Top 10 Most Haunted Locations in Massachusetts!
The history behind the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is filled with everything from the formation of our country to some truly disturbing events, such as the Salem Witch Trials. Starting in 1788 it has been 230 years since Massachusetts has been a state. The number of bizarre and unexplained events still continues to grow. Below is a list of the top 10 most haunted locations in all of Massachusetts!
10. The Lizzie Borden Home - Fall River, MA
The story of Lizzie Borden and her famous axe has been the subject of countless books, documentaries, movies and tv shows. The brutal murder of Lizzie’s father and stepmother has even given birth to a rather unsettling rhyme.
“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks! When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41!”
You can actually stay in this house as it is now operating as a bed and breakfast. Just be warned you may encounter a women crying to herself, ghostly shoes walking the floors and even a ghostly elderly woman who is kind enough to tuck you in for the night.
230 2nd St. Fall River, MA 02721 508-675-7333
9. Emerson College’s Cutler Majestic Theater - Boston, MA
Apparently there are three different spirits that have been seen wandering the Cutler Majestic Theater located in Boston’s theater district. Including a married couple who stroll together throughout the property. A little girl who has a pension for taking whats not hers. And even a former mayor who passed away during a show in the theater.
219 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
8. The S.K Pierce Mansion - Gardner, MA
Guests have experienced everything from voices, chanting, full body apparitions, moving furniture, screens flying off windows, slamming doors, the sounds of footsteps on the stairs and halls, sudden temperature changes, foul odors, shadow people, and an ominous lions roar which can shake the house, which many believe is the former Mr. Pierce imposing his displeasure with the current state of the home and its residents. Others have felt the pressure of hands actually pushing them. One visitor felt that a presence was attempting to push her down the steps while another was almost forced out of a third floor window.
Paranormal experts have said that the entities in this mansion are the "most advanced" they have ever seen, as they are capable of harnessing electrical energy and converting that power into the ability to move large objects and impose their will physically on their current surroundings.
The Pierce Mansion is now an operational haunted attraction. Here is the disclaimer from their website:
Note: This attraction is not for the faint of heart. There is a good possibility that you will witness paranormal activity. The entities in this mansion are extremely advanced and have demonstrated a unique ability to impose their will "physically" on guests. For this reason, a detailed injury waiver must be signed by each guest prior to experiencing "the SK Haunted Victorian Mansion". Please do not behave in an antagonistic manner towards these entities at any time, as you may be placing yourself and other guests in danger.
Quote from skhauntedvictorianmansion.com website
4 W Broadway Gardner, MA 01440
7. Boston Athenaeum - Boston, MA
Author Nathaniel Hawthorne claimed to have seen the ghost of the scholarly Reverend Harris at this historic library.
Boston’s oldest independent library is an absolutely stunning place to visit on any day, with its architecture, fine art and ornate galleries.
But what will stun you on this visit is the 1837 memoir “A Narrative of the Life of James Allen: Alias George Walton, Alias Jonas Pierce, Alias James H. York, Alias Burley Grove, the Highwayman: Being his Death-Bed Confession, to the Warden of the Massachusetts State Prison.” The titular highwayman and thief had his life story recorded and then bound in his own skin post-mortem before gifting the whole package to one of his victims. Today, visitors can make an appointment to see the rare book.
10 1/2 Beacon St. Boston, MA 02108
6. The Omni Parker House Hotel - Boston, MA
This absolute stunner celebrates its 163rd anniversary in 2018 and can be tied to dozens of famous characters, from Ho Chi Minh who worked in its kitchen, to Charles Dickens who was a habitual guest of the hotel's third floor.
The Parker House is one of Boston's most magnificent places to stay, and hospitality has always been a priority here, especially for founder Harvey Parker. Speaking of whom... He reportedly still checks in from time to time to make sure things are running smoothly. Guests of the 10th floor have seen his hazy likeness roaming the halls; one even woke up to him standing, smiling at the foot of her bed. But Parker isn't responsible for all ghostly encounters here: The elevator is known to travel back and forth to the third floor without being called, and a rocking chair can sometimes be heard rocking late into the night.
60 School St. Boston, MA 02108
5. Rutland Prison Camp - Rutland, MA
Nestled within Massachusetts’ Rutland State Park are the ruins of an old prison complex where drunkards would be put to work growing potatoes for more hardened criminals.
