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 and 1930'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 bunghole." In 1933 after the prohibition on alcohol ended the owners reopened the location as a liquor store called The Bung Hole Liquor Store. 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 no customers are present. Although numerous employees and moviegoers over the years have reported encountering this mysterious specter, his identity and 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 awaking in the middle of the night to the apparition of a woman pacing back and forth, especially in Room 612. 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 alleged paranormal evidence and confirm rumors of supernatural 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 surviving 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 vital role in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. It's said that Sheriff Corwin often took suspects 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, George Corwin 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 placed on the man by those he sentenced to death. According to legend, his body was stored for 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 sudden 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 ghosts 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 being followed or watched by an unseen entity. Although the Old Salem Jail is now furnished with 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 death row inmates were executed by hanging.
#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 practicing 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 incorrectly 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 and drops in temperature, or feeling a strange presence.
#9 - Rockafellas Restaurant & Bar
Coordinates: 42.521368°, -70.895279°
Location Address: 231 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
Rockafellas Restaurant & Bar in Salem, Massachusetts was opened in 2003, however the building which houses it is much older. Known by many as the Daniel Low Building, it was originally constructed in 1826 as the fourth meetinghouse for a Puritan Unitarian church called Salem's First Church. It operated under the name of Salem's First Church until 1923, at which point it was rented out by various businesses, including a jewelry store, banquet hall, china shop, and several others. Due to several secret underground tunnels located beneath the restaurant, many historians also suspect that the old building may have been used as a stopping place on the Underground Railroad by African slaves fleeing the south during the American Civil War. The historic building is said to be haunted by the spirits of a number of unidentified men and women, including one woman commonly seen wearing a long, blue dress, known as The Blue Lady. According to one popular ghost story passed on by locals, the woman was killed by a sailor after it was discovered she had become pregnant with the man's child and her body was buried in one of the old tunnels beneath the restaurant, however no historical evidence is currently available to validate these claims. The story of The Blue Lady has become so well known over the years that employees even created a cocktail named after her. Another apparition often seen by patrons and employees at Rockafellas Restaurant & Bar is that of a somber man wearing a dark suit, who is believed to have been a former minister that committed suicide when the building was used as a church. Pedestrians walking near Rockafellas Restaurant & Bar late at night also report witnessing strange, glowing orbs moving around inside the empty building, and hearing the sounds of disembodied voices and screams.
#10 - Ropes Mansion
Coordinates: 42.521205°, -70.899815°
Location Address: 318 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts, 01970
The Ropes Mansion in Salem, Massachusetts was constructed in the late 1720's by a man named Samuel Bernard, who passed away at the location in 1762. Samuel Bernard also had four wives throughout his lifetime, two of which passed away in the house in 1743 and 1753. Their spirits are rumored to haunt the location, as well as the ghost of a man named Judge Nathaniel Ropes who died of smallpox in March of 1774. In 1839, Nathaniel Ropes' daughter, Abigail, was burned alive after the hem of her dress caught fire while she was carrying hot coals to one of the mansion's heating stoves. Those visiting Ropes Mansion often report witnessing the ghost of Abigail Ropes (sometimes referred to by the nickname "Nabby"), or hearing the sounds of her disembodied screams and cries of pain as she is forced to relive her agonizing death over and over again. Others report being touched by an unseen hand or feeling a strange presence, especially in the garden area.
#11 - 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 location 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.
#12 - 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 during the 1970's, however these claims are unable to be validated with historical evidence. 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 urban legends.
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Brian Weaver is the founder and creator of GhostQuest.net, the internet’s largest database 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.