GREENWOOD — During the time when Halloween punctures the fall season it is common for tales of ghosts, witches and other supernatural legends to be dusted off and retold.

An excerpt from the July 17, 1894, issue of the Advertiser Democrat about a presumed haunted house in Greenwood.

Oxford Hills is no different and one community history Facebook page, Greenwood as it Was, offers them up, along with other stories, ephemera and photos from generations past.

Earlier this week, page administrator Chris Dunham shared a story that can be found in The Oxford Democrat – the Advertiser Democrat’s ancestor – back 1894. It reads as such:

“There is a story connected with the Lovett place, spoken of last week, but omitted at the time for want of space.

“I will relate it as it has been told to me by several who have there: some 50 years ago there lived on that place a man who was quite a speculator, and whose reputation was not very good. He seemed to have considerable business with Boston parties, and was gone much of the time from home. Late one afternoon a peddler of jewelry and Yankee notions put up there, and was never seen or heard of afterwards.

“He was missed as a matter of course in due time, and could be traced as far as Mr. Blank’s house, but no further.


“Not long after that time Mr. B. sold out and moved away, but nobody seems to know where he located.

“Edmund Swan lived on the place in 1853, when the county map was published, and from his wife who is still living and has a good memory, I have obtained much of this information. Mrs. Swan says that on the floor of one sleeping room there was a dark spot as large as a chair bottom that she was never able to remove, and which she believes was made with human blood.

“And while that family lived there one of the boys found a part of a carpet in the swamp by the means of one corner protruding above the ground.

“The old lady really believes the house was haunted, and says there were frequently noises upstairs like two men engaged in a violent scuffle. But the most singular part of the story yet remains to to be told.

“Mrs. Swan said that time and again when going about the house, doing her housework, it would seem to her as though there was a person close by, and she would look around half expecting to see someone, only to find herself still alone.

“And the other day a man and his wife both told me that they had the same impression frequently while living there, although they had heard nothing about Mrs. Swan.


“This in brief is the story of the supposed tragedy, and each one is at liberty to take as much or as little stock in it as he likes.”

In a separate post on the Greenwood as it Was page, Dunham reported a history of the haunted house’s ownership, which started in 1847 when a Boston jeweler and watchmaker by the name of Augustus H. Beers bought the property and built a home that he lived in with his wife, Lovina Cushman of Bethel, for a period of time. Lovina’s parents Thomas and Rachel Cushman also occupied the house a period when she and Beers resided in Boston.

By 1855 the Beers had sold the property and do not again appear in local records. The Swans lived in the house starting in 1858. Others lived there up until the early 1870s, when it burned down. A second home was built there and eventually vacated, with the original barn being dismantled and moved in 1894.

Dunham’s posts of Greenwood history are found on the Facebook page (

Archives of The Oxford Democrat may be viewed online (at, with an index of the newspaper available through the Bethel Historical Society (

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