November 27, 2010 in Offline Interviews

"The Heritage Room"



One of the first things she’ll tell you, if you ask her about her “Heritage Room”, is that she’s a saver.  If she liked it, she kept it.  And if it was someone else’s but it held sentimental value to them, or to her, well, she kept that, too.  Now, this may lead to initial thoughts of a packrat situation, or maybe even an interesting episode of “Hoarders”, but that’s not the case with Betty.  Her “Heritage Room” is a testament to the notion that it’s not about the stuff, it’s about the memories.  And some of these “memories” laid out for display in museum-like-fashion might very well play host to their original owners from time to time, which makes Betty and her “Heritage Room” a story worth sharing.


Media Team Interviewers:  Tony and Kat
Interviewee: Betty


Part 1:  Interviewing in Betty’s “Memory Room” and living room

MGH-Tony -  Now, I remember the first time we came to do an investigation here and learned about the Heritage Room, you had talked about a fall going down the basement stairs.  Do you want to tell us a little bit about that?

Betty -  I still have a swollen bump on my leg.  That was a couple years ago. 

MGH-Tony – Now you thought someone had broken your fall?

Betty – Well, my friend Kay, who’s right here (picture) she died in 2001, she fell down her stairs, cellar stairs, she cracked her head on the cement floor.  She died in January.  That was on election day, November 2nd. And she died in January, and she died, I went down to see her because they moved her to Bridgton.  I went down to see her and I got home and I heard on my scanner that there was a heart attack, in such-a-such-a-room, which I knew was hers.  

When I fell down my cellar stairs I thought of her, and I feel like she was there holding my head up, because I knew I couldn’t let my head hit the cement.  And I credit her with my still being here.  She was a great friend, too. I’ve been so lucky in my life to have great friends.   Great people around me, family as well as friends.  

MGH-Tony – Family means a lot to you.

Betty – Oh, it does, everything to me.

MGH-Tony – Now are there certain areas of the house where you’ve had experiences that you can talk about?

Betty -  Yah, I’ve had experiences.  I sat there on that corner, at night, on that recliner and I have a night light over here and I see images of people walking, [so] they’re in my range of vision, in that room.  My mother died on the furthest side [of that room] and my father died on this side. 

MGH-Tony – In the room where all the photos are?

Betty – Yeah, yeah.  And I call it my “Memory Room”.  And I set here at night and I’m not the least bit afraid but I’ll be sitting here watching TV at night and something will move in there, catch my eye and I’ll look in and see something just as it goes out of my sight, like a figure or like a body. 


MGH-Tony -  just out of the corner or your eye?

Betty -  Even when I look in there, sometimes if I look fast enough I’ll see it but it’ll be gone instantaneously.


MGH-Tony -  Who do you think that is?

Betty – my mother, or my father, or somebody.   My brother died right there.  So all 3 of them that lived here, died here.  And all 3 of them, we were all around them.  My mother, I’ve never seen a more peaceful death, and I’ve been around a lot of people as they’ve died.  But hers …  it was just a beautiful passing.  When we all gathered in there around her bed the room was full and she opened up her eyes …  She had been through many vigils like that with us so she knew what we were there for.  

And earlier in the day she had said, “I just saw your father” and she said, “the flowers were more beautiful than I can describe”.    So she had seen him and he’s the one that came for her.


MGH-Tony -  And based on your experiences you know [your brother, mother, and father] are back here visiting you? So you know they’re not gone.

Betty – Oh I know they are, I know.  I know they are.  There’s things that happen, like upstairs  one of my mother’s glass Christmas bulbs was going around and around and around when I walked into the room and there was no breeze. No, I can show you when we get up there.  No wind or anything.  No one had been in there before me.   And that thing was spinning as fast as it could go and it caught my eye as soon as I walked through the door.   It was the only thing moving.  And then, we found it on the floor, on the carpet, it was broken.  I don’t know what that means. 

MGH-Tony – “is it back in there now?

Betty -  I left it up there, I couldn’t take it away. Yah, there’s a lot of things here.  And I’m not afraid, in fact when I hear something, or sense something, or see something, it makes me feel real glad.  ‘Cuz I know some of them are here visiting.  

MGH-Tony -  Because you know it’s your family members?

Betty -  I do know that.   There’s not a thing to be afraid of.


Part 2:  The Sunroom/Office


Betty – There’s a few things that have happened in my office.  My mother used to sit out there.  One time I was sitting in [this] chair and working at my desk, writing out some bills and things, and all of a sudden I kind of sensed some thing was happening, or a motion, and I turned around, and [my mother’s] chair was kind of going around and around.  With speed, and it went all the way around and around.  And I watched it, and it went twice and then kind of slowed up and stopped.   I was kind of thrilled about that. 

MGH-Tony – Did you think that was your mom?

Betty -  Yah, I think so.  I feel, when things happen I feel a warmth inside me, like  ::sigh::.

MGH-Tony – Do you ever talk to her?

Betty – Yes, I do, all the time. I’ll open up the Heritage Room door and I say “Hi everybody!” And I feel that they’re there, and in some ways they say “hi” to me. 

