House of the Crazy Ruggles
Sarah,I’ve got a WICKED story for you, with a connection to an old house in Nova Scotia that’s now for sale. Back at the American Revolution, the Loyalists were forced to flee the States. One of those Loyalists was General Timothy Ruggles, who was, by all accounts, a nutcase. Anyway, his equally nutty daughter was getting married at this approximate time to one of the locals in Massachusetts. But things went badly in this relationship, and she quickly concocted a scheme with 2 or 3 others to murder her husband.
The husband’s dead body was dumped down a well. The whole plot was exposed and she was charged along with the others for murder. Bathsheba Ruggles Spooner became the first woman in the newly formed U.S. to be hanged. Before the hanging, she wrote many letters to her father begging for help but he never responded to her. Oh, and she was 5 months pregnant when the colonists hung her in 1778 !! It is highly suspected that her hanging was political, as her father was a very well-known, despised Loyalist.
Her father fled to Nova Scotia sometime during the war. He settled into an initial property and prospered, before meeting his own weird demise in 1795. He bought the house presently for sale back in 1795, so it must have been bought just months before his death. The first Nova Scotia property he had settled into is now said to be seriously haunted by the people who now own that property (per newspaper article).
In 1778, it was considered “the most extraordinary crime ever perpetrated in New England”. According to what I read, there was an entire panel of midwives and medical professionals who examined her [Bathsheba Ruggles Spooner] to make sure she was indeed pregnant, as she claimed, and all denied she was !!! Her death was purely motivated by hatred against the Loyalists.
Also, the one who signed the death warrant was the step-brother of the husband who was murdered !!! It involves a “who’s who” of early Americana – the trial was prosecuted by a fairly close relative of the famous Thomas Paine. I believe that Isaiah Thomas, the famous newspaper printer also covered the story.