This Massachusetts Home Is Said To Be One Of The Most Haunted Places In America

The city of Salem, Massachusetts is steeped in ghostly lore. No doubt the deaths of the 24 innocent people who perished at the hands of a corrupt and frenzied legal system, more than 300 years ago, have something to do with the terrifying tales (via Biography). Salem boasts of many haunted locations connected directly with the witch trials themselves.

Constructed in 1923, the Hawthorne Hotel is believed to have been built on the very orchard where the convicted "witch" Bridget Bishop grew her apples. Her ghost is said to haunt the hotel, favoring the sixth floor and rooms 612 and 325 in particular. Guests and workers at the hotel have reported disembodied voices coming from these rooms as well as seeing her ghost materialize in the hallway (per Salem Ghosts). 

Other locations in this historic community are the Joshua Ward House and the Old Burying Point cemetery. As scary as these places are reported to be, the most haunted place in all of the state of Massachusetts is a 17th-century mansion on Derby Street.

The House of the Seven Gables

The house is officially called the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion. Its construction began in 1667 by John Turner, who was a hat and shoe merchant. The house quickly became the talk of Salem and after Turner's death, it was acquired by sea captain Samuel Ingersoll, who was the uncle of famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The writer never lived in the home himself, but frequently called on his cousin Susannah (per Gothic Horror Stories).

According to Ghost City Tours, Susannah revealed a lot to the author about their sordid family history, especially tales that surrounded their great-grandfather, John Hawthorne. The elder Hawthorne was a judge during the Salem witch trials and was personally responsible for sealing the fate of many of the 24 innocent people who suffered torture and death for crimes imagined by a paranoid community. 

Biography tells us that 19 were hung, one poor soul was pressed to death, and four more died inside jail cells while awaiting trial. Hawthorne was inspired to write "The House of the Seven Gables," basing the novel, in part, on his great-grandfather and setting it at the home where he had spent so much time with his cousin. 

The ghosts that haunt the mansion

If you were to ask a tour guide working at the house whether or not the house was really haunted, you'd most likely get a resounding "no" for an answer. However, there are a good number of former employees and residents of this house, who will say that it is indeed haunted.

One former employee recalls a terrifying experience from her days working at the tourist attraction in the early 2000s. While in the laundry room one afternoon, she felt an eerie presence. The rumors of this building being haunted were not new to her, but she had never felt uneasy until she was in the basement loading the washer. She tells of a man dressed in colonial-era clothing materializing in the corner of the room. He rushed over to her with his arms outstretched, as if to strangle her. Terrified, she immediately fled the basement and ran out into the daylit courtyard. She quit her job later that day (via Real Ghost Stories Online podcast).

Visitors to this house have also reportedly witnessed the ghost of a man climbing up and down a "secret staircase" (per Ghost City Tours). Still another tale involves the ghost of a boy, who can be heard playing in the attic. His ghostly footfalls and soft giggles have been reported by many who have visited this haunted mansion.

Hidden rooms revealed

Other visitors to the house report more supernatural experiences. One woman claims to have seen the ghostly image of a woman in an upstairs window looking down into the garden below (per Ghost City Tours). This woman is thought to be none other than Susannah Ingersoll herself.

Many old homes have reputations for being haunted. So why might the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion be considered more haunted than most? It might have something to do with what has been discovered during renovations over the years.

Several rooms that had been hidden for years were uncovered as work began on the house. A walled-off dining room, among others, was finally allowed to see the light of day again. A hidden staircase was also located, after being walled up for generations, according to Salem Ghosts. However, this doesn't prove the existence of ghostly phenomena, but the discovery of these hidden rooms definitely adds to the mysterious feeling of this old house.