The mysteries of Colonel Jonathan Tyng House in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts
If you’re looking for ghosts near Nashua, New Hampshire, or Tyngsboro, Massachuset (just south of Nashua), you can visit the haunted Tyng Mansion site. It’s just next to a haunted boulder with a Native American ghost!
The Colonel Jonathan Tyng House in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts was built in 1675 by Colonel Jonathan Tyng himself, the son of Edward Tyng for whom the town of Tyngsborough is named.
The house had a number of pre-Georgian features, including portholes under the eaves, through which muskets could be fired at attackers, and brick lining in the walls. The upper level also had rooms that were used by the Tyngs to house slaves.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#77000188) in August of 1977, but was destroyed in a fire just a few years later, in 1981. Now all that remains of the historic site is the building’s stone foundation, and a marker commemorating the home.
Despite this, for the delight of ghost-stories-enthusiasts, the remains of the old house are believed to be haunted by several spirits, including that of a woman named Judith Thompson Tyng, who was murdered by her husband, John Alford Ting, in the early 1770’s. John Alford Tyng does not rest in peace. And, in confidence, perhaps he doesn’t deserve to. He’s pursued by the ghost of Judith. Tyng secretly married and murdered her, and then buried her in an unmarked grave. This (true) ghost story is one of several connected with the Tyng Mansion. Nearby, in the Tyng family cemetery, John Alford Tyng’s grave may be proof that he died a disreputable man.
Historical records indicate that Mr. Tyng paid a local man known as “Dr. Blood” to murder Judith and their three children, who were then hidden beneath the house’s floorboards.
Then Dr. Blood left town for a while, and Tyng pretended that his family had gone to visit some relatives near Boston.
However, shortly after her death, Dr. Blood and Jonathan Ting both died suddenly and mysteriously, with many claiming that the vengeful ghost of Judith Tyng was somehow responsible.
According to the legend, Dr. Blood was found lying dead in the middle of a nearby roadway. As story goes, Judith Thompson’s running footsteps and her jubilant laughter were heard as far as a mile away, as she shoved Dr. Blood to the ground. When Dr. Blood was found the next morning, he’d choked and drowned in the liquor, and Judith’s small footprint was still clearly outlined on the back of his skull.
A few days later, Jonathan Tyng quickly became ill with an unknown disease and died. Ever since, locals have reported witnessing the spirit of a beautiful woman wearing a green dress at the site of the Colonel Jonathan Tyng House, believed to be the ghost of Mrs. Tyng.
Despite it was destroyed by the fire, it seems that ghosts still haunt the Tyng Mansion. John Alford Tyng’s sister, Sarah, may have been the last Tyng to live there. The heiress married John Winslow, but they had no children. Frantic that the Tyng name was about to die out, perhaps fulfilling Judith Thompson’s curs, Sarah offered to bequeath her fortune to a nephew if he changed his surname to Tyng.
[Of course, he did.]
She also supported the town minister, and funded a grammar school. In return, the eastern part of Dunstable became Tyngsborough, named after Sarah’s family.
After Sarah’s death, Tyng Mansion sat empty. However, a 19th century Nashua newspaper reported a curious story.
One night, a carriage from Massachusetts had been traveling up the frozen Merrimack River. A suddenly, fierce snowstorm forced the carriage driver and his passenger to seek shelter.
Not far from the river, the driver spotted lights in a large home, and knocked at the front door. A beautiful woman in a green ball gown opened the door. Behind her, the men could see a large party in progress.
The woman invited the men to spend the night in the Mansion. The carriage driver was given a bunk in the stables, and the passenger was accomodated into a well appointed bedroom upstairs in the main house.
Too tired to accept the invitation to join the party, the passenger accepted a light supper in his room, and fell into bed, exhausted.
In the morning, the passenger awoke and found that he was sleeping in a dusty, dilapidated old room. Downstairs, the rest of the house was also empty and had clearly been vacant for a long time. All people had also vanished.
He roused the carriage driver, who’d had a similar and strange experience as the stables, well-maintained the night before, were abandoned and in need of repair.
The two continued their journey north, and told their tale to the newspaper, which reported it the next day. Most people recognized the description of the lovely woman in the green ball gown. She was the ghost of Judith Thompson.
Another spirit said to haunt the location is that of a former Native American man who once lived on the land before to be sold to the Tyng family. According to legend, the Tyngs bought the Merrimack River island across from Tyng Mansion. The terms of the sale were questionable, and the Native American chief who sold it didn’t realize that he was losing his home in the sale.
Feeling remorse in later years, the Tyngs allowed the man to stay at the Mansion. Every day, he’d walk down to the boulder and sit there, staring at the island and mourning the loss of his home.
His ghost is often seen sitting stoically on the same large rock near the old house, staring vacantly into the distance.
In addition, another popular folklore story claims that the Colonel Jonathan Tyng House was haunted by the spirits of several former African American slaves who were once kept shackled in the attic of the home, and may have died under mysterious circumstances. In fact, before it burned, the late historian Robert Waugh toured the empty house. He reported that he’d seen the chains and shackles, and perhaps some blood stains, in the Tyng Mansion attic. According to local lore, the Tyngs had kept their slaves in that attic.
Author’s note: Mansion’s remains are here