North Hero, Vermont – Summer to Fall 2009
Since Will and Jo-Anne Peacock first called us this summer (2009), VSDA has investigated their abandoned 1860-70 farmhouse in North Hero four times (August 7, August 21, September 4, and September 25th). Each time, audio evidence was caught on digital voice recorders and camcorders; child’s voice, response to questions -one in Irish brogue, and foot steps. There were also personal experiences such as whispering upclose in one’s ear and foot steps on the second floor that stopped abruptly when Matt stepped on the landing (the 4th investigation did not reveal any evidence and we did not have any personal experiences that time).
The Peacocks bought the house and surrounding land from the Knotts. The Knotts lived in the house for 26 years, and did not maintain the home. Mr. Knotts is buried not far from the house, and as far as anyone knows, Mrs. Knotts is undeceased but her name and childrens’ names are engraved on the tombstone.
When Will and Jo-Anne bought the home, the only space left were aisles wide enough for a milk crate to pass through. Only until the new owners removed debris, did they discover beds, an organ, or other furniture buried under the layers of books, clothes, and kitchenware. There are still hundreds of milk crates on the premises, and much more material to unload. The house has suffered damage, is moldy, no running water even when the Knotts lived there and currently up for sale. Will, Jo-Anne and their children, Sofie and Will, continue to clean out the building. Mr. Knotts died in the home, and when Mrs. Knotts sold the house to the Peacocks, all she packed was two bags and left the rest, including family pictures .
There is personal information about the Knotts that is best left unsaid. If it’s true that pain and tragedy have a way of leaving a trace of energy behind, that we label as haunting, than this home has plenty reason to be haunted.
Even before the Knotts, there was already tragedy.
Jo-Anne dug up some background history with the help of the Historical Society.
The McBrides had 3 daughters who died before they reached 6 years old. Emily was 2, Emma was 3, and Ella was 5. Son Malcom (or Malcolm) died at age 5 years and 6 months. Jo-Anne thinks the house is more than likely older than 1870, maybe 1860 because of the dates on their tombstones. One of the McBrides’ children who survived was Mary. She married John Durham, and they stayed in her ancestral home. Hence the house become known as the Durham house, instead of the McBride house. Mary’s father, James Mc Bride, owned 3 farms, this not being the “home” farm, but down the road back towards Route 2, the “home” farm still stands. Another daughter, Cora, married a Tudhope, and they lived in the “home” farmhouse.
Grandchildren of Mary & John, Carleton and Carole Durham, sold it to the Knotts (or was it a previous owner who wasn’t there long before the Knotts?). The Durhams are still living in North Hero.
An EVP of a voice not heard by investigators caught in the Durham/Knott house by VSDA. Following the investigator saying “provoking” there is an explained voice asking “he thinks I notice?”, possibly in response to the investigators provoking efforts. Note the possible accent. Irish? Scottish?