Huguenot House, East Hartford

February, 2009 by Ray Bendici
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Images by Ray Bendici

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.

huguenot_houseRather 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.

If You Go: The Makens Bemont House is operated by the Historical Society of East Hartford and is located in Martin Park at 307 Burnside Avenue. It is open to the public from June to August.

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Comments

Submitted by Alissa (not verified) on
hey!! this is totally true. I read a story about this house. the "Blue Lady" is the wife, and she died from a disease. I'm not sure, but I think i read that "Benny" was the son. Im not completley sure, so dont take word on it. I also read that when people lived in the house after, they saw prints on their couches as if some one had been sitting on the couch. But no one was sitting there. This is just what I read!!!!!!!!! ^^

Paranormal investigation- Hi my name is Joe Mollo lead/owner of iotp ghost hunters. We are intrested into doing a paranormal investigation at Huguenot house And want to make it our first on our 2010 website, please contact me at [email protected] or case manager at 1-(203)-500-1089 leave a message. Thank you

We went about 2 months ago and could only stay 2 hrs till we almost passed out from the heat. But they were nice enough to allow us back this coming weekend we will keep eveyone posted

I am doing a project about haunted houses in Connecticut and I have found lots of useful information iam doing it about this house and a house in startford on alm street and I can not believe all the information I have found!! =)

Submitted by Terri (not verified) on
I grew up one block from Martin Park...I remember when they relocated the house.

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Submitted by Doc (not verified) on
I grew up near this place too, On Bidwell. I must've past by this place a million times, even went back to visit in 2010. Never experienced anything noted, but I've always been drawn to the place even when I was really little. Only time I ever saw anything was when I was peeking into the window of, what I remember to be a school house right by this house. I saw things move inside, and asked my mom to go in. She said we can't, the door's locked. No one is in there. I told her there had to be, things were moving inside. She blew it off, and that was all. I think I was about 10 years old at the time of that occurrence, I believe it was 1990. Told my wife about it, when we last visited. She was creeped out by the place, but I still went and peeked in the windows anyways, saw nothing. Going back in June, gonna peek again.

I conducted an investigation there quite a while ago...1996 if memory serves me. While nothing of note really happened, I did get a very good EVP from the basement. While we were wrappingup, I went down to the basement to grab my recorder, and noticed it hadn't been on all night. So I turned it on and let it record for the remaining hour and a half that we were there. I was half listening a few days later, not expecting much, when I found this.. http://ghosthound.com/audio/evps/hugenot-house/