DANIEL WELCH, who was crazy by spells, started about 1825 to go from Mr. Daniel Ramsey’s by Silver Rill, to Joseph French’s east of Knight Hill, where Stephen Noyes once lived. He never reached the place and was never seen again.
The old story runs that straying away through the woods far up the side of Mooshillock, he perished in the great gorge, south of the lower mountain peak, and that his spirit still crazed wanders there yet. Old hunters who took their last journeys in the forest about this time used to tell how no one ever stopped in that gorge at night without experiencing a haunted and weird like feeling, and some said they had heard the lost man just at nightfall calling for help from the shadowy gorge, and had seen his white ghost gliding noiselessly through the stunted spruces and dark fires.
This description was written in 1870 in the town history of Warren, New Hampshire. Today the area where Daniel Welch disappeared is a haven for hikers and campers. Perhaps one day, an unsuspecting tourist will stumble over the rotted bones of Mr. Welch, where he died of exposure or heart ailment.
The amazing view from the top of “Mooshillock,” today called Mt. Moosilaukee, is unsurpassed. A hike to the top is considered one of the best local adventures. Moosilauke was so-called by the Indians from Moosi, bald, and Auke, a place–Bald-place. On the early maps it was written Mooshelauke, then Mooshelock, then Moosehillock. Many persons mistakenly suppose it was so called from the large number of moose once found on the mountain.
Apparently someone is still relating unusual happenings in this area. Linda at “Appalachian Journals,” says: “Got some good information and heard some local ghost stories about Doc Benton, the black-capped terror of Moosilauke Mountain. Apparently some strange things have happened up there in the past 200 years.”
But back to Daniel Welch. Apparently Daniel may have been getting himself lost as early as 1821 when the town paid Nathaniel Clough to advertise (probably in a local newspaper to find him) and again that year to Joseph Kimball “for going after him.” Don’t jump to conclusions. Of course Daniel’s mental issues may have been the result of mental illness or even what we’d now call Alzheimer’s disease. Just remember that in colonial New Hampshire there was one good reason that folks acted strange, and many of them were labeled insane–lead poisoning. It is always possible that poor Daniel had been overexposed through various common practices in his day.
According to a 2005 Gallup poll, more than a third of Americans believe that locations can be haunted, and about 32 percent believe specifically in ghosts.