Ghost of Cannon Road
In a town with many old homes, it may be no surprise that there have been reports of ghostly activity.
Late longtime Wilton resident Dorothy Womrath had been on a first-name basis with the ghost in her home at 43 Cannon Road, according to a 1992 Wilton Bulletin article.
“We call her Louisa, after the name on her tombstone in the basement, Louisa Smith,” Womrath told The Bulletin.
Although she had never seen the ghost, Womrath said she was very much aware of the ghost’s various pranks, such as turning lights on and off.
Womrath said she had seen “a bottle of nail polish slide off the bureau across the room” in her daughter’s bedroom, and a picture fall off the wall with the hook and wire on the picture both intact.
A University of Bridgeport professor once found three “cold spots” — believed to be indicators of paranormal or spirit activity — in Womrath’s house, according to a 1992 Wilton Bulletin article.
Shawn Kahal and her family have lived at 43 Cannon Road for the past 17 years.
“We haven’t had things flying off the walls,” she told The Bulletin earlier this week, “but there was a piano incident.”
When the family first moved in, Kahal said, they woke up one morning to several notes playing from their piano.
“My children were too young at the time and our pets were upstairs,” she said. “It was unexplainable.”
She said that happened “a couple of times on different occasions.”
Despite the unexplained piano playing, Kahal said, she and her family feel “very warm” in their home.
She also confirmed that there is a tombstone “cemented into the floor” of the basement with the name Louisa Smith and the date 1865.
Aaron Beers Lockwood built the home at 43 Cannon Road and established a boarding school, the Lockwood Academy, there in 1851.
In 1893, the property was sold to Jane A. Smith, a resident of Weston and the second wife of Civil War veteran William Blatchley Smith.
William married Jane after his first wife — and Jane’s older sister — Louisa died in 1865 — the same name and year inscribed in the tombstone at 43 Cannon Road.
However, according to a 2008 document written by town historian Bob Russell, it is “highly unlikely” William and Jane brought Louisa’s body with them to Wilton.
According to Russell, it is “more likely” that the tombstone in the basement at 43 Cannon Road had been removed or replaced from a graveyard in Weston — perhaps Coley Cemetery, where her parents and several siblings are buried.
So where is Louisa buried? Well, just over the northern Wilton town line in Ridgefield’s Branchville Cemetery is a tombstone with her name, birth and death year — along with those of William and Jane.
William, Louisa and Jane Smith's gravestone in Branchville Cemetery. — Kendra Baker photo