The Ocean Born Mary House Hoax
Written by Historic Tours
HISTORIC HOUSE TOURS
Is this a frame from the Blaie Witch movie? No, it is a photo inside the famous Ocean Born Mary House in Henniker, NH. But that is not Mary, and this is not even the real house. This popular legend, based on a true story, is less than meets the eye.
READ ALSO: The Truth About Ocean Born Mary
This was the Henniker, NH home of Roger Wallace, one of Ocean Born Mary's three sons. The historical Mary Wallace , however, moved in with son William when she was 71 and William lived a mile away. This house was purchased by Louis Roy of Wisconsin in 1917, and soonafter, he began promoting it as the Ocean Born Mary House, and did so until his death in 1965. Although it was never Mary's home, Roy claimed it contained buried treasure, Mary's furniture and possibly even her body and her ghost
Mary actually lived here in son William's house from age 71 to age 94 when she died and was buried in the local cemetery. This house, however, did not survive.
Louis Roy's mother often re-enacted the role of an elderly Ocean Born Mary for tourists who called at the house in Henniker. Roy charged an admission and pointed out artifacts and told stories that were part of his elaborate hoax. Visitors, it is said, could even rent shovels to dig for buried treasure in his back yard.
Mrs. Flora Roy in her Revolutionary Era garb makes candles in her Henniker home as photographed by her son. These images helped promote the hoax that Ocean Born Mary (born 1720) had lived in the colonial era house.
L.M.A. Roy, the photographer , legend-maker, and owner of the (Not) Ocean Born Mary House in Henniker. The top images on this page were taken by Louis "Gus" Roy and appeared in a display of his work at the Henniker Historical Society. .
CREDITS: All photos courtesy of the Henniker Historical Society . These images appear in a booklet available at the society. Visit them online for information on tours and research materials.
Page first posted online copyright ©2001 SeacoastNH.com
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