By DAILY MAIL REPORTER Last updated at 4:53 PM on 14th April 2011
It’s the oldest timber frame house in America, lived in for generations by the same family and lovingly kept just as it was in its early Colonial days.
But what the Fairbanks House lacks in modern facilities it seems to make for with … strange spirits.
The house in Dedham, Massachusetts, was built between 1637 and 1641 by English settlers Jonathan and Grace Fairbanks.
Today the house is a museum, but it could very well one of the most haunted houses in America.
Is it or isn't it? There is a movement on to see if one of America's oldest houses, in Dedham, is haunted
Justin Schlesinger, one of the museum directors whose ancestors built the property, said: ‘There’s always been weird things happening in the house, from the doorbell going off a million times to flashlights never working.’
He added that there are sometimes footsteps heard on the stairs when no one is there. Also, a newly-installed alarm system went off every night for several weeks with the alarm company unable to offer an explanation.
If there are such things as ghosts, he said, ‘this would be the logical place for them to be.’
For decades now, throngs of visitors from all over the world, from school children to distinguished architects, have toured the house, entranced by its authenticity.
A gentler age: Portraits and china bring a dash of colour to the living room
Over the centuries, there must have been some deaths in the house, museum business manager Lee Ann Hodson said.
There’s even been a shocking murder. In 1801, one of the Fairbanks sons, Jason, was convicted in the killing of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Fales, in a nearby pasture. She had apparently spurned his marriage proposal.
He was hanged from the gallows on Dedham Common in one of the most sensational murder cases of the time.
On a whim last year, Mr Schlesinger, 25, asked a ghost-hunting group, The Atlantic Paranormal Society, or TAPS, to come in and see what they might find.
A house full of history: Tools and items from the early Colonial days litter the property
He spent a a night in the house with the TAPS investigators.
‘We heard footsteps in the beginning,’ he said. ‘Up where the children used to sleep.’
The TAPS group made audio recordings all night in an effort to detect anything out of the ordinary.
They told him after reviewing the tapes that they did record some sounds.
‘They thought it was kids, because they got some laughter on the recordings.’
Schlesinger admitted that he didn’t get much sleep that night while the group camped out on sleeping bags in the house’s tiny parlor, especially when his cell phone went off in the middle of the night and began playing organ music.
‘I don’t know if scared is the right word,’ he said.’Maybe startled or confused.’
The ghost hunters told him not to worry, that if there were spirits in the house, they were likely his own family and wouldn’t harm him, thebostonchannel.com reports.