Freaky Philo: A Real Vermont Ghost Story

By John Frigault

In honor of Halloween, we asked Mt. Philo Ranger John Frigault to share any park ghost stories. He sent us the following story: 

Mount Philo is Vermont’s first State Park generously donated back in 1924. The Civilian Conservation Corp constructed the Lodge and Rangers quarters back in 1935-1936 atop of the summit where we currently reside as park rangers for the summer. I have been fortunate enough to be able to utilize the old lodge in the mornings for my budding Tai Chi practice. It has always been a very powerful spot on top of the mountain overlooking the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain. The Lodge itself has been a coveted spot for weddings, life ceremonies and special events throughout the decades. It has a sense of antiquity with its massive stone fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and rustic interior that people are drawn to. It is this energy that attracted me to its welcoming interior. Tai chi is an ancient martial art of flowing meditation originally intended for self defense but now has gained popularity as a way to attract “chi”, the life force, into you and your surroundings. Almost every morning I have been getting up early and practicing the form in the old lodge. That is until today……

Yesterday morning we had a very large yoga group on the summit of about eighty people with a spiritual leader interjecting prayers of nature during the holding exercises. You may have seen the pictures on facebook we posted. Afterward, a high energy storm rolled in over the lake and swept the mountain with strong winds and rain. The weather radio was constant with tornado warnings.

This morning I awoke energized as one does after a large storm. It was cool after the cold front moved over the Green Mountains moving southward. I went to the lodge as my morning routine dictated and did Sun Salutations to warm up and then my Tai Chi routine. All was well. I went back to the contact station grounded and ready for the day. A group shows up with two moms and four young girls around the ages of 5-8. The mothers looked somewhat pissed off and the kids had a “I did something wrong” look to them. Evidently, two of the girls were firing large stones through the door window at the Lodge and wanted to make restitution (actually the Moms wanted to teach them a life lesson). The interesting part of this story is one of the girls, a very cute brown eyed blond about three feet tall, admitted she was the initiator of the stone throwing. She tells me “there was a ghost floating in the window. He was tall, bald, and had his hands outstretched.” She stretched her arms out and says “not really like this but more like this.” And she continues to show me an opening Tai Chi move. This kind of made me think……A six year old girl throwing stones at a ghost mimicking an opening Tai Chi move. No way. But she had it right when she showed me. I dismissed it and went about doling out community service to these little, albeit cute, delinquents (picking up sticks after the storm).

After gathering a hammer, scraper, towel, cob broom, and dust pan, I went to the lodge to start removing the hazard shards of glass and find a quick fix to remedy the situation until we could get a replacement window. Adam, one of our staff members came with me to help out. Adam started sweeping as I worked on the window frame. I decided  to get a shop vac to make sure all the glass would be removed from the floor for the upcoming Tai Chi class. Upon returning, Adam was standing in the middle of the lodge all ashen and white looking at the broom lying in the middle of the floor. I looked at him and said “what’s up?” He just stared at the broom and said “what are the chances of the broom balancing by itself for a minute or so?” I said not very good, grabbed the broom and tried standing it up. It fell. Adam said “I was sweeping when the broom stiffened up and I let it go……and it just stood upright and slightly off the floor…. I took a phone video of it”. “My phone battery was full, now my phone battery is dead.” O.K., I said, “go recharge your phone in the contact station”. I was very interested in validating this not so believable story. So he did. Now, I am not sure if seeing is believing but view the video at the top of this post and it will at the very least give you reason to pause and think. All I can really say is it gave me goose bumps and it is "freaky".  Kim, my bride, is in the planning stages of a lodge sleep over.  She says “it will be fun." I am currently not of that opinion.


  1. I saw the broom standing like that when I looked through the window maybe a month or two ago!

  2. I saw the broom too! Standing on its bristles when I looked through the window about a month or two ago!


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