Best Haunted Houses in Boston for Halloween Fun

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No doubt, you’ll find plenty of historic places to visit in Boston, Massachusetts, but do you know which ones are haunted? This vibrant, pre-Revolutionary city with a past holds a few secrets, and in some instances, they are downright disturbing.

In fact, all kinds of spooky things are going on. You just need to know where to look. Whether you book a haunted tour or plan a self-guided expedition, these mysterious spaces and places will enchant you. So, read on to learn more about the best haunted houses in Boston–and more!

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: Paul Revere Statue at Boston Common at night
A glowing monument to Paul Revere’s ride presides over Boston Common.

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CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn about the best haunted houses in Boston as well as other spooky places to make your visit a little more…adventurous.

1. The Charlesgate Hotel

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: The Charlesgate hotel
The Charlesgate Hotel has secret rooms and devious spirits, as told by Emerson College students who once lived there.
(Photo Source: Library of Congress)

J. Pickering Putnam built this seven story Romanesque Revival building in 1901 as an exclusive hotel and meant to be the centerpiece of Kenmore Square. It has some magnificent design features. Among them, you’ll find a gorgeous conical tower on the northwest corner, sculpted verdi gris copper cladding, and oriels (projected bay windows) on the lower levels. This might be the most beautiful of the haunted houses in Boston!

But there are some oddities.

For instance, you cannot see the top floor of The Charlesgate Hotel from the outside. Also, it’s east side is in the shape of the letter ‘C’, obscuring some of the rooms.

Also odd, it has three addresses:

  • Four Charlesgate East
  • 535 Beacon Street
  • Ten Charlesgate East

Some may know this building as the Barnes Mansion.

Over the years, The Charlesgate Hotel has been the scene of several tragedies and deaths, and holds tales of dark magic. The building transitioned from a luxury hotel to housing for Boston University, to a rooming house, then as housing for Emerson College students. In the 1970s, rumors said it was a drug den, a bordello, a mafia headquarters, and an illegal rooming house.

It certainly has a colorful history!

Alleged deaths on the property include a suicide, a young girl who fell to her death in the elevator shaft, and a man and several horses who died in the basement during a flood. And finally, its the place of death for J. Pickering Putnam himself.

In the early 90s the building had fallen into disrepair. When turned into condos in 1994, little of the original architecture remained.

However, it inspired the book Charlesgate by Dina Keratsis. (If that sounds interesting, have a closer look here:)

Is The Charlesgate Hotel Haunted?

You’ll find several reportedly haunted hotels in Boston, and the Charlesgate Hotel is one of of them. Emerson students who lived there reported:

  • Meeting dark figures in their rooms at night
  • Seeing strange fog moving through the halls
  • Discovering secret rooms
  • Feeling entrapped
  • Speaking with devious spirits through a Ouija board

So, is The Charlesgate Hotel haunted or is it really just the over-active imagination of creative students?

We don’t know so you’ll have to decide for yourself when you see it.

How to Visit the Charlesgate Hotel

You’ll find the Charlesgate Hotel located at the corner of Beacon Street and Charlesgate East. It’s so ornate that you can’t miss it as you’re standing in Kenmore Square. It’s no longer a hotel or a dorm. It’s now serves as luxury condominiums.

If you go inside, you’ll find a period lobby with an elevator and chandelier, a common library, an original fountain, and the beautiful landscaped common courtyard.

But if you really want to get up-close and personal, you might consider taking up residence in this beautiful but eerie luxury space.

The Charlesgate Hotel
Kenmore Square
4 Charlesgate East or 535 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215

2. The Pilot House

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: Wharf in North End near The Pilot House
The HarborWalk in Boston’s North End will take you to the Pilot House, where pilots and captains of large boats and ships stayed over.

Built in 1839 on Lewis Wharf, which overlooks Boston Harbor in the North End, this brick building was intended as a place for pilots and captains of large boats and ships to have a place to overnight.

Related: Watch for the The Feast of The Seven Fishes at this Romantic North End Restaurant, come the holidays.

Is the Pilot House Haunted?

A variety of apparitions and unusual events have been reported at this haunted house in Boston. The most common is “The Lady in White” who is said to haunt the kitchen. She is described as translucent with an “angel glow.”

