I be a little biased, being a Mainer but New England is the best place to be for “spooky season”. When I think spooky, it conjures up witches and Master of Horror Stephen King. There are so many things to do the whole month of October in the area, whether you want to be scared witless or just learn a little history. Get cozy because this post is long, but full of spooky fun!
Take a Selfie Outside Stephen King’s House
King is the Master of Horror for a reason and his home does not disappoint. From the Gothic facade to the wrought iron spiderweb gate adorned with little creatures (so creepy) everything here screams scary. It’s a bucket list item for any fan of King.
Location: 47 W Broadway, Bangor, Maine
Built between 1844 and 1869, Fort Knox is a fort that never saw a battle. It is said though, that the ghosts of Maine soldiers still roam its dark granite tunnels. There was even an episode of “Ghost Hunters” filmed there! The conclusion was that, indeed the fort is very, very haunted. They even do ghost tours.
Location: 740 Fort Knox Road, Prospect, Maine
Colonel Buck’s Cursed Grave
I learned about Buck’s grave when I did my Maine report in 4th grade. I asked my parents to make the over 2 hour drive so I could see it, I was such a strange kid. John Buck as a Puritan and when a woman was accused of witchcraft, he sentenced her to be executed. Right before she died she cursed Buck saying that when a stone was erected for his grave an image of her foot would appear, imprinting that he murdered a woman.
Now, I’ve heard so many versions of this story. Who knows what the real story is? What is true is that the grave stone features a mysterious stain, the outline of a woman’s stocking or maybe a boot. His heirs tried to clean the foot off the stone and are said to have replaced the monument twice! But the foot… keeps… coming… back! Super creepy right?
Location: 7 Hinks Street, Bucksport, Maine
Benson’s Wild Animal Farm operated from 1927 to 1987 as zoo and amusement park. The perfect place to spend the day with family. The 165 acres is now open for recreational use, where you can walk over 3 miles of trails. You can admire the beautiful lakes, forest and former animal enclosures. Yep that’s right you can go into the kinda creepy gorilla house with it’s faded murals and rusty bars. Or explore the giant shoe structure from the “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe”. I think anything abandoned is high on the creepy list. So you can be creeped out but still get a nice walk in. 🙂
Location: Benson Park, 19 Kimball Hill Road, Hudson, New Hampshire
Stay if you dare at this charming inn. Easily one of the oldest buildings in the area, the residence, now inn was built in 1649 by Valentine Hill. He also built a sawmill and gristmill in the area, quite the entrepreneur of the time. It’s his daughter, Hannah, who is said to still haunt the inn. Records show that she was married at age 20, and though there is no further mention of her life or death, it’s believed that she drowned in the nearby Oyster River. There have been accounts of furniture moving, being awoken by the feeling of someone playing with your hair (shudder), locks that lock themselves. Straight up body chills.
Location: 17 Newmarket Road, Durham, New Hampshire
The Eddy House/ High Life Ski Club Lodge
Formerly the Eddy House, the building that houses the High Life Ski Club Lodge has a long history of being haunted, since at least 1874. Originally the home of Zepaniah Eddy, who had three children: William, Horatio and Mary, descended from a long line of psychics. The Eddys were mediums from a young age and played with ghostly children, went into trances, spoke in spirit’s voices, and were eventually expelled from school for levitating desks and making books fly through the air. The children were often abused by their father because he was tired of it all. He eventually man sold his children to a traveling sideshow that took them all over the U.S., Canada and Europe for 14 years. Sadly, they were treated even worse by their sideshow “family”.
When Zepaniah died, the children moved back to the farm and opened the house as an inn called, the Green Tavern. They held séances for guests and conjured up spirits. Henry Steel Olcott went to validate the authenticity of the stories and, convinced of the authenticity of the Eddys’ abilities, wrote a book called People from Other Worlds.
Location: 127 Chittenden Road, Chittenden, Vermont
Built in 1844, this is a single lane, 50 foot long bridge that is haunted by a heartbroken girl. There are many stories of how Emily died on the bridge. The most popular is that she was supposed to elope with a lover who was meeting her at the bridge, and when he didn’t show, she hung herself from the rafters. Emily is a bit of an angry spirit. Tales of claw like gouges down the sides of cars, strange sightings, noises and lights have all been reported over the years. Even the locals are a bit weary of this place.
Location: Covered Bridge Road and Gold Brook Road, Stowe, Vermont
Allegedly haunted by the former mistress of the house, Mrs. Brown. One woman at the White House Inn awoke in the middle of the night to find an old lady sitting by her bed. When their eyes met, the phantom spoke: ”One Mrs. Brown in this house is quite enough.” The guest’s name was, in fact, Brown. Gaaah so creepy! There are rumored to be several spirits at the inn, including one said to lurk in the secret staircase behind a built in cupboard in the main dining room at the inn. A few guests have been so disturbed they have left in the middle of the night.
Location: 178 VT-9, Wilmington, Vermont
Obviously, Salem. All October long you’ll find themed festivities and attractions including a carnival, haunted house, spooky tours and more. I did a whole post about Salem last year. You’ll find museums and tours worth checking out and Hocus Pocus film locations.
