The following is a list of some of the most notoriously haunted locations in Salem, Massachusetts. To view my full list of ghost stories and haunted locations in Massachusetts, Click Here.
#1 - The Bung Hole Liquor Store
Coordinates: 42.520988°, -70.888523°
Location Address: 204 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
The Bung Hole Liquor Store in Salem, Massachusetts was constructed during the early 1900's as a funeral home. During the American alcohol prohibition of the 1920's the location was also used by bootleggers to brew moonshine, and according to legend, townsfolk frequently met in the funeral home's basement where bodies were kept for embalming to drink, play cards, and engage in other illicit activity. The secret meeting spot in the basement was referred to by a secret phrase known only to its members; "the bung hole." In 1933 after the prohibition on alcohol had ended, the owners reopened the location as a liquor store called The Bung Hole. Employees working at the store report witnessing apparitions, as well as experiencing other unexplained paranormal phenomena, such as cold spots and disembodied voices.
#2 - CinemaSalem
Coordinates: 42.522611°, -70.893118°
Location Address: 1 E. India Square Mall, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
Employees working at CinemaSalem in Salem, Massachusetts report encountering the spirit of a middle-aged man dressed in black, who appears to be wearing Victorian era clothing. His apparition is most often seen late at night when the theater is closed, and few customers are present. Although numerous employees and moviegoers over the years have reported encountering this mysterious specter, the reason for his presence is unknown.
#3 - The Hawthorne Hotel
Coordinates: 42.522752°, -70.890395°
Location Address: 18 Washington Square W., Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
The 93-room Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts opened in July of 1925, and is said to be one of the most haunted hotels in the United States. Those staying overnight at the location report witnessing apparitions, as well as hearing disembodied voices and footsteps, or witnessing furniture and other objects being moved around or rearranged by an unseen entity. Others report witnessing flickering lights, experiencing unexplained temperature fluctuations, and feeling a strange presence, as if being watched by an unseen entity. Guests staying in Room 325 often report hearing the disembodied sounds of a baby crying, in addition to experiencing other unexplained paranormal phenomena, such as lights and faucets turning on and off by themselves. Guests staying on the historic hotel's 6th floor report waking to the apparition of a woman pacing back and forth in the middle of the night, especially in Room 612, and others report experiencing an uncomfortable feeling, as if they are somehow not alone. During the 1970's the Hawthorne Hotel was used to film an episode of the popular television show, Bewitched, and in 2007 the location was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters, where members of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (T.A.P.S.) were able to gather evidence and confirm rumors of paranormal activity.
#4 - House of the Seven Gables Museum
Coordinates: 42.521776°, -70.883515°
Location Address: 115 Derby Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
Sometimes referred to as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, the House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts was constructed in 1667, and is renowned as being the oldest wooden mansion in New England. Tourists visiting the location often report witnessing spirits and other apparitions, including the spirit of a woman named Susan Ingersoll, who passed away in the house in 1858 at the age of 72. Her apparition is often seen by visitors, as well as passersby who report witnessing the silhouette of a woman in the windows late at night when the building is believed to be empty. The apparition of a young boy is also seen playing in the attic, where guests report feeling a strange presence, as if an unseen entity is lurking nearby. Others who enter the attic report feeling lightheaded or nauseous, or experiencing an intangible force that inexplicably compels them to leave the area. Additionally, employees and visitors at the old mansion report hearing the sounds of disembodied voices, footsteps, and growls, as well as experiencing other unexplained paranormal phenomena, such as faucets and lights turning on and off by themselves.
#5 - John Ward House
Coordinates: 42.522939°, -70.891637°
Location Address: 9 Brown Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
The John Ward House in Salem, Massachusetts was constructed in 1684, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in November of 1968. In 1911 the house was opened for public tours, and is now owned and operated by the Peabody Essex Museum. Guests and employees at the allegedly haunted location report witnessing the apparition of a man who appears to be wearing clothing from the 1600's, and others report feeling unexplained cold spots and temperature fluctuations.
