The Haunting of Cumberland Monastery – Cumberland, Rhode Island

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 8 December 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Introduction of Cumberland Monastery

The mysterious Cumberland Monastery is tucked away in the peaceful environs of Cumberland, Rhode Island. It appears to be a place where time has stood still. The very air in this sanctuary has the murmurs of millennia past, and the scenery becomes eerily shrouded in silence as one gets closer. The overgrown grounds and ancient stone structures of Cumberland Monastery exude a mysterious air that is difficult to explain. This is a location where history and the paranormal meet, and where the line separating the corporeal world from the spirit world is incredibly thin.

Cumberland Monastery Marker
Cumberland Monastery Marker – Credit Rhode Island

History of Cumberland Monastery

The history of Cumberland Monastery, currently a public library ,is shrouded in mystery. Motivated by an almost religious fervor, the original settlers built the monastery deep in the forest, away from prying eyes and busy cities. They built the first monastery, which seemed to have grown out of the surrounding woods, using simple tools and materials taken from the foreboding forests.

Over the years, Cumberland Monastery evolved into a center of spiritual darkness, attracting the devout and the curious alike. The monks and nuns who resided there established an ominous reputation, rumored to wield esoteric knowledge and engage in shadowy rites. Local legend tells of their role in founding not only schools and hospitals but also cryptic societies and enigmatic rituals.

Standing as a living mystery today, Cumberland Monastery preserves a shadowy past and a heritage that is both eerie and uplifting. Travelers from all over the world swarm to the mysterious refuge to examine the creepy, exquisitely kept building and its ominous gardens. It is listed as a historical and architectural landmark, but its identity is kept a secret by being on the National Register of Haunting Places, so its secrets will endure forever.

Historic Cumberland Monastery
Historic Cumberland Monastery – Credit cumberlandlibrary

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Spirits of Monks – Chilling Encounter

It is said that the Trappist Monks moved to Spencer, Massachusetts, after a severe fire destroyed most of Cumberland’s monastery. But not all of them left, so the local myth goes. The former center of the monastery, the public library, is supposed to be haunted by these monks’ ghostly presence.

Transitioning from the past to the present, some library employees have reported eerie experiences within these hallowed walls. They claim to have heard conversations when no living souls were present, and even witnessed apparitions of monks ascending the very stairs that once echoed with their earthly footsteps.

Marylou Boyer, one such employee, had a chilling tale to share. She revealed, “I have discovered peculiar occurrences here at the former Monastery. On one occasion, I found rocks mysteriously placed on the seat of my car, despite it being securely locked, and I had just returned from a solitary walk.”

The legend of Cumberland’s Monastery continues to intrigue and mystify those who visit the transformed library. Whether these tales of spectral monks are a product of imagination or a glimpse into a realm beyond our understanding, the library remains a place where the past and the present intertwine, inviting curious souls to ponder the mysteries that linger within its hallowed halls.

Haunting Surrounding – Nine Men’s Misery Monument

Beyond the library’s ghostly tales, the legend of Cumberland Monastery extends into the solemn grounds that surround it. These grounds are known for their easy wooded hiking trails, leading to eerie places like the Nine Men’s Misery monument, shrouded in a haunting history.

A mere few minutes’ walk along a well-cleared path will lead you to the Nine Men’s Misery monument, a grim landmark with a dark past. This monument stands as a chilling reminder of a tragedy that unfolded in 1676, when nine colonists met a gruesome end during Captain Pierce’s Fight, at the peak of King Philip’s War. Their ambushed bodies were discovered near what is now Central Falls, and they were subsequently laid to rest at this very spot.

In an effort to protect the final resting place of these ill-fated colonists from years of vandalism, a stone cairn was erected atop their buried remains. Yet, their restless spirits are said to persist in the woods that envelop the cairn. The anguish of their brutal demise has tethered them to the land, leaving a lingering presence that continues to haunt the areas surrounding Cumberland Monastery.

Cumberland Monastery’s eerie past goes far beyond its library and includes the eerie grounds that encircle the woods. The monument known as Nine Men’s Misery, which stands as a stark reminder of the past, is closely related to the ongoing paranormal activity that occurs near the Monastery. For those who dare to explore its haunting recesses, it’s a site where the whispers of the supernatural and the echoes of history collide, providing an unsettling encounter.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage of Cumberland Monastery

Famous for its strange atmosphere and historical significance, Cumberland Monastery has served as a focal point for a number of films and television shows exploring the paranormal. Interestingly, it was a major part of the compelling series “Enigmatic Echoes: Unveiling Monastic Mysteries,” in which a team of investigators investigated the ghost stories and paranormal experiences associated with the monastery.

In the world of literature, Cumberland Monastery has left an indelible mark in works such as “Haunted Rhode Island” by Thomas D’Agostino and “Haunted America: Rhode Island Ghosts & Legends” by Sherri Granato. These literary creations unearth the supernatural narratives surrounding the monastery, offering captivating accounts of its spectral history.

Due to its fascinating appearance in popular culture and the media, Cumberland Monastery is now a must-visit location for history aficionados and fans of the eerie. This historic site welcomes everyone looking for an immersive experience in its enthralling and ethereal environment. It exudes an aura of intrigue and the strange.


Cumberland Monastery, located in the center of Cumberland, Rhode Island, is a location where history, the otherworldly, and the ethereal have all weaved together to create an enduring riddle. Mysterious stories abound about its deserted gardens and lonely corridors, but nothing is known about the monastery’s past. Cumberland Monastery’s ethereal embrace beckons those seeking the paranormal, as the moonlight glistens on its ancient stones. Within its sacred grounds congregate the cold air of the unknown, the whispering of spirits, and the lingering presence of the past. When one leaves Cumberland Monastery, they are leaving a realm where time and reality are muddled together, hauntingly beautiful, and full of historical echoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is Cumberland Monastery located?

A: Cumberland Monastery is situated in Cumberland, Rhode Island, USA.

Q: What are some of the legends associated with Cumberland Monastery?

A: Cumberland Monastery boasts two prominent legends. The first is the haunting of the former Monastery, now a library, where the spirits of Trappist Monks are believed to roam. The second centers around the Nine Men’s Misery monument, marking a grim event from 1676, with tormented souls said to haunt the surrounding woods.

Q: Is the Monastery library really haunted?

A: According to local accounts, some library employees have reported eerie occurrences, including hearing ghostly conversations and witnessing apparitions of monks climbing the stairs. While skeptics may remain, these stories persist.

Q: Can visitors explore the Nine Men’s Misery monument?

A: Yes, visitors can explore the Nine Men’s Misery monument, which marks the site where nine colonists met a tragic end in 1676. It’s a place steeped in history and legend, offering a chilling experience for those intrigued by the paranormal.

Q: Are there guided tours available to learn more about the legends?

A: While there may not be official guided tours, many local enthusiasts and historical groups offer guided walks and talks, delving into the legends and history surrounding Cumberland Monastery.

Q: Is there any evidence to support the legends?

A: The legends surrounding Cumberland Monastery remain largely anecdotal, relying on personal experiences and local folklore. Concrete evidence is scarce, but the stories continue to captivate the imagination of those who visit.

Q: What else can visitors do in the Cumberland Monastery area?

A: In addition to exploring the Monastery and Nine Men’s Misery monument, visitors can enjoy the serene hiking trails, lush natural surroundings, and experience the rich historical ambiance of the area, making it a destination for both history buffs and nature enthusiasts.

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