The town of Stratford, Connecticut, is home to a piece of property with a rich and mysterious history. The Boothe Homestead sits among 32 acres filled with a picturesque landscape, unique architecture, and an even more interesting history. Stratford was originally organized in 1639, and this property is perhaps the most remarkable in Fairfield County.
The original home dates back to 1663 and was built by Richard Boothe. Boothe was the first in his family to settle in the area, and local records suggest that Boothe was one of the first established families of the township. Today, the upstairs of the house is a museum that is open to the public during designated hours.
Many structures on the property were built and maintained by both David Boothe and his brother Steven, in the early 1900s. The siblings were often referred to as eccentrics, and the style of the property certainly reflects this notion. Upon the grounds, a cathedral was assembled in 1933 and was dedicated to the Great Depression. It was entitled the “technocratic cathedral.”
The structure is made of solid redwood, its flat timbers representing a style very unusual in such a community as Stratford. A miniature lighthouse was also built on the property, although the ocean is not in sight. A rose garden and blacksmith shop add to the character of the premises as well. Three large crosses stand on the grassy portion of land in between a rock garden and the rose garden.
The Boothe brothers were said to be heavily involved with different types of spiritual practice and religious lore, and they embraced several of the religions of the world. The brothers often hosted Easter sunrise services. It is recorded that thousands of people from many different religious branches and societal classes attended the early morning event for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.
After criticism from many religious fanatics of the time, the Boothe brothers decided to end the unique event with its last gathering in 1938.
“Boothe [Homestead] is very unique to me,”
said paranormal investigator and Stratford resident John Zaffis.
“My involvement stems from meeting with some of the psychic groups that met up in the main Boothe house on the property for a number of years. It seemed interesting to see what kinds of beliefs were out in society at this time, and I had been on several cases at this point in time and knew that there was more out there in the world than what the eye could see. I wanted to see if there were really those out there who were channeling, psychically reading, communicating with spirits in general, and experiencing things outside the five basic human senses. After attending the gatherings on the property, I realized that there was a possible reality to psychic experiences.
“There is so much in regards to psychic activity on that property. During many of my experiences up there I could definitely see as paranormal in nature. One nearby resident I was visiting the property with could actually see the silhouette of a woman looking down out of the window at everyone standing outside the home. She appeared to be keeping close watch on the happenings at Boothe, and she was as visible as you or I. There was also the appearance of an amber-colored light in the same window where the form had appeared.
“Another impression I can distinctly recall that was reported by a renowned psychic was the presence of what I believe to be Old Man [Richard] Boothe on the property. This man, witnessed by many, came out of the bathroom and walked by the doorway and up the stairs to the area that presently serves as a museum. Also, during the meetings, there would be frequent power surges, audible bangs, and cold spots.
“Another occurrence that puzzled me,”
“was the ringing of an antique phone that was not even in service at the time. Many antique items are located on the premises because there is a museum upstairs. During one of the discussion sessions, this phone started to ring uncontrollably. Also, the old grandfather clock would chime, although that was also not in use. “This place is just so active and has been for years. Many reports come to me on a monthly basis from those who experienced something while visiting the site.”
Written by — Brian McIntyre Researcher, The Paranormal Research Society of New England
134 MAIN STREET
STRATFORD, CONNECTICUT 06614
TEL: 1 (203) 381-2068
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