Mark Twain always appreciated a good ghost story, and at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, you can take a “graveyard shift ghost tour.” Also check out the Harriet Beecher Stowe house, which also runs an otherworldly tour. Not only did Stowe write about ghosts, her family participated in spiritual sessions where they tried to communicate with dead family members.
Though the Salem Witch Trials took place centuries ago, that dark period in Massachusetts history — more than 150 people were accused of witchcraft, and 27 were either executed or died in jail — is still very apparent in the coastal town. During the month of October, you will often see (scarily realistic) people in costumes, and you can take historical and ghost tours.
Although Salem is more famous for its witch trials, the Wethersfield witch trials came first, between 1648 and 1668. A the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum you can take a Witches and Tombstones tour and learn the history of the trials and executions. During the tour, you’ll also stop at the Wethersfield Ancient Burying Ground, where you will hear about the 1782 mass murder that’s considered the first documented mass murder-suicide in North America. Scary.
Exeter, Rhode Island
After an illness (thought to be tuberculosis) plagued the Brown family in the 1800’s, the town accused one of the dead daughters, Mercy, of being a vampire after they examined her dead body and found it to be “suspiciously well-preserved.” As the story goes, people in the town cut Mercy’s heart out, burned it, and made her sick brother eat the ashes. Her grave still stands in the Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Exeter.
Fall River, Massachusetts
Stay the night or stop by for a tour at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum, the former home of Lizzie Borden, who was tried for killing her father and stepmother in 1892 with an axe. Although she was acquitted, to this day many to considered her guilty. If you’re feeling audacious, you can sleep in her very bedroom.
North Adams, Massachusetts
This western Massachusetts town has a few haunted locations, including the Hoosac Tunnel. The near-five-mile tunnel is often referred to as “The Bloody Pit,” because 200 people died over the course of its 24 years of construction.
Gilford, New Hampshire
Featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters television show, Kimball Castle was built in the 1890s for Benjamin Ames Kimball, the president of the Concord & Montreal Railroad. On the episode, the team said that some people have reported having spooky experiences at the castle, such as seeing doors close on their own and even some apparitions.
Barbara Malloy, the head of the Memphremagog Historical Society of Newport, told the Huffington Post that some locals and visitors say this otherwise calm and peaceful lake is actually home to a 30-foot-long monster. Another rumor is that you can spot the ghost of Revolutionary War-era General “Mad” Anthony Wayne on the lake.
This still-functioning inn ( which dates back to 1826) has had some eerie things happen there, such as a rocking chair moving on its own and bed linens being stripped without anyone doing it. There have also been some alleged ghost sightings in some of the rooms, though the website notes that they may just be practical jokes.
Fort Knox is a Civil War-era fort on the Penobscot River. It was featured on Ghost Hunters because of reports of the opening and closing of doors, a ghost soldier, and strange noises. Each year around Halloween, you can attend “Fright at the Fort” (which takes place this year on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.), a walking tour around the fort featuring actors in costumes and food for purchase.