The Legend of Dogtown, and the Haunted Hammond Castle Museum of Gloucester, Massachusetts
Below is a list of some of the most notorious haunted locations in Gloucester, Massachusetts. To view my full list of ghost stories and haunted locations in Massachusetts, Click Here. And if you liked this list, be sure to check out my new book, The Folklore & Haunted Locations Guide: Massachusetts, available on Amazon!!
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Coordinates: 42.636206°, -70.664767°
Location Address: Dogtown Road, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Dogtown was established in 1693 as The Common Settlement, where it's estimated over 100 families resided. By the end of the War of 1812 most of the settlement's community had resettled, and by 1830 the village was almost completely abandoned. The only residents who remained were widows and other outcasts who had no family to follow, and it's during this time that strange rumors began to circulate about the town. Many of the women who were forced to stay behind at The Common Settlement were accused of practicing witchcraft for survival, and residents began to witness shadowy figures and strange flickering lights in the surrounding woods at night. One woman named Thomazine Younger, also known by locals as Tammy, had developed such an infamous reputation as a witch that traveling merchants and others passing through the abandoned settlement would often leave offerings of fish and corn in hopes of avoiding her wrath, or receiving her blessing. The Common Settlement was also a popular spot for vagrants and homeless people, causing the remaining residents to keep guard dogs for protection. It's said that as the last remaining residents passed away, their pet dogs were left to fend for themselves in the woods. Over time, the population of feral dogs began to grow, and thus the old settlement was given the name, "Dogtown." The last remaining home in Dogtown was razed in 1845, at which point the settlement was used by locals as grazing land for livestock until the 1920's. Dogtown and the surrounding forest is now used as a recreational area for hikers, bicyclists, and other nature enthusiasts, who often claim to hear the distant howls of feral dogs and coyotes at night. Others hiking in the woods have reported feeling a strange presence, as if being followed or watched by an unseen entity. One popular urban legend claims that Dogtown is home to a werewolf, or some type of half-human, half-canine creature, which has allegedly been seen by Gloucester residents numerous times beginning in the 1980's. On the evening of March 17, 1984 - the night of a full moon - three separate individuals reported witnessing a monstrous, canine-like beast walking on two feet in the woods near Dogtown, and several days later a mutilated deer carcass was found at the location where the sightings occurred. Over the years countless witnesses have come forward with alleged experiences of paranormal activity at Dogtown, which has made it one of the most notoriously haunted ghost towns in the state of Massachusetts.
Hammond Castle Museum
Coordinates: 42.585204°, -70.692371°
Location Address: 80 Hesperus Avenue, Gloucester, Massachusetts
Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts was constructed in 1929 as the private home and laboratory for a man named John Hays Hammond Jr., who was renowned as being a pioneering scientist in the fields of electronics and remote control technology. Mr. Hammond was often referred to as "the father of radio control," and held over 400 unique patents at the time of his death in February of 1965. After his death Hammond Castle was turned into a museum, which is said to be haunted by Mr. Hammond as well as several other spirits. Custodians and other employees working at the location late at night have reported witnessing the spirits of John Hays Hammond, his wife, Irene Hammond, and another male figure who is believed to be a former servant or groundskeeper. Guests touring the old castle also report experiencing issues with cellphones and other electronic devices, as well as feeling a strange presence, as if being watched by an unseen entity. Hammond Castle was added to the National Register of Historic Places in May of 1973, and was featured on an episode of the popular television series, Ghost Hunters, in 2012. The location also offers ghost tours during the month of October.
For additional information, or to see my complete list of folklore tales and haunted locations in Massachusetts, Click Here. And if you liked this list, be sure to check out my new book, The Folklore & Haunted Locations Guide: Massachusetts, available on Amazon!!
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Brian Weaver is the founder and creator of GhostQuest.net, one of the internet’s most comprehensive databases for haunted locations, urban legends, and folklore tales throughout the United States. He grew up in rural New England, where he attended college for Computer Science.