As a child, from age 8 to about 12, I slept every night curled up in a ball so to not let my feet come close to the foot of the bed. I recall waking up some nights with painful leg cramps, yet would refuse to stretch out as the horrible images always lingered in the back of my head.
The legend of the Faust Lumberjack
The first time I heard the story of the Faust Lumberjack Slaughtering was on a chilly fall evening as we gathered with friends around a campfire in our backyard. As we toasted our last marshmallows of the season, we listened to a story that to this day still sends a chill down my spine. The lady who told us this tale has asked that we don’t reveal her name, so for the purpose of anonymity I will call her Denise.
A ghost tale from old town of Faust, NY
As a young girl, Denise recalled the frightful nights she had spent in their old house in the Town of Faust, NY (an area which makes up the part of Tupper Lake that is referred to as the Junction). Even though they lived in the house for barely a week, the events that transpired were enough to keep every element of the house vivid in her mind all these years later.
The first day Denise moved into her house, she was thrilled to have her own room for the first time. However, her spirit quickly changed…
On the third night in her new bedroom, Denise awoke to a loud crashing noise. She turned her head to see the silhouette of a women crossing the room. She closed her eyes, screamed, and her parents came running. When they turned on the lights they discovered that the commotion was caused by a set of folding attic stairs that came crashing down through her ceiling. It seemed as though at one time there was an attic entrance in her bedroom, but it had been covered over during a previous remodeling. They assumed that the moisture from the fresh paint was enough to weaken the sheetrock and allow the stairs to collapse through. In the morning her father cleaned up the mess as her mother explained to Denise that the woman was a figment of her imagination, just a shadow caused by the falling stairs, and there was nothing to be scared about.
The following night she awoke to the sound of the attic opening. Denise sat up with a jerk just in time to see the decapitated heads of a woman and a young girl roll across the foot of her bed. A fountain of fluorescent RED blood came gushing out from under her bed. Denise screamed at the top of her lungs. Her mother came dashing into the room, flipped on the lights, and saw blood on the floor around her daughter's bed. She quickly scooped Denise up and ran out of the room passing Denise’s father as he made his way in. When he stepped in he yelled to them to inquire what all the fuss was over. So, as Denise waited in their parents room, her mother joined her father in the bedroom where the blood had suddenly vanished, the heads were nowhere to be found, and the staircase was mysteriously folded back into the ceiling as though nothing had happened.
Denise and her family quickly left the house to stay with her grandmother.
But the story doesn't end there!
The next day, Denise and her mother went to the library to look for anything that could help them answer what was happening at the new house. What they learned provoked them to never spend another night in the house...
They turned up some old newspapers with their address and learned that the home was built by a lumberjack as a gift to his wife in the early 1900s. His wife lived their happily for 3 years raising their daughter, while the lumberjack would split his time between home and lumbering camps throughout the Adirondacks. Unexpectedly, one season, the husband did not return home with his group. No one had any answers - he had simply gone missing. Many assumed he'd lost his footing and fallen into the river only to have drowned under the log flow, a sad reality of the times. Others claimed to have seen him deep in conversation with a group of travelers not long before he disappeared.
It was reported that the heart-broken wife lived as a widow for nearly a year, spending any free time searching for clues that might lead her to her missing spouse. Then, on an unseasonably cold October morning, someone entered their house in the middle of the night and beheaded both the wife and the then 4-year-old daughter with an axe. The only evidence left at the scene was the murder weapon with the name of missing lumberjack carved into its handle.
It remains a mystery
A few months after their initial research, Denise and her family received a diary in the mail. It was from the 30s and belonged to a 13-year-old girl who had previously occupied the same eerie bedroom. The entries contained similar accounts to Denise’s tale of a headless woman and young girl coming and going from the attic. Furthermore, it confirmed that her family had attempted to seal and then conceal the attic in the hopes of selling the house to unsuspecting buyers.
Denise's family attempted to sell the house, but it sat untouched for years until it finally burned to the ground. To this day no one knows if it was the lumberjack or a stranger who murdered the family. Did something sinister happen to the lumberjack during the long winter at camp and then, to cover their tracks, the murderer went after his kin and left the axe to frame him? Was the wife getting too close to discovering the truth? Whatever the case, accounts still come in from time to time that ghosts of the lumberjack family are seen roaming the railroad tracks near the old footprint of their home in the Junction.
Have a local ghost story of your own? Please share it in the comment section below - we'd love to hear!
Halloween Events in Tupper Lake
Did all this ghost story talk get you in the mood for some Halloween festivities? Here's a quick rundown of the top Halloween events and parties to check out in Tupper Lake region.
- The annual Park Street Trick-or-Treat will take place on Thursday, October 31 from 3:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy Trick-or-Treating in a safe and festive environment as businesses hand out candy to all of the little witches, Ninja Turtles, Spidermans, Elsas, etc. Just look for the "participating business" signs hanging in the windows on Park Street and beyond.
- When you've had your fill of collecting candy - or run out of space in your treat bag - head to the Tupper Lake Knights of Columbus from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. for a free children's Halloween Party. Treats, music, and more are on the menu!
And parties for the young at heart...
- P-2's Irish Pub's annual Haunted Dairy Halloween Party will offer thrills and plenty of fun with live music from Night School. The show starts at 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 26. Don't forget to dress for the occasion! P-2's will have prizes for costumes in several categories, including scariest, funniest, and best group!
- The annual Trails End Halloween Party will be October 27, starting at 9 p.m. This year's festivities feature music by Third Shift. Wear your best costume to win great prizes!
Wishing you and yours a safe and spooky Halloween!
This week in ADK thrills and chills: