Built in 1720, the Daniel Benton Homestead, located in Tolland, Connecticut, United States, has a very eventful past, full of love, anguish, captivity and death.
One of the sons of Daniel Benton, Elisha, died in the home, along with his lover. Elisha returned from fighting in the Revolutionary War in late 1776, he had contracted smallpox. The Benton family locked him in a room by himself to die, fearing contracting the illness themselves. But his beloved, a local girl named Jemima Barrows, selflessly offered to care for Elisha during his last days. The family secured her in the sick room with him. Elisha passed away within three weeks. Jemima, also infected, died a few weeks later. Due to her kindness during his last days, the Benton family allowed her to be buried on the property near Elisha.
The house was also used as a temporary prison for captured Hessian soldiers. The house, located on what was then Boston Post Road, proved to be a suitable place for the soldiers to remain in captivity until weather allowed for their transport to Boston. Many of the soldiers left graffiti in the basement of the homestead, some of which can still be seen today.
The Daniel Benton Homestead remained in the Benton family until 1932, and then after changing hands a few times, it came into the possession of the Tolland Historical Society and was opened as a museum in the late 1960s.
Over the past few decades, it has been rumored that the homestead is haunted. A maid, who worked in the home in the 1940s claimed to have seen a woman in white weeping in the house when no one else was there.
Others have claimed to have experiences on the second floor. One witness, a member of the historical society, was on that floor, only to return downstairs a few moments later. She was visibly shaken and swore to never go up there again. In addition to those sightings, unexplained knocking and colonial apparitions have been seen by neighbors, through the windows and at the front door.
There have been paranormal investigations, seances, and psychics in the old homestead over the years, but nothing has ever been definitively proven. Still, the colonial homestead stands, a reminder of years gone by, and the events that occurred therein.