Boston, Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in America, dating back almost 400 years. There are underground tunnels, unmarked graves, historic public execution sites, and the occasional grave robbery. The city is drenched in history, leading to many haunted tales. The ghost stories about the area are local legend and lore, weaving together researched history and haunted accounts. Boston’s darker side of history includes a city troubled with war, murderers, and strife…it’s really no surprise that it remains one of the most haunted cities in America.
Colonial Boston only scratches the surface of its darker side. There are burial grounds nearly 400 years old, one of which has the largest number of unmarked gravesites and was the site of the biggest grave-robbing scandal in New England’s history. King’s Chapel, the city’s oldest burying ground, is within the confines of Downtown Boston and is the final resting place of many of Boston’s first inhabitants and heroes of the Revolutionary War. Sir Isaac Johnson established King’s Chapel and was the first person to be buried there. Many have heard the haunted tales of the man buried alive and of the woman whose gravesite was dug too small, so they decapitated her and placed her head between her legs to fit her into the ground. The lack of respect for the dead in these accounts is said to be the cause of many paranormal occurrences in the cemetery.
Along with the creepy burial grounds, there are other sites rumored to be haunted. One of the most famous of which is The Omni Parker House – Boston’s most haunted hotel. Founded by Harvey Parker in 1855, it is situated in the heart of downtown along the Freedom Trail. Paranormal activities have been reported, such as sightings of a bearded man dressed in colonial era attire on the 9th and 10th floors of the hotel and in Room 1012, orbs of light hovering down the 10th floor hallways and then mysteriously vanishing, strange shadows throughout Room 303 and bathtub water that randomly turns on and off by itself, the elevator that randomly stops on the 3rd floor when no buttons have been pressed and the sounds of rocking chairs creaking late at night when none are present. Could these activities be the works of Harvey’s ghost or that of Charlotte Cushman, who died on the 3rd floor in 1876? Only the bravest are willing to stay the night at one of the most haunted and historic hotels in New England.
Other historical landmarks with sinister reputations include the Granary Burying Ground, located on Tremont Street. Famed patriots such as Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock are buried there, along with the family of Benjamin Franklin and the victims of the Boston Massacre. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, the second oldest in Boston, was founded in 1659 and named after shoemaker William Copp. There are many spirits rumored to roam in Copp’s Hill and are said to be the souls of those who are not able to rest peacefully. If you’re looking for a spooky vacation this Halloween, explore the beauty of Beantown…or rather, Screamtown!