We’ve all heard stories of people finding strange things in the middle of the woods. Or perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. Objects, structures, cars, staircases, graves, ancient relics and other random oddities that seem like they were dropped out of nowhere. The same puzzling thoughts enter our minds. Why is this here? How did it get here? Where the hell am I?
It happened to Uncle T during a recent weekend trip to the (almost) tip of Cape Cod when a TOWER FORTRESS appeared seemingly out of thin air. Soon after I would discover a legend behind the tower…
It’s called the “Jenny Lind Tower” and it’s location is on the property of an abandoned air force base in North Truro, Massachusetts. It’s also pretty much footsteps from the ocean and the beautiful National Seashore. The story of how this castle-like structure found its way out here goes like this:
A 19th century opera singer named Jenny Lind was supposed to perform in Boston in 1850 in an auditorium above a railroad station. *This tower was part of the original railroad station structure.* However the concert was oversold and when many people couldn’t get in, they rioted and crashed the gates. As legend has it, to calm the angry concertgoers Jenny Lind climbed the tower and sang to the public. P.T. Barnum was the publicist for Lind so its possible he created the legend behind the name.
In 1927, the station was being torn down and a rich man named Henry Aldrich had the tower dismantled and transported by train way out to Truro, Massachusetts. Aside from having the money and resources to do this, it’s unclear as to why exactly he wanted this specific tower near his seaside property.
Where this story gets ghastly is its connection to a famous ghost called “The Witch of Wellfleet” who haunts the woods of Truro and the town of Wellfleet. Her real name was Goody Hallett and she was the lover of an actual pirate captain named Samuel Bellamy. For over 300 years stories have been passed down about “banshee screams” heard on the sea cliffs, putting a curse on the passing ships and causing them to wreck as Samuel Bellamy’s pirate ship did in 1717. Local legend says that when the banshee witch starts screaming, the ghost of Jenny Lind ascends her tower to sing and her enchanting voice stops the witch and frightens her away.
That’s right, Jenny Lind is a good witch.
I should also note that the walk to this “haunted” tower through an abandoned air force base was also very cool. The base has been inactive for some 27 years, but the radar structures and old buildings are still very much intact.
Happy wandering, TNUC disciples. You never know what you’ll encounter.