Mark Twain House, Hartford, CT: Books and Ghosts


Mark Twain: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain (Bantam Classics)A great place to visit is the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut. I admit it, I’ve been lost in Hartford, CT and felt pretty uncomfortable about it. Once I was on the circular highway trying to exit, my GPS repeatedly told me “you have arrived,” when obviously, I hadn’t.

Fortunately now, there are many more helpful signs up on the highway. My last trip to the Mark Twain House on Farmington Avenue was easy breezy. I enjoy going there to give writing workshops, be part of the writer’s weekends, bask in Mark Twain’s writing, and because the house is haunted.

The Mark Twain House & Museum regularly presents Graveyard Shift Ghost Tours, after-dark of course, which includes parts of the house (below ground) that are off-limits to people above ground. It’s all very Victorian and in Steve Courtney’s book, We Shall Have Them With Us Always: The Ghosts of the Mark Twain House (available from the museum’s gift shop).

Parts of the information in this post came from an article originally printed in CT Magazine ( I never realized, before reading that article, that he was fascinated by ghost stories and often used them in his lectures.  I love visiting his office where he wrote The Adventures of Tom SawyerHuckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, or stay after dark to visit with a few ghosts from the past. There have been multiple reports of smelling cigar smoke in his office when no one’s there and spotting a woman in the halls.  Visit by day to read and learn and after dark to encounter ghosts of the past.

Samuel Clemens: “I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”  Mark Twain: Five Novels