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Haunted Places and Centers of Paranormal Active:
Massachusetts

Danvers State Mental Asylum, Danvers

Danvers State Mental Asylum

A Brief History: Danvers State Mental Asylum is located at 450 Maple St. in the town of Danvers, Massachusetts about 20 miles north of Boston. It was built in 1875 by Nathaniel Jeremiah Bradlee, for the purpose to provide residential treatment and care to the mentally ill. It followed an architectural design system called the "Kirkbride Plan" which consists of a central administration and staff housing building with staggered wings on both sides that allow all areas to received nearly equal sunlight and fresh air. It is said looking down on the site, the structure would resemble a giant bat. The idea at the time was that by making the patients more comfortable, it would help them to get better. Later on, the hospital expanded to include a training program for nurses and a pathological research lab.

While the original designs were to house up to 600 patients, overcrowded buildings became a problem in the 1930's and 1940's. Population reached over 2000 causing poor treatment of patients, including starvation, abuse, and brutal therapies. It is also said that Danvers Asylum, was where the lobotomy procedure was perfected. Budget cuts in the mental health care system finally closed the hospital in 1992 and it was abandoned.

The property was bought in December 2005 by Avalon Bay Properties with the intent to build a 497-apartment complex on the grounds. Numerous court battles took place to save the buildings from demolition, but in the end all were torn down except the Kirkbride Building. They kept the outer brick part of the structure and rebuilt inside.

Haunted History: Danvers was once part of Salem Village, the site of the witch trials. One of the judges, John Hawthorne, lived in a house right on the spot the hospital was built. It was torn down. The witch trials took place in the nearby area of the where the hospital stands.

In April 2007, during construction of the apartment complex, a fire burned down four of the new buildings and partially damaged the Kirkbride Building. No cause for the fire was ever determined. Avalon has erected a monument recognizing the patients and staff of the former hospital.

There is still a cemetery with mass graves only marked with numbers. At the time, people with mental illness were no longer considered human and when they died, the grave was only marked with their registration number.

During the time the hospital was abandoned, it was very difficult to get access to the site. One can only speculate after the many deaths and poor treatment of the mentally ill, what lingering troubled energy remains on the grounds at Danvers.


Hawthorne Hotel, Salem

Hawthorne Hotel

A Brief History: Located at 18 Washington Square Salem Massachusetts. In August of 1925 the doors opened at the Hawthorne Hotel. On the day that the hotel opened there was a citywide parade. In the 1940’s the Hawthorne purchased the Crowninshield-Bentley House, it was later donated to the Essex Institute in 1959. In the 1950’s the name of the hotel was changed to the Hawthorne Motor Hotel, in order to attract the huge boom of automobile enthusiasts and families alike. In June of 1970 an episode of Bewitched titled Salem Saga was filmed at the hotel. In 1985 it was the 60th anniversary of the hotel at this time it was called the Hawthorne Inn. In 2001 former President Bill Clinton stayed at the hotel. In 2003 the hotel acquired the Suzannah Flint Guest House, which is across the street. As recent as 2015 Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence filmed a movie at the hotel titled Joy.

Haunted History: On October 30th 1990 on the 64th anniversary of Harry Houdini s death there was a séance performed at the hotel. As far as we know there was no contact made. The hotel holds a Halloween party every year since 1991. Room 325 is said to be haunted by a spirit that lays hands on people. There is also said to be a child that will not stop crying. The entire 6th floor is said to have an apparition of a woman that is roaming the endlessly roaming the halls.


Lizzie Borden House, Fall River

Lizzie Borden House

A Brief History: The Lizzie Borden house is located on 92 Second St. Fall River, MA. It is best known for the gruesome and unsolved axe murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, on August 4, 1892. Prior to the murders, Lizzie lived in the home with her father, stepmother, her sister, Emma and their maid Bridget Sullivan. It has been reported that Lizzie had found her parents bludgeoned to death, and the murderer had ran off. The murder weapon was found hidden in the basement. Lizzie was accused and arrested for the murders but was later acquitted and continued to live in Fall River until her death on June 1st 1927.

Haunted History: Although the home is known for its dark history, it has also been a location where paranormal activity has been reported. The Lizzie Borden House, now a very popular B&B has had many reports of floral scents, doors opening and closing on their own, as well as floors creaking. Guests have reported the spirits are polite but make their presence known to the living. The previous owner has stated the lights had a life of their own flicking on and off. Indentations of a body have been found in the John Morse room. Throughout the night cries can be heard, and the spirit of Lizzie has been seen in the basement frantically searching for a place to dispose the murder weapon.


Old Burial Point, Salem

Old Burial Point Salem

A Brief History: Old Burying Point, otherwise known as the Charter Street Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Salem. The cemetery was started in 1637 and is the second oldest cemetery in the United States. The cemetery is located on Charter Street and houses many prominent figures from the Salem witch trials. John Hawthorne and Jonathan Corwin, two judges from the infamous witch trials were laid to rest here as well as many other significant figures from the time period. This cemetery is one of the best preserved in the country for its age, with a lot of upkeep and repairing of headstones in order to keep them as well intact as possible for future generations.

Haunted History: Old Burying Point Cemetery has haunted reports all over the spectrum, from full-bodied apparitions, to orbs, disembodied voices and intense chills. This cemetery is known as a hot spot for paranormal activity. Among the legends, it is said that if you take a picture of the cemetery at night, you may just capture a picture of a citizen from Salem’s past.


The Salem Inn, Salem

The Salem Inn

A Brief History: The Salem Inn is a beautiful, historical property that consists of three buildings. Built in 1834 by Captain Nathaniel West, the Captain West House is the main building located on this property. This house consists of 23 guest rooms and suites. All of these rooms are decorated with many antiques and have the details of the time. The second property apart of the Salem Inn is the Curwen House. This home was constructed in 1854. This property has 11 rooms and much like the Captain West house, this building is decorate with antiques to keep it true to the time period it was constructed in. Lastly, we have the Peabody House. Constructed in 1874, the Peabody house is perfect for families and small groups. This is the smallest building that is apart of the Salem Inn complex. There is no specific history attached to these homes other than the age of buildings and the location in the Historical District of Salem.

Haunted History: There are many paranormal claims that come along with staying at the Salem Inn. The owners are convinced that the location is not haunted. However, the employees and guest say otherwise. According to the accounts, there are many spirits who roam the halls of the Salem Inn. The most activity happens in the Captain West House. There are four well-known tales of the Salem Inn. The first one is a woman that the employees have named Katherine. She hangs around the location and is known to run past people up the stairs. The second known entity is a cat that hangs out in the parlor area. There are no cats on the property, but it is said that one is frequently seen. Also, people who have allergies to cats, sometimes have outbreaks while spending time in the parlor. Thirdly, there is a small boy who has made his presence known at the Inn. It is said that you can hear his laughter and the pitter-patter of his feet running in the hallways on the second floor of the house. It is also said that sometimes the employees at the front desk hear the sound of a pebble falling on front desk from the staircase upstairs. They believe that this may be the handy work of the little boys spirit. Lastly, the most popular story of the Salem Inn is linked to Room 17. This room is said to be very active. There is a legend of a woman named Elizabeth whose life was taken while staying in that room. She was murdered by her husband. Therefore, when men stay in the room, she likes to taunt them. It is said that people hear noises in the closet, and footsteps around the room. This is also common of many rooms in the Captain West house.


USS Joseph P Kennedy, Jr (DD-850)

USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr

A Brief History: The USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. (DD-850) was a Gearing Class destroyer which was commissioned in December of 1945. Her namesake was a lieutenant in the American navy who died during a secret mission to destroy a V2 rocket facility when the special plane he was flying exploded. Joseph was also known for being the older brother to President John F. Kennedy.

During the Korean War the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. was ordered to join Task Force 77 serving off the Korean coast. Once there she provided screening for American carriers and other ships bombarding enemy positions. Upon completion of combat duty she sailed westward to achieve a circumnavigation of the world.

She continued being present at important places in history. This came to a head in 1962, as the world held its breath when the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. was deployed with other American naval ships to form a blockade of Cuba. This was in order to prevent the Soviet Union from deploying ballistic missile on the island. A Lebanese freighter attempted to break through the blockade. President John F. Kennedy ordered Commander Nicholas S. Mikhalevsky, of the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. to intercept and board the ship.

In 1966 the USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. participated in the recovery efforts of Gemini 12. Upon the end of the Vietnam War in 1973 the government made the decision to retire some of its ships. The USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. was decommissioned, and then later taken off the Naval Register on July 1, 1973. She was then relocated to Fall River, Massachusetts to be part of the Battleship Cove Museum. In 2010 she opened to the public as a memorial for Massachusetts citizens who gave their lives during the Korean and Vietnam wars. The USS Joseph P Kennedy Jr. is also the location of the Admiral Arleigh Burke Destroyermen’s Museum.

Haunted History: Visitors have claimed to hear an unexplainable tapping sound while walking through the ship. Some visitors have also seen a sailor appear and disappear below decks.


USS Massachusetts (BB59)

USS Massachusetts BB59

A Brief History: The USS Massachusetts, a South Dakota Class Battleship, was built by the Bethlehem Steel Company at their Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts beginning July 20, 1939. Commissioned May 1942 “Big Mamie,” as the ship came to be known, saw its first action of World War II dealing out damage to enemy ships, ports, and building in the coastal city of Casablanca, Morocco as part of Operation Torch (the allied invasion of North Africa). From there the USS Massachusetts joined the pacific fleet in February of 1943 where she would finish out her tour of duty assisting in the invasions of the Gilbert Islands, the Marshall Islands, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. The battleship also participated in the bombardment of Japanese controlled islands throughout the pacific, as well as the shelling of the Imperial Iron and Steel Works at Kamaishi and a factory in Hamamatsu. Decommissioned March 2, 1947 she was stricken from the Naval Register in June 1965 and ordered to be sold for scrap before an immense fund raising endeavor at the hands of Massachusetts school students and her former crew came up with enough money to bring “Big Mamie” to the Fall River, MA waterfront where she has remained since as one of the five National Landmark ships at Battleship Cove.

Haunted History: There have been many claims of feelings of being watched while walking through the tight hallways of the ship. There have also been claims of hearing voices while on the ship late at night when no one else is around. People have also claimed that while in a room by yourself for a little while you start to get a feeling of get out.


USS Salem (CA-139)

USS Salem CA-139

A Brief History: The USS Salem docked in Quincy, Massachusetts is host to the United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum. Located at 739 Washington Street, it sits in permanent birth. However, before it was reincarnated as a museum; the USS Salem was a Des Moines class heavy cruiser, and Flagship of the U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.

Construction of the USS Salem began in 1943 during World War II. By the time she was ready for sea trials in 1947 the war was over. On May 14, 1949 the USS Salem was commissioned in the Boston Navy Yard. She spent the next 10 years sailing around the Mediterranean. During those 10 years the USS Salem never fired a shot in combat. She was however involved in many diplomatic situations during the Cold War. She carried important people such as the US Ambassador to Spain John D. Lodge, Naval Undersecretary Thomas Gates, the Shah of Iran, royalty of Greece, and President of Lebanon. She also came to rescue of the people of Greece offering humanitarian aid after an earthquake. During 1959 the USS Salem was decommissioned and sent to be part of Atlantic Reserve Fleet in case she was ever needed again. In 1994 the USS Salem was selected to become a museum and was sent up to Massachusetts. On May 14, 1995 she opened her doors to the public as the United States Naval Shipbuilding Museum.

Haunted History: Once the USS Salem had begun its second life as a museum strange stories began being told by those visiting the ship. Many people claim to see and hear what they believe is a sailor still working on machinery near the bow of the ship. It is believed that the spirit of John, a former ship volunteer, haunts the anchor room where he was found deceased. Strange sounds are said to come from the bakery of the ship, and in the operating room people report hearing a woman yelling “Get it out, ouch.” During an investigation LIPI investigators heard banging noises inside the anchor room that they were unable to trace to anything on the ship. That was followed by the sound of something dragging along the floor. Also, during a search of the geedunk (snack bar) 2 investigators thought they heard a female voice say “hey guys.” While the USS Salem no longer sails the oceans of the world, perhaps some of its former crew still does their part in keeping ship ready for a mission that will never come.


Victorian Mansion

Victorian Mansion

A Brief History: “The Victorian”, as the house is commonly known, was built by furniture maker S.K. Pierce in the year 1875. It is named based on its beautiful Victorian architecture, complete with a mansard roof, huge bay windows, and classic wood furniture. Located at 4 West Broadway in Gardner, Massachusetts, the house was home to the likes of P.T. Barnum (one half of the founders of the Barnum and Bailey Circus), and President Calvin Coolidge. The house was bought by Edwin Gonzalez and Lillian Otero in 2008, and that is when the two brought many of the paranormal experiences that took place in this house to light. The couple moved out in 2011. The house is currently used for ghost tours.

Haunted History: These claims come from the many deaths that took place in the mansion: Pierce’s (the architect’s) son lost the mansion in a card game in the early 1900s and supposedly died in the house. There are also stories of a girl drowning in the pond in the yard, and a man in 1963 who spontaneously combusted in the middle of the master bedroom floor, and claims of a brothel being active in the home as well, in which one of the prostitutes was murdered in one of the second-floor bedrooms. Some of the hauntings include shadowy figures, unexplainable footsteps, doors slamming, a small boy running past the windows. One of the neighbors actually asked the most recent couple if their son could come out and play…the couple had no children. The reason the couple left the house: Lillian felt a pressure on her chest and she felt paralyzed. This was the couple’s breaking point, and they decided to leave their beloved house behind.



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