Several members of the Dorchester club gathered at a coach house in the city to be transported by bus to presumably haunted house in a town by the name of Corbis Wood, located just outside of Salem, Massachusetts. The Dorchester Club had purchased tickets for their members to attend an event sponsored by one of their newer members, Robert Carrington, the owner of the house.
Carrington had come into a property, once his childhood home, that he believed to be haunted. He had secured the assistance of famed spiritualist Paul Lemond (the Paul Lemond) to attempt to prove that the house is indeed haunted. In order to secure Mr. Lemond’s presence, at the insistence of Mr. Lemond’s manager Herbert Whitefield, Carrington agreed that Whitefield be allowed to sell a select number of tickets to those interested in these events. A keen businessman, Carrington proceeded to purchase a number of the tickets himself and gave them to the Dorchester Club.
The group of people given the tickets was diverse and included many notable members of the Club. Representing the organization were local artist Bailey Fields, anthropological field researcher Eliza Weathersby, veteran of the Great War and former captain James Lemont, Harvard physics professor Edmund Adler, a mysterious and unusually tall woman reputed to own and operate a speakeasy named Tiny Tim, a very private, secretive, and frail laudanum addict Raymond Berkeley, noted diminutive thespian Gerald Wilkins, and chemist Annie Holmes. A rich heiress with aspirations at acting by the name of Cecelia Peters was able to purchase a ticket before Carrington, so she was present as well. Additionally, Paul Lemond’s manager Herbert Whitefield, a hired cook and maid named Marta, as well as the home’s owner Robert Carrington all were present as well.
In the house, they found many strange things. An ominous presence. A nail dripping blood. The crushed skeleton of a child. An obituary noting the suicide of a six year old girl. An invoice for the commitment of a woman in the state mental asylum. Two seances were conducted, in which Paul Lemond contacted the spirits of Jenny Carrington and Katherine Tannerhill. Everyone went to bed that night, but how well they slept remains in question.
Facts and Clues
The Tannerhill House
- Robert Carrington received the property by bequest. It was once his childhood home, and he believed it to be haunted by the presence of his sister Jenny. He hired Paul Lemond to conduct a seance there.
- Eliza discovered that the house was constructed in 1680 for a wealthy merchant named Quentin Tannerhill, who lived there until 1700.
- Eliza also discovered that the House had been unoccupied for roughly thirty years.
- James found in the newspapers that the Tannerhill House over the years was advertised at a ridiculously low price compared to similar properties in the area.
- James found a newspaper in the library with an obituary notice dated 1895 mentioning the funeral of Jennifer Carrington at the Corbis Wood Congregational Church, and that the six year old girl committed suicide.
- In the attic, Gerald and Raymond found an essay written by Jenny. A salient part read: “My friend and me play with the Jack in the Box. No one can see him but me. He is my BEST friend. He makes the box open. Mummy was very cross.”
Robert Carrington’s mother. Robert’s father never spoke to him much of her. All he was told was that she died in a hospital when he was young.
- Searching through some old documents in the attic, Raymond and Gerald discovered a few documents:
- A “to do” list written by Agnes Carrington in 1892 regarding things that need fixing around the house. It mentioned that the front medium sized bedroom is very cold.
- A letter from Agnes to David dated 1893 voicing concern about Jenny’s tantrums and unruly behavior. She asked him to return from his business trip.
- An invoice dated 1895 from State Mental Asylum outlining the details of regular payments arranged by David Carrington (Robert’s father) for the continued care of his wife, Agnes, within the asylum.
- There is a walled off area in the cellar behind a door that was previously locked.
- Behind the walled off area, they discovered a nail sticking out of a large wooden post that was dripping blood.
- They also found a crushed skeleton buried there under a pile of rubble. Eliza examined the bones in the cellar and believes them to be at least two hundred years old, possibly older.
Eliza has examined all documents discovered and verified that their dating appears to be authentic.
- During the first seance, Paul channeled the spirit of Jenny, speaking in the voice of a small child to Robert. She mentioned that she mostly was just playing with her friend, and mentioned being afraid of “her.” Everyone heard the sound of footsteps approaching which caused Jenny to scream, Paul writhed and with great difficulty managed to break the circle. The footsteps led to the door outside the room, the handle of which turned, but didn’t open.
- Edmund went into the hallway just afterward and said “teach me how!” causing the others to be concerned for his mental health and or possession. They found him upstairs and he mentioned a Katherine. Paul suggested conducting the seance in this room. They successfully summoned Katherine, who said:
- “I am the guardian of this house. The Spawn of the Devil lies within and I am all that stands between it and the world. In the year of Our Lord 1680, by the grace of God, I was joined in marriage to Quentin Tannerhill, but our marriage was fruitless. Seven years passed with no children of our own until we adopted a baby as our own. What harm could there be in an infant, even one born out of wedlock, its mother tried and hanged for witchcraft? Yet it says in the scriptures that the sins of the mother shall pass on to her children, yea unto seven generations. Marion Lee was the Devil’s mistress, and Luther was his spawn. He bore her taint and the Devil’s mark. Was I wrong to kill a child? ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’ say the scriptures yet also it says ‘Suffer not a Witch to live.’ The Bible is the only truth and the words writ within it are a testament to my actions. For my sins, I must remain and guard the living from the Devil Spawn until the Day of Judgment comes and I will greet my maker and be judged for what I have done.”
- Edmund broke the circle, ending the seance, and they decided to call it a night.
- Tiny Tim and Bailey explored the child’s room upstairs, finding a single child’s bed, a wooden chest in which they find a jack-in-the-box, a broken wooden doll, and a moth eaten cloth bear. They cranked it a few times and it popped out like a regular jack-in-the-box.
- During the night, sounds of a child crying woke some, and others were quickly roused to the basement, where Gerald had spent the night.
- Marta rushed down as well, clutching the hatchet out of fear, but relented when she saw nothing was amiss.