Massachusetts may be small, but it is chock full of spirits, ghouls and ghosts. When a soul is unable to pass on due to unfinished business, it tends to cling to the place where it died, leading to some pretty strange experiences for the new residents. Historical preservation across the state means that many of the oldest and most – shall we say experienced? – buildings in Massachusetts are still standing to this day. And a lot of them have a story or two to tell.
1. Mordecai Lincoln Mill, Scituate
This abandoned mill is preserved for historical value and locked up tight, but that doesn’t keep it from terrifying locals and visitors. Folks have reported children screaming and crying for help. Others claim to have seen the shape of a child in the windows clawing at the glass desperately. It turns out a young girl drown in the nearby pond, and the apparition is suspected to be her frightened ghost, unaware that she has died.
2. The Lizzie Borden House, Fall River
“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.” What New England child hasn’t chanted that old rhyme? Although Lizzie was acquitted of the 1892 murders of her father and step-mother, most people believe she was indeed guilty of the crimes. Her former home has become a popular Bed & Breakfast. Visitors to the inn often report a feeling of being watched and even physical illness when entering Lizzie’s domain.
3. Hoosac Tunnel, North Adams
Built in the 1800’s, this railroad tunnel took more than 25 years to complete. 190 workers perished during that time due to harsh conditions. 30 more people died after its opening in a variety of freak accidents, and another 13 in a mining explosion. With a death toll of nearly 250 souls, it’s no wonder the Hoosac Tunnel is nicknamed The Bloody Pit! If you’re brave enough to check it out you may catch a glimpse of shadowy figures or strange lights from inside. The sightings are suspected to be the disembodied spirits of the workers.
Dating all the way back to 1693, this settlement has a strange history. Abandoned by its original settlers in the early 1800’s, the empty buildings became home to the stray dogs that gave the town its current name; plus vagabonds, criminals and other unsavory characters. “Queen of the Witches” Thomazine Younger was among them and cursed anyone who came near her turf. To this day, strange words and phrases can be seen carved into rocks around the town.
5. USS Salem, Quincy
This retired war ship is considered one of the most haunted naval vessels in the world. After the 1953 Ionian earthquake, the ship served as a hospital with entire rooms stacked floor to ceiling with the bodies of the dead. Several paranormal experts and ghost hunting shows have explored the USS Salem and noted strange sounds, ghostly voices and shadowy visions.
6. Metropolitan State Hospital, Waltham
The psychiatric hospital opened its doors in 1930, but most of the paranormal activity seems to center around the Gaebler Children’s Center. Rumor has it that the kids were heavily medicated and abused while in the hospital’s care. A murder of a young girl occurred in 1978 when she fell victim to deranged patient, Melvin Wilson. He is said to have dismembered the girl and scattered her remains across the grounds. The Metropolitan was the partial inspiration for American Horror Story: Asylum.
Mass’ mental hospitals seem to have a very haunted track record! Several websites also list the Taunton State Hospital, Danvers State Mental Hospital and the Belchertown State School for the Feeble-Minded on their lists of ghost-infested locales.