One genealogist is searching for the truth behind the ghost of a little girl. Genealogy research is a great way to learn more about the actual people that are the inspiration for local ghost stories. While this research is not going to be a definitive way to confirm, or dispute, the existence of a ghost, it can be a way to discover more about the event that the story may have originated from.
Genealogist Liesa Healy-Miller wanted to find out if Mary Smith really did exist. It has been said that the ghost of a little girl is haunting Stone's Public House in Ashland, Massachusetts. Stone's Public House was built between 1832 and 1834 by John Stone, who named it The Railroad House. The Inn is located very near some railroad tracks. Some say that the little ghost girl can be heard giggling, that she casts a shadow, and has disappeared into walls. According to many, this is the ghost of Mary Smith, who died when she was ten years old. She was hit by a train, and brought to Stone's Public House, the nearest building, where she died.
But, did Mary Smith actually exist? Although it couldn't have been easy to search for someone with such a common name, Liesa Healy-Miller did find a record of the death of a Mary J. Smith. It says she died on June 11, in 1863. It states that this Mary J. Smith was just a few months away from her 11th birthday when she died. The cause of death was listed as the following: “killed by RR cars in Ashland”. Using her skill in genealogy research as a tool, Liesa Healy-Miller has found proof that Mary really did exist. She has extended her research to try and find more information about Mary's parents, and to try and discover where any of them were buried. Is the ghost of Mary still haunting Stone's Public House? It is up to you to decide what you want to believe about that.