As one of the oldest public spaces in the United States, there is bound to be a couple of ghosts lingering about the Public Gardens and Common, don’t you think? In Boston, this stretch of green is full of an intriguing history. In the past, public hangings took place until 1817.
Public Gardens and Common , Boston
The Public Gardens and Common in Boston was used for much more than hangings of criminals , during the 1830’s, cattle used the lawn as their place of grazing. Today, the grounds serve as a beautiful reminder of Mother Nature.
However, weaving in and out of the paths and surrounding the park benches, ghosts have been known to make an appearance. For starters, there are the spirits of two old women, who are often spotted by onlookers. They are described as dressing in delicate clothing (white dresses that indicate the 1830s) and have a gentle demeanor about them. Some people believe the two women are inseparable , perhaps siblings. Others believe that they once stayed at the Ritz Carlton, the ritzy hotel that offers gorgeous views of the Garden.
Walking together with their arms linked, the women usually find a place on one of the benches and watch the people pass by. Pleasant smiles are seen on their faces. There is an unspoken etiquette for people who encounter these kinds of ghosts. Mind your manners and be polite, as these spirits have no clue that they are not among the living and it could come as quite a shock to find out.
Joshua Ward House , Salem
During the Salem Witch Trials, someone had to be in charge of the dirty work regarding the hanging of witches. A house that was constructed on the foundation of the former sheriff who took charge of the executions of suspected witches has been surrounded by reports of hauntings. Equipped with an archaic law, the sheriff relied on an old English rule that gave him the power to crush a supposed witch with rocks in order to force a guilty confession.
Before the man died, he was said to have placed a curse upon the sheriff, who passed away five years later. Odd occurrences take place at the house, such as candles that have been removed from their holders and melted. Trashcans are regularly turned over. One room has a corner that is consistently cold , a sign of ghostly presences. One time, a guest of the house reported seeing the ghost of an old man sitting nearby the fireplace. A photograph is believed to exist of one of the ghosts.
For more information about haunted sites in Massachusetts, look for the article titled, “Haunted Sites in Massachusetts: Famous Ghost Writers” to learn about the famous dead spirits that might lurk about the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.