The ghost haunting Town Hall now has a name. Ed Beaulieu, of the Paranormal Institute of New England, which looked into the apparition reportedly spooking people at Town Hall, said the ghost is Solomon K. Eaton.
Eaton is an original architect of the building who died before the building was completed in 1873.
Beaulieu told selectmen an employee recently saw the ghost when he entered the building late at night after hearing footsteps descending the spiral, mahogany staircase from the second-floor ballroom.
The employee reported seeing an elderly man who then disappeared.
Beaulieu asked the employee if he could identify the man from a photograph.
“It was sort of a lineup,” Beaulieu said.
The employee identified Eaton and Horatio Barrows, who had similar features, as closely resembling the ghost.
Beaulieu said he had suspected it was one of the two men as they are the architects who designed the building.
So he included their images in the photo array, along with four other individuals from the same era the building was built.
Beaulieu believes it is Eaton due to his background.
Eaton died before the Town Hall was completed, and Barrows, who was hired to replace him, is credited as the building’s architect.
Beaulieu said Eaton might be unhappy because his original design plans were changed and he was never given credit for his work.
“Who knows? It could be a lot of things,” he said.
Two years ago, selectmen granted Beaulieu permission to investigate the reports of paranormal sightings. In March 2008, Beaulieu reported there was evidence of paranormal activity.
When first built, the Town Hall was a community center with a post office, jail cells and town offices.
The second-floor grand ballroom was used for community events, traveling minstrel shows and town meeting.
Today, except for theater performances by the Nemasket River Productions, the ballroom is largely unused since renovations more than a decade ago.
A double staircase leads to the ornate ballroom, which is lit by chandeliers and decorated with elaborate woodwork.
Town Hall employees say they have witnessed spooky activity late at night there.
The haunting seems to originate from the balcony of the ballroom, where Beaulieu said he picked up sounds and orbs using special equipment in an earlier probe.