Two days after it hit the online auction block, via Auction.com, with a baseline bid price of $800,000, the ‘haunted’ historic Village of Johnsonville, located in East Haddam, Conn., has sold for $1.9 million to an as-of-yet unidentified bidder, the Middletown Press reports.
Once a booming mill town in the 1830s and home to the Neptune Twine Company, which made binding rope for the nation's fishing industry, Johnsonville had been abandoned for decades until an eccentric millionaire named Ray Schmitt purchased the town in the 1960s and began restoring it to its former grandeur, Auction.com says in a press release.
Unfortunately, Schmitt died before realizing his dream of transforming the town into a Victorian tourist attraction and it has been sitting vacant ever since.
Situated on approximately 62 acres of land, the property comes complete with eight 19th century structures, a picturesque pond, a covered bridge, wooden dam, waterfall â�¦ and the possibility of a restless spirit or two.
There are rumors of hauntings: Some believe that Schmitt's ghost remained behind to guard the town he dreamt of one day bringing back from the dead. Others believe the stately Johnson House on the site is haunted by the spirits of 1890s mill workers whose bodies were customarily laid out in the parlor before their burial.
The fact that the property went up for Auction just weeks before Halloween likely only stimulated interest.
‘While there are certainly a wide variety of properties available for sale on our platform, it isn't every day that an entire town goes up for sale – much less one of historical significance,’ says Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Auction.com, in the release. ‘The whole 'haunted or not' discussion kind of takes things to another level altogether, especially at this time of year.’
At the time, Sharga assured potential buyers ‘that there will be no extra charges for any ghosts who may be attached to the property.’
According to the Middletown Press, six registered bidders competed for the property during a commercial property auction that ended at about 1:20 p.m. on Thursday. Bidding opened at $800,000 and jumped from $1.2 million to the top bid during the last half hour of the auction, the paper reports.
Realty company RM Bradley assisted in the sale of the historic village. No word yet on who bought or what they plan to do with it. The property is reportedly in a commercial zone.