River Spirits

Fri, 10/21/2022 - 9:00am

I hope you’ve enjoyed the ghost stories we’ve shared this month from Charles Turek Robinson’s fantastic book, The New England Ghost Files (Covered Bridge Press, 1994). Here’s one more for the road...


“River Spirits”

Location: Tiverton, RI

Number of witnesses: 7+

Interview date(s): 10/92; 2/93; 9/93

Several residents of Tiverton, Rhode Island, report witnessing a strange nighttime apparition at the Sakonnet River, which flows into Narragansett Bay. On a few separate occasions over a twelve-year period, a group of three canoes, carrying six Indians, has been observed silently making its way down the river in the moonlight.

Local witnesses - most of whom live near the river - say that the canoes and their occupants are clearly not natural, for the oars striking the water make no sound whatsoever. When observers call out to the Indians, they usually vanish into thin air, along with their canoes.

During one alleged sighting on a July evening in 1984, three local residents watched as the occupants of the canoes threw their arms up to the sky, as if in some sort of ritual. Then, the water around the canoes momentarily glowed a bright green, and the Indians and their canoes suddenly vanished. 

Archaeological surveys along the Sakonnet River show that the area was extensively inhabited by Native Americans during prehistoric and early historic times. The reason for the alleged haunting is unknown.