John Alford Tyng does not rest in peace. He’s pursued by the ghost of Judith Thompson. Tyng secretly married and murdered her, and then buried her in an unmarked grave.
This true ghost story is one of several connected with the Tyng Mansion. Today the house is gone, but the site is marked with a sign (at right) and evidence of a foundation and front stairs.
Nearby, in the Tyng family cemetery, John Alford Tyng’s grave may be proof that he died a cursed man.
John Alford Tyng was a ne’er do well, even by Tyng standards. The Tyngs had always been a wealthy, self-indulgent family. Generally, their interests also served the community, but John Alford Tyng was clearly the black sheep of the family.
John Alford Tyng
Edward Tyng was born in was born in Dunstable, England, in 1610 and came to the American colonies in 1639.
He purchased 3000 acres in Massachusetts, and named the area “Dunstable” after his birthplace.
(Many years later Dunstable was divided into three towns: Dunstable and Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, and Nashua, New Hampshire.)
Edward’s grandson, Eleazar Tyng, was a colonel in the Colonial militia. Eleazar married Sarah Alford, and John Alford Tyng was among their five children.
(Source: A history of the Town of Dunstable, MA, by Rev. Elias Nasson, ©1877, p. 142)
Describing one church district, a town history says,”All the Second Parish on the great road from Mr. Ezra Thompson’s to Hollis up to Salmon Brook, living on, and to north of said road.” So, the Thompsons probably lived on the Great Road in Dunstable.
Judith was known as one of the most beautiful women in New England. She sometimes worked at the Tyng Mansion, helping with their large parties, and soon caught the eye of John Alford Tyng.
Tyng made advances towards Judith Thompson, but–being raised in a religious family–she insisted on marriage. Tyng felt that he couldn’t marry a servant, and he was already engaged to an heiress in Boston anyway.
Tyng solved the problem with a pretend marriage.
“Dr. Blood” (no relation to the Blood family) was an itinerant physician in northern Colonial New England. He was also a drunkard, a thief and a con artist.
Dr. Blood treated his patients, knocked them unconscious, and robbed them. Then, he left them by the side of the road. When they woke up, he was gone and so was their money.
Tyng hired Dr. Blood to pretend to be a minister and marry the couple. Then, John Alford Tyng moved Judith into his new home in Dunstable (now Nashua, NH) a few miles from Tyng Mansion.
Judith soon gave birth to a child, and then another, and finally a third child was on the way.
Some say that John Alford Tyng had squandered his money and felt overburdened by his young family. Others suggest that Tyng was insanely jealous of others’ attentions to Judith, who grew more beautiful each year.
Tyng hired his old friend Dr. Blood to kill Judith and the children. Tyng waited in another room while the deed was done, and then buried his family under the hearth. That’s when Tyng’s problems really began.
Next: Judith Thompson returned from the grave to claim the lives of both Dr. Blood and her murdering husband, in our article, Judith Thompson – a vengeful ghost.