- Religion and Philosophy
Bathsheba Sherman: History Full of Hauntings
There is a movie out called "The Conjuring", some of you may have seen it. Some question whether this movie is real or not. Most of the questions are aimed at the "witch" Bathsheba Sherman. So many hauntings exist, and this would fill enough paper, I would like to focus on Bathsheba herself.
Bathsheba Thayer was born around 1812 in Rhode Island. She marries a man named Judson Sherman on March 10, 1844 when she was in her early 30s. A son Herbert was born about five years later.
The Sherman's owned a farm. Judson worked long, hard days on the farm while Bathsheba tended to little Herbert and the house. The Sherman's are believed to have had several more children, a girl and two more boys. No records exist to back up this claim, or the fact that these other three children died while they were quite young.
Death of an Infant
The Sherman's were living good lives, but this took a drastic turn - an infant died while in Bathsheba's care. Sources are a little sketchy as to exactly whose child it was. Some feel it was a neighbor's child, some say it was one of the Sherman's children. Regardless as to who's child it was, the end result is still the same. A child died, caused by impalement at the base of the skull. This injury was most likely caused by a large gauze sewing needle. Bathsheba was put on trial for this death. Well, at the least, an injury into the child's death was carried out.
The town's people believe the child was sacrificed by Bathsheba for the Devil, or maybe it was a form of witchcraft. People were very jealous of Bathsheba as she was so beautiful. Her appearance was coveted by others. Much of this envy, I'm sure, fueled these rumor about her.
Bathsheba was cleared of doing anything wrong. Not enough evidence was found to convict her. As it turned out, the court of public opinion, not the Court of Law, did the most damage. Bathsheba ended up leading a sheltered life after the death of this child.
The locals still believed she was practicing dark and evil deeds. Some of them may have known things we don't know today, especially after such a long period of time.
Bathsheba changed after this whole incident. She became quite bitter, treating the farm help extremely poorly. She assaulted them and some times starved them.
Legend has it that Bathsheba committed suicide by hanging. This is not true as she live to a ripe old age. Her husband Judson died four years before she, and she died at the age of 72 or 73 on May 25, 1885 (exact age isn't known because no one knows the exact year she was born).
Her cause of death was a strange cause of paralysis, something doctors at the time didn't fully comprehend. The medical report stated her body had turned to stone. This just further fueled rumors of her being a witch and making a deal with the Devil.
Herbert, her son, live on after the death of both parents. He married and had children of his own.
Bathsheba: Witch or Not?
There are no facts indicating Bathsheba was a witch, even with the death of the child or the public opinion of her. The manner in which the child died is unacceptable no matter what kind of evidence there may have been.
The photo in the article is that of the Arnold Farmhouse and is the oldest surviving photo of the place. The Perron family bought the house approximately 100 years after this photo was taken. Many people say the woman in the checkered dress in the photo is Bathsheba (she's in the front of the picture). If this true, the photo was taken right before her death as it was taken in 1885.
Bathsheba's burial spot - Harrisville Cemetery. She and her husband are in a fenced-off enclosed area. Bathsheba's headstone has been split in half, most likely by vandals or those taunting her death. A movie entitled "The Conjuring" was made about her as well as a book entitled "House of Darkness House of Light". Both tell of the house being haunted and terrifying the family that had been living there. She was well known prior to these things being written and filmed but not by many people.
As far as the haunting, confusion exists as to what kind of role Bathsheba plays in it. Roger Perron (he lived in the house with his family) claims he saw an entity of a woman who hung herself in the barn (she looked to be in her 90s). He could tell her neck was broken but the face supposedly changed from that of a hornets nest to a woman with a blank stare.
Cynthia Perron saw something a little different. She was playing with the Little People upstairs and a closet door opens. Some older woman, head tilted, comes out holding a piece of cloth in out stretched arms. Cynthia sees the face for a second, then looks down to see the piece of cloth but no feet.
She bolts for the door, through another bedroom, and down the stairs. She was running so fast she missed the landing in the middle of the stairs, sliding down the rest of them on her butt.
Cynthia's mother comes in from the kitchen and meets her at the bottom of the stairs, basically catching her. She's trying to tell her mother what just happened while holding her back. Her mom is more concerned about her back but Cynthia told her mom she didn't care about her back. This woman in gray clothing had just come to her saying "Come to me, little girl".
When Carolyn Perron (the mother) had an incident in the house, that's when the link was made between Bathsheba and the haunting. Carolyn was on the sofa one day when she felt a sharp prick on her leg after experiencing a muscle spasm. When examining her leg, she found blood which was coming from a small circular hole in her leg.
Lorraine Warren was an investigator who had worked on this case. She was the one that suggested this mark was very similar to the one found on the infant's skull who had died while in Bathsheba's care.
Real or Not?
Sounds really strange, right? Coincidence or true haunting? I find the similarities too great to dismiss them as just one of those things. Maybe additional investigation by a Ghost Hunter team is in order.