This article is courtesy of former Mt. Philo Ranger, John Frigault and was originally published on the Vermont State Parks Blogspot website. John graciously allowed Vermonter.com to publish the article here. We have re-written it slightly to make it a bit more unique for our post. John also said “It was a very interesting time in our lives and even though I am no longer the park ranger I still go visit the lodge from time to time.”
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Vermont’s first State Park, Mount Philo, was generously donated back in 1924
As park rangers for the summer, we currently reside atop the summit where the Lodge and Rangers quarters were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in 1935-1936. In the mornings, I have had the good fortune to use the old lodge for my developing Tai Chi practice. Overlooking the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain, the spot on top of the mountain has always been very powerful.
Throughout the decades, the Lodge has been a sought-after location for weddings, life ceremonies, and special events. People are drawn to its massive stone fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and rustic interior, giving it a sense of antiquity. I was drawn to its inviting interior because of the energy it exudes. Originally intended for self-defense, tai chi is an ancient martial art of flowing meditation that has gained popularity as a means of attracting ‘chi’, the life force, into oneself and one’s surroundings. I have been practicing the form in the old lodge almost every morning after getting up early. Until today, that is…
- Judy Chaves (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 09/23/2023 (Publication Date) - The Vermont Historical Society (Publisher)
During the holding exercises yesterday morning, we had a very large yoga group of about eighty people on the summit with a spiritual leader interjecting prayers of nature. We posted pictures on Facebook that you may have seen. Later, the lake was hit by a powerful storm that brought strong winds and rain to the mountain. The tornado warnings on the weather radio were constant.
After a large storm, one awakes energized, as I did this morning. After the cold front moved over the Green Mountains and headed southward, it became cool. As per my morning routine, I went to the lodge and performed Sun Salutations to warm up, followed by my Tai Chi routine. Everything was fine. Grounded and ready for the day, I returned to the contact station.
Two moms and four young girls around the ages of 5-8 arrive as a group. The mothers appeared somewhat angry while the children seemed to have a guilty expression. It was evident that two girls were throwing large stones through the door window of the Lodge, and they wanted to make restitution. In fact, it was the Moms who wanted to teach them a life lesson.
A Ghost Seen Floating By the Window
One of the girls, a cute three feet tall blond with brown eyes, admitted that she was the one who initiated the stone throwing, which is the interesting part of this story. She informs me that a ghost was floating by the window. With his hands outstretched, he stood tall and bald.
She demonstrated the opening move of Tai Chi, explaining that it was not quite like the way she had stretched her arms out earlier. It made me think when I saw a six-year-old girl throwing stones at a ghost while mimicking an opening Tai Chi move. No way. She was correct when she demonstrated it to me. I ignored it and proceeded to assign community service to these young, albeit adorable, troublemakers (cleaning up sticks after the storm).
I gathered a hammer, scraper, towel, cob broom, and dust pan and went to the lodge to start removing the hazardous shards of glass. I looked for a quick fix to remedy the situation until we could get a replacement window. One of our staff members, Adam, accompanied me to provide assistance.
While I worked on the window frame, Adam began sweeping. To ensure that the floor is cleared of all glass for the upcoming Tai Chi class, I made the decision to purchase a shop vac. Adam was standing in the middle of the lodge, looking ashen and white, upon seeing the broom lying in the middle of the floor upon his return. I said ‘what’s up?’ to him as I looked at him.
A Broom Takes on a Life of it’s Own
He gazed at the broom and inquired about the likelihood of it balancing on its own for a minute. I said it wasn’t very good, then tried to stand up the broom by grabbing it. It fell. While sweeping, Adam experienced the broom stiffening up causing him to let it go, resulting in it standing upright and slightly off the floor. I recorded it on my phone.
I suggested recharging the phone at the contact station as the battery went from full to dead. Validating this story, which was not so believable, interested me greatly. He did so. Although I am uncertain if seeing is believing, watching the video at the beginning of this post will, at the very least, provide you with a reason to stop and ponder. It is freaky and gave me goose bumps, that’s all I can really say.
My bride, Kim, is currently in the process of planning a sleepover at a lodge. Although she says it will be fun, I am currently not of that opinion.