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Old Lady of Chattham County

Christopher D. Lynch, NY, USA
February 2002

When I was a boy growing up in Western New York, my eldest sister moved near Albany, New York to a little town called Old Chattham. This small town, nestled in the Berkshire mountains, had it's beginnings during the Dutch colonial period when New York was called New Holland. It was and is a picturesque little town where artists, politicians, and lawyers live. And then, my sister too.

One winter, I visited her during my holidays from school. We had planned on skiing in near by Massachusetts. My sister lived with a house mate, a woman she had known from their university days. After graduation from Columbia, they moved north to the Empire state's capital to work for a local representative in the state legislature. There, they rented an old home at the bottom of a dead end street called Frog Alley.

My sister's bedroom was upstairs, and her house mate's was on the ground floor. I was to sleep in the living room on a very old, and heavy pullout couch.

One night, as I lay awake on the couch imagining what the ski hills will be like the following day, I felt a strange darkness envelop the room. I could not put it into words, but the blackness of the night became...well, blacker.

At which point, I heard a rustling that seemed to be getting closer and closer at a quickening pace. Time was moving fast and I had not much time to react when the bottom left corner of the pullout couch was lifted into the air and slammed onto the floor!

I was frozen with terror. When I was able to breathe, I shouted for my sister who came running. Faster than I would have expected, normally. I told her what happened and she let me sleep with her for the rest of the evening.

The following day, while on the ski hill, she told me that they had problems like this before. When men had spent the evening. Her housemate and her made some inquiries and found out that the house, over 150 years old, was first owned by an old spinster who had never married and did not like men. They found her grave site and placed flowers on it.

Afterwards, the sightings grew less and less. But, when men were in the house, the old spinster came to pass judgement!

Christopher D. Lynch, NY, USA
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