Boston is the kind of city that is unique and authentic thanks to its combination of both new and old. In a way it’s enchanting, which might be why both people and ghosts alike are drawn to it. Regardless, Boston is rich in American history, which is to be expected given it was one of the first towns established in Colonial America.
Boston was involved in many wars. Bloody and gruesome wars, at that. So you would expect there to be ghosts around and about. And you’d be right, one such example of an area where ghosts are present is the Powder House Square tower. While located in the town of Somerville, it is adjacent to the haunted city of Boston.
If you want to go on a ghost story tour in Boson, go here.
Haunted Powder House Square In Boston
Powder House Square has a history of its own, with ties to the revolutionary war. It’s actually the area where one of the first hostile acts of the revolutionary war took place. This hostile act was the removal of colonial gunpowder by British soldiers. Due to that event taking place, the public reaction to it is known as the “Powder Alarm.”
Fun fact, the aforementioned gunpowder removal happened with gunpowder magazines, which were gunpowder storage buildings, which are the successor to powder houses. And gun magazines get their name from the gunpowder magazine buildings.
But anyway, the reaction to the removal of gunpowder, as well as there being rumors of bloodshed, caused the American Patriots to spring into action. Consequently, the militiamen thinking the war would be at hand, also sprang into action and headed towards Boston.
At the end of the day, nothing actually happened, but it prepared the militia for the battles that would occur at Lexington and Concord less than a year later. Therefore, Powder House Square became a memorable part of history as it increased tensions on both sides, and ended up causing action to be taken.
Powder House Tower
The powder house itself was first built as a windmill in 1703 or 1704. It was then sold to the colonial government of Massachusetts in 1747, which turned the windmill into a gunpowder magazine. Due to the date it was built, it is the oldest stone building in Massachusetts. In its prime, it held the most gun powder in the colony.
The powder house was turned over to the British due to General Thomas Gage, who became the military governor of Massachusetts in 1774. He turned over storehouses and arsenals in New England as a method of preventing the outbreak of war between the British and the colonists, which we all know didn’t work.
The Tale Of Two Lovers
There’s a tragic love story associated with the powder house, this is when it was still a windmill, so chances are it’s been haunted