Here are a few stories from various books, websites and people about hauntings in Massachusetts. Please check back often as we will be adding more stories that we come across as well as stories that people submit to the site!

 

 

Adams Mt. Greylock
Concord Colonial Inn
Greenfield Eunice Williams Covered Bridge
Nantucket Coffin House Restaurant
Salisbury Beach Shipwreck
Wayland Vokes Theatre
West Springfield Ashley House Restaurant

 

 

Adams

The sad story surrounds and area called Bellow's Pipe Trail on Mt. Greylock in the Berkshires. As the Civil War began, a North Adams farmer named William Saunders left home in 1861 to fight for the Union. About a year later, his wife, Belle, received a report that her husband had been gravely wounded and was in a military hospital. That was the last she heard of him. Alone and in need of help, she hired a local man to work the farm with her; later she married the man and he adopted her children. In 1865, a bearded, ragged man, wearing a Union blue uniform, stepped off the train in North Adams. You can guess who had finally returned home. Saunders walked to his farm, and while standing outside he saw his wife and happy family, his children calling another man "daddy."

Crushed, he turned on his heels and walked away, heading toward Mt. Greylock, where he built a shack in the remote Bellows Pipe. He lived the rest of his days there, almost a hermit, hiring himself out occasionally to farms, known to locals only as the "Old Coot." War and time had ravaged his appearance and no one recognized him. It's said that he even worked his old spread on occasion, perhaps sitting down to meals with his family, only he knowing the truth. Folks say the Old Coot was insane, but whether it was caused by the horrors of war or grief at losing his family, no one knows. One winter's day, hunters came upon the shack to find the Old Coot cold dead. But they were startled to see his spirit fly from his body and head up the mountain. That was the first sighting of the Ghost of the Old Coot, but certainly not the last.

To this day, his bedraggled spirit is sometimes seen on Mt. Greylock, always heading up the mountain, but never coming down. You might say you don't believe it, but are you brave enough to walk the Bellows Pipe Trail after dark?
Thanks to iberkshires.com for the great story, taken from the October 2003 issue of Family Beat Magazine

Directions: Mount Greylock is located in the northern part of western Massachusetts, in Berkshire County. From the east or west: Take the Mass Pike (I-90) to exit 2 in Lee. Follow Rte. 20 west to Rte. 7 north. Continue north from Pittsfield to Lanesborough. About 1.5 miles north of Lanesborough center watch for the Mt. Greylock State Reservation signs on the right. Turn right onto North Main St. and follow brown state reservation signs, 1.5 miles to Visitors Center. Visit the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation for more info and directions. county map

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Concord

A grayish apparition haunts room 24 of the Colonial Inn on the second floor. The ghost is thought to be a guest of the Inn who stayed there in the late 1800s. THe haunted room is the oldest section of the Inn. Built in 1716, the house later became part of an inn that enveloped two other houses. A conventional brick building was added to the rear of the Inn in the late 1960s. The first sighting of the ghost was on June 14, 1966, when a woman on her honeymoon at the Inn was awakened by a shadowy figure four feet from the edge of her bed. The apparition floated to the foot of the bed and vanished. Recent accounts include a woman from Virginia who also encountered the ghost of room 24.

Directions: Concord is located 18 miles northwest of Boston in Middlesex County, north of Route 2 on highway 126. The address is 48 Monument Square, Concord and the phone number is 508-369-9200. For reservations, call 800-370-9200. county map

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Greenfield

On February 29, 1704, a band of Mohawk Indians and French savagely attacked the village of Deerfield (now Greenfield), killing many citizens and taking more than 100 captive, including the town's minister, Reverend John Williams. The Indians then drove the captives in a death march toward a camp in Canada.

The attackers were brutal, striking down any who could not keep up. Others starved to death. Eunice Williams, wife of the reverend, had given birth just a few hours before the attack. She felt her strength failing and knew she would soon be killed. She said goodbye to her husband, with the wish that he and at least some of their children would survive.

While crossing a river in Greenfield, not far from today's Mohawk Trail, Eunice fell and was instantly struck and killed by a tomahawk blow. Her body, soaked with water and blood, was left behind while the march continued. The surviving captives were held in Canada for nearly two years, until they were finally set free or "redeemed." John Williams and two of the Williams children returned home, but a third, also named Eunice, chose to stay with the Indians. The notorious "Unredeemed Captive" later married one of the tribe, and, despite repeated attempts, mostly rejected the English ways for the rest of her life.

Taken from her home, her newborn child ripped from her arms, driven on a forced march, hacked to death in a cold river and finally scorned by her namesake and daughter, some believe the spirit of Eunice Williams is still not at rest. Legend has it that her ghost can be seen at night in the water or inside the covered bridge that now bears her name, Eunice Williams Covered Bridge. It is said that Eunice can be summoned to appear, perhaps believing that her family has finally returned to her.
Thanks to iberkshires.com for the great story, taken from the October 2003 issue of Family Beat Magazine

Directions: The Eunice Williams Covered Bridge is located in Greenfield, which is in Franklin County. Take Route 2 to exit 10 toward Greenfield. Turn right to merge onto Routes 10 and 5, and after two miles turn left onto Severence Street/Log Plain Road. Go about 3/4 mile down the road and turn left onto Barton Road. After a mile turn right into Leyden Road and after a quarter mile turn left onto Eunice Williams Drive. The bridge is currently closed to traffic but there is parking on either side so you can get out and walk around. county map

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Nantucket

The Coffin House was named for William Coffin, a bank director accused of embezzling money from the local bank in 1797. He was proved innocent when a robber confessed 20 years later, but his life was already ruined by suspicion and gossip. His bitter ghost now haunts his former home. Author Peter Benchley encountered the ghost when he lived there in the 1960s. He described it as an elderly man with long hair, dressed in 18th century clothes. The ghost was sitting in a rocking chair in front of the fireplace. Since then, several sightings have been reported.

Directions: Nantucket is a large island in the southeast corner of Massachusetts, about 22 miles off the shore of Cape Cod. Nantucket is on the north shore of the island. The house is now the Coffin House Restaurant on Union Street. The phone number is 508-228-2400. county map

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Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach, like many coastal towns along the shores of Massachusetts, was the site of a tragic shipwreck. The Jennie M. Carter, a schooner en route from Rockland, Maine, to New York with a cargo of heavy stone encountered a nor'easter in April 1894 and became lost in violent, blinding seas. After losing a rudder and foretop mast in Ipswich, it forged on before running aground a few days later in Salisbury.

The weight of its cargo caused the ship to sink in the sand. The six on board, including the captain and his young niece, fled in lifeboats, which would ultimately lead to their demise. Had they stayed on board, it was later determined, they all would have likely been safely rescued as was the ship's cat.

If you go to the beach today, small remnants of the shipwreck can still be seen at extreme low tide. Here is a picture of the wreck and a closeup of it as well taken in 2004 (please note that the beams coming up out of the sand in the close part of the pictures are the remnants of the the old Frolics building; the short wooden poles coming out of the water are part of the shipwreck). Also, here is an old postcard photo of the shipwreck as it looked earlier in the last century. There is also an exhibit at the Maritime Museum in Newburyport if you want to see historical pictures of the wreck.

Since the shipwreck, there have been numerous reports of paranormal activity on the beach and in the nearby buildings. Visitors to the beach as well as various employees of a business located on the beach next to the old Frolics building have reported seeing strange lights and shadows as well as eerie voices on the beach near the site of the wreck late at night that do not belong to real people.
Thanks to the Eagle Tribune for the article dated 6/17/04 and Maureen Kelly of the Gulf of Maine times for the Summer 2004 Gulf Log article.

Directions: Salisbury Beach is located on Route 1A in Essex County. From I-95, take exit 58 towards Salisbury/Amesbury onto Route 110 and follow the signs to Salisbury Beach. The remnants of the wreck are located to the left of the old Frolics building as you face the ocean. The old Frolics building is next to Tripoli's Pizza/Joe's Playland (portions of the Frolics building are still open for other businesses in the summer). county map

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Wayland

The Vokes Theatre, a small playhouse, is haunted by the ghost of Beatrice Herford, a British actress who founded it in 1904. Named after comedienne Rosina Vokes, the private theatre was part of Herford's estate. After she died in 1952, it became the property of a local theatre group. Her friendly spirit is most often seen near her reserved box in the balcony, although some employees and patrons have heard her whispering voice or encountered her presence in the lobby and backstage.

Directions: Wayland is 15 miles west of Boston in Middlesex County, located on Boston Post Road. A portrait of Beatrice hangs in the the lobby of the theatre. county map

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West Springfield

The ghost of a former owner of the popular Ashley House Restaurant keeps a close eye on how it is run. Vincent Lanzarotto owned the restaurant from 1951 until he died in 1978. He ran the business with a strong hand and supervised his employees closely. His ghost has been seen in the dining room, but the most frequent manifestation is a foul, highly localized odor that materializes if he is upset with the management of the restaurant. The unexplainable sounds of a non-existent dinner party have been heard in the downstairs area and the ghosts of an elderly couple have been seen in the basement.
The building was originally a farmhouse built by Charles Ashley in 1829. In the 1920s it was used as a tavern and inn. The old house became Vincent's Steakhouse in 1951.

Directions: The restaurant and motel is route 5/Riverdale Road in Springfield, in Hampden County. county map

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The information is only as reliable as our readers' reports. We assume no credit for your adventures, and accept no liability for misadventures. Use common sense. Before visiting any "haunted" site, verify the location, accessibility, safety, and other important information. Accessibility may become limited without our knowledge, due to excessive visits by curiosity seekers. Never trespass on private and/or posted property without specific permission from the authorities. Okay, we're done. :-)

 

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