Hale House – Tolland County, Coventry, Connecticut
Photograph ©The Stone Wall Initiative
2299 South Street
Coventry, Connecticut 06238
The Hale’s family homestead was built in the mid 1700’s by Deacon Richard Hale who came to Coventry from Newburyport, Massachusetts. The house grew in size as the family grew. Deacon Hale and his wife, Elizabeth, had a total of twelve children and Mrs. Hale died right after giving birth to the twelfth child. Incidentally, one of the Hale children was the legendary, Revolutionary War hero, Nathan Hale.
[Nathan Hale was a Captain for the Continental Army during this “American war of Independence” and he is considered to be America’s first spy. In 1776, Nathan was on a mission for the Militia and was captured by the British who hung him at the early age of twenty-one. Nathan’s famous last words were, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”. This brave statement is undoubtably what made Nathan the state hero of Connecticut and a long considered American hero.]
Two years after the death of Elizabeth Hale, Deacon Hale took another wife; a widow named Abigail Cobb, who had seven girls of her own. This gave the family a total of nineteen offspring in the house and Deacon Hale added some more much needed space to the living quarters, as well as, a schoolroom.
After the Hale children grew up and set out on their own, the home was used for assorted family members for various reasons. Deacon Hale lived in the home until his death in 1802. John Hale and Sara Cobb Hale, step siblings, married and died there in 1803, just after the death of Deacon Hale. David Hale, a minister and the youngest of Deacon Hale’s children, took over the house and taught school to young boys in the area. Another of the litter, Joseph Hale, came back to the area with his wife and children and then moved back into the family home when he contracted tuberculosis. Joseph’s widow and children stayed on in the home after his death in 1784.
In 1914 the home was vacant and rundown. The home was then purchased by George Dudley Seymour, wealthy New Haven patent attorney, well-known antiquarian and admirer of Nathan Hale. Mr. Seymour restored the home to its former beauty and made it his mission to make the name of Nathan Hale famous. Mr. Seymour passed on all of the Hale family stories, as well as, making note of all of the paranormal encounters in the home.
George Seymour’s first paranormal experience with the Hale house was right after he purchased it in 1914. Mr. Seymour and a friend of his took a trip out to the home to get a look at it. When they arrived, Mr. Seymour’s friend excitedly jumped out of the buggy and ran up to one of the school room windows to peek inside. In doing this, Mr. Seymour’s friend came nose-to-nose with the apparition of Deacon Richard Hale who had also came to the same window to see who had pulled up out front! The apparition of Deacon Hale stepped back and then vanished into thin air!
A servant to the Hale family in life, Lydia Carpenter is still said to service the house even in death. Lydia’s apparition has been seen sweeping in the upper hall and working in the kitchen. Miss Carpenter has also been witnessed to eavesdrop around doorways, in hallways and in the kitchen.
Joseph Hale is said to haunt the cellar where the sounds of chains clinking and clanking have been heard. John and Sara Hale’s apparitions are also said to roam the place and some have reported hearing footsteps on the stairs and in the hallways.