Does a century old murder victim haunt a resort in upstate New York?
For generations, the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York have been a favorite vacation spot for the famous and the infamous. One summer night in 1988, several employees of the Covewood Lodge on Big Moose Lake, including Rhonda Bousselot, were approaching the staff lodge. Rhonda led the pack, unaware that someone, or something, might be waiting inside:
But the real show was outside. According to Rhonda, her friends were witnessing a spine-tingling vision:
But who is haunting Big Moose Lake? People there believe it is the ghost of the young and beautiful Grace Brown. In 1906, her brutal murder shocked the nation. Decades later, Hollywood turned the notorious case into a hit film, “A Place in the Sun.” Hollywood portrayed Grace as an unattractive nag. But in truth, Grace Brown was a naive, lovely 19-year-old who worked at the Gillette skirt factory in Cortland, New York. It was there, in 1905, that she met the handsome and charming Chester Gillette, the factory owner’s nephew.
Author Craig Brandon has written about the infamous Grace Brown murder:
From the start, it was a scandalous romance. According to Craig Brandon, Chester convinced Grace to see him without a chaperone which, in those days, put her reputation at risk:
For Chester, it was a secret affair. He never took Grace out in public. He never acknowledged their relationship. According to Craig Brandon, Chester was frequently seen with other young women, especially those from the town’s wealthier families:
But Grace could not resist Chester and she soon discovered she was pregnant. At the time, unwed mothers were outcasts. Grace begged Chester to marry her, but he stalled as long as he could. Finally, in July, 1906, Chester took Grace to the Adirondacks. She assumed it was a wedding trip. According to Craig Brandon, they rented a rowboat at Big Moose Lake from a man named Robert Morrison:
The next morning, Morrison organized a search party. The rowboat had capsized. A short distance from it, they found Grace’s body. Two days later, police found Chester Gillette in a nearby hotel. At first, he denied even knowing Grace Brown. Then, he claimed Grace had drowned herself in despair because he didn’t love her anymore. Few believed him. He was tried and convicted of first degree murder. On March 30, 1908, Chester Gillette died in the electric chair. Had justice been served? Apparently not enough to satisfy the restless spirit of Grace Brown.
Lynda Lee Macken had her own encounter with Grace Brown a few months after Rhonda Bousselot’s:
Was it the ghost of Grace Brown? Over the years, there have been continual sightings. And many wonder if her spirit has been trapped at Big Moose Lake since the day she was drowned by her faithless lover.