Top 10 Haunted Locations in Boston
Boston – The Cradle of Liberty and Ghosts, A List of Haunted Locations in Boston
All the way back in 1614, Captain John Smith arrived on the shores of what is now Boston, bringing with him violent greetings and lots of diseases. Over two-thirds of local indigenous peoples were dead within four years of John’s arrival. It seems as if Boston had an extremely rocky start, making it a playground for wayward spirits and lost souls. Even today Boston’s original cobblestone streets, towering hotels, and ancient graveyards are chock full of spirits from over the years. Here’s a list of ten of the most haunted locations in Boston, Massachusetts.
10- Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater
Our first of ten haunted locations in Boston brings us to the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater. Located at Emerson College in Boston, the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater houses a few souls who never decided to move on. One of the main spirits is said to be that of an old town mayor, who had died while he was watching a show at the theater. With no record of this event happening, why do visitors spot him the most out of any of the resident ghouls? If you’re lucky enough to come and see a show, you may even encounter the friendly ghost-couple who sits in the crowd and makes friends with those around them. Introduce yourself quickly, because, by the second act, the couple disappears. They are said to have died in a car accident after leaving the theater in the 1930s. If you’d like to investigate further, visit our Cutler Majestic Theater article here.
9- Fort Warren
(Boston Harbor Islands)
The chilly echoing walls and grounds of Fort Warren are every paranormal enthusiast’s dream. Almost a labyrinth, some stairs end blankly to a brick wall, with passages so dark you must feel along the stone hallways to find your way through (and out) Perhaps a deep-set window will cast a skinny beam of light across, giving you a quick glimpse of the Lady in Black if you’re lucky. Legend tells of a confederate soldier’s wife who was imprisoned here after she snuck into the fort disguised as a man to break her beloved out of its confines. She failed, was tried, and hanged for it here.
8- The Omni Parker House Hotel
One of Boston’s most notoriously haunted structures, the Omni Parker House features not only an elevator that is possessed by the spirit of an actress that died at the hotel in 1876, stopping the elevator on the third floor randomly but a long-dead past owner named Harvey Parker who eternally wanders the halls, in concern for his living guest’s satisfaction, leaving this hotel as number 8 on our top 10 haunted locations in Boston list. It seems as if the Omni Parker is just too good of a hotel to ever want to check-out!
7- Granary Park Burying Ground
Founded in 1660, the Granary is home to many famous passed on folks such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere. Photographs taken here often exhibit strange orbs and unexplained figures. Visitors report seeing a Revolutionary War soldier presumed to the lawyer James Otis Jr, who was brain-damaged by a vicious attack. Afterward, he told his family that he would rather be struck dead by lightning… and his wish came true thereafter when he was struck by lightning in his own home. Granary Park is also home to a children’s mass grave, as well as another for Boston Massacre victims. And like King’s Chapel, these stones have also been rearranged multiple times to improve landscaping.
6- The Liberty
Formerly Boston Charles Street Jail, this luxury hotel with a contradictory name to its roots truly still looks the part of its past. Rooms made from cellblocks and original catwalks line the atrium. When you move throughout the hotel, you’re starkly reminded of all the secrets those walls hold. What stories does this old jail have to tell? One specific spirit, a captain of a German u-boat was brought here after capture, and the horrid conditions pushed the man to commit suicide in his cell. Visitors to the hotel report hearing moans and groans echoing throughout the atrium late into the night.
5- USS Salem
The perfectly preserved WWII heavy cruiser is beloved by the Boston Museum circuit and residents of the city alike. Visited by the crew of the television show Ghost Hunters, the ship has multiple well-documented hauntings that include solid apparitions, disembodied footsteps, and even noises of spectral crew members hard at work. The USS Salem was once used as a hospital and morgue for disaster victims in the 1950s, and many of the souls that died here remain.
4- Boston Common
As opposed to popular belief, one need not travel out of Boston’s city center to visit sites of the Salem witch trials. An early victim of that horrific time, Margaret Jones was a beloved healer in the area that was accused of using witchcraft when making her herbal medicines. Confined to Boston jail so that ‘evidence’ could be collected – er, planted – a witch watcher claimed he witnessed her making a small child disappear into thin air. With that statement, Jones’ fate was sealed. She was hanged from the gallows in Boston Commons in 1648. But Margaret isn’t the only phantom seen wandering the Common. Two Victorian-dressed women are seen wandering arm-in-arm as well.
3- Kings Chapel Burial Ground
As Boston’s oldest cemetery, established in 1630, the Kings Chapel Burial Ground is a resting place for hundreds of souls, or it should have been, at least. As one of the most active haunted locations in Boston, it is known that the dead have not been treated kindly here, with grave diggers beheading a woman’s corpse to make her fit into a too-tight space, a man is reported to have been buried alive, and the stones themselves have been moved around by planners – twice. A recipe for restless and angry spirits. Visitors to the grounds report the feeling of being watched carefully, almost stalked.
2- Parkman House
In 1849, a highly publicized and brutal murder case rocked the streets of early Boston. Wealthy businessman George Parkman had disappeared and John Webster, a man who owed him thousands of dollars was the prime suspect. Parkman was later found burned in Harvard’s own laboratories. Bones were recovered as well as a headless, partially burned torso that turned out to be Parkman’s corpse. Today, the townhouse of George Parkman can be visited, located at 8 Walnut Street in Boston. The stately mansion serves as the home of the mayor but is rarely stayed in. Many Bostonians believe that Parkman’s spirit still haunts his old house at 8 Walnut Street. Mysterious sounds and apparitions have been reported inside and out. Even a toilet flooded on its own, leading some to believe the former owner was trying to destroy the property. For an in-depth analysis of the trial, please visit our blog article about the murder here.
1- The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast
One of Boston’s most famous haunted hotspots, the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is the site of a grisly double murder. Paranormal enthusiasts and lovers of the truly macabre alike have long frequented this house. Lizzie was the only suspect in the bloody 1892 double homicide of her parents, but Victorian society refused to believe that a dainty young woman was capable of such horrific acts. Lizzie was acquitted of the murders and spent the rest of her life in seclusion. Guests to the B&B report spectral cats, apparitions, self-rocking rocking chairs, and even that 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. For more on The Lizzie Borden B&B, check out our article on the home here!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed traveling with us to some of the most haunted locations in Boston. A historic city with so much to offer in the ways of paranormal exploration, it’s not only the ‘Cradle of Liberty,’ ‘Beantown,’ and the ‘Hub of the Universe,’ it’s also home to hundreds of spirits!
Featured Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons