Visiting Boston can be a whirlwind of excitement. This capital city of Massachusetts is not only the most populous in the state but also packs a wallop of history within its city limits. With the famed Plymouth Rock just a few minutes south of Boston, this area of the country was one of the first to be settled by Europeans.
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With a storied history of settlers, colonies, and that infamous tea party, Boston is a wonderful town to explore as a visitor. Follow the Freedom Trail, 2 and a half miles of America’s history on foot. Boston has all the sites you would expect. The world’s oldest warship, the USS Constitution is in Boston Harbor for instance.
In a town so wrought with history, it only stands to reason that there are spirits walking around as well. If you are interested in the more ghostly side of Boston, you can check out the haunted cemeteries. Catching a glimpse of some of the gravestones during the daylight hours reveals a rich past of lives lost over hundreds of years.
As dusk falls over Boston, and darkness begins creeping in, that’s when the tales of ghostly hauntings become especially eerie. Visit these cemeteries at night, and you may just catch the dead spirits making their presence known among the living. Perhaps you are a skeptic? Even non-believers have found that the haunted cemeteries of Boston live up to the hype.
With several different cemeteries to scope out for any interesting apparitions or floating orb, you never know when you will feel the chill of a spirit visiting you. Ghost tours are a great way to both learn some of the more interesting and spooky histories of Boston as well as invite the spirits to join you and your group.
The Boston Massacre
Many people are familiar with the 1770 Boston massacre and its role in the city’s history. What started as a small street brawl between five American colonists and a singular British soldier became a bloody confrontation. This conflict was a predecessor to the American Revolution and in the aftermath, the anti-British sentiment caught on like wildfire in Boston.
British soldiers were portrayed as murderers with the American Patriots portrayed as the underdog heroes fueling the fire for the American revolution. Anytime there is an unjust death there is the extreme potential for a haunting or unrest with the dead. The Boston Massacre is a stunning example of why Boston has become so haunted today.
Those who were killed became martyrs for their own side of the war, liberty or death was a real possibility in a war fought with bayonets and rifles. These cemeteries are littered with the bodies and blood of a horrific battle, making them an important keystone in Boston’s history. These lost souls are also those whose spirits linger in our world haunting Boston forever.
The Boston Tea Party
Another famous event during the lead up to the American Revolution was when shiploads of tea dumped into the Boston harbor protesting British tax on their favorite beverage Boston again played a role in fueling the tempers and passions of the American Patriots.
Many times when people feel they are being treated unfairly, they want to take revenge. In this instance, upset about the cost of tea, they pulled off a rebellious act that is remembered as the Boston Tea Party.
Three cargo ships worth of tea, about 92,000 lb worth, and the harbor smelled for weeks. While Boston no longer smells faintly of tea spending time walking in the town you can sense the great history of the American revolution. In fact, the Boston Tea Party is one of the most iconic American Revolution moments in many people’s minds.
The participants in the Boston Tea Party were never identified and no one ever came forward with information as to the identification of those involved and therefore even though the tea party is commonly known there is a great mystery surrounding it. Everyone knows mystery becomes great fodder for ghost stories both fictionalized and not.
Haunted Cemeteries in Boston
With so many historical figures spending time in Boston, not only during the American Revolution but throughout all of this country’s history, there are many legends associated with Boston. It is up to you to decide whether they are true and spending time exploring some of Boston’s haunted cemeteries can change even the most staunch unbeliever’s mind.
Boston’s storied bloody history and simply being one of the earliest areas to be settled by Europeans means that there are hundreds of years of bodies needing a final resting ground.
With three of the oldest cemeteries in Boston simply a short walk from one another, these three locations are hot spots for the paranormal and ghostly activity.
It makes sense that the spirits of those who have gone before us would hover around their burial grounds as they relive their time in Boston. If you are seeking an adventure into the gray area between real life and what can not be explained by science, consider taking a haunted cemetery ghost tour.
Haunted King’s Chapel Burying Ground in Boston
The King’s Chapel Burial ground is one of the most interesting of the historic haunted Boston cemeteries, with tales of a spirit roaming around the Stranger’s Tomb and other unexplainable happenings, this is an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the possibilities of Boston’s haunted apparitions.
This cemetery is the oldest in all of Boston, is adjacent to the independent church aptly named King’s Chapel. Yet interestingly, the cemetery predates that chapel and has no specific religious affiliation. For 30 years this was the only proper cemetery within the city of Boston, so the bulk of all the early settlers are buried here.
Among the notable names of those who have found their final rest within the King’s Chapel Burying Grounds are Mary Chilton who was a Plymouth Pilgrim and the first known European woman to set foot on the shore in New England. When the wind hits the cemetery just right you can almost hear the call of the supernatural manifestations.
