The Damned Story: Unlike many allegedly haunted residences, the Makens Bemont House in East Hartford, more commonly known as The Huguenot House, does not have a well-known history or particular stories associated with it that make it clear why it is thought to be haunted.
What is known is that the house was originally built by Edmund Bemont in 1761 for his family, including his son Makens, who gathered considerable wealth as a saddlemaker and whose descendants dwelled there well into the 19th century. What is not known is how the place picked up the nickname of The Huguenot House, as it does not appear that the Bemonts were French protestants, nor is there any record of any particular Huguenots residing there.
During the Bemonts' near century in the house, no defining tragedy is known to have occurred there other than the passing of family members, either from disease or natural causes. After the Bemonts left, the house passed from owner to owner, as any property might. The last known resident of the house was Adolph Rosenthal, who donated it to the Historical Society of East Hartford in 1968.
It was only after the house was donated to the historical society and renovations began -- including moving it in 1971 from its original location on Tolland Street to its current location in Martin Park -- when things started getting interesting. Like so many a supernatural tale, it seems as though when the structure was taken from its foundation, a spirit or two were disturbed.
Rather than take a Hollywood turn where kids would be captured in TV sets or young lovers would be chased with chainsaws, the specters of the Huguenot House -- one dubbed "Benny" (for no particular reason) and the other the "Blue Lady" (since that apparation appears to be a lady in, well, a blue dress) -- appear to have gone Casper and are "friendly ghosts." Benny, first reported and named by the workers restoring the structure, has been heard from in the way of random rappings and scratchings, unexplained bangs and crashes. The Blue Lady -- thought by some to be the ghost of Abigail Bemont, wife of Edmund and mother of Makens -- has been seen over the years in the windows of the empty house.
In addition to Benny and the Blue Lady, experiences typical of hauntings -- phantom pushing, EVPs, orb photos, etc. -- have been recorded by those visiting the site.
If you're interested in learning more, our friend Don Carter of the New England Paranormal Video Research Group has written a well-researched history of the property as well as provided details on that group's investigation.
Our Damned Experience: We have yet to hang with Benny and the Blue Lady, but we're going to be "makens" it our business soon.
View 307 Burnside Ave in a larger map