172 Church Street
North Adams, Massachusetts
About the Haunt:
As seen on Season One of Ghost Adventures and Season Ten of Ghost Hunters!
Built by the first mayor of North Adams in 1890, the mansion is now home to a Masonic Temple, though the secretive society isn’t the only resident. The building allegedly holds the ghosts of a suicide victim, A.C. Houghton himself, and the spirit of his daughter, Mary, who died in a tragic car accident August 1, 1914.
As Houghton’s fortune grew, so too did his real estate holdings. The mansion at 172 Church Street was his third and most lavish home in North Adams. The original roof was Spanish tile, the siding was clapboards that were thinnest near the bottom to give the illusion that the building was larger than it really was.
A.C. Houghton, his wife, Cordelia, and youngest daughter, Mary, moved in to the opulent mansion in 1900.
In 1905, when his health began to fail, Houghton resolved to cut back, but at 61 years of age, he still made his business affairs his top priority. It was during this difficult time that his daughter, Mary, announced she would never marry. She would instead devote her life to caring for her father.
Old age and poor health continued to wear down A.C. Houghton’s ability to work. In the spring of 1914, Houghton purchased his first car, a Pierce-Arrow, seven-passenger touring vehicle. He figured the rides in the country would be relaxing.
The family charged their loyal servant, John Widders, with the task of learning to drive the automobile. On August first of that same year, Houghton asked his newly-trained driver to bring the Pierce-Arrow around for a trip to Vermont. In the car that day was A.C., his daughter, Mary, and family friends Dr. Robert Hutton and his wife, Sybil of New York. At 9:00 AM, the group left North Adams with Widders driving.
About 30 minutes later, the Pierce-Arrow was in Pownal, Vermont, climbing a street now called Oak Hill Road. A team of men and horses were parked on the right-hand side of the road working on repairing the surface. Widders pulled Houghton’s car over to the left in an attempt to drive around the construction crew. The car’s tires hit a soft dirt shoulder of the street, which sent the vehicle tumbling down a steep embankment. All but Mary Houghton were thrown from the car. Mrs. Sybil Hutton was killed instantly when the Pierce-Arrow rolled on top of her. Mary, though, suffered serious injuries and died a few hours later at North Adams Hospital.
The three men only suffered minor injuries and were allowed to go home that same day. Though the state of Vermont cleared Widders of any wrong-doing, the Houghton’s trusted servant couldn’t forgive himself for the deaths. Early in the morning of August second, Widders went into the Houghton’s barn and shot himself, taking his own life.
Though A.C. Houghton suffered no serious physical injuries during the accident, the tragic events broke his heart. He died ten days after the crash that took his daughter’s life.
The mansion remained with the Houghton family until 1926 when A.C.’s daughter, Florence, and her husband sold the building to the Freemasons.
6:00 PM – Arrive/Meet and Greet
6:30 PM – Dinner
7:00 PM – Historical overview of the site
8:00 PM to 1:00 AM – Investigations Mini-Readings with Psychic Medium Stephanie Burke:SOULED OUT
Readings are 15 minutes each, and space is limited. Please note that you may miss some of the lecture or tour depending on your time slot. Readings are limited to one person. If you wish to bring in an additional person for your reading, they must also pay the full price. PLEASE NOTE: The mini-reading time slots are now souled out.
Want to join us for a paranormal pajama party at the Houghton Mansion? For just $30 more (per person) you can spend the night with us in the mansion after the main event is over. The price includes breakfast the next morning! Please note: you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag. There are NO BEDS. This is roughing it, folks. You’ll be sleeping on the floor–or spend a few extra hours investigating on your own! Please note we’ll need to leave by 9:00 AM
If you don’t want to spend the night at the mansion, but still want to find a local hotel, we suggest heading to either Bennington, Vermont (about 25 minutes north), or Pittsfield, Massachusetts (about 30 minutes south), to find a hotel at a reasonable price.
To add an overnight spot to your ticket, please click on the PayPal button below (you’ll have the option to adjust the amount of spots on the next screen).
