When one thinks of Massachusetts, one should think of ‘firsts.’ It is the first landing of the Pilgrim’s journey to the new world and, therefore, boasts the first Thanksgiving. It’s where that first ‘shot that was heard around the world” ushered in the American Revolutionary War. And it’s the home of the Boston Tea Party, the first political protest against the British on American soil.
And there are other firsts as well:
- Boston Common became the first public park in America.
- Harvard, the first American university, was founded in Newtowne (now Cambridge).
- The first free American public school, the Mather school, was founded in Dorchester.
- The first post office in America was Richard Fairbanks’ tavern in Boston.
- The first American public library was founded in Boston.
- The first American lighthouse was built in Boston Harbor.
- First State Constitution.
- The first battle of the Revolution was fought in Lexington and Concord.
- The first church built by free blacks in America, the African Meeting House, opened on Joy Street in Boston.
- The first American railroad was built in Quincy.
- The typewriter was invented by Charles Thurber in Worcester.
- The first sewing machine was made by Elias Howe in Boston.
- Massachusetts established the first Statewide Police Force in the nation.
Massachusetts is the first of many firsts, and it boasts a landscape that is as diverse as it is beautiful, from the rolling Berkshire Mountains and valleys in Western Massachusetts to the 560 miles of Cape Cod’s coastline jutting into the Atlantic. And although Connecticut was the first state to accuse, try, and hang people for witchcraft, Massachusetts is by far number one in infamy. And just notorious Salem itself has as many haunted locations within its borders as some American states.
The Town of Salem, Massachusetts
The seaside town of Salem, MA, has become almost synonymous worldwide with witches and other things that go bump in the night. And for a good reason. Between 1692 and 1693, more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft here, and 19 of those were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Several others died while being held under horrific conditions in prison, awaiting trial.
And they still haunt the land on which they were hanged. In addition, there are at least 17 other places where hauntings occur in this town regularly. In fact, a ghost or two seems to inhabit almost every business in the city.
Learn more about the haunted town of Salem, Massachusetts.
The Bridgewater Triangle
Thirty miles south of Boston lies the mysterious “Bridgewater Triangle,” a 200-square mile “vortex” that’s rumored to be both haunted and cursed. Over the years, there have been an unusually high volume of murders, satanic rituals, hauntings, bigfoot sightings, cattle mutilations, UFO sightings, orbs, strange curiosities, and all manner of strange cryptozoological encounters within the Triangle.
Numerous books have been written about the Bridgewater Triangle, documentaries made, and countless paranormal investigations performed by local and national groups. It’s a mystifying piece of land, heavily documented and researched by some of top investigators in the business, including newscasters and law enforcement, for some added credibility.
Learn more about the Bridgewater Triangle.
The Lizzie Borden House
From its perch upon a rocky hill that sloped down to the shores of Mount Hope Bay in Fall River, the Greek-Revival house on Second Street was humble compared to some of the other homes in the area whose owners made their vast fortunes in textiles during the nineteenth century.
But within its walls, one of the most gruesome unsolved double murders in American history remains unsolved. Did Lizzie Borden bash her father and stepmother’s heads beyond recognition, or didn’t she? Only the ghosts know the answer.
Learn more about the haunted Lizzie Borden House.
The Houghton Mansion
Nestled into the peaceful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts is the Houghton Mansion, the third home of North Adam’s first mayor, Albert Charles Houghton, President of the Arnold Print Works, the largest printing and dying works in the world.
All was well with the Houghton family until a ride in their new Pierce Arrow turned a Sunday drive into tragedy. Deaths and suicide followed. Apparations, EVPs, disembodies voices, and residual noises still haunt the mansion.
Learn more about the haunted Houghton Mansion.
S.K. Pierce Mansion
When Edwin Gonzalez and his wife, Lillian Otero, bought the S.K. Pierce Mansion in 2009, they were simply looking forward to moving from Boston’s big city life to a quieter and gentler existence. They didn’t believe in ghosts, although the mansion had been left vacant for decades and was in various states of disrepair. But by 2011, their perspective on the supernatural changed. And by the fall of that year, they were forced from their dream home, narrowly escaping with their lives due to the amount of uncontrolled paranormal activity within the mansion.
Learn more about the haunted S.K. Pierce Mansion.