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. And if you liked this list, be sure to check out my new book, The Folklore & Haunted Locations Guide: Massachusetts, available on Amazon!!
#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.
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.