A Message from Jeff and Dustin:
Jeff Belanger is the author of over a dozen books on the paranormal (published in six languages) including the best sellers: The World’s Most Haunted Places, Weird Massachusetts, and Who’s Haunting the White House? (for children). He’s the Emmy-nominated host, writer, and producer of the New England Legends series on PBS, the writer and researcher for the Ghost Adventures series on the Travel Channel, the founder of Ghostvillage.com, the Web’s most popular paranormal destination according to Google.com, and a noted speaker and media personality. He’s given talks at colleges and universities, corporations, conferences, and libraries around the world. He’s given a prestigious TEDx talk in New York City, and he spoke at MENSA’s national conference in 2014.
Belanger is also the host of the cable/Web talk show, 30 Odd Minutes, which is available in over 3 million homes in the United States. He’s written for newspapers like The Boston Globe and USA Today. He’s been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs including: The History Channel, The Travel Channel, PBS, NECN, Living TV (UK), The Maury Show, The CBS News Early Show, CBS Sunday Morning, FOX, NBC, ABC, and CBS affiliates, National Public Radio, The BBC, Australian Radio Network, and Coast to Coast AM.
With over 20 years of experience researching the unknown, Dustin Pari brings exciting lectures about the paranormal to events across the country, As a part of SyFy television’s Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, and Destination Truth cast, he has traveled the world over. Dustin’s fascination with the paranormal began with an encounter he had with a spirit in his childhood home. In his efforts to better understand what had happened and why, he has traveled across the United States to 23 countries upon 6 different continents, learning a little more with each step of his journey. Throughout the year he travels as an invited guest lecturer at the largest paranormal conferences and conventions in the country. He has been interviewed by television’s Anderson Cooper, and has done radio shows and podcasts all around the globe. He has written two books based upon his findings and his unique approach to the paranormal. Dustin is known for his wacky and slightly off-beat sense of humor, which helps to balance the light and dark material that make up the paranormal world. In addition to conducting his paranormal research, Dustin also does a lot of work as a motivational speaker, suicide awareness advocate, and Christian lecturer. He has also penned two motivational books thus far, and more are in the works.
Stephanie Burke, owner of Work It Burke Wellness has been very intuitive since she was a young child, having the gift passed down from previous generations. She has been able to see, hear, feel, and communicate with the other side for as long as she can remember. Having this gift, and growing up in a spiritually active historical home, she thought being surrounded by such energies was in fact normal. Because of this, she developed a love and curiosity for the paranormal and explores it any chance she gets. Stephanie now uses this gift to help others understand that death doesn’t mean the end, but rather a beginning to a new chapter. Our loved ones never truly leave us and she loves giving people the opportunity to reconnect with their loved ones in spirit. Along with her mediumship, she’s been practicing Reiki for nearly 10 years. Helping others heal, relax, and regain balance to their energy is what she truly enjoys through her work. Stephanie is a certified Reiki Master/Teacher and has had the honor to study under James Van Praagh for Psychic and Mediumship Development. You can listen to Stephanie live on Saturday nights as she co-hosts WBSM’s Spooky Southcoast Radio.
Stephanie is also an Independent Distributor for It Works! Global. She’s been a part of It Works for over 4 years now and it was one of the best decisions she ever made! She loves helping people change their lives for the better and truly believes in nurturing the mind, body, and spirit as a whole.
Andrew Lake is a New England native who has been fascinated with ghosts ever since his first encounter with one at the age of eleven. Since then, Andrew has traveled around southern New England investigating haunted locations and interviewing folks who have had their own experiences with visitors from the other side of the veil. He is the founder of Greenville Paranormal Research and the author of Ghosthunting Southern New England (Clerisy Press). Along with being a regular on the web-cast television show 30 Odd Minutes, he can be seen in the documentaries The Bridgewater Triangle and The Legends of Dolly Cole. He also appeared on the television series Monsters and Mysteries in America and has contributed to Spooky Southcoast radio.