This month I don’t have a guest author for my CURIOSITIES post. Yes, you’re stuck with me, but I found a fascinating story that has everything: a jilted lover, magic, witchcraft and of, course, a ghost.
When we can, Luna the Lab and I and travel to Saratoga Springs, NY to see my husband, who was transferred there in March. He comes homes to NW Connecticut on the weekends.
The first thing I do when I get to a new place is to delve into the haunted history of the town/city. I hit the jackpot. Reportedly, there are 467 haunted venues in Albany/Saratoga area. The many battles of the Revolutionary War fought here, including The Battle of Saratoga are responsible for many of the sightings. But hidden deep in the history of the war, I discovered, Angeline Tubbs, The Witch of Saratoga.
The story goes that Angeline was born in 1761 in Britain. At 17 she followed her fiancée to the colonies to fight in the war. After the British were defeated at the Battle of Saratoga, he dumped her.
Alone and abandoned, she settled in a hut at the base of Mt. Vista, a small mountain about one mile north of Saratoga, a brood of cats her only companions.
She soon earned a reputation as a witch and made a living telling fortunes, the majority of which came true.
At one point, and the information is murky, she was sentenced to hang. There is no evidence she was charged with witchcraft, and some say she was falsely charged with stealing – to disguise the real reason, which was she scared the townspeople and they wanted her gone.
The hanging failed. She walked away, a mark on her neck forever.
They didn’t try again.
Some townsfolk claimed they would see Angeline on Mt. Vista, on the edge of the cliff, standing with her arms outstretched in the middle of a terrible storm, talking to spirits.
A Mr. William Stone wrote about it in his dairy in 1826. It's–not clear who Mr. Stone was, but he seems to be important.
“Had she been mistress of the whirlwind, she could not have been more delighted with storms. She had been seen, her form erect and with extended arms, standing upon the verge of fearful precipices, in the midst of the most awful tempests, conversing, as it were, with unseen spirits, her long, matted hair streaming in the wind, while the thunder was riving the rocks beneath her feet, and the red lightning encircling her as with a winding-sheet of flame.”
Angeline boasted she would die when the last of her 21 cats died. She grew older and older, outliving those who shunned and ostracized her and when her last cat died, so did she, in 1865 at the age 104.
There are those who swear she still inhabits Angeline’s Hill on Mt. Vista. A young writer, Ben Carradine on a writer’s retreat in 1932 saw her apparition briefly, for the first time. Driving back from Ohio in 1955, he pulled over to look at the sunset, when a thunderstorm rolled in. Taking cover near Mt. Vista, he found shelter under an overhanging rock and saw her again. Here’s his account:
“A lone figure was standing on the stone ledge at the top, silhouetted against the sky. She stood erect, arms stretched out to the raging sky. Her long hair and wet cloak streamed out behind her. And he heard her piercing scream above him. Another lightning bolt illuminated the woman. She screamed again and again as the lightning flashed, the thunder cracked, the rain fell, and the wind howled. Finally the clouds moved away, the screaming stopped, and the woman vanished.”
As my quest to see a ghost continues, on one of my trips here I see myself finding the infamous Mt. Vista and dragging my husband along for a visit. Maybe Angeline will be there to welcome us
Are you an author with an unusual tale or unexplained experience you'd like to share? Does your town have an urban legend? If you'd like to be a guest on CURIOSITIES, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!