Celebrate Halloween by investigating Boston’s supernatural past (and present!).
Boston’s history goes way back to the revolutionary days of the birth of our country. But with history comes mystery and strange happenings and so our beautiful city is said to be plagued with ghouls and ghosts of times past. Some evidently spooky, others not so much, these are but ten of the most haunted spots in Boston–a city which is said to be rife with paranormal activity. Check these out to get in the mood for this spooky holiday, if you dare!
1. Hooper-Lee-Nichols House
An everlasting card game has been going on at this Cambridge mansion ever since the Revolution! Five Hessian soldiers from the Revolution-era are said to have been awoken during renovations at the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House in 1915 and have been playing a never-ending card game ever since. Several visitors say they’ve often heard the sounds of the card game and the soldiers disembodied voices, some have even seen the walk back and forth to the card table!
2. George Parkman House
In 1849, Dr. George Parkman rose to fame after he was murdered and dismembered in Harvard’s Holden Chapel, the university’s cadaver room He is said to still haunt his home on 8 Walnut Street, which also serves as the official home of the mayor of Boston. Yikes!
3. Kilachand Hall
A specter haunts the fourth floor of this Boston University dorm room. Built in 1921, Kilachand Hall (formerly Shelton Hall) was once a luxury residence for Boston’s elite including Eugene O’Neill, the famous American playwright. O’Neill died unexpectedly in 1953 in what now is room 401. Many students have said to have experienced many ghostly happenings during their time on this Kilachand floor, including flickering lights, mysterious knocks and doors opening and closing unexpectedly. The dorm’s top floor study room has some killer views of the skyline though!
4. Omni Parker House Hotel
The hotel’s history dates back to the 1800s and since then many of its guests have reported incidents of lights flickering, hearing voices in empty rooms, and ghost sightings of people dressed in the finest 19th-century attire! Some of its most haunting stories include that of the elevator which often stops on the third floor without anybody calling it and the spirit of Harvey Parker, the hotel’s former owner, roaming the 10th floor. He can be often seen breaking into guest rooms, roaming the hallways and can also be heard rocking back and forth on his chair although the hotel has no rocking chairs!
5. Fort Warren
Built in the 1840s on George Island, Fort Warren served as a prison for Confederate soldiers and disloyal citizens during the Civil War. The harbor island is known for its harsh conditions and Union Soldiers often reported seeing shadows and experiencing strange sensations of being watched while they patrolled the beaches. Its most famous spirit however is that of the Lady in Black, Mrs. Melanie Lanier. Legend has it that in 1862, Lanier traveled all the way to Fort Warren from South Carolina to help free her husband who was imprisoned there. She managed to break in and reunite with him but on their way out they got discovered by a guard. She fired at the guard but the archaic pistol backfired, killing her husband instead. She was later hung on George Island as a traitor wearing the same black robes she is often seen with today.
6. Cutler Majestic Theatre
Emerson College’s Cutler Majestic Theatre was built in the early 1900s and is plagued with paranormal activity. There’s the mayor of Boston who is still sat on his theatre seat (although nobody knows exactly which mayor it is) where he’s said to have passed away during a performance, the young couple can be often seen watching performances from the balcony, and a little girl who often roams the halls. Visitors often leave little gifts for the girl and these tend to vanish right away from where they were left.
7. Granary Park Burying Grounds
Granary Park is the third oldest burying point in the city and is the final resting place of many historical figures including three signers of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Robert Treat Paine as well as Paul Revere and the Boston Massacre victims. The latter’s spirit can be often seen roaming around the grounds, sometimes even on his famous horse!
But Rever isn’t the only spirit at large in Granary park. Visitors often report feeling very uncomfortable and that there is someone (or something) behind them and there have also been shadow figures, light anomalies and unexplained faces appearing in photographs!
8. The Pilot House
This property was built back in 1839 to house pilots and captains staying overnight in Boston but it has no shortage of wandering lost souls. Some have reported seeing a lady dressed in white roaming around the kitchen, while others say to have heard a man laughing somewhere in the building. Other paranormal events include clinking glasses, disembodied laughter and doors slamming shut on their own.
9. Charlesgate Hotel
Built by J. Pickering Putnam in 1891, this luxury condo was once the Charlesgate, one of Boston’s finest hotels. A man who committed suicide here in 1908 is believed to be responsible for the major bad vibes all visitors get upon entering the building. Back when it served as a dorm for BU and Emerson students, many reported being harassed by an angry and mean spirit!
10. Salem, MA
What better way is there to get into the spirit than by exploring the most haunted town of them all? Located just 17 miles north of Boston, the small, quaint town of Salem a place known for its ghosts, mysterious energy and, of course, its famous witch trials. First established in 1626, Salem began as a simple religious town but hysteria and fear soon took over when hundreds of local people were accused and subsequently condemned for witchcraft. The town has done its fair share of repentance for the harrowing trials, but Salem has since been known as a town rife with magic, witches and the supernatural!
This Federal-era building is known for its high paranormal activity and has been featured twice on TV, on Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters and the Discovery Channel. Built around 1737, the New Boston Inn has been welcoming guests for more than 200 years and has gone through some serious history involving revolutionary soldiers, railway traveling and one unfortunate murder.
In the early 1800s, young heiress Harriet fell in love with a local farmer’s boy, but as it turns out, their summer fling would be an ill-fated one. The young couple was very much in love but her parents refused to bless their union, citing his lack of fortune as the reason. A broken-hearted Harriet and her family returned to New York and her lover enlisted in the war. The next summer Harriet and her family came back to celebrate her marriage to a rich, handsome man from New York. Her lover soon found out of the event and ran to the inn to stop it, only to find out he was too late. In a jealous fit, he took out his pistol and shot Harriet who later died in Room 4 of the inn, which you can still stay at if you so wished.
Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty wacks (and her father 41) in this Fall River home, or so the nursery rhyme says — Lizzie was actually found not guilty for the double murder, she had too much of an angelic face to commit such a heinous crime according to the jury…
Like Lizzie’s parents who had a rather short stay at the house, you can also stay the night at this eerie historic home said to be teeming with haunted beings! The place remains just as it was after the tragic events of 1892–They’ve cleaned up the bloodstains though, don’t worry.
[Featured image: @omniparkerhouse, Instagram]