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Wedderburn Mansion


The Wedderburn Mansion can probably be found just outside the city of Narragansett, in Rhode Island. The city of Narragansett is in Washington County in the southern part of the state, on the southeastern coast, on Highway 1A. Originally reported to be located on a street called Front St. though the Narragansett City Library claims that no such street ever exited in Narragansett.


The Wedderburn House is a four story, white clapboard mansion, with green shutters, built by a rich sea captain, Japhet Wedderburn. While it is the typical, big 4 square home built by all the rich captains in this part of the country, it wasn't quite as fancy inside, according to family servant, Huldy Craddock, who ran the house for the Captain. The doorway was impressive, having large columns on either side, with a broken pediment on top. In the center was a beautifully carved wooden pineapple. The third floor had a gallery, with windows that offered a splendid view of the sea.


Japhet Wedderburn was a rich sea captain, that had made his fortune in the China sea trade. He was often away from home anywhere from months to years at a time. When he was home, he was lonely, wanting female companionship. But as he wasn't home much, he never met any of the local ladies. He was home only 5 weeks at a time. One day, according to Huldy Craddock, he arrived home with a new wife, Dona Mercedes Wedderburn, a Spanish lady from Barbados, a daughter from a wealthy family. She was very petite, fragile looking, dressed in black, and wore a high tortoise shell comb and a black lace mantilla. Things went well for the happy couple, until the captain set sail once again, leaving his new wife, who spoke no English home alone with Huldy for company. Huldy found this new wife crying, very distraught, looking out the window, wanting to go home. All day, Dona Mercedes would walk back and forth, crying, and pointing out to the sea.

Huldy did her best to get the unhappy lady to go to town with her to buy the food, and even tried to teach her English. The lady refused to go out, and became a recluse. She sometimes ate nothing all day. Finally, the captain came home, and Huldy came down with a stomach illness and couldn't work. When Huldy's sister came to offer to find the captain a new servant, he said that it wouldn't be necessary, as he and his new wife would be returning to Barbados to visit her folks.

Two years later, Captain Wedderburn returned without his wife, saying that she wanted to stay longer with her folks. On his next trip, Captain Wedderburn died at sea.

A number of families owned the Wedderburn House over the years, and then in 1925, a charitable organization bought the home, to use it as a summer retreat for poor children.


For over fifty years, various owners had to witness ghostly occurrences on the third floor gallery area, by the view windows.

1) When the Squires family, moved in they loved all the room they had to entertain and great living space for their three children and their friends. Mrs. Squires was soon told by all three of her children about the sad lady in black who cries by the third floor windows, as she looks out at the sea. She had a comb and a veil over her face.

2) Other families throughout the years have also spotted this same apparition at sunset, crying and pointing at the sea, very child-like in manner. She disappeared if approached.

A Startling Discovery:

In 1925, when the house was bought by the charitable organization, the house was a bit run down and needed to be renovated, as major repairs were needed. In the library, workman discovered that the hearthstone of the fireplace was badly cracked, and needed to be replaced. The owners decided that they wanted the entire fireplace wall removed as well. When the workmen pried the fireplace floor stone up with the crowbar, they were surprised to find a crude wooden coffin inside a deepened hole. Inside this coffin they found the skeletal, black laced wrapped remains of Dona Mercedes Wedderburn, complete with her beautiful tortoiseshell comb resting on the top of her skull.

Still Haunted?

Apparently yes.

The ghost of Dona Mercedes Wedderburn is still waiting to be taken home to Barbados. She will probably be haunting the third floor by the big windows until her body is buried in Barbados.