Ancestral Anecdotes--James Allyn, Sr./Elizabeth Lewis Blachford





The Mystery at Allyn's House and Liza Tower Hill--Page 1

Cape Cod folklore, tradition, and oral history have preserved stories about a witch called Liza Tower Hill.  Many mishaps and disasters--large and small--were blamed on Liza and curses she supposedly issued, being in league with the Devil.

People who were considered 'different' in some way were social outcasts in Liza's day--unfortunately this is sometimes still true, even in our 'enlightened age.' Liza's father chose to live independently, on the outskirts of town, near a place called Crooked Pond, and his children were brought up "wild"--robust, hardy, independent, and self-reliant.

Perhaps it was merely natural good health that spared the little girl from many of the common childhood frailties of the time. Perhaps the townsfolk were a bit jealous of her natural beauty. Perhaps her wisdom in the ways of nature, the earth, and animals seemed to have a supernatural origin, or maybe they couldn't understand how an uneducated girl could have such intelligence and quick wit.  In any case, tongues began to wag, and whispers of impropriety, strangeness, and even a Satanic connection began to spread throughout Barnstable.

It is known that she was a church member at the East Parish in Barnstable for all of her adult life. There doesn't appear to be anything 'official' to substantiate the witch lore concerning Liza, but it is written in folklore that people at meeting refused to greet her.  They muttered God-knows-what about her behind their hands as she came in. The folk tales all say that she held her head up high and did not let them know how much this bothered her. [Allyn--Page 2]