Is there a more haunted place in the United States than New England? It’s the oldest settled area of the country and it’s filled with incredible stories. Of course we all know the story of the Salem witches. Many others throughout New England are less known but just as terrifying. If you’re looking for a place to dine with ghosts in New England, you really don’t have to look hard. Check out these 11 haunts for the next time you’re feeling up to a good scare.
1. The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast (Fall River, MA)
Lizzie Borden was born and raised in Fall River, Massachusetts. In 1892, tensions were high between Lizzie, her father, and her stepmother, Abby Gray. On August 4th, Abby Gray went upstairs to do chores, where she was delivered a blow to the head by a hatchet. Someone then sat on her back and delivered 19 more to the back of her head. Hours later, Lizzie’s father was struck 10 or 11 times with a hatchet while he slept on the couch.
Today, that house is a bed and breakfast, where many claim to have seen a woman that looks quite a bit like Lizzie at the foot of their beds. Some also say that they’ve been touched or pushed, even when no one is there.
2. Captain Grant’s Inn (Preston, CT)
Another haunted house turned bed and breakfast is the Captain Grant’s Inn. Captain William Grant built this home for his wife and children in 1754, and over the years it housed soldiers during the Revolutionary War and escaped slaves during the Civil War. The Adelaide Room is supposedly the most haunted, with some guests seeing a Colonial woman and her two children at the foot of the bed and the television being turned on and off.
Throughout the inn, other guests have had strange occurrences as well. One guest said she felt invisible hands caressing her face. Another said a shadow that looked like a small child passed right through her in the hallway.
3. Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse (Norwich, VT)
In 1920, Charles and Mary (Ma) Walker bought the Norwich Inn, which today houses Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, but found that the prohibition was really putting a dent in their earnings. Ma took up selling beer in the basement and some say that she never really stopped. Guests and staff say that they’ve seen a woman in a long black dress float through the dining room and some of the guest rooms.
She also has a strange fixation on liquids, always turning the faucets and showerheads on and off. Another guest claimed that he thought he was shaken awake by his wife, but there was no one there and the rocking chair in the corner was rocking on its own.
4. Turner’s Seafood (Salem, MA)
Turner’s Seafood is located in Lyceum Hall, a building that has housed many restaurants over the years that drew guests like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Alexander Graham Bell. What came before all those restaurants is what makes this place truly frightening. It was believed to have been built upon an apple orchard owned by Bridget Bishop, the first woman killed in the Salem witch trials. Her image is often seen in windows and mirrors throughout the building and some claim to have seen a woman in a long, white gown descending the staircase.
5. American Flatbeard (Burlington, VT)
Not all ghosts are as friendly as Casper. American Flatbread used to be Carbur’s Restaurant, which wasn’t haunted for most of it’s existence. Later, shortly before Carbur’s became American Flatbread, the strange and somewhat scary occurrences started. A server was locked in a walk-in cooler. A similar event happened shortly after it became American Flatbread, when one of the restaurant’s new managers was locked in the basement, despite the fact that the basement had no locking mechanism.
Two stories exist that try to explain the specter. One is that it’s the ghost of one of the rum runners that used the tunnels under Burlington for his trade. The other is that it’s the ghost of a cook from Carbur’s that killed himself after work one night. According to American Flatbread’s manager, though, the ghost is currently dormant.
6. Abigail’s Grille and Wine Bar (Simsbury, CT)
For almost two centuries, Abigail’s Grille and Wine Bar was known as the Pettibone Tavern. The story goes that Abigail Pettibone was the wife of a whaling captain who was away for long stretches at a time. One day, her husband came home early to find Abigail in bed with her lover and he promptly killed them with an ax. Today, guests and staff alike claim that they’ve seen Abigail wandering throughout the tavern.
Strangely enough, many say that Abigail is not alone in the residence. Some report seeing a young child and staff say that they often hear different, strange voices calling their names.
7. Jameson Tavern (Freeport, ME)
Several years ago, Carol Preney, the dining room host at Jameson Tavern, watched as a couple got up to leave the restaurant and attempted to get their daughter, who was playing under the table, to come with them. Her skin crawled as she heard the little girl say, “Give me back my ball, Emily.”
Emily was the name of the girl who died in a fire in the attic in the early 19th century. Supposedly, the tavern is haunted by her. Patrons claimed to have seen a young, blonde girl around. For the most part, people who have encountered her say that she just seems like she wants to play and they actually get a playful feeling when they see her.
8. Country Tavern (Nashua, NH)
In 1741, this tavern was the home of Captain Ford and his wife, Elizabeth. Ford was often away at sea and he was once away for an entire year. When he returned home, he found that his wife had given birth to another man’s child. Enraged, he locked Elizabeth in a closet for several days and brutally murdered her child, before burying the body under their apple tree. When he let Elizabeth out, she attacked him but he managed to kill her first and then threw her body down their well.
It’s said that Elizabeth haunts the home, which turned into a tavern in the 1980s. She moves dishes and other things, but she’s mostly quiet. The few that have seen her describe her as a young, blonde woman, who is often staring wistfully out the barn windows, towards the yard where her child was buried.
9. Tavern on Main (Chepachet, RI)
Supposedly, Tavern on Main is haunted by at least four ghosts. In the first floor dining room, a shadowy man drifts around. Alice, killed by her jealous lover, sits sadly in the corner booth. A little boy, who is seen with an impish grin, likes to mess around in the first floor ladies’ room. Thomas Dorr, leader of an 1842 rebellion to change the voting system so that people who did not own property could vote in Rhode Island, is said to be in the upstairs banquet room.
For the most part, the most active is the little boy, who just likes to turn the faucets on and off and likes to play with the lights. However, staff members claim to have heard voices and even screams when no one is around and that glass shatters for no reason.
10. The Gallows (Boston, MA)
Today, the Gallows is a pretty swanky bar and restaurant. You’d never know that it’s actually built upon an area where many 17th century hangings took place. Religious rebels and criminals were hanged and supposedly still haunt that location. The bodies were disposed in the surrounding area, some dumped there or some actually buried.
The most guests have experienced are strange noises and whispers. Staff, on the other hand, say that the ghosts are fairly violent. They’ve encountered objects flying through the air, aiming for them.
11. Bull Feeney’s (Portland, ME)
Bull Feeney’s is great if you’re looking for good fish ‘n’ chips and a scare that’s not too scary. Patrons and servers alike claim the restaurant is haunted by a woman dressed in period clothing in the bar and upstairs tea rooms. She’s never disturbed the guests and seems very quiet, but friendly. One guest even once remarked to her server how clever it was for the pub to have hired a woman in period clothing to entertain the guests while they ate. The only thing was that the pub never hired such a woman.