Some say there is also an ongoing drunken card game, and some hear sounds of drinking and slamming doors.

This haunted hotel in Boston has been converted to retail and office space, but it’s spooky just the same to sit outside by the harbor and take in the scene.

How to Visit the Pilot House

You’ll find public parking right at The Pilot House at Lewis Wharf–which is great, because parking spots in the North End are hard to come by. It’s also a short walk from Boston’s downtown.

You’ll recognize The Pilot Hosue because it now has a Starbucks (and public restroom) on the ground floor. The upper levels are office space. If you want to enjoy a free interactive exhibit about the history of the Pilot House and rising water levels in the harbor, you can visit the Bank of America ATM space a few blocks away on Commercial Street.

If you walk along the HarborWalk, you’ll even find a little secret garden along the way on an unmarked gravel path.

This is one enchanted stop not to miss.

The Pilot House
2 Atlantic Avenue
The North End
Boston, MA 02110
(617) 854-3318

3. Omni Parker House Hotel

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: Omni Parker House
The Omni Parker House has a long history as the oldest hotel in the US–and some say it hosts several spirit visitors, too!

The Omni Parker House is the oldest hotel in the country, having opened in 1855 just steps from the Boston Common. And, you guessed it: it’s also another haunted house in Boston.

At the turn of the 19th century, the Omni Parker House was a run down boarding house called the Mico Mansion. Harvey Parker built a 5-story luxury hotel in Boston to replace the boarding house in 1855 and it became known as The Parker House. Then in 1920, the current property, owned by Omni Hotels, was expanded to what we’ve come to know as the Omni Parker House.

Known to Have Both Famous Guests and Employees

This haunted hotel has hosted every President of the United States since Ulysis S. Grant. It was here that President John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Onasis. Later, JFK held his bachelor party and press conferences at the Omni Parker Hotel.

Other noteworthy guests include:

  • Muhammad Ali
  • James Dean
  • Judy Garland
  • Hugh Hefner
  • Babe Ruth
  • Mark Twain
  • The Grateful Dead

Famous workers at the Omni Parker Hotel include:

  • Renown television Chef, Emeril Lagasse, who got his start as the hotel’s sous chef
  • Ho Chi Minh, who became President of North Vietnam (1954-1969)
  • Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X

Important literary figures stayed at the Omni Parker Hotel, too. In some instances, they were part of a group known as the “Saturday Night Club.”

  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • Charles Dickens

The infamous John Wilkes stayed at the Omni Parker House while visiting his brother. Wilkes reportedly practiced gun shooting eight days before he allegedly shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s theatre.

The Omni Parker House is also home to the famous Boston Cream Pie, concocted by Chef Augustine Francois Anezin in 1865. The Pie remains a local favorite, and is also Massachusetts’ Official dessert. Parker House Rolls are also world-renown.

Is Omni Parker House Haunted?

This is all very interesting, historically. But is the Omni Parker House Haunted?

Heck, yeah!

The alleged hauntings happen in the main hotel, since the hotel itself has been expanded over the years.

Some say they see a man who fits the description of the hotel’s former owner, Harvey Parker, on the 10th floor and room 1078. He can also be heard rocking his chair at night–which is particularly disconcerting since the hotel does not have any rocking chairs!

In addition to Parker, there are other spirits.

For instance, consider the one on the third floor in room 303.

This was a guest who allegedly committed suicide in the room.

Guests in this room reported waking up to a shaking bed and even having physically aggressive encounters and experiencing other paranormal activity. In fact, there were so many complaints about the haunting, that the room was retired to a maintenance closet.

Interestingly enough, the Stephen King short story “1408” (and the movie) is based on room 303.

Tip: If you’re a Stephen King fan like me, you’ll find the short story in this book:

Witnesses have also seen strange orbs and unexplained lights in the hallway, shadowy figures, and other paranormal activities on the 10th floor.

And, it’s rumored that the elevator mysteriously stops on the 3rd floor at random times, and lights flicker unpredictably. Some surmise this anomaly is the spirit of Charlotte Cushman, an actress who died of pneumonia in the 19th Century at the hotel.

Finally, the one and only Charles Dickens may be staying at the Omni in spirit form. He used to practice reading his work in front of the mirror on the mezzanine level. The staff says strange things happen when they clean the mirror, so they try not to do it too often. Others warn if you say Charles Dickens’ name into the mirror three times, you’ll be spooked.

Would you try it?

How To Visit the Omni Parker House

You’ll find the Omni Hotel right on the corner of School and Tremont Streets, down the road a bit from the Boston Common and Back Bay. You can stop in to walk through the beautiful lobby. But for the full effect, you might opt to stay overnight…that is, if you dare!

The Omni Parker House
60 School Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-8600

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: Colonial people walking in Boston Common
Could it be that colonists’ spirits walk among us on Boston Common?

4. Shelton Hall at Boston University

Vintage postcard for Hotel Sheraton
Shelton Hall, now known as Kilachand Hall, is presently the BU Honors College dorm — but the “Writer’s Corridor” is still pretty spooky!

Originally, Shelton Hall was built in 1923 as The Sheraton, as you will see by the engraving on the building. It had a beautiful view of the Charles River and was close to Fenway. This was the start of The Sheraton hotels, when the building was bought by Ernest Henderson in 1939.

In fact, in the 1950s, it was home to Boston Red Sox star hitter Ted Williams.

Shelton Hall is also the former home of Pulizer prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill, who died in room 401 in 1953 from complications from a rare neurological condition.

The hotel was famed for radio broadcasts of dance bands playing in the rooftop ballroom.

In 1854, the building was bought by Boston University to be used as college apartments, and in 2010, the college renamed the building Kilachand Hall for their honors college.

Is Shelton Hall A Haunted House in Boston?

Maybe so.

O’Neill is said to haunt the entire forth floor, which is known as the “Writer’s Corridor.” The lights there seem to be dimmer than on the other floors, and it’s said that you can hear voices, footsteps, and even knocking on doors late in the night.

How to Visit Shelton Hall

You can catch a glimpse of the exterior of Shelton Hall, which is prominently located on Silber Way in Boston. But for an insider’s look, you could also schedule a dorm tour–provided you bring your rising college student, that is.

Shelton Hall at Boston University
1 Silber Way
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 353-2000

5. Kings Chapel Burial Ground

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: King's Chapel
King’s Chapel Burying Ground pre-dates the chapel itself–and is not affiliate with it (or any other church) other than being beside it.

King’s Chapel is the first European burying ground in Boston and it’s city’s oldest cemetery, dating back to 1630.

You’ll find several early Bostonians buried here, including:

  • Reverend John Cotton – Puritan leader and teacher at the First Church of Boston
  • John Winthrop – First Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
  • Mary Chilton – First woman to step off the Mayflower and touch Plymouth Rock
  • William Dawes – Paul Revere’s compatriot on his ride to Lexington in 1775
  • Charles Bulfinch – Famous Boston architect
  • Elizabeth Pain – Colonial settler brought to trial for negligence (and flogged), and the inspiration for Hester Prynn in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, “The Scarlett Letter.”
  • William Emerson – Father to author Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Hezekiah Usher – First printer and publisher in the colonies

Oddly, the bodies in this cemetery outnumber the head stones, leading one to believe that there were some mass graves. There are just over 505 headstones and 59 footstones, but literally thousands of bodies. There are also 78 tombs on the property–36 of which are marked.

In those days, it wasn’t uncommon to mistake someone who was comatose as dead–so the unsavory idea is that there may have been some likely buried alive.

There is a large vault converted to a grave filled with children’s remains in 1833.

A Macabre Story

And, here’s a horrific story: Gravediggers once beheaded a woman to make her body fit the small coffin her family could afford.

On top of all that skullduggery, the headstones at King’s Chapel Burying Ground have been moved and rearranged…twice. (One time, the graves were exhumed and moved over to make room to build King’s Chapel!)

So, is it any wonder some say there are spirits at unrest here?

Silhouette of a scary tree in Boston Common

Is King’s Chapel Burying Ground Haunted?

Well, I’d guess King’s Chapel Burying Ground is haunted.

Others say so, too:

  • John Cotton and John Winthrop and their spirits are said to roam the cemetery.
  • Captain Kidd’s spirit, in apparition and voice, is said to be experienced on spooky nights.
  • The cemetery is said to be haunted by a headless woman. (Easy to guess who that is…)
  • Many say they have a feeling of being watched here.
  • Others have seen strange lights and unexplained orbs that show up in photographs taken at King’s Chapel Burying Ground.

How to visit King’s Chapel Burying Ground

King’s Chapel Burying Ground is open to the public, so you can walk right in and take a stroll through and decide whether you think it’s haunted. You’ll find it near the corner of Tremont and School along the Freedom Trail, right beside King’s Chapel. It’s open daily from 9AM to 4PM.

King’s Chapel Burying Ground
58 Tremont Street
Boston MA 02108

6. The George Parkman House

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: George Parkman House
Dr. George Parkman died a gruesome death at the hands of Harvard Professor John Webster. Some say his spirit remains.

This home owned by wealthy Bostonian George Parkman, a doctor and real estate magnate who came to an untimely demise at the hands of Dr. John Webster, a Harvard professor. Parkman had loaned Webster money, and when he didn’t pay him back, threatened to destroy Webster’s public reputation.

Then, just a few days before Thanksgiving In 1849, Dr. Webster stabbed, dismembered, and incinerated Parkman in his Harvard laboratory at the Harvard Campus. In the first case of forensic evidence, George Parkman’s dental remains helped solve the mystery. Webster was tried and hanged in this high-profile case. He is buried at an unmarked grave in the North End’s Copps Burial Ground.

The incredulous story inspired the book Murder at Harvard by Simon Schama and the PBS feature of the same name.

Recently, the Parkman House was listing rent at $12,000/month, making it one of the most expensive properties in Boston. Today, the condo is valued over a cool 5 million, which makes it one of the highest valued haunted houses in Boston!

But Is The Parkman House Haunted?

Although George Parkman was not killed at his home, it is said the his spirit still roams the property on Walnut Street, turning lights on and off and opening and closing doors.

How to Visit The Parkman House?

You can view 8 Walnut Street, a brick Federal style house on a cozy side-street off Beacon, which runs alongside the Boston Common. But don’t make the common mistake of visiting the Parkman House on 33 Beacon Street. That’s where his family lived after he died.

The George Parkman House
8 Walnut Street
Beacon Hill
Boston, MA 02108

7. Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College

Drama mask at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Emerson College
Some say they’ve seen uninvited ghostly guests in the audience enjoying theatre performances!

The Cutler Majestic Theatre opened its doors in 1903 and has been home to many theatrical performances over the years. Originally opened as a theatre, then a vaudeville show, and ultimately to accommodate movie pictures. (It was The Saxon Theatre until 1983.)

You’ll find the Cutler Majestic Theatre has been restored to it’s original beauty by present owner, Emerson College.

For the last century, several apparitions have been reported enjoying the show, including:

  • A former mayor who supposedly died in the theatre
  • A married couple
  • A little girl who allegedly accepts gifts left for her

Is the Cutler Majestic Theatre Haunted?

The best way to find out it to go to a show and see for yourself.

How to Visit the Cutler Majestic Theatre

If you want to just have a look at the property, you’ll find it a couple blocks from the Boston Common. For performances, see what’s showing and buy tickets here.

The Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 824-8000

8. Fort Warren – Georges Island

Vintage scene at Fort Warren, Georges Island
The ghostly apparition of a woman dressed in black may be the wife of a Confederate held at Fort Warren. She was hanged as a spy.

At the entrance to Boston Harbor, you’ll find Fort Warren. This pentagonal fort was an important place during several wars during the 19th century in the Civil War Era, and used through WWII.

The building itself has some real mysteries. For instance, there are stairs end in a wall, and some areas are so dark you have to feel your way through it.

The fort was used during the Civil War to house Confederate prisoners. One of those prisoners was Sam Lanier. The story goes that Lanier’s wife, Melanie, dressed as a Union soldier tried to free her Confederate husband from the fort. In an unfortunate accident, her own gun exploded, killing her husband.

Melanie was executed as a spy.

Is Fort Warren Haunted?

Yes, and the most famous spirit is a woman in black, thought to be Melanie Lanier.

It was said that her footprints could be seen in the snow shortly after her hanging, and she cast cold air and scratched guards.

So real was her ongoing apparition, that several soldiers reportedly shot at a figure that disappeared “into thin air.”

One solder left his post, saying “the lady in black” was chasing him.

Other soldiers say they heard a woman’s voice warning against the area known as the Corridor of Dungeons, and soldiers regularly saw stones rolling across the floor without explanation.

It’s been many years since the fort has been used to guard the protect the shipping channel or house prisoners. Fort Warren is now part of the public park system in Boston’s Harbor Islands.

How to Visit Fort Warren

You can go to Georges Island by the ferry which runs from May to early October. Tickets are sold at Long Wharf North (66 Long Wharf). You can purchase a family pack or round-trip single tickets. Or, take the MBTA Ferry from Hingham. (Buy tickets at 28 Shipyard Dr.) private boat. There is no charge to visit the island or the fort. You can also arrive by private boat.

Along the way you’ll pass Nixes Mate, another small island that appears and disappears with the tides. It’s capped by a black and white 20ft-tall tower. Here is where many pirates and mutineers were put to death, so you’ll want to watch for strange figures on the rocks as you pass. Many have been reported!

Fort Warren
Georges Island Boston Harbor
191W Atlantic Ave
Boston, MA 02110
(612) 735-6298

9. The Union Oyster House

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: Union Oyster House

You’ll find the Union Oyster House on Union Street, which was laid out in 1636 but it’s unclear when the building itself was constructed. Before it was a restaurant, it served as a Capen’s silk and dry-goods store.

During Revolutionary times, Adams’, Hancock’s, and Quincy’s wives were said to sew and mend clothes for the colonists.

In 1826, the building became the property of Atwood & Bacon, selling oysters, scallops, and clams. The Union Oyster House is the oldest continually operated restaurant int the US.

Among the regular visitors over the centuries include Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster and beloved Boston-born President John F. Kennedy.

JFK was said to favor the dining space in the upstairs, so you’ll find a booth named in his memory.

Is The Union Oyster House Haunted?

Some say former president JFK was so fond of the Union Oyster House, he still haunts the walls and washroom. Restaurant workers claim to have seen him in the morning at his favorite booth in the dining room.

Others say that well-before Kennedy, the spirit of housekeeper Esther Dudley haunts the Union Oyster House. She was told to wait for the return of the King’s Guard. He never came and apparently, the spirit of Esther Dudley never left.

Still other employees say doors open and close without warning, and witnessed things move by themselves in the kitchen…perhaps as a sign from a rather particular, former Chef, now gone.

Union Oyster House (and it’s spirits) is one of the most loved haunted houses in Boston.

How to Visit Union Oyster House

You’ll find Union Oyster house on The Freedom Trail about 3 min from Fanueil Hall. The best way to experience it is to stop in for a bite–and let us know if you see anyone in spirit form!

The Union Oyster House
41 Union Street
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-2750

10. Daniel Malcom Grave at Copps Hill Burying Ground

Old gravestone in Boston

Taxes weren’t the only thing that Daniel Malcom, a wine smuggler in the mid-18th century, managed to avoid. With the help of over 200 Bostonians and a clever lawyer, he escaped prosecution from the British, too.

He asked to be buried 10 feet deep to protect his remains when he died. Sadly, the British Soldiers used his tombstone as practice–you’ll even see the marks left by musket balls on his grave.

Is Daniel Malcom’s Grave Haunted?

Visitors today say they discover orbs in photographs of Daniel Malcom’s Tomb. Could it be Daniel? The best way to find out is to take a few photos for yourself.

You’ll find his grave at Copps Hill Burying Ground on Hull Street in the North End, along with several other historically important graves. The cemetery is open daily between 9AM to 4PM.

Daniel Malcom’s Grave
Copps Hill Burying Ground
Hull Street
Boston, MA 02113

11. Berkley College Mass. Avenue Residence Hall

Berklee College of Music Mass. Ave. Residence--haunted?

Prior to being a college dorm, the building at 150 Massachusetts Avenue is said to have been built where a hotel stood. The hotel burned to the ground.

Is Berkley’s Mass. Ave. Residence Hall Haunted?

The dorm is said to be home to some frightening spirits, specifically those who lost their lives in the fire. The apparitions are said to be seen walking the dorm’s hall, and some even live in the dorm rooms. Talk about bad luck when it comes to a roommate…

The best way to see this haunted place is to talk a walk along Mass. Ave–or schedule a tour with your college student.

