With its history it comes as no surprise that Salem is probably one of the
most haunted cities in the entire country. Honestly it would be harder to find
a place in Salem that wasn’t haunted. On my last road trip (which was
rightly titled “Spirited Away”) I visited Salem on Halloween (article here) and wasn’t going
to leave without doing at least one ghost tour so I took to the internet and booked
myself a tour to see some of the city’s most haunted locations.
Finding a ghost tour in Salem is easy because there are sooo many of them.
However, I wanted to find the best and so that led me to the number one rated
ghost tour in Salem with Salem Ghosts, a US Ghost Adventures tour.
Ticket Price: $26
Length: ~1 hour (You can opt to do the extended tour for an additional $5 which
takes you to 4-6 additional locations adding 30-45 minutes to your tour.)
We met in front of Salem Five Savings Bank and were split up into groups
and given our tour guide for the evening. The tour guides were all dressed in
colonial garb which I thought was definitely a nice little touch although I can’t
imagine they were all too comfortable. Lol My tour guide for the night was Jarrod
and he did an absolutely amazing job. He really knew his stuff, was personable, and
was able to deliver all the stories and history in a very entertaining way. I definitely
recommend requesting him as your guide if you can!
After we were split into our groups and assigned our tour guide it was time
to hit the streets! Armed with a glow stick, Jarrod led us through the
insanely busy streets of Salem to the following sites:
Witch House: 310 Essex St.
Also known as the Jonathan Corwin house, this is the only house in Salem
today with direct ties to the Salem witch trials. This was the home of Judge
Jonathan Corwin, the man who oversaw the the pre-trial examinations of the
accused witches. Who or what haunts the house still remains a mystery however
there is no shortage of paranormal claims. Even the TV show Ghost Adventures
conducted an investigation here on season 4 episode 19.
You can visit the home and even tour the inside during the day.
Use this website here for ticketing information.
Joshua Ward House: 148 Washington St
This building was built in 1784 for wealthy sea merchant Joshua Ward and was
actually one of the first brick buildings in Salem! However, this piece of land
at 148 Washington Street has a darker history that dates back to the times
of the Salem witch trials when a house owned by Sheriff George Corwin stood
there. Sheriff Corwin had a bit of a reputation as a man who loved inflicting pain
and torture among others, at least so the stories say, and it is believed that this
property is haunted by him and his unfortunate victims. Today the property houses
the next haunted location…a hotel called The Merchant
The Merchant: 148 Washington St
Putting a hotel inside the Joshua Ward house was a bold move given both
the history and the ghosts said to haunt the building. However, if you
are feeling brave you can book a room! Just be careful as you might run into
the spirit of a woman in black or maybe even High Sheriff George “The Strangler ” Corwin
himself as he holds you down on your bed rendering you
unable to move. Definitely not a hotel for those that are easily scared.
Rooms start at $189/night
Turner Seafood Restaurant: 43 Church St
A place to go if you want seafood….and ghosts? Lol This restaurants
sits on top of the ground where Bridget Bishop’s apple orchard once sat.
Bridget, a strong independent woman of the times was accused and hanged
for supposed acts of witchcraft during the trials. If you are “lucky” you might
just see the ghost of Bridget in various places around the restaurant.
Ropes Mansion: 318 Essex St
Known for its infamous scene in Hocus Pocus the Ropes Mansion has
more than rich adults in colonial garb partying on the inside. This mansion
is said to be haunted most prominently by Abigail Ropes whose dress
caught fire from the home’s fireplace leaving her gruesomely burned. She
later died from infection of her burns. Many report the smell of smoke and
burning human flesh and some have even reported seeing a full body
apparition of a woman on fire. You can visit the inside of the house on
tour during certain times of the year while the gardens in the back are free
to visit and open to the public year round.
Old Town Hall: 32 Derby Square
This town hall takes “dance until you die” to a whole new level as it
hosts many ghosts still looking to have a good time. This is another
Hocus Pocus filming location (full list of locations can be found here)
and the upper portion of the building serves as an event space. Many have
reported seeing full body apparitions of party crashers here.
Salem Witch Trials Memorial/Pickman House: 24 Liberty Street
The Salem witch trials were definitely one of many dark points in this country’s
history and this memorial serves as a reminder to us of all the innocent lives lost
by this hysteria as well as provides us with a place to pay our respects. With
their lives being cut short it probably comes as no surprise you may run
into some ghosts while visiting.
Located behind the memorial is the Pickman house built by sailor Samuel
Pickman in 1665. There have been many deaths that have occurred at this
building however, perhaps none more violent than the murder suicide that
happened here in the 19th century. Today the house is said to be haunted most
consistently by the young girl whose life was taken as a result of that. Today
the house serves as a welcome center for visitors of the Charter Street
Cemetery (oldest cemetery in Salem) and I remember seeing people (living people)
walking in and out of the building while I was there.
The only thing I wished I would have been able to do on this tour was go
inside some of these haunted locations, but it was still a great tour and I
learned a lot! There really is something about standing outside these places
and hearing their stories that really makes for an unforgettable experience
so, if you ever find yourself in Salem, and want to do a ghost tour, book one
with Salem Ghosts and I guarantee you won’t regret it!