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Secrets of October Mountain

October Mountain Forest beauty

October Mountain State Forest

Located in Berkshire County, October Mountain State Forest is a hotbed of paranormal activity as evidenced by the numerous accounts throughout the years. The name of this location dates back to 1853 when Herman Melville wrote a short story entitled “October Mountain” for Putnam Magazine.

October Mountain State Forest consists of 11,000 acres of beautiful land in Becket, Lee, Lenox and Washington in the New England state of Massachusetts. A large percentage of this land was once owned by William C. Whitney who was the Secretary of the Navy under President Cleveland. In 1915, a group of individuals purchased the land and donated it to the state. Trip Advisor Information about this area.

Historical Note

Gideon Smith was a Loyalist who was well known, described as obnoxious, and very active in Berkshire County. Smith had harbored a British prisoner of war and had to flee and eventually he ended up hiding out in a gorge which became known as Tories Glen. The Indians who were living in the settlement in Stockbridge protected Smith from the determined British patriots and brought him food on a regular basis. His wife and children also visited him. He survived the war and after enduring three mock hangings,  eventually befriended his old foes.

The Paranormal Sightings

October Mountain contains a small, long forgotten cemetery from the 19th century and it is reputed to be haunted. One of the most popular stories is that of an apparition of a young girl who has been seen in the cemetery. Her name is Anna (Annie) Pease and she died on January 22, 1829 at the age of ten. She was the daughter of Olivea Pease who died in 1850. Anna is the only child located in this cemetery. People have reported seeing a young girl in a white dress and also have reported hearing odd humming noises in this area.

Reports of strange lights were investigated throughout the 1970’s in this area of Massachusetts and, these two lights visited the same location over and over again. They made no noise whatsoever and would fly off in a vertical direction at an extremely high rate of speed.

Other reports from visitors to the area include UFO sightings, a creature described as a Bigfoot and an anthropoid creature reported in 1983 by two men from Pittsfield. They were in an area called Felton Lake near the site of an old Boy Scout camp named Camp Eagle. They stated that the being that they saw was about seven feet tall and that it had glowing eyes. A similar report was filed in 1989 by a hiker to the area who reported seeing something very large moving about 100 yards away. He watched the creature through binoculars and reported that it had human-like features and was covered in reddish-brown hair. The creature also stood fully erect and had very long arms. The creature was stacking large rocks and pulling roots.

The Cemetery

Below is a short video of the Pease Family paying tribute to their ancestor, Anna after locating her long neglected grave.

If you are planning on visiting Massachusetts in the future, other haunted locations definitely worth looking into include the following:

  • Danvers State Hospital
  • Lizzie Borden Murder House
  • USS Salem
  • Glouster-Dogtown
  • The Bridgewater Triangle (bring a friend!)
  • The Hoosac Tunnel

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to leave comments or questions below.

Donna

 

9 Comments

  1. A

    There is more than one child buried in that cemetery. There is a placard displayed on a tree of all who is buried there. The stones have been buried by over growth.

    Reply
  2. Amber

    This is actually very easy to find. I drove down, locate west branch road in Washington ma drive until 4 corners, continue straight, you’ll come unpon a small parking lot, hiking trail, and a little path with an opening at the end you can see from the road next to the hiking trail across from a field walk a minute down the path and there it is! I’m a local and this was easy to find. Road says closed but I drove all the way down just fine.

    Reply
  3. Clare Lahey

    The afternoon before Halloween back in the ‘90s during al leisurely ride up the mountain on the trail behind the campground leading up towards Camp Eagle, my horse spooked while he was taking a break drinking water from a little stream crossing the trail. He bolted down the mountain and while trying to rein him in I looked back over my shoulder getting a glimpse of a white horse and rider flying down the trail towards us. My horse was sweating heavily and shaking. After calming him down we continued our climb up the mountain while I looked for the stranger, looking for another trail they might have veered off on. Later after returning home and cooling my horse down, I was running some errands in Lenox where I ran into a fellow rider and asked if she knew anyone with a white horse. She did not, but reminded me it was Halloween eve and I might have seen a spirit. After checking out the same spot at the same late afternoon time the next day, searching for whether there were any flashes of light through the trees, perhaps reflecting off a white Birch tree, I began to believe I had seen a ghost horse and rider. I like to think it was Whitney’s young wife who was thrown from her horse and killed shortly after her older statesman husband had built their dream mansion with beautiful riding trails. It was all for her. I believe that was the reason estate was abandoned after just a short time. There is no sign of it now, but back in the 70’s you could still find the base of the pillars. Now the forest has engulfed all signs of the lives on the mountain, just like ancient kingdoms have disappeared under the growth of jungles around the world. The only signs of past lives is the little cemetery and a few small stone dams. Most of the stone foundations of the many farmsteads bought up by Whitney have disappeared. Some of the nicer houses were moved down the mountain to Lee or other locations in Washington. The Church and School House of the Kings land grant called Greenock and then Hartwood have disappeared, but they stood into the ‘40s where certain gentlemen from Lee found them a perfect place for an evening of gambling. And perhaps a visit to Dreamaway? Meanwhile, I love thinking that that young woman still is riding the mountain.

    Reply
    1. Donna L (Post author)

      What an experience! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am also happy that your poor horse recovered. I’m sure it was quite frightening at the time.

      Reply
  4. Mar

    Actually if you are looking for the cemetery you won’t be able to find it it’s tricky like that it’s hidden and there is a hiking trail right next to the entrance I’m a local and the first time I tried I walked a mile with frinds we gave up but then saw a stone wall and find it. My friend just went up there we told them the exact location and he took a picture to show us it was nothing but a sea of trees but the person is right if you find four corners and the helicopter landing you’ll go down that road and find a parking lot go by the hiking trail but walk back up the road about 20 feet and you’ll see another trail please don’t disrespect the graves there are very dark spirts up there and it wouldn’t be wise the be rude don’t try to take pictures either they do not like cameras they drained my friends and one we got to the car it was full battery again

    Reply
    1. Donna L (Post author)

      Thank you for the additional information for the folks who want to visit.

      Reply
  5. Carolyn

    Can you give me specific directions to the cemetery? I know how to get to the State Park I just don’t know where the cemetery is located. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Donna L (Post author)

      This is all I was able to find relating to the location.

      Basically, if you can find the big reservoir on top of the mountain youre all set.
      There’s a parking lot for it and the path to the cemetery is right across
      the road. This hiking trail takes you by a very old foundation of a small home
      and the cemetery is a little ways up from that on the right.
      If you walk a little further up from that hiking trail on the main road theres
      another path that leads right to the cemetery.

      Reply
    2. Joe Demary

      Go to dreamaway lodge from lee mass, about 2 miles you come to a field on ur left and a 4 way intersection, take a left and about 1/4 mile it has an intersection with small field on the left path to cemetery is directly across the road from field (it’s on the right and field is on the left) it’s a 2 minute walk and ur there

      Reply

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