MGH-Tony – Do you feel that you’re getting a response?

Betty – I do, yes.

MGH-Tony – How do you think you’re getting a response?

Betty – It’s a feeling more than anything, I can see.  I can sense it. And I just feel like they’re all there.  And if I’m sad or something is bothering me I go up and I cry, and I feel like they’re there with me and comforting me.  And if I’m happy I feel like they’re all joyous.  I just have this inner sense that. it’s really difficult to explain, I can’t explain it really.  I wish I could.  I’ve thought about it and I’ve tried to think of words but there are no words to really describe it. 


MGH-Tony – Now, you’ve got a great view here, you’ve got your back yard with your horses out there, but can you tell us a little bit about what’s just beyond the [pasture]?

Betty -  Well, the most soothing view is that cemetery. I look at that all the time.    And sometimes I think I see movement out there, and maybe it’s just leaves or trees, or whatever, but I feel like I do.  I have to get a new fence for it though, that one’s falling apart. 
And y’know, the scene out my window is exactly the scene my mother, and my brother, and my father, they all [lived] all their lives here on this farm down here.  And my folks, when they moved [next door] here and built this house, they built a ranch, but I changed that. 

MGH-Tony – Yah, you took the whole top roof off.

Betty – And made my own roof.  And the scene is all the same, and I feel like that means an awful lot to me, just that I’m here and I’m hoping that when I’m gone there’ll be other family members, or my kids, or someone will look out over this same scene and enjoy it as much as I do and I know my mother did.  

My mother loved this place.  She liked that place [Homeland Farm, next door,] more than her house here but, she loved the whole farm, and I feel like I’m on the farm.  I feel like this is all Homeland Farm.


MGH-Tony – So how long has the property been in your family?

Betty – The farm down there has been in our family since 1907, and in 2007 we had a 100 year celebration.  


MGH-Tony – So 3 generations?

Betty – Yeah, really.  My grandmother bought it from an Allen, the Allen family.   And it went through the women in the family.  From my grandmother, to my mother, to me, to Carmen, it’s been a woman’s farm.   And hopefully it’ll go to [Carmen’s daughter]. 

MGH-Tony -  So, actually 5 generations have lived in that house.

Betty – Yup.



Part 3: “The Heritage Room”

MGH-Tony – Can you tell us a little bit about how this room came to be?

Betty – Well, I was always a saver.  I never threw anything away.  I have toys today that I had when I was 6, 7, and 8 years old.  And over the years I saved and saved and saved.  And after a while I had boxes of things here and boxes of things in another room, and boxes of things in the attic, and boxes in the basement, and I always wanted a place where – I couldn’t enjoy them packed away in boxes.   So we moved into this ranch, took the roof off and made [The Heritage Room].  And then I opened up all my boxes and set everything out.  My sister helped me the summer before she died.  And this was the last thing we did together.


MGH-Kat – Do you have any other stories of people or spirits up in here?

Betty – One time I came in here, I came in the door and I heard, see that little case down there?  That’s a little trumpet.  My girlfriend had a real trumpet so I had to have a toy trumpet just so I could be like her, and I came in and I heard that.  And then I closed the door and I didn’t hear it anymore. 

MGH-Tony – You heard the trumpet?

Betty -  I heard that trumpet make the noise that it makes.  The toy trumpet, and it was in the box, because I came in right away and looked to see if anybody was here,  and had gotten into it, one of the kids or something, and was tooting it, and nobody was here and it was wrapped up in that box.  But I definitely heard that noise.  It’s a distinct…

MGH-Kat – Did it make you feel a certain way?

Betty – Well, it made me curious. I thought “well, who the heck would be doing that?”  And then I thought, well first I thought the kids were here and I looked and it was just in that box and nothing had been touched.  And then I thought “well, who the heck would have been blowing my horn, my trumpet?”  Could have been my friend Kay. 

MGH-Tony – Why?

Betty – Because she’s the one that blew the real trumpet, that I was trying to be like.  She was my idol, so I had to get a toy trumpet.  There’s all kinds of stories about this stuff over here.


MGH-Kat – Alright, do we have any other stories in the entire house, that you would like to share?  Of hearing things, seeing things, sensing things?

Betty – So many things happen I don’t even put them in my recorder.  They just go in one ear and out the other.

MGH-Kat -  Do you feel there’s anybody in particular up here, at any given time?

Betty – I think my mother and my sister are here most of the time.  I feel that.  (Up here?)  Yah, up here and downstairs, too.

MGH-Kat -  And you talk to them?  Casually?

Betty -  Yup.  Or if I’m upset I’ll cry, and talk to them.  Mostly happy, because we were always happy. 


MGH-Kat -  Do you think anybody is attached to any of your things here?

Betty – Yup, I do.

MGH-Kat -  Anything in particular, the strongest, or most significant?

Betty– I wonder sometimes if my mother isn’t attached to certain things because, my mother was the strongest one.  She and my sister.   And that’s why I think I feel them, or sense them around most of the time.

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