The prison was built in 1903 to house minor offenders such as drunkards and the like, and contained a fully-functioning co-op farm to keep them busy and productive. In addition to the prison-bound potatoes, the farm, which operated on 150 acres of a 914 acre site, also cultivated chickens and dairy cows, producing enough milk to sell to the nearby town of Worcester.
In addition to the farm facilities, the prison facility contained cell blocks, staff housing, and a water tower. In 1907 a tuberculosis hospital was added to the complex to treat the patients.
Due to the fact that the prison grounds were built on a drainage area for the local water supply the whole place was abandoned in 1934, left to crumble in the wood. Today the ruins of the prison are open to the public to hike through and explore. The decaying cement ruins are now covered in graffiti, but are nonetheless an evocative, hidden find.
Prison Camp Rd. Rutland, MA 01543
4. The Hawthorne Hotel - Salem, MA
Room 325 is easily the most haunted room in the hotel and one of the most requested too. Many believe the room is home to the ghost of a baby or a toddler because they wake to hear the sounds of a child crying in the wee hours of the morning. Though some might scoff or find a reasonable explanation for the crying, most cannot explain why so many children who stayed in the room told their parents about hearing a baby’s cries waking them in the middle of the night. Guests also found that the faucet in the bathroom turned itself on and off, and other guests woke to the feeling of something abruptly pulling their sheets and blankets off the bed.
Visitors often refer to Salem, Massachusetts as one of the most haunted places in the world, which might explain some of the ghosts walking the Hawthorne Hotel.
Quote from: https://frightfind.com/hawthorne-hotel/
18 Washington Sq W. Salem, MA 01970
3. The Gardner-Pingree House - Salem, MA
Captain Joseph White, a wealthy, retired merchant, lived in a fine house in Salem, Massachusetts with a manservant and his niece, Mrs. Beckford, who served as housekeeper. Mrs. Beckford’s daughter was married to Captain White's grandnephew, Joseph J. Knapp, Jr., and lived in Wenham, MA, not far away. Knapp had learned that Captain White had just completed his will, leaving $15,000 to Mrs. Beckford. He believed that if his great uncle died without a will his mother-in-law would, instead, inherit half his fortune--$200,000. He set out to guarantee this would happen.
Joseph Knapp conspired with his brother John Francis Knapp to hire a local criminal, Richard Crowninshield, to murder Captain White. They planned the deed for the night of April 6, 1830 when they knew Mrs. Beckford would be in Wenham, staying with her daughter. As a relative, Joseph Knapp had free access to Captain White’s home and on that day he entered the house, stole the will, and left the back parlor window unlatched.
That night, while the two brothers waited outside, Richard Crowninshield entered the house through the window. He went to the bedroom where Captain White was sleeping, fractured his skull with a club and stabbed him thirteen times with a long dagger.
The town of Salem was shocked by the news that a prominent citizen had been murdered in his sleep. They organized a Committee of Vigilance to investigate the crime. Adding to the confusion, the Knapp brothers falsely reported to the Vigilance Committee that they had been robbed by three men on the road from Salem to Wenham. This led to the belief that a gang of assassins was working in the neighborhood.
The Committee had no clues in the case until a pickpocket in the New Bedford jail, seventy miles away, testified that his friend Richard Crowninshield had told him that he had killed Captain White. Crowninshield was arrested in Salem but would say nothing about the murder.
Around the same time, Joseph J. Knapp, Sr., father of the Knapp brothers, received a letter from a Charles Grant of Belfast, Maine, demanding a large sum of money to avoid "ruinous disclosures". Joseph, Sr. could make no sense of the letter; it had been intended for his son. He showed it to Joseph, Jr. who called it “a devilish lot of trash” and told his father to take it to the Vigilance Committee. Then, to muddy the waters, Joseph, Jr. wrote two letters, both purporting to be from Charles Grant. One to the Committee claiming that he (Grant) had been hired to murder Captain White by the Captain’s nephew, Steven White. The second was to Steven White from Grant, demanding payment for the murder.
The Committee dispatched a messenger to Belfast, Maine, and arranged to have Grant arrested at the post office when he came to pick up his mail. His real name was Palmer; he was an associate of Richard Crowninshield and was privy to the whole plot, including the instigating role of the Knapp brothers. To avoid prosecution himself, he told all. The news reached Salem and the false letters were found to be in Joseph Knapp, Jr.’s handwriting. Joseph and John Knapp were taken into custody.