Berklee College of Music Residence Hall
150 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 747-2250

12. Green Line at Boylson

Green Line in Boston

This public transportation stop which runs below the Boston Common is said to be haunted by a variety of spirits, including one which seems to create train malfunctions. It was discovered when building the “T” that it was the site of a mass grave of British soldiers during the American Revolution. There was also a natural gas explosion on Tremont that killed six people and injured many more.

You can go to the stop anytime, and ride the ‘T’!

Green Line Boylston Station
Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 222-3200

13. The Liberty Hotel

Best Haunted Houses in Boston: The Liberty Hotel, former Charles St. Jail

The Liberty Hotel, a chic hotel with jail-like rooms and a cat-walk, was once the Charles Street Jail. So don’t be surprised if from time to time, you might hear things go bump in the night at odd hours. It’s thought that former inmates, including the Boston Stranger (Phil DeSalvo), haunt the place. Other inmates include Malcolm X and an inmate who committed suicide.

Sadly, conditions were so bad at the Charles Street Jail that it was ruled to violate prisoners’ Constitutional rights so it was shut down…but not for 20 years.

Is The Liberty Hotel Haunted?

Could the Liberty Hotel be another haunted hotel in Boston? Today, guests say they’ve seen strange things outside the hotel windows and in the hotel mirrors.

The best way to experience this jail-turned-hotel is to stay overnight or have a bite to eat. It’s an experience like no other! When you do, be sure to ask the Concierge for a tour.

The Liberty Hotel
215 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114

14. Buckminster Hotel

Vintage picture of Buckminster hotel

Built in 1897 and close to Fenway Park, this luxury hotel was one of the biggest and nicest places to stay at the turn of the century. During prohibition In the 1920s, Buckminster Hotel was a speakeasy, where Red Sox trade Babe Ruth would visit after games.

Buckminster Hotel was also the home to the 1919 “Black Sox Scandal,” in which eight White Sox players, with a mob boss and a bookie, conspired to lose the world series.

The hotel was also used by the military to house soldiers and as a detention center during World War II.

Is Buckminster Hotel Haunted?

Why, yes, it is.

Some say a man in a black coat and fedora haunts the Buckminster Hotel. He sporadically walks the halls and other areas in the hotel, and when spoken to, disappears. He may be the Boston bookie (Joseph Sullivan) who fixed the 1919 World Series.

Though closed to the public, you can see this haunted hotel in Boston right from Kenmore square. It’s a 5-minute walk from The Red Sox’s Fenway Park, and just over 6 miles from Boston Logan International Airport.

Buckminster Hotel
645 Beacon Street
Boston MA 02215
(617) 236-7050

Ornamental wrought iron fence at Boston Public Gardens

15. Boston Common

Numerous hangings and tragedies took place in the historic Boston Commons, which dates back to colonial days.

It is said that on occasion, you can see the apparition of two Victorian sisters in 18th Century attire strolling through the Common at night, arm-in-arm.

Some say one of the women could be Mary Dyer, a Quaker immigrant suspected of being a witch and hanged for blasphemy. (You’ll find a bronze statue honoring Mary Dyer on Beacon Street.)

Related: Things to do on a Day Trip from Boston to Salem

Others say it might be the spirit of Margaret Jones, also accused and hung for witchcraft when an onlooker said a child ran from her arms into thin air.

You can stroll the Boston Common any time – and it’s an especially beautiful Boston garden space in the spring! It’s free!

Boston Common
139 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111

16. Granary Burying Ground

Old grave stones at Granary Burying Ground

You’ll find many Revolutionary War Heroes in the Granary Burying Ground, founded in 1660. Among them:

  • Samual Adams
  • John Hancock
  • Robert Paine
  • Paul Revere.

You’ll also find mass graves from the Boston Massacre victims, one for adults and one for children here.

One grave is hotly debated to be the resting place of Mother Goose, and a large obelisk marks the grave of Ben Franklin’s parents.

The Granary Burying Ground was originally part of the Boston Common. In 1662, a granary and jail were built alongside it (hence the name), separating from the Common.

This is another instance where grave markers far exceed graves. Of the 5,000 burial sites, only 2,345 have headstones.

