Berklee College of Music Residence Hall

Posted by blogger in Boston Ghost Tours
Berklee College of Music Residence Hall - Photo

Many musicians with a lot of talent have passed through the halls of this residency. It was founded in 1945 and since then it has been attracting many beautiful and passionate musicians. This school has been home to a few singers and songwriters such as John Mayer, Joy Kramer from Aerosmith and Natalie Maines from Dixie Chicks. This is just a few of the huge list of alumni who are part of the local music scene in Boston.


The Fire of the Sherry Biltmore Hotel

Like some of the neighbors, Berklee is known for having a haunted dorm. This dorm is located at 150 Massachusetts Ave. The site was known as the Sherry Biltmore Hotel. However, this was damaged extensively during a huge fire that had broken out in the early morning hours of March 29, 1963. This fire had killed four people and had injured at least twenty-seven others. It was found that the fire had started from a boy who was located on the sixth floor of the hotel. The boy was only eight years old. The boy had later proceeded to tell the investigators he was in the suite 655, which was unoccupied, and was playing with matches. The child had told police he was playing with matches because he liked to hear the fizz sound they made.

The boy who started the fire was a son of a cast member who was in the Sound of Music. The boy was the son of the nun in the musical. He was Austrian.  Those who were at the party for the cast were frantic when they were trying to escape the blaze. They would smash windows and crawl out of the smallest bathroom openings. They would go out of the window headfirst. Those who were on the sixth floor had found safety on a roof nearby.


Haunting Stories

The ghost lore that surrounds the building has taken on its own life. Many students who were attending Berklee have shared numerous stories. Some students had shared weird gusts of air, unidentified sounds, and levitating items. Some people will see weird shadows and even hear weird noises at night.  An interview in October of 2011 had also shown one of the rooms in the dorm. This shot had shown an apparition. The stories are nothing new. The stories date back to 1972 when the building or land was purchased. The stories have not begun to cease since. Many people believe that ghosts are roaming the halls of Berkley dormitory and that they are the victims that had died in the hotel fire. The hotel building was built in the 1900s. This was first an apartment complex; however, it was reopened at the Sherry Biltmore hotel in 1955. During the time of the fire of the Sherry Biltmore hotel, the hotel was near full. During the time of the blaze, there was a party that was happening in suites 601 to suites 611. This party was for departing cast members of the musical, The Sound of Music.

The Boston Fire Department had responded to the fire. This fire was considered legendary. This is one of the most spectacular jobs that Boston has called to. Raising ladders had helped tremendously in this fire. There were ten different ladder companies that responded to the blaze. This resulted in the rescue of about one hundred individuals. Many people had to come out of windows onto ladders to be saved. However, during this time, the entire sixth floor was burning. Some of the people who had tried to get out of windows had been blocked by the air conditioning units in the window. A man was so desperate to save his life that he decided to tie all his bedsheets together. He had fallen twelve feet and was not injured. Another two small children had slid down a pole to escape the blaze.

The students who attend Berklee believe that the trauma of the fire is what is wreaking havoc on the dorm. This was even after the college had renovated in 1999. One story is imprinted into the mind of a student who has stayed at the dorm. He stated that the strangest thing that happened was when his television flew across his room. He stated that he and his roommate were sitting doing their schoolwork when the television suddenly flew across the room and all the windows were closed. This wasn’t a prank or anything. This same student also states that in the late afternoon and into the night they would hear frantic knocking on their door. The students would open the door but there would not be anyone there or anyone in sight.

A man named Richard G. was very skeptical about all the stories until he had an encounter himself in 1993. The man was lying in bed when his hairbrush suddenly flew off the dresser. He thought that his roommate threw it, however, his roommate was fast asleep. Richard had thought to himself that he had heard these stories before. The dorms were notorious for moving and falling objects. They were also known for hearing voices that come from the steam pipes.

Many people have reported seeing fires occur randomly and call them phantom fires. These fires happen all the time and are nothing new. However, they are not something to mess with.

The 2018 Fire

In October of 2018, a fire had misplaced many students. The massive fire started on a Saturday and left seventy students displaced. It had destroyed a five-story building. Firefighters responded to a call around three pm that Saturday. Eight people from the dorm were taken to the hospital. A firefighter was also taken to the hospital. However, no one was suffering from life-threatening injuries. Students state that the alarms in the building did not go off. She was disrupted by the sound of shattering glass.

The fire was hard to put out because the roof had collapsed and the harsh weather was not making it easy. The wind was very strong that day and kept pushing the blaze one way and then the other.

It is said that the fire does not appear to be suspicious and that the fire had started on the second floor. However, many people believe that it is happening because of the lingering spirits who are not happy with the afterlife. Students say that the spirits from the hotel fire are haunting the building and want people to suffer the way they did. Most students believe that the fire was a phantom fire that had gotten out of control.

Haunted Boston

The dorms at Berkley college are haunted. The school bought the land from a hotel that had burned and killed several people. The people who had passed in the fire are haunting the halls to this day. There are strange things that happen in the resident halls at Berkley. People report hearing voices, objects flying across their rooms, and even phantom fires. One person even has a photo of a shadowy figure in their dorm. There are many stories about strange things occurring in the resident halls that date back to when they were first opened. These stories continue to this day, they do not stop. People are continuously noticing strange things happening in the dorms.

With all the talk around the spirits haunting the halls, a fire breaks out displacing and injuring many people. Is this fire a coincidence or could it be the work of the spirits creating phantom fires? If you were to ask people, there would be many different opinions. However, it is up to you to decide what you believe. Is it the spirits from the Sherry Biltmore Hotel wreaking havoc on the dorms or is it something more plausible?



Most Haunted places in Boston, CBS local.