Our adventure was provided by the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society (CAIPRS), which conducts nightly walking tours in Barnstable Village, as well as Ghost Hunting walking tours on Mondays and Fridays. These tours take place between April 16 and November 15. All tours begin at 7PM in the small parking lot of the Old Jail and the US Coast Guard Heritage Museum on 3353 Main Street (rt. 6a).
Our tour guide, who led our small group of six, was very knowledgeable about Cape Cod history, focusing obviously on the supernatural stories of the area. Although we began our tour at the Old Jail, we actually started by walking on Old King’s Highway (6a), headed toward Barnstable Village.
Our first stop was a property on the corner of Hyannis-Barnstable rd, at which a man was allegedly hanged sometime in the late 1700’s. Although no one knows exactly when the man was executed or where on the property he lost his life, witnesses have claimed to see a tall dark figure walking the property or along 6a itself. However, he did not make an appearance for our tour that night.
Our next stop was at another eighteenth century property along Main Street. Although this property was once part of a large farm, it is now a law office. Our tour guide explained that the previous lawyer who had rented this property was surprised when one day the apparition of a woman materialized from the closet of his office. Not only was the woman wearing clothing reminiscent of the 1700’s, but she was also carrying an axe or hatchet.
|The spirit of a hatchet bearing woman was seen in the lower office|
Our group next walked only a short distance to the Barnstable County Court House. Here, our guide shared several stories about the variety of specters who visit. Two of the most frequently seen are the figures of two unknown men. At times these men appear as dark clouds of smoke, which move about the inside of the building. Employees have sometimes mistaken these men for intruders and have attempted to follow them. However, as ghosts tend to do, they both disappeared without a trace.
|Barnstable County Court House|
Our tour continued a little way down 6a to the Barnstable Comedy Club, where we were again treated to several ghost stories related to the building. On the stage of the comedy club a woman in a gown is known to appear and disappear. Our tour guide again labeled this as a residual haunt. However, our guide informed the group that the spirit of an unknown man who appears in the small kitchenette to neatly pull out the silverware and plates is an example of an intelligent haunt. Unlike the previous ghost, this spirit is said to interact with objects in the physical world.
|The Haunted Comedy Club|
Our next stop on the ghost hunting tour was the Crocker Tavern House. This house has several ghost stories attributed to it. Perhaps the most often repeated story was that of Aunt Lydia, who haunts the upstairs bedroom. Several people have reported waking in the middle of the night only to see the spirit of Lydia leaning over them in bed.
|The Crocker Tavern House|
Lydia appears in the upper left bedroom
|I didn't see the spirit of the girl, but this poster of|
this video seemed to have experience something
From the Barnstable tavern, the group walked back to Cobbs Hill Cemetery, where we really began our ghost hunting. Our guide pointed out the areas of the cemetery with the most reported activity. She described an entity called the Shadow that appears near a monolith-like grave stone. She also described the sounds of young girls laughing and talking. The guide then instructed us on the use of digital recorders, which we were to use while attempting to record disembodied electronic voices often called EVPs.
|Cobb's Hill Cemetery|
a beautiful Cape cemetery
Our last stop was back at the Old Jail, which we now entered. The guide asked for volunteers to sit on two stools in one of the old jail cells. Again, I stepped up, to the wife’s dismay. As I and another tour member sat, the guide explained how awful conditions were in these old prisons. Each prison cell was filled with many prisoners, who could only eat if they could afford it. Of course many prisoners starved or froze to death during New England winters.
Instantly it became very dark. Our CAIPRS guide explained that dark shadows of two unknown doomed prisoners have been seen walking between the two stools now occupied by myself and a young mother. In complete darkness one looses all sense of spatial dimension, so for an instant I could have been convinced that spectral shadows were closing in around me. However, our tour of the Old Jail ended without any unexplained noises or visions.
|A cell in the Old Jail|
The spirits of two prisoners appear in this cell