Worse, the stones have been moved so they may not represent who is buried there.

A buried staircase leads to a crypt with further unidentified bodies.

Is the Granary Burying Ground Haunted?

Some say you can still hear Paul Revere and his horse riding through.

Photographers often report unexplained orbs and spectral figures in their images, some coming in and out of graves.

Others report seeing who they believe to be Lawyer John Otis, who was struck by lighting in his home shortly after saying he’d rather be struck by lightening than live with the brain injury from an attack.

And if you walk through the Granary Burying Ground on a warm day, don’t be surprised to encounter some cold spots–a sign of a spirit presence.

So is it haunted? Well, you be the judge.

The cemetery is open from 9AM to 5PM. Sometimes, you’ll find a host at the entrance who will give you a map of the graves, too.

Granary Burying Ground
Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108

Final Thoughts

Whether you visit one of these 13+ haunted houses in Boston, a haunted Boston hotels, or these historic haunted cemeteries, you’re sure to be entertained. You can visit at any time of the year–but it’s especially fun at Halloween!

For more Halloween adventures around the world, check out these 3 Epic Halloween Tours for Thrill-Seekers next!

So, did you add some stops to your Boston bucket list? Will you visit at Halloween? Tell us which of these spooky places you think makes one (or more) of the best haunted houses in Boston.

13 Haunted Houses and other spooky places in Boston MA Pinterest pin
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Additional Photo Credits

Omni Parker House:

Parkman House: Cushing, George M. / Public domain

Cutler Majestic: By Jim KuhnCamera

Berklee By Cryptic C62 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Fort Warren: Public Domain,

Union Oyster House: By BPL – BPL, CC BY 2.0,

Charles Street Jail/Liberty: By m_e, CC BY 3.0,

Hotel Buckminster: Creative Commons license

Sheraton By Tichnor Bros. Inc., Boston, Mass. – Boston Public Library Tichnor Brothers collection #61118, Public Domain,

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30 thoughts on “Best Haunted Houses in Boston for Halloween Fun”

  1. What a cool list!! I’m not surprised these are so many haunted places in Boston (or anywhere in New England!) I can’t wait to visit some of these on my next visit to town!

  2. So there are haunted houses in Boston? You guys in the US are taking Halloween definitely to the next level. Even though I cannot be there in person, it was very inspiring reading these background stories – uuuuh spooky 😉

    • It’s crazy how Halloween has become as much of an event as Christmas here, Renata. (I just don’t know what to say about that…) Glad you enjoyed a little spooky history. 😀

  3. Wow, I didn’t realize that there were so many haunted houses in Boston! They always spook me out but I love hearing the stories (and my girls are always so intrigued by hanuted houses). I’ll be adding this to my plans when I visit Boston again!

  4. This is very fascinating but more than a little spooky. I’m not 100% sure that I believe in spirits but I do believe that there were mass graves at one time so reading about the speculation of people being buried alive at the Kings Chapel Burial Ground is chilling. Having said that, when I visit Boston, I now will have to do a haunted house tour!

    • I find it fascination, too, Kelly! Some of those stories are spine-chilling… If you take it all with a grain of salt, a haunted house tour can be really fun!

  5. Halloween is actually my favourite holiday (does it count as one?) – but I don’t like scary things! That being said, these haunted houses look really interesting to visit with a lot of history. The last haunted house I went in was when I was at school and I was very freaked out.

    • Oh, I imagine how a scary haunted house at a young age would stay with you! Glad it didn’t tamper with your appreciation for some good Halloween fun… 😀

  6. I love spooky stories! I haven’t been to Boston but I will definitely do a ghost tour when I am there! Fun guide and the photos are top-notch!

  7. I love Boston so much and never even thought of visiting a haunted house! What a cool idea for the season, or for anyone looking for a good spook. Great list!

  8. Visiting a haunted house for Halloween is such a fun thing to do! I would love to go see a few of them! But maybe not at night haha!

  9. What an interesting guide. I do like a good ghost story! The Union Oyster House sound like a really interesting place.

    • Thanks, Katy! If you are in Boston, you definitely want to check out the Union Oyster House. Not only for the ghosts, the food and drink is great and the ambiance is like no other.

  10. I love this post, something completely different and I love haunting and horror stories so would totally visit these places!!

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