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Newport Tower "The Stone Mill"

Creepy image of the Newport Tower

Standing as a testament to the mysterious history of Newport, the equally mysterious Stone Mill, or the Newport Tower, has fascinated people for centuries. The colonial port city was founded in 1639 and has attracted a mix of pirates, patriots, and politicians since. 


But this stone structure seemingly predates the city’s foundation. It is suggested that venturing Vikings coming down from Vinland (modern-day Newfoundland) built it. Perhaps others arrived here before Christopher Colombus made his documented discovery. 


It has served various purposes over the years, including a weapon’s ammunition during the British occupation of the city, but it seemingly has always been there. Natives spoke of red-haired visitors who built it. 


It served astrological purposes at one point, but for whom and why is unknown. Some even think it holds a treasure hidden by the Knights Templar.


In either scenario, late at night, phantom screams can be heard emanating from the Newport Tower. It makes passersby wonder if something sinister took place here.


The secrets of the Newport Tower come alive on the #1-rated ghost tour in Newport. Book your adventure today! 


The Mysterious Stone Mill


One of Newport’s greatest mysteries sits solemnly and silently in the center of Touro Park. It is one among many in one of America’s oldest cities, and its origins have fascinated those living and visiting “America’s First Resort” for centuries. 


The origins of the mysterious Stone Mill, or Newport Tower, have evaded local historians for decades. It was built so long ago that its creators have seemingly been lost to time. The tower was first documented by William Wood when English settlers first came to the area in 1630, nine years before the founding of Newport. It has remained an enigma since. 


The Vikings of Vinland


One of the most popular theories revolves around 11th-century Vikings. This is still held in high regard today despite carbon dating testing. Viking explorers attest to reaching the new world in the “Saga of the Greenlanders” and “Erik The Red’s Saga,” two written reports of Viking exploration. 


Viking explorers Bjarni Herjólfsson and Leif Eriksson lay claim to reaching the new world in modern-day Newfoundland. They called this place “Vinland,” a region full of vast resources and wild grapes. 


Their expeditions were cut short by attacks from the Native population, but their influence on the area was long-lasting. This theory was brought to the public in the 1870s by the American Institute of Architects and has remained popular today.


Mystical Origins


There are other theories that the tower was built by adventurers from even more exotic lands. Speculation has led many to believe the Chinese or Portuguese constructed it on their global journeys. No evidence has linked this tower to either civilization, but it is a fascinating notion to consider. 


The most outlandish claim is that the Knights Templaer came to North America during the Crusades and constructed the mysterious tower. While another fun notion, there is even less proof to support this claim than the prior. 


Four out of the eight pillars of the mysterious stone mill line up in correlation with the points of a compass. This has sparked further theories that the tower was built for astrological purposes. The small windows of the tower align with various stars and solstices, furthering the belief of its astrological foundation. 


The Stone Mill of Benedict Arnold


As fascinating as they may be, these theories are still simply that. There is enough evidence to neither prove or validate them past folklore or speculation. The truth directly correlates to the country’s foundation, although more mundane.


Newport Tower sits directly in the center of Touro Park, a 2.25-acre park funded by 19th-century Jewish businessman and philanthropist Judah Touro. The park flaunts various 18th and 19th-century homes and statues honoring early American heroes. 


The land once belonged to Benedict Arnold, the first colonial Governor of Rhode Island and the great-grandfather of the notorious traitor. He likely built the mill to grind colonial corn and other produce. Carbon dating traced its materials back to the 17th century, further proving the tower’s American origins. 


While this may wash away any fanaticism surrounding the tower, it does not erase its aura of mysticism. Newport locals through the decades have reported strange screams coming from the Stone Mill late at night. When they approach the tower, the screams stop, and no source can be found. The spirit behind these screams remains a mystery to this day. 


Haunted Newport


Newport is home to many strange anomalies. The oldest tavern in America operates here, and mass executions once took place in the quiet port city. Pirates once called Newport home, and religions of all types were and still are accepted. It is a city full of paradoxes, mystery, and a deep history. 


Discover the secrets of the mysterious Stone Mill and much more on your next visit! Go on a tour with US Ghost Adventures, and our experienced tour guides will teach you all you need to know about Newport, Rhode Island! 


In the meantime, check out our blog for more spooky content, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for constant updates!



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