#6 - Joshua Ward House
Coordinates: 42.520398°, -70.895954°
Location Address: 148 Washington Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
The Joshua Ward House in Salem, Massachusetts was constructed in 1784 over the site of the former home of High Sheriff George Corwin, who played a major role in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. It's said that Sheriff Corwin often took suspected witches back to the basement of his house to engage in various acts of interrogation and torture, with many townsfolk even claiming that the man derived pleasure from these acts of violence. As the High Sheriff of Salem, he was also in charge of confiscating the property and belongings of those who were accused of witchcraft. Four years after the Salem Witch Trials, in 1696, Sheriff Corwin died of a heart attack at the age of 34, which many believed was due to a curse that was put on the man by those he sentenced to death. According to legend, his body was stored for several years in the basement of the home before finally being interred at Broad Street Cemetery due to fear that the victims' families would enact their revenge on his grave. Since Sheriff Corwin's death, many of the house's residents have reported witnessing his apparition, as well as two other vengeful spirits believed to be a man and woman who were executed for the crime of witchcraft. In 2015 the Joshua Ward House was remodeled, and now serves as The Merchant Hotel, where guests and employees report experiencing a variety of unexplained paranormal activity, such as temperature fluctuations, disembodied voices, and flickering lights. Others report witnessing doors opening and closing by themselves, and objects such as books and other personal belongings being picked up and thrown by an unseen entity. The Joshua Ward House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in October of 1978.
#7 - Old Salem Jail
Coordinates: 42.524423°, -70.893287°
Location Address: 50 St. Peter Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
The Old Salem Jail on St. Peter Street in Salem, Massachusetts was constructed in 1813. It was the site of over 50 executions before finally being shut down in 1991, after being sued by several inmates due to inhumane living conditions. In 2008 the historic property was purchased and converted into luxury apartments, with the ground level also serving as an arcade bar called Bit Bar Salem, and a restaurant called The Great Escape. Residents living at the old jailhouse often report witnessing the apparitions of former prisoners who were hanged at the location, as well as feeling unexplained cold spots or sudden drops in temperature. Others report hearing the sounds of disembodied voices and screams, in addition to feeling a strange presence, as if they are somehow not alone. Although the Old Salem Jail is now home to more modern amenities, much of the original brick and other features of the jail still remain, including iron-barred doors inside the building, and a trap door in the floor which marks the site where former inmates were hanged.
#8 - Proctor's Ledge Memorial
Coordinates: 42.517615°, -70.909006°
Location Address: 7 Pope Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
Between February of 1692 and May of 1693, nineteen men and women were found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death by hanging at a location now known as Proctor's Ledge, which sits on a hill overlooking the town of Salem. In July of 2017 a memorial was built at the site of the hangings, which until 2016 was believed to be located at the nearby Gallows Hill. Tourists visiting the memorial often report witnessing apparitions and spirits, as well as experiencing other unexplained paranormal phenomena, such as sudden cold spots or drops in temperature, or feeling a strange presence.
#9 - St. Mary's Cemetery
Coordinates: 42.533743°, -70.911421°
Location Address: North Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
Established in 1849, St. Mary's Cemetery in Salem, Massachusetts is home to over 30,000 burial plots. Those visiting the old cemetery at night often report witnessing mysterious glowing orbs, as well as encountering an unidentified grey, foggy apparition. Others report feeling a strange presence, as if being watched by an unseen entity, as well as hearing the sounds of disembodied voices calling out from the nearby woods.
#10 - Salem State University
Coordinates: 42.503103°, -70.890682°
Location Address: 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts was established in 1854 as the Salem Normal School. Residents at Bowditch Hall report witnessing apparitions in Room 222, as well as hearing loud disembodied banging sounds that aren't heard from anywhere else in the building. Some students report feeling a strange presence in the room, as if they are somehow not alone, and others have reported being woken in the middle of the night by an unseen entity. One popular urban legend claims that a triple murder took place in Room 222 sometime during the 1970's, however these claims are currently unable to be validated. Another folklore story claims that the Sophia Gordon Center For Creative and Performing Arts is haunted by a student who died after falling from one of the catwalks above stage, however these claims are also largely dismissed as being nothing more than rumors.
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Brian Weaver is the founder and creator of GhostQuest.net, one of the internet’s largest databases for haunted locations, urban legends, and folklore tales throughout the United States. He grew up in rural New Hampshire, where he attended college for Computer Science.