Fairhaven’s ghostly music legend may have some hints of truth

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Never let the truth get in the way of a good ghost story or urban legend, as this tale from Fairhaven proves.

One of SouthCoast’s most enduring legends is the story of the ghostly old woman who will change your radio number when you cross a certain point on Main Street in Fairhaven.

The interesting thing about this legend, however, is that there seems to be at least some truth to it.

According to the story, the elderly woman resided at Nichols House, a retirement home on Main Street which still stands today, although it is now known as The Royal at Fairhaven. She loved to sit in the living room of the nursing home each afternoon and listen to the radio on her favorite classical music station.

However, there was supposedly a nurse at the nursing home who didn’t get along with the woman, and every time she sat down to listen to his music, he changed the dial to his favorite rock station, just to annoy him.

Well, one day, she had had enough. She got up from her chair and ran through the front door of the care home and out into the street – where she was struck and killed by a passing car.

According to legend, if you drive past the Royal with your car radio tuned to the nurse’s rock station, 102.9 FM, the signal will cut out completely and be replaced by loud, booming classical music as you pass the retirement home. She’s the ghost of the woman, manipulating your radio from the Other Side, making sure no one ever replaces her classical music with rock and roll again.

Now there doesn’t appear to be any record of an elderly woman being beaten and killed outside the nursing home, at least nothing that has been reported. More likely than not, the story was made up. Maybe it’s a true story that just happened elsewhere and has been attributed to Fairhaven – because there’s some truth to the legend of the rock and classical music station cutoff that replaces it, at least until 2009.

Dial tuning 102.9 FM is Cape Cod rock station WPXC, and for 55 years, classic Boston station WCRB has broadcast on the 102.5 frequency. For some reason this little stretch of Main Street in Fairhaven was where these signals intermingled and one intermixed. It’s no coincidence that the stories of the old woman changing your car stereo to classical music seemed to end just when WCRB turned the dial down in 2009.

Now, 102.5 is a Boston country music station, and you’ll still occasionally get crossover signals between that station and the Cape Rock station – but no one is blaming that on a ghostly old woman.

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