Haunted Faneuil Hall

Posted by amber in Boston Ghosts
Haunted Faneuil Hall - Photo

Faneuil Hall is not just a singular building but an entire marketplace within Boston, Massachusetts. It includes some of the city’s best restaurants, entertainment, shopping and of course hauntings. It was constructed in 1742 by Peter Faneuil, Boston’s wealthiest merchant, and was considered a gift to the city. The marketplace was home to farmers, merchants, fishers, and meat produce sellers. The hall was crowned ‘The Cradle of Liberty’ as it served a very important purpose as a meeting point for colonists to plot their resistance against the oppressive British government. It was even the place where colonists first protested the Sugar Act in 1764 and was the place where ‘no taxation without representation’ was born.

 

 

To better accommodate the merchants and shoppers, Faneuil Hall was expanded in 1826 to include Quincy Market. It remained a vital business hub throughout the 1800s, but by the mid-1900s, the buildings had fallen into a state of disrepair and stood empty. The market was soon tagged for demolition until a group of Bostonians sought to preserve it in the early 1970s. Jim Rouse, alongside architect Benjamin Thompson and Mayor Kevin White, revitalized the structures and forever changed the face of downtown Boston. The 1976 renewal was the first project in the city of its kind. Today, what is known as Faneuil Hall Marketplace is still Boston’s meeting place. It offers residents and visitors alike an unparalleled market experience in an urban setting. It welcomes over 18 million visitors annually with its unique array of shops, restaurants, and outdoor entertainment.

 

Interesting Facts about Faneuil Hall

 

Faneuil Hall is one of Boston’s crown jewels. It has seen the city’s growth, the freedom of the colonists, and 260 years of American history. The famed ‘Golden Grasshopper’ weathervane sits atop Faneuil Hall and was placed there in 1742. In 1761, a fire destroyed the weathervane. Thomas Drowne, a local blacksmith and son of the grasshopper’s creator repaired the weathervane and inserted a time capsule in its stomach. The time capsule is engraved ‘Food for the Grasshopper’ and includes historical newspapers, coins, and messages from mayors. The grasshopper was even used during the War of 1812 to spot spies. Anyone who was asked ‘what is on top of Faneuil Hall?’ and didn’t know the answer was immediately found out as an informant.

 

Faneuil Hall even used to be waterfront property, but in the early 1800s, Bostonians needed more land, so they filled in the harbor and pushed the waterfront back to where it is today. The hall celebrated its 150th birthday in 1976 with a facelift and paved the way for other urban marketplaces in cities like Miami, Baltimore, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Portland. During this renovation, construction workers discovered Quincy Market’s ‘Great Dome,’ which had been hidden by a false ceiling. It has since been refurbished and is now visible.

 

 

Faneuil Hall Marketplace originally had five restaurants, three bars, 16 food shops, and seven delicatessens, but today it has over 49 shops, 18 restaurants and pubs, and 44 pushcarts. The growth of the marketplace is immense, and the traditions of the original Hall stick today, including street performers! Today Faneuil Hall hosts naturalization ceremonies for hundreds of immigrants, giving them a space to take the Oath of Allegiance as new U.S. citizens.

 

 Hauntings at Ned Devine’s Irish Pub

 

Ned Devine’s is an upscale Irish pub located within Quincy Market. A large number of the hauntings reported at Faneuil Hall are concentrated within Ned’s. While a number of apparitions have been reported within the pub, the most gut-wrenching of all is a terrified woman dressed in Colonial-era working clothes. She has been seen frantically peeking around the corners of the pub as if she is trying her best to hide from someone.

 

To determine her identity, one must go back in time to the coastal city’s past. Unfortunately, during the 17th and 18th centuries, Boston was a center for the slave trade in America. People were brought from Madagascar and West Africa by the boatload. These men, women, and children were brought to where Faneuil Hall stands today and were sold to the highest bidder. Ironically, the site in which the ‘Cradle of Liberty’ was built atop wasn’t truly about freedom at all. In fact, Faneuil Hall was financed with money that Peter Faneuil made in the slave trade.

 

Many people believe this woman to be one of the Malagasy slaves brought into Boston. Those who have witnessed her claim that she looks desperate and afraid, a feeling that she gives to those who come into contact with her. Perhaps she escaped her purchaser and is hiding, making sure that no one saw her escape. It’s unfortunate that this woman is still plagued by the injustices she faced in life, even after death. Aside from the young woman, pub staff have also reported blood-curdling screams coming from inside. Who these disembodied voices belonged to? Read on to find out; it can be assumed that some of the spirits that haunt Ned Devine’s met some pretty tragic ends.

 

A Man Ripped To Pieces

 

Of course, history yet again explains the paranormal. The horrific screams heard by employees are believed to have come from the past before the space was a pub at all. From 1862 to 1909, a large portion of Quincy Market was occupied by farming equipment in a store called Ames Plow Company. Despite accidents with heavy machinery being common, there are no records of death at the company except for Victor Hendrickson.

 

A Boston Globe article published on September 19th, 1907, details the fatal accident that young Hendrickson had while at the plow company. At just 35-years-old, he was said to be fastening a screw on a ladder when his vest got caught in an adjacent revolving shaft. Hendrickson died an agonizing death, nearly every bone in his body had been broken or crushed, and he was partially dismembered. His vest was so tightly wound around his neck from the motion of the revolving shaft that if he hadn’t been crushed, he would have been strangled to death.

 

Could the screams heard here be those of Victor? An echo in time, replaying again and again? It is a common explanation for hauntings, these violent and untimely deaths. The pub is even home to poltergeists who like to play with the salt and pepper shakers and the beer kegs, rolling them down the hall.

 

Despite Ned Devine’s ghosts being the loudest of Faneuil Hall, one could imagine that the entirety of the marketplace is filled with spirits. After all, what was once the capital of the Massachusetts Bay colony, a home to the horrific slave trade, and a history that goes on and on, this little slice of Boston has plenty of macabre history to go around.

 

 

Sources Cited:

https://faneuilhallmarketplace.com/the-history-of-faneuil-hall/

https://www.bostonteapartyship.com/faneuil-hall

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faneuil_Hall

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60745-d104824-r778951928-Faneuil_Hall_Marketplace-Boston_Massachusetts.html