On his third day of imprisonment Joseph Knapp, Jr. made a full confession to his role in planning the murder, fabricating the story of the robbery, and forging the letters. After learning of Knapp’s confession, Richard Crowninshield realized he had no hope and hanged himself in jail with a handkerchief tied to the bars of his cell.
The Knapps were to have been tried as accessories to murder, but under existing law, accessories could not be convicted unless the actual murderer was first convicted. Crowninshield’s suicide made this impossible. It appeared that the Knapp bothers would get away with murder.
Trials: July 1830 - John Francis Knapp,
November 1830 - Joseph Jenkins Knapp
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts employed the distinguished Daniel Webster to prosecute the case. Though better known as a defense attorney, Webster occasionally served as prosecutor. He described Captain White’s murder as,
“… a most extraordinary case. In some respects, it has hardly a precedent anywhere; certainly none in our New England history. This bloody drama exhibited no suddenly excited, ungovernable rage. The actors in it were not surprised by any lionlike temptation springing upon their virtue, and overcoming it, before resistance could begin. Nor did they do the deed to glut savage vengeance, or satiate longsettled and deadly hate. It was a cool, calculating, moneymaking murder. It was all "hire and salary, not revenge." It was the weighing of money against life; the counting out of so many pieces of silver against so many ounces of blood.”
The defense in the first trial argued that John Knapp could not be considered an accessory in the murder because the legal requirement said that an accessory must be present during the murder. The Knapps had been standing in the street, 300 feet away from the room where the murder was being committed.
Webster’s response was:
“To constitute a presence, it is sufficient if the accomplice is in a place, either where he may render aid to the perpetrator of the felony, or where the perpetrator supposes he may render aid. If they selected the place to afford assistance, whether it was well or ill chosen for that purpose is immaterial. The perpetrator would derive courage and confidence from the knowledge that his associate was in the place appointed.”
With the letter of the law seemingly supporting the defense, it was not an easy case for a jury to decide but in the end they sided with Webster. John Knapp was convicted of murder. Four months later his brother Joseph was convicted as well.
Verdicts: John Francis Knapp - guilty of murder
Joseph Jenkins Knapp, Jr. - guilty of murder
John Francis Knapp and Joseph Jenkins Knapp, Jr were hanged together from the same scaffold.
(no direct website) Visit https://www.pem.org
129 Essex St. Salem, MA 01970
2. Spider Gates Cemetary - Leicester, MA
Spider Gates Cemetery is a small Quaker Cemetery located in Leicester, Massachusetts which is known as the eighth gate to hell. It has so many stories and legends around it that it is one of the most frequently visited spots in the state. However, it can be difficult to find with so many scarce details around its location. If your driving, just look for the large yellow entryway on Manville street.
Spider Gates Cemetery (officially known as Friends Cemetery) was created in the early 1730’s by a group of Quakers who believed the land possessed special powers. They used the land to not only bury their dead, but worship and perform various incantations. Custom gates resembling a spider web were created to mark the entrance to the grounds. In truth, these gates were added to the mid 1950’s out of respect for tragedy that struck the grounds and an ancient greek story signifying life after death. In 1943 a young boy who was feeling took his life by hanging himself on a tree within the cemetery. This tree still stands and can be seen directly to the the left as you enter the cemetery.
15 Earle St. Leicester, MA 01524
1. Taunton State Hospital - Taunton, MA
Taunton State Hospital, or the State Lunatic Hospital at Taunton as it was formerly known, was abandoned in 1975. In the 1800s, there were rumours that the hospital was being operated by a Satanic Cult who would take patients into the basement to conduct dark rituals and even human sacrifices. There are apparently still some strange and unexplained markings on the walls of the basements, and while the hospital was still open, staff would attempt to go downstairs into the basement area only for them to feel something physically stopping them from reaching that bottom step! Staff also reported seeing a shadow man who would crawl along the walls and often lurked in corners watching the patients! The most famous resident of Taunton State Hospital was probably serial killer Jane Toppan who killed more than 31 people while working as a nurse. It is no wonder this abandoned hospital is thought to be one of the most haunted places in Massachusetts!
60 Hodges Avenue Taunton, MA 02780