The Haunted: The Bridgewater Triangle, Part I
Before we get into this week’s post, let’s discuss just how big this topic is. The Bridgewater Triangle is New England’s very own hotbed of mysterious phenomena, cryptid sightings, alien encounters, disappearances, and more. So I’m happy to announce that this is the first part in a series on the Bridgewater Triangle. This first post will address the supposed hauntings within the triangle. Next week, we will look at the alleged alien encounters. Then we will move onto its most infamous cryptids, crimes and, finally, the rumors of the Occult.
So, welcome to The Bridgewater Triangle, Part I of V.
What is the Bridgewater Triangle?
Because this is the first post in the Bridgewater Triangle series, let’s take a look at what it is. The Bridgewater Triangle is comprised of an approximately 200 square mile triangle of land in Massachusetts. The towns at the points of the triangle are Abington Rehoboth, and Freetown. The moniker of the “Bridgewater Triangle” was coined in the 1970s by noted cryptozoologist Loren Coleman.
The triangle contains many different historical sites, such as Profile Rock, Dighton Rock, and the Solitude Stone. It also encompasses many different types of land, such as the Freetown-Fall River State Forest and the Hockomock Swamp. As with many places in the Northeastern United States, the land has been host to much bloodshed dating back to colonial times.
That’s the basics of the Bridgewater Triangle. We will get into specific historical events and the resulting phenomenon in further posts. For now, let’s get into the hauntings and spirits of the Triangle.
The Bridgewater Triangle is often described as a hotbed of paranormal activity of all kinds. And that means ghosts. A lot of ghosts that don’t have a lot of details about who they are, why they’re still here, or their ties to the location. We’ll go over some of the more notable and well-documented hauntings within the triangle.
There are a few broad categories of reported spirits in the triangle. These categories of supposed spirits are reported vaguely, the encounters lacking any significant details. The first of these categories is spirits of Native Americans. Obviously, the Wampanoag Tribe was not treated well (because – news flash, no Native Americans were) by European settlers. Many battles between the settlers and the Wampanoag took place on the land within the triangle. Much blood was spilled. The Native Americans were murdered. And, as such, their spirits are said to still roam the land, unable to rest. In addition to their spirits being tied to the land, it is said that the Wampanoag tribe cursed the land after a prized possession was stolen by early settlers.
Next up is the Taunton State Hospital – because if there’s an abandoned asylum, there’s bound to be ghosts around. Right? The reported spirits here vary in severity. The tamest manifestations seem to be the spirits that manifest on the grounds – they may appear as mists or full-bodied apparitions, and tend to not communicate with the observer beyond an occasional smile. The spirits said to reside in the building, however, are a different story. An urban legend regarding the Taunton State Hospital is that the medical professionals employed there were part of a satanic cult. The legend states that select patients were sacrificed in the basement of the hospital. Which seems unlikely, but sure. Inside the remnants of the hospital – most of which burned down in 2006, and the rest was demolished 2009 – visitors report seeing orbs, feeling cold spots, and experiencing vivid visions of supposed past events
The next two spirits we’ll discuss are both distinct, individual spirits. The first is a spirit that can be seen on Lake Nippenicket. It is said that an elderly man drowned in the lake while fishing. His spirit is often seen late at night, sitting in a small ghostly boat. The second is a spirit said to inhabit a bathroom in a bathroom within the William H. McElwain School. The school itself is home to many ghostly goings-on: slamming doors, faucets being turned on and off, the feeling of being watched. These feelings apparently intensify in the above-mentioned bathroom.
The last spirit we will discuss in this post is by far the most documented and the most notorious. Hitchhiking ghosts have become a trope at this point – every town seems to have one. The Red-Headed Hitchhiker of Route 44 is one of the more sinister examples of a hitchhiking host. He is said to appear to be middle-aged, with red hair and a beard. He’s typically seen wearing a red flannel, jeans or brownish work pants, and boots. In some encounters, he looks well-kept, but other times he looks ragged with an overgrown beard and dirty clothes. The way his eyes look are the most inconsistent – reports range from him having empty black eyes to glowing yellow eyes.
The typical encounter begins with someone driving down Route 44 and spotting him at the side of the road. If the driver stops and gives him a ride, he’ll get in the car. He does not engage in conversation with the driver, and will often just stare at them. Eventually, he disappears from the car and the driver hears him taunting, teasing, or yelling. These sightings have been going on for decades, with the earliest documented sighting coming from 1994.