Warlock of Westborough – Part I

By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer

The cottage on Bowman Street once owned by Ted Rabouin, the Warlock of Westborough. (Photo/courtesy of Tony Paravano)

Westborough – Although the Warlock of Westborough, Ted Rabouin, passed away in 2004, he remains a rich part of the town's history. His home, a black cottage painted with flowers and mushrooms, which sat nestled in a wooded area on Bowman Street across from the reservoir has since been leveled and a new home has taken its place, but the stories of what went on there will be etched in the minds of many forever.

Ted grew up in Worcester with his parents and his siblings: brother, Kenny, and his sisters, Charlotte, Shirley and Polly. Unfortunately, his parents both passed away when he was just eighteen, forcing him to drop out of school to take care of his siblings. Because the responsibility of raising his family fell on Ted, he had no choice but to get a job and put his own life on hold.

When Ted was very young he was extremely religious. He even set up a Catholic altar on the dresser in his bedroom. He idolized Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and wanted to become a Catholic priest himself. But because he was homosexual, he was denied membership to the church. According to his sister Charlotte, Ted was crushed by this and turned to the Church of Wicca to practice his beliefs.

In about 1974, Ted moved to Westborough, to the little cottage on Bowman Street. An animal lover, he filled his home with many pets – his “familiars.” At one point he had more than twenty cats and two Chihuahuas. In the cottage there were cabinets full of pewter and antiques, which had been in the family for generations. Ted was creative, once painting his house to look like gingerbread. He would also paint his windows.

Tony Paravano is Ted's nephew and Charlotte's son.

“I remember looking up to see what looked to be antique-looking lace curtains on the windows, but when I got up close I could see that they were just painted on,” Tony said. “It was pretty neat.”

Paravano recalled visiting Ted every weekend when he was a child.

“My sister, Mother and I would take a ride out to Westborough to visit him and to see the animals. We loved to go over his house and play around in the woods and down by the reservoir. It was also fun to play with the cats and kittens. Ted was always my favorite uncle. Every time my sister and I would visit his house we would go home mystified.”

Paravano described his uncle as “caring, kindhearted, generous, talented and creative.” Ted was also known to have a very active and vivid imagination. He would go to great lengths to amuse his nieces and nephews. On weekend visits, Ted would take the kids into the woods across from his house to “search for the fairies of the woods.” He would tell them that if they were lucky and looked in just the right places – under fallen tree stumps or inside brush piles – they just might be able to see where the fairies lived. After running through the woods and looking under upturned stumps and beneath piles of branches, the children would look in just the right spot and discover amazing surprises.

“One time we looked under a stump and what we saw was unbelievable,” Paravano said. “There was an elaborate setup, just as if something small was living there. A tiny coffee table, little chairs and a sofa, and all sorts of other little things were all set up to look like fairies were living there. To a kid, seeing something like that was amazing. I will never forget the memory. Ted would do all of this just to get us kids to smile.”

While Ted's nieces and nephews were delighted by their eccentric uncle, many of the neighborhood children were less enchanted. David Breshnahan, in an article written in 1999 for WorldNetDaily.com, wrote about his experience growing up as a child in Westborough in the late 70's: “My friends and I used to hold our breath as we rode our bikes past the witch's house to our favorite fishing spot. We were genuinely scared to death. My friends grew older and braver. As teens they would visit the witch on a Saturday night. He entertained the local kids with seances, tarot card readings and stories.”

Despite the apprehension of neighborhood parents, the children who visited Ted's home were entertained by his colorful, intricate stories. He loved kids, and the kids who knew him, loved him as well. According to Paravano, Ted had a dizzying wit and his stories were mesmerizing.

“You could be in the room talking to him,” Paravano said, “and he could convince you that you weren's in the room talking to him.”

Ted was a colorful character who was not only entertaining but became famous as a high priest of the Church of Wicca. He became known as the Warlock of Westborough. The story of his rise to fame and subsequent fall, rival any story he told in his little cottage by the woods.

Did you know Ted Rabouin or of him? Share your stories about this very interesting man with our readers! Part 2 of this story will be published at a future date.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=23345

Posted by on Jun 18 2012. Filed under Byline Stories, People and Places, Westborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

5 Comments for “Warlock of Westborough – Part I”

  1. Chris MacKenzie

    Really enjoyed this article….having lived here since 1958, it was fun to go back to the “Teddy” Rabouin days…I believe he worked with my mother-in-law at the Westborough State Hospital Sharpe building…..I remember running into him occasionally at the supermarket……..I remember the scarry tales of a big snake up there etc….all I know is that he seemed very nice to me….can’t wait for the 2nd part to this story…..

  2. I grew up in Southborough but my mother worked as a teller at a Westborough bank and she used to come home with stories about the Warlock of Westborough. Can’t wait for part 2 either!!

  3. I knew Ted for years. He was quite a story teller. He liked to have a cocktail when telling stories. He loved his cats. Loved to work in his yard. He had a friend that would visit and sit on his porch with him. I would say hello, and have a soda every once in a while, on my way fishing.(I was younger). In his later years he tried to become a priest again. He was denied. I also dated a witch ( blind date) once. It was very interesting. I learned a lot about the witch craft religion. (no they do not try to change you into a frog. I think. Holy cow I just looked in the mirror). He was ours.

  4. Thanks for publishing this and the second one. I lived in Framingham in the mid-70s and remember hearing about Ted. Met him a few times when friends dragged me in for a reading. He was a fascinating man. Sorry to hear of his troubles and death.

  5. As a child in the 80’s on rev Thomas hooker rd, I had the fondest memories of the ex-warlock’s house, and Ted. The story my mother told us kids so the man is pretty spot onto the truth. He was a Satan worshiper in the past who found his way away from Satan, and channeled his energy into his eccentricities, his art, animals and home.
    He had the most amazing sculpures of what we thought of as “garbage” or “junk” but he transformed old garbage cNs and umbrella holders into magical light posts and tables and a wonderland of creativity. Before people had animal silhouette cut outs on their lawn bought from Home Depot, he had cat silhouettes on his roof. On a house that did look like a gingerbread house. He did have intricate lace curtains painted on it, and tin ceiling panels glowing with shine. So many antiques, so much history and care.
    My favorite story was that a tornado came through the reservoir and he stopped it at his door. Across the way from his house there is an absence of trees in a wide line leading up to the road. If you look out from the stonewall in front of his house ( which I often stopped to pet the cats on my way to exploring the res) the road slopes to the left down a hill to meet the reservoir, but there was a out a 6 ft or so drop from the road to the woods below. All tall trees in the woods, at least 40 footers, and just a line of them missing directly in front his house. Maybe satan was the tornado and he stopped him, I often thought of as a child. That his inherent goodness stopped the darkness that came for him. Because I always thought he was good. I was never frightened. In fact, my sister and I while driving in a snowstorm fish tailed before his house and the car did a 180, and was stopped by a snowbank from falling off the road into the woods those 6 feet, and I always thought the warlock had had a part in saving us somehow.

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