Nestled between buildings this modest patch of crooked headstones, is directly on the Freedom Trail path and has been a known site for ghostly encounters. Whether you are a true ghost hunter coming equipped to track EMFs and EVPs or just a fan of spooky historical ambiance, visiting the King’s Chapel Burying Grounds will be an unforgettable experience.
Visiting during the daytime allows you the chance to offer your reverent respects to those who rest in peace in this hallowed ground of Boston, but visiting at night may bring you an incident that defies explanation.
There is a legend about this cemetery that a man was once buried alive! When his family realized the mistake they dug him back up, but the incident had, of course, killed him. His spirit is known to roam about, unsettled by the cause of his untimely demise. But burying someone alive was not the only gravedigger error associated with King’s Chapel Burying Grounds.
Another harrowing tale begins with some gravediggers who’s hole was too small for the woman meant for the plot. Rather than solving the problem and continuing to dig a proper grave, the story goes that they instead chopped off the head of the deceased. Some people claim they have seen the figure of a headless woman wandering through King’s Chapel Burying Grounds.
Other famous stories include ones about pirates who supposedly wander about the cemetery, looking for their lost loot. According to the historical records, many of the gravestones were moved in 1810 so there isn’t a truly accurate indication of who lies where, but nevertheless, the history of King’s Chapel Burying Ground is deep.
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
As Boston’s second oldest cemetery, Copp’s Hill is another historic cemetery. Named for a humble shoemaker, William Copp, this cemetery was in the colonial days, Boston’s largest. This beautiful hill once had a windmill on the grounds before it’s conversion to a burial site.
This picturesque burial ground is quite beautiful during the day time. The hill of the cemetery offers a stunning vantage point of Boston. This is why the British used this very hill during the earliest skirmishes leading up to the American Revolutionary War. They used their height to train their cannons for the Battle of Bunker Hill.
With known graves of fire-and-brimstone preachers, including some who were involved with the Salem Witch Trials, there is plenty of spiritual unrest in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. This is one of the best-known options in Boston for full-body apparition sightings. If you’re hoping to get a peek at a ghost, Copp’s Hill is one of the best options to do so in all of Boston.
This cemetery is also notable for being a burial site for many deceased freed slaves. Due to the time and ever-changing boundaries of the cemetery, many of these gravesites are now unmarked, but this historical site will be their forever home even if we, unfortunately, do not remember their names.
Be sure to check your pictures of Copp’s Hill Burying Ground carefully for anything that seems unusual. Crooked headstones are just the beginning of the eerie ambiance that this cemetery offers, and you never know what kind of spooky details may pop up day or night.
Granary Burying Ground in Boston
The third oldest cemetery in Boston is the final resting place for many soldiers from the Revolutionary War. Because of the war essentially beginning in Boston, the British were especially brutal to the Bostonian citizens. Many famed patriots are buried in the Granary Burying grounds including the midnight rider himself, Paul Revere.
But the American Revolution history doesn’t end there with this cemetery. The city of Boston’s important role in the war should not be overlooked. If you are a fan of the Decoloration of Independence, there are actually three signers who have also found their eternal resting place within this cemetery.
You may not be familiar with the name Robert Treat Paine, but he was a prominent lawyer, served as the first attorney general in Massachusetts, and obviously, his signature appears on one of the most important American documents. As you spend time near his grave marker perhaps the important
When you think of famous Declaration signatures, perhaps none are more remembered than John Hancock, who has also been buried at Granary Burial Grounds. Flamboyant signatures have been competing with Hancock since 1776, but there’s no need to compete to catch a ghost sighting or a floating orb in this cemetery. There is plenty of spooking potential to go around.
Also buried nearby is the Founding Father that makes you think not only of the American Revolution but also perhaps a favorite adult beverage is none other than Samuel Adams. Each of these famous individuals has a prominent marker so they’re easily found.
These big names are just a few among the over 2000 markers representing those who have been buried in the Granary Burial Grounds, though no one truly knows how many people are buried. It was customary in the past to burry as 20 people per plot in order to save on the cost of funerals and burials.
The Granary Burial Ground got its name from a huge granary that was nearby when the cemetery was established. There is a marker in the cemetery for the victims of the massacre offering plenty of opportunities for encounters and history to touch you in a way you wouldn’t expect.
Take a Tour of Boston Cemeteries
When you are looking for a way to see Boston from a different angle than ever before consider joining one of the haunted cemetery tours. Filled with tales that are sure to give you goosebumps and the historical sights of Boston you’ve always wanted to see. Nighttime is also the right time to catch any spirits that may be lingering about.
You don’t need to believe in the mysterious beyond in order to enjoy a ghost tour of Boston’s Haunted Cemeteries. Just seeing these centuries-old burial grounds at night is a unique experience you won’t want to miss. Or perhaps, spending some time near Copp’s Hill, King’s Chapel, and the Granary Burial Grounds will open your mind to paranormal possibilities!