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Organs in Haunted Places

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  • Organs in Haunted Places

    As we approach Halloween, it might be interesting to share stories regarding eerie personal experiences involving organs. Tonight, I was watching a program on Most Haunted Places and the John Hays Hammond castle was discussed. In the program, we got a glimpse of a large pipe organ being played by a beautiful ghostess. I hunted down the organ and it looks quite impressive. Check it out and let me know what you think.  http://www.hammondcastle.org/organ.htm. I don't suppose this guy is related in any way to the Hammond Organ Co? 

    Cheers from the Phantom........ BOZ

  • #2
    Re: Organs in Haunted Places



    To answer your question, no, the name is purely coincidental.



    The Hammondyou're thinking of is Laurens Hammond who, IIRC had few or no living relatives far beyond his youth, and no existing bloodlines today.



    That Hammond did something akin to inventing remote control.

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    • #3
      Re: Organs in Haunted Places



      Speaking of hauntings, a friend from Gloucester, MA told me that John Hays Hammond(owner of Hammond castle) conductedfrequent tests on radio-driven boats in Gloucester harbor. Remote control was practically unheard of at that time (1910!) and those pilotless boats often terrified the local inhabitants! [:O]

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      • #4
        Re: Organs in Haunted Places

        I visited Hammond Castle for a bit back in August.  The hall in which the organ was installed smelled to be extremely moist and musty.  Evidently Virgil had the organ worked-over when he lived there, which is a pity.  From the chamber I saw behind the curtains it looked to be in pretty rough shape.  I also saw a framed photo on a wall towards the entrance/office that looked like a gentleman posing in front of a wind chest with electro-mechanical valves on it; I shudder to think what may have happened there.

              - Nate

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        • #5
          Re: Organs in Haunted Places



          HI





          I was surfing and found the discussion threads about the Hammond Castle Museum. I too grew up with the interest there and the recording of Richard E. doing Widor 5.



          I have inquired and at one point checked into renting the facility for an organ recital. I had a long conversation with the director, at that time. She told me that the organ is unplayable at this time. In the end the organ was still playing but having some difficulties with some action. They had moved the console down to the main floor and played what was still payable from there. However it was more to look at. The Museum hosted concerts but instrumental.



          It is a total shame considering the wonderful, unique instrument that this was. Also that organ builders are close by with Andover in Methuen and Fisk in Gloucester itself. I know that it would take major funds to restore the instrument and to upgrade the facility to make it better conditions with air quality. BUT it would be totally worth it.



          Jay



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          • #6
            Re: Organs in Haunted Places



            I can't verify a haunted location with an organ (although i've speculated a few times after hearing things go bump in the night), but some believe that the Newberry Memorial Skinner atYaleUniversitymay behaunted bytwo former curators. I found a write-up on it ina book of my wife's, " The Field Guide To North American Hauntings" by W. Haden Blackman on pg.150. Part of the article states that people both passing by Woolsey Hall and workinginside the building have heard the organ playing "ghostly" music with no one at the console.

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