The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Greetings ghouls and ghosties, and welcome to the Halloween season! October is in full swing, and I’m sure many will agree with me when I say that I can’t wait for some spooky fun! In honor of that, I am presenting you with my best attempt at a ghost-story compilation; one which will highlight the hauntings local to Boston and the surrounding area. So buckle up and get ready for a ghoulishly good time! And yes, I will be including as much paranormal wordplay as possible.
- The Haunting of Kilachand Hall
For my fellow BU terriers, this story may be familiar. Or, then again, maybe not because I only learned about it myself about a week ago. That does not make it any less worthy of mention, though! According to some students, all of Kilachand Hall, a former hotel now serving as a student dormitory, has quite an ominous atmosphere. However, the dorm’s fourth floor seems to be the epicenter of the eerie events. On this very floor, famous playwright Eugene O’Neill died in his bed — and, according to some, he remains there to this day. It is the ghost of Eugene O’Neill who is supposedly to blame for Kilachand’s supernatural occurrences, which range from rattling doors to permanently dimmed lights, to elevators stopping and opening for no apparent reason. The haunting is made even more compelling by the fact that the number four is often considered unlucky, especially in Chinese culture, due to the similarities in the Chinese words for “four” and “death.” In spite of all this, there are some skeptics who explain it away as the result of old infrastructure and mere coincidence. But if you ask me, it seems like Kilachand is quite clearly haunted.
- The Lizzie Borden House
I know the previous story about Kilachand Hall is quite obscure, so I’ll make up for it now with one of the most notorious ghost stories in American history: Lizzie Borden and the murder of her parents. You have likely heard the tale: Lizzie Borden killed both her father and stepmother in cold blood — and got away with it. You may have even heard that unnerving nursery rhyme describing the events: “Lizzie Borden took an axe/ And gave her mother forty whacks/ When she saw what she had done/ She gave her father forty-one.” But did you know that Lizzie Borden’s house, the very place where the murders occurred, still stands to this day? In fact, you can visit it to see the crime scene for yourself, as it has been turned into a bed and breakfast and museum. If you choose to go, though, beware! The ghosts of the Bordens are said to linger there, and they don’t take too kindly to disrespectful visitors.
- Witch City
That’s right, it’s time to talk about Salem. No list of Massachusetts hauntings would be complete without mentioning the town that has rightly earned the nickname, “Witch City.” While Salem itself is a fascinating historical location that can teach powerful lessons about mass hysteria, the fallacy of eyewitness accounts, the danger of shame cultures, and the mistreatment of women and minorities, it is perhaps better known for its way of embracing anything that goes bump in the night. Because this town has taken such care to preserve its grim past, it has become the ideal gathering place for all manner of Halloween and horror-lovers. I recently took a trip there myself, and I can guarantee that the experience is worth it. The haunted locations abound in Salem, ranging from the Witch Trials Memorial and its neighboring cemetery to the homes of various witch trial participants. If you stay there long enough or visit the right spots, you may encounter a wide cast of characters.
- The Restless Residents of Boston Common
For the final story in this compilation, we return to Boston. More specifically, to the Boston Common — a central location which has been given the distinction of being America’s oldest public park. The site has quite a long and colorful history; though it was initially an innocuous public grazing ground, it has also been used for public hangings and mass burials. In fact, the tree that was used in these hangings is immortalized with a plaque, so you can still visit its exact spot today. Similarly, there is a single headstone distinguishing the final resting place of several unknown remains. To make matters worse, the reason for this headstone is that the park is rife with unmarked graves, many of which were accidentally dug up during the construction of the subway tunnel that passes beneath the park. As for the ghosts of these grounds, they seem to remain nameless, possibly due to the sheer amount of death associated with the place. However, that does not mean that they aren’t there; people have reported seeing or hearing many specters, some of which appear to be hanging from the park’s many trees.
So what do you think? Have you been sufficiently spooked? Are you in the mood for the morbid? Have you become even more hyped for Halloween? I know that just researching and writing this article has already gotten me excited for this spine-chillingly spectacular month, so I hope reading it has made you feel the same! ‘Tis the season to enjoy a fun-filled fright, so go watch a horror movie, read ghost stories, or even visit one of the locations I’ve listed above!