and the top of the tea pot was taken off. The inner walls of the rooms where Sarah Henry was confined cannot be painted. Paint will not stick to them, despite try after try. The sound of chains being dragged on the floor has been in the attic when no one is there.

Aside from these general happenings there have been several striking personal accounts. The first is of Mary Adams who lived at Scotchtown from 1933-1940. She lived there as a girl and claims that all sorts of unexplained things happened there. The most eye widening thing that she witnessed was a shared experience with a group of ten other children. They were all playing in the back part of the house when suddenly a figure of a woman appeared before them. It was a figure of a woman with a long flowing gown. She was glowing white. The children stood paralyzed for about 30 seconds till the figure disappeared.

Another account is that of Alice Steele, who along with her husband runs Scotchtown. One night there was a bad storm and the lights of the house went out. Alice took a flashlight and went to turn the lights back on. She had to go to the cellar. As she went to open the door to the secret stair case it refused to open. It took all of her strength to open the door. As she opened the door the flash light went dead and Alice felt the presence of someone standing behind her. The feeling persisted even when she had turned the lights back on. She was to scared to turn around and left as quickly as possible.

A few years back a guide was giving a group a tour of the house. They stopped in the dinning room, which is directly about the rooms where Sarah was confined. As the guide began to tell the story if Sarah Henry an un earthly shrieking came from the rooms below them. They group and the guide ran out of the house and everyone was to scared to investigate.

These are just a few of the many stories of the uneasy spirit of Sarah Henry. If you are ever in the area of Scotchtown and would like a good tour of a haunted mansion then you must visit. You may even see the spirit of Sarah Henry.

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