BETHEL, Conn. – There are ghosts on the streets of Bethel — and local author Martha Bishop loves to talk about them.
Walking a route that started at P.T. Barnum Square and went past the Putnam House, along South Street, and back to a graveyard near the Historical Society, Bishop recently led a ghost tour. She told chilling, gruesome stories about local Bethel legends, the history of the town, and superstitions.
According to Bishop's tales, Bethel's haunted areas include places on Greenwood Avenue, the United Methodist Church, the Putnam House, a house on South Street, and the graveyard. Additionally, the “Firebug” walks around Bethel, while Bethel's own hometown hero P.T. Barnum visits several houses.
When asked whether she has ever seen a ghost, Bishop said, “I have only seen a ghost once, at Brookfield Theater for the Arts, but I have felt their presence several times and I was once pushed by one.”
Bishop is a teacher who has always enjoyed storytelling, and she recently retired as a library/media specialist at Bethel Middle School.
“I started telling stories for entertainment when I was in kindergarten. One of my first stories was about a romance between a Tiger Lily and and Easter Lily, even though my mother explained that they don't bloom at the same time,” said Bishop.
In addition to being a storyteller, Bishop is a published author.
Along with that, she is a member of Toastmasters International, plays violin with a local group called the Senior Melodiers, is a quilter, is a model railroader, sings with the Bethel Senior Center group, and manages the bell choir at Bethel United Methodist Church.
Last but not least, she is a member of the Connecticut Storytelling Center and tells stories in local schools and libraries.
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