Everyone knows the tale of Lizzie Borden (and has probably sung the little rhyme). But did you know you can stay the night at the haunted family home? Those who have visited the site of the 1892 unsolved murder (Lizzie wasn’t actually charged, only accused) have heard weeping, whispers and footsteps,(oh my!) Some have even seen wandering apparitions in Victorian-era clothing. You can take a day tour or stay for the night in the actual room where Abby Borden met her demise. “Lizzie Borden took an axe, And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one.“
Location: 230 2nd Street, Fall River, Massachusetts
Spider Gates Cemetery
It is believed that the 1740 Quaker cemetery is the gateway to another dimension…like a portal to hell. Its actual name is Friends Cemetery, and is privately owned by the Worcester-Pleasant Street Friends Meeting. Set back from the main road and past a stream that some think is the mouth of the River Styx, the iron gate serves as the entrance to a secluded graveyard lovingly known as “The Eighth Gate to Hell.” Just so you know,there is just one entrance – the main one with the wrought-iron spider web pattern. There have been ghostly sightings, strange noises and evidence of satanic rituals conducted on the stone “altar.”
Location: 15 Earle Street, Leicester, Massachusetts
This is the actual location where the story behind the movie The Conjuring started. This authentic Colonial home, circa 1736, is likely the most haunted house in America. The Perron family who once dwelled within its walls during the 1970s, brought that to light. Andrea Perron describes her childhood home as “a portal cleverly disguised as a farmhouse”. Yikes! You can visit for the day and take a tour or stay overnight. I love to be scared but I don’t think I would stay the night here, I’ve seen the movies and those spirits are not kidding around.
Location: 677 Round Top Road, Burrillville, Rhode Island
Mercy Brown’s Grave
The Brown family seemed to be cursed. In 1883 poor George Brown lost his wife, Mary Brown, to a mysterious illness. Six months later, his 20 year old daughter, Mary Olive Brown, also fell ill and died. Within a few years, his 19 year old daughter, Mercy Brown, dies in January 1892 (her body was placed in a crypt because the ground was frozen). When George’s teenage son Edwin Brown who seemed perfectly healthy started to appear frail and sickly the doctor informed George that the “consumption” (aka tuberculosis) was to blame.
The townspeople had other thoughts though, that one of the deceased was leaving the grave at night to suck the life out of its relatives. They had a vampire in their town! They decided to exhume the bodies and found that Mercy’s appeared oddly well preserved for being buried for two months. It also seemed that her hair and nails had grown. And on top of that when the men touched the corpse with their shovel, they found that it was filled with fresh blood. Clearly a vampire, her heart cut out (and dripped blood) was burned and the ashes placed in Edwin’s medicine. He still died shortly after.
Location: 467 Ten Rod Road, Exeter, Rhode Island (Go up the main road through the cemetery to the clump of evergreens on the left)
Gay City State Park
This spooky park contains the remnants of an abandoned village. While getting some exercise and taking in the beauty of nature, you’ll also see gravestones and old ruins from the days when these woods contained a thriving town. Gay City was first settled in 1796 by the leader of a religious sect. There were around 25 households, most were members of the Gay family, hence the town’s name. The small settlement had both a wool mill and saw mill, so they were pretty self sufficient. By the time of the time of the Civil War the town had fizzled out. There was a lot of fighting amongst the community, it can be difficult surrounded by family all the time! When you visit today you will see remnants of chimneys, stone houses and gravestones of the people who once dwelled there. There are rumors that the area is haunted. Some hikers report hearing brawls or seeing ghostly figures out in the woods. Creepy.
Location: Gay City State Park, 386 North Street, Hebron, Connecticut
This now crumbling castle was built between 1895 and 1899 as a summer retreat for a prominent New York family. The once-elegant Hearthstone Castle sits abandoned in Tarrywile Park. There have been reports of shadowy figures and glowing orbs in the windows. Spooky! There have also been reports of sticks being thrown at visitors.
Location: Tarrywile Park, 70 Southern Boulevard, Danbury, Connecticut
New London Ledge Lighthouse
A picturesque lighthouse is allegedly the home of one of the most distinctive ghosts in the area, the spirit of former keeper “Ernie.” Legend has it that in the 1920s or 1930s, the lighthouse keeper was so distraught that his wife had run off with a local ferry captain that he jumped from the roof to his death and has haunted the lighthouse ever since.
Location: New London Harbor, Connecticut
In 1931, this hospital served those who experienced severe mental illnesses (criminally insane). The patients lived in the 16 buildings that were connected by underground tunnels. It is said to be haunted as a result of the apparent tragic history of patient abuse and questionable deaths. In 1995, the facility was closed. However, those who have ventured out into some of the abandoned sections of the campus have claimed to have seen shadow figures roaming the grounds.
Location: 3 Primrose Sreett, Newtown, Connecticut
I think that’s a good start of spooky destinations to explore in New England. There are SO many places in this part of the US that will definitely give you full body chills. Enjoy your spooky season!