My August Expedition To The Ram Tail Mill Site, Rhode Island’s Only Officially Haunted Site


In August of this year I visited the Ram Tail Mill Site in Foster, Rhode Island. According to the Source: Belanger, Jeff. Encyclopedia of Haunted Places. 2005, “

“Perhaps the oldest and most haunted place in Rhode Island is the Ramtail Factory in Foster. It was even put in the 1885 State Census Record as a haunted location. In 1799, the Potter family started operating a mill. William Potter expanded the mill in 1813. At this time, William took his son-in-law Peleg Walker as a partner. The Potter’s ran the mill by day and Walker was the nightwatchman at night, walking from building to building with his lantern.

This went well for several years, until one day Walker and Potter were seen having an argument. Walker preceded to say that if something kept up, he’d walk in one day and grab the keys from a dead man. On May 18, 1822 Walker’s words came true. Potter walked in and saw that Walker had hung himself from the bell rope with the keys hanging visibly from his pocket. The Potter’s then buried him in the family plot. However, this is when the strange events started to happen.

The night of Walker’s death, the bell tower struck at the stroke of midnight. The Potter’s went to go investigate this but no one was there pulling the chord while it was happening. This went on for a few days until the Potter’s then replaced the bell with a new one. Now it got even more interesting that night. The town awoke to the loud sound of the mill running at full service. Everywhere in the town went to the spot to watch in shock as the mill was running without anyone operating it, and the water was flowing in the opposite direction of the stream.

Most of the town villagers left after this for fear of the mill. The people who remained in the town would see the apparition of Walker going from building to building with the lantern in his hand. Later on in the 1880s, the factory mysteriously went on fire. The remains of the factory still lie in the woods of Foster to this day, and is a hot bed for paranormal activity. The Rhode Island Paranormal Group investigated the site recently and have come into contact with Walker as well. They were standing around the site, when they the crunching of leaves and the sound of a lantern swinging as it walked past them and into the main building.”

The day we went ( my wife and I) it was quite hot and humid. It was the beginning of the fall season that I do the majority of my exploring in. We arrived early and took the entrance to Ram Tail Rd. Directly after the right there is a cemetary on the left. The relatives of the mill descendants are buried in this plot.  After the cemetery on the left side there is a dirt road which leads into the woods and runs toward the lakeside of Barden Reservoir. I parked our trusty mini-van(giggles to a minimum) in a pull-off of the trail. We followed the trail  towards the location of the site. As we came to the true North side of the reservoir we reached a point where a bridge or crossing had once been, unfortunately it was unavailable.  We had to find a way across and it was not going to be there. The water was far to deep. To make a long story very, very short we found a spot farther North on the river that feeds in to the reservoir. Logging seems to be in full swing all arond the area at this point. I saw tree’s cut all around the original foundations but all the area of the mill site is really quite protected. Blue marks denoted cut lines that indicated the trees inside the foundations were not to be touched. Im glad to report a trouble free visit and quite an interesting one (wading in 2 feet of water across a river). My wife would not go in the main foundations and had a bad sense of something not right in the area. I experienced none of those things just a calm and peacefull visit. Altough I wouldnt want to be visiting in the dark………


4 Responses

  1. went today.. thanks for the info was very helpful

  2. we tried to find this over the past weekend and couldn’t. Where is this passage on the river that you speak of?

  3. Not sure if my comment was deleted before but I tried going there 2 weeks ago. Went down the trail just past the cemetery and ended up at a spot on the river that looked as though a beaver may have tried to build a dam at. We could not cross due to it being too deep. The picture on google maps of the woods looks way different than it does now so it wasn’t much help. I’ll have to see if there is any way to find a spot that is easy to cross. Some security guard told me that there was a paved road leading to the foundation but I find that hard to believe.

  4. I have a picture that I toke while walking down by the ram tail site and while showing it to my 12 year old son he seen something in the picture. I thought he was pulling my leg until I really looked at it and zomed in and seen a face and possibly another object. I have showed several people and they can see the same. I have been living and born in Foster for 47 years, we use to swim in Ram Tail pond 35 years ago and just wanted to check it out. I can email picture… Scott

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