A Terrifyingly Exciting Haunted Massachusetts Road Trip
Massachusetts doesn’t disappoint when it comes to paranormal locations and happenings. Bursting at the seams with history, Massachusetts was the 6th state admitted to the Union back in 1788. Since then, Massachusetts has borne witness to witches, Satanists, unexplained phenomena, unsolved murders, alien encounters, among countless other paranormal phenomena. Driving through the state is like driving through multiple centuries gone by. We’ve compiled a list of locations (in order) that are within a 9-hour circular trip from Boston’s city center. Starting at Boston, here are the haunted hotspots in order, with a bit of history and hauntings sprinkled in. So, spend a day driving through the beautiful state and seeing some of the best paranormal locations that haunted Massachusetts has to offer along the way!
The first stop on our haunted hotspot road trip is a ship with spirits as its cargo. The USS Salem is a decommissioned warship and has been noted as one of the most haunted naval vessels in the entire world! It was used as a makeshift hospital after the 1953 Ionian Earthquake, and whole rooms of the ship were used to stack and store bodies of the dead. Multiple paranormal television shows have investigated the vessel, and numerous strange occurrences have been reported during those investigations. Apparitions of sailors, moans, and frequent running footsteps have all been seen or heard aboard the USS Salem. While tours of the ship are available with prior planning, the outside of the ship itself is available for viewing and visiting on a whim. If nautical hauntings are up your alley, check out our Sailors in Salem article!
Danvers State Mental Hospital
A popular haunt, the Danvers State Mental Hospital is truly one of the most sinister. The Danvers State Hospital was a psychiatric hospital located in Danvers, Massachusetts. It was built in 1874 and opened in 1878, staying in business until it was closed in 1992 due to budget cuts. Strangely, the judge who presided over the Salem Witch Trials, John Hathorne, also lived here a few hundred years ago. Soon after its opening, reports began to spill out of inhumane practices occurring in this haunted Massachusetts hospital. Shock therapy, lobotomies, drugs, and straitjackets were commonplace. A total of 278 people reportedly died at the hospital in one year. Danvers is now known as the ‘birthplace of the prefrontal lobotomy,’ and lobotomies left patients in a hellish daze, wandering the halls. Horror novelist H.P. Lovecraft even used Danvers as the inspiration for his Arkham Sanitarium. Sound familiar? Arkham Asylum was the backdrop in which DC Comic’s Batman’s ultra-psychotic villains come from! Real hauntings preside here, too, with over 770 bodies buried in the grounds surrounding the hospital. Visitors hear screaming coming from inside the building and crying throughout the location. To learn more about the history and mistreatment that occurred at Danvers, check out our in-depth article here.
Massachusetts’ very own ghost-town, Dogtown, began as a respectable settlement in 1692. It was named after the town’s enormous population of stray and feral dogs. Eventually, the town came down with a horrible reputation. After much of the small town became abandoned in the early 1800s, the area’s vagabonds and seedy sorts began to occupy the town’s abandoned buildings. As time moved forward, there spread rumors of residents in Dogtown that had started to practice witchcraft and Satanism in the buildings. Curses on traders were being placed by Tammy Younger, a.k.a. ‘Queen of the Witches.’ To add more intrigue to the ghost-town, there are strange phrases and words carved into large boulders surrounding the town, such as ‘Help Mother.’ The remains of Dogtown are open to hikers and wanderers, but be careful not to upset Tammy during your visit!
(North Adams, Massachusetts)
Lovingly referred to as ‘The Bloody Pit’ and a front-runner in our haunted Massachusetts list, Hoosac Tunnel has been the site of over 250 people’s demises since its construction. One hundred ninety workers were killed during the 25-year construction of the tunnel itself. After the tunnel opened, 30 more people lost their lives here due to freak accidents in and around the tunnel. An explosion took the lives of an additional 13 miners here, which brought the death toll up to its now 250 lives lost. There come reports of apparitions and phantoms lights from inside the tunnel. Be aware that the tunnel is still an active freight railway, and trespassing is not permitted. The surrounding forest is beautiful, however, and is open to visitors. Perhaps you’ll even catch a glimpse of a phantom miner peeking out from the dark.
Belchertown State School
Previously known as the Belchertown School for the Feeble-Minded, it was established in 1922 in Belchertown, Massachusetts. It became famous for its inhumane conditions and poor treatment of its patients and residents. There was even a class-action lawsuit filed that stated the conditions there were ‘medieval and horrific.’ Reports of running footsteps, screaming, and moans are standard inside the building. One legend tells of two residents who ended up falling in love but were kept separate from one another until they both died. Their spirits are said to linger here in search of one another.
Lizzie Borden B&B
(Fall River, Massachusetts)
The site of two grisly unsolved ax murders, the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is a fully-functional B&B that you can stay and rest your bones at along your road trip if you dare. Most Massachusetts residents know Lizzie Borden’s story, but if you’d like to learn more, we have an in-depth article here you can check out! Visitors to the B&B can even stay in the Lizzie Suite and sleep in the bed she slept in. Reports consist of spectral cats, apparitions, self-rocking rocking chairs, and even Lizzie herself still haunts the home, choking guests that lay in her bed. The dining room table on which guests enjoy their meals is where Abby and Andrew were autopsied. Guests who stay at the B&B have captured photos of strange anomalies floating by their beds, noises coming from inside wardrobes, footsteps, laughter (like that of Lizzie’s, the morning of the murders), and some have even reported being touched by an unseen hand while they slept.
Taunton State Hospital
Taunton State is a psychiatric hospital located in Taunton, Massachusetts. Now just a shell of one of Massachusetts haunted hospitals, the building opened its doors in 1854. Taunton State bore witness to hundreds of psychiatric patients and, more notably, a couple of notorious serial killers. Originally known as the State Lunatic Hospital at Taunton, it was the second of its kind in the state of Massachusetts. The hospital and surrounding facilities are located on a rolling 154-acre farm along the Mill River. The hospital was home to two well-known serial killers, Anthony Santo and Jane Toppan. To read more about the horrors these two committed, as well as more history of Taunton State, check out our Taunton article here.
There’s an unassuming mill structure on the side of Mordecai-Lincoln Road, but the history here will chill you to the bone. Last but not least on our haunted Massachusetts list, Mordecai Mill. Built by Mordecai Lincoln in 1692, things at the mill truly took a turn for the worst in the mid-1800s. A small girl was playing in the adjacent pond and accidentally slipped into the deeper water and drowned behind the mill. Since then, visitors report hearing a child’s screams from the mill and even report seeing a small figure’s face pressed up against the upper mill window’s glass.
So, there you have it—all the works for a spooky day trip. Just grab your friends or family, some gas in your tank, and some snacks for the road, and set off on a road trip that’s sure to leave you driving back with goosebumps. Drive safely, and keep your eyes and ears open for spirits along the way!