Strange New England - Ghost Heads of Kickemuit River

In a sleepy hallow near the Kickemuit River, residents of Warren RI have encountered a strange brand of spooks. Much like the Headless Horseman, these spirits had their heads severed from their bodies. Though they lack the ghostly steeds, they make up for it in numbers os ghost heads seen lurking about the quiet town at night.

In June 1675, a group of Pokanolet natives looted and vandalized several homes. The settlers were outraged by this. On June 23, the natives returned to ransack and burn more homes. This time John Salisbury was able to shoot and wound a native warrior. The following day, the natives again returned ambushing and killing Salisbury, and 6 other settlers as they left the garrison. Seven days later the severed heads of these men were found mounted on poles on the banks of the Kickemuit River. The records do not make it clear if it was only these seven men or if this also included the 2 men killed shortly after as they attempted to seek help. Nonetheless, the natives made their point clear, ‘Yankee go home!’ These events marked the beginning of the King Philips War: New England’s bloodiest conflict.

Several times each year people from around Warren have claimed to see eight floating heads which appear during the early evening. Most often the heads are floating about the trees with an eerie glow, but some witnesses claim to have seen them on the posts. Though quite a disconcerting sight, witnesses have said that they didn’t feel threatened. The spirits seem troubled, and lost rather than belligerent. So next time you’re in the area don’t be surprised if you feel like you are being watched. Walk swiftly though, because these 8 heads may be lurking about the river still searching for their bodies or someone else’s to replace theirs!

~ Strange New England


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