by Sabrina Boyd (@SabrinaKayaB)
A while back, we shared with you 10 Real-Life Haunted Houses in Massachusetts.
That’s a pretty spooky list right here in Mix’s home state. But we realize we have some listeners living elsewhere in New England.
And all of New England is VERY haunted.
Rhode Island may be a small state, but it is packed with ghosts and ghouls.
For the more adventurous residents of Southern New England, take a trip to one of these 10 truly haunted places this Halloween season. But don’t say we didn’t warn you…
University Hall at Brown University, Providence
(Ashlyn Mooney, The Bruin Club Blog)
I could probably make this list based on Providence itself. If you’ve ever been on a Providence Ghost Tour before, you know the capital city has a creepy past.
A stop on the tour lies on the Ivy League campus, at University Hall, the hall built on Brown’s campus. The current home of the President’s office, administrative offices, and even some dorms, was converted into an army hospital during the Revolutionary War. Naturally, lots of soldiers died there, and people today say they’ve seen a contorted soldier’s face in a second-floor window on the right side.
This isn’t the only Ghost Tour stop on Brown’s campus. Check out what other Brown University buildings are rumored to be haunted.
Rhode Island School of Design Campus, Providence
Part of the reason why Providence is so haunted is because in the 17th and 18th centuries, people would bury the dead in their backyards rather than in a cemetery. Lots of houses and backyards were exactly where RISD’s campus is now (adjacent to Brown’s campus, by the way), and those bodies were never moved. RISD has a whole bunch of haunted buildings, including Dexter House, which was a former morgue, and Nightengale House, where people have seen orbs in photos they’ve taken and students have been pushed down stairs by mystery hands. A building called Farnum Hall was so haunted by the ghosts of several children that it was ultimately demolished, due to “structural complications.” Read more about RISD’s ghosts here.
The Biltmore Hotel, Providence
This place is haunted as hell. It’s well known to be the inspiration for both Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel and Robert Bloch’s Bates Motel, and it was named “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” in 2000. Here’s the story: when the hotel was built, it was backed by a proud Satanist, Johan Leisse Weisskopf. There were lots of creepy rituals going on in its early years, including sacrifices and “purification” rituals.
As if that wasn’t enough, the hotel became a hot-spot during Prohibition, welcoming law officers and the public in to drink, get rowdy, and apparently kill some people. It’s most likely this string of murders that still haunts the place, because guests have heard parties going on in halls and ballrooms after bars close. Guests have actually disappeared as recently as 2008. If you still don’t buy it, check out the comments on this blog – you’d think the Internet would be super skeptical of this kind of thing, but lots of people here actually confirmed creepy experiences during their stay.
The Conjuring House, Burrillville
The movie The Conjuring was based on true events that happened at the home of Roger and Carolyn Perron in Burrillville, RI. Shortly after moving in, the couple and their daughters started seeing apparitions. According to the Providence Journal, “Mrs. Perron said she awoke before dawn one morning to find an apparition by her bed: the head of an old woman hanging off to one side over an old gray dress,” and that was just the beginning. Ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren concluded that the spirit was Bathsheba Sherman, a Satanist who lived there in the early 19th century and murdered her own daughter as a sacrifice to Lucifer. She later hanged herself according to Satanic rituals so she could stay on the property. At one point, Bathsheba possessed Carolyn, and…well, we won’t spoil the movie for you.
Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Exeter
(Andrew Lake, Greenville Paranormal Research)
In Chestnut Hill Cemetery lies the tomb (pictured above) of supposed vampire Mercy Lena Brown. Mercy, her mother, Mary, and two of her siblings died of consumption. People thought one of them was coming back, trying to take another of the siblings, so the bodies were dug up. The others were in decay, as any dead body should be, but Mercy’s was fresh and her hair had even grown. They skipped the whole stake thing and just cut out her heart and burned it. Visitors to the cemetery claim to have seen her ghost and gotten her voice on tape using EVP, saying “Please leave me to rest in peace.”
H.P. Lovecraft (a Providence resident) referred to Mercy in “The Shunned House,” and Dracula author Bram Stoker had newspaper clippings about Mercy in his possession when he died. Her ghost has been seen in a dirty, ripped black dress. You can read more about Mercy Lena Brown here.
The Barn at Roger Williams University, Bristol
(Paul Struck, The Hawks’ Herald)
The Roger Williams University theater was originally an actual barn – 2 barns, as a matter of fact – in Glocester. In full Phantom of the Opera style, a seat is reserved for a young boy’s ghost, who they call Banquo. He’s believed to be the grandson of Thomas Whipple Steere, the former owner of the barn, who died in the corner where Banquo’s seat is. Other legends say the boy froze to death in that seat. Either way, no one sits in his chair, and that area is called the “haunted corner” because of the strange things that have happened there.
Providence City Hall, Providence
(Flickr user Blueiscoool/Scott)
Providence City Hall was once featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters. City Hall employees have seen chairs move on their own, heard whispers, and smelled cigar smoke. According to the show, it’s all the doings of the ghost of former Providence Mayor Doyle, who was buried in the building. You can read a recap of the Ghost Hunters episode. WPRI also did a report on the episode:
Yup, the beautiful vacation spot that you can take the ferry to – it’s haunted. People have seen phantom pirate ships off the coast, and several buildings have ghosts of their own. The Surf Hotel was also featured on Ghost Hunters – employees have heard voices and seen apparitions in the hotel. The Southeast Lighthouse, pictured above, is also a hot spot for haunts, where a keeper in the 1900s pushed his wife down the stairs, killing her. Legend says her spirit never left, and she harasses male visitors to the lighthouse.
The Ladd School, Exeter
(Jason Carpenter, TheLaddSchool.com)
This is some seriously scary stuff. The Ladd School was founded in 1908 as a school for the “feeble-minded.” It became home to many criminals & “persons whose removal from the population was deemed a benefit to society” (as quoted from Haunted Places), which could just mean a promiscuous woman. The school was well known for horrible, immoral acts against its residents, such as forced sterilizations, and the patients themselves committed many criminal acts.
Jason Carpenter, founder of the Ladd School Historical Society, has had several creepy experiences on the premises. One of the most known of the 30 school buildings, he says, is the Howe Building (pictured above), where a 9-year-old boy with severe retardation was suffocated with a laundry sack suspended from a showerhead, the killer a former inmate who was also mentally ill. Upon revisiting the Howe Building for a video interview, Carpenter says, “I had just gotten through explaining the circumstances leading up to the child’s death, and had proceeded to conclude by describing the scene of the crime.
“But moments later, when the cameramen and I reviewed the tape, we were astonished to find that the description was missing; all of the filming equipment – two cameras and a sound recorder – had stopped suddenly at exactly same time.”
Other Exeter residents have reported hearing screams from inside the abandoned buildings, as well.
Providence Athenaeum, Providence
The Providence Athanaeum has a bit of romance in its spooky story. Edgar Allen Poe would go there with poet Sarah Whitman, the last woman he courted before his death. Supposedly, his ghost haunts the upper floor of the building. Librarians report creaking floors and books moving on the shelves. They think it’s Poe, holding on to the memories of his last love.
So, do you dare go to any of these haunted places? Have you ever had an eerie experience at one of them? Tell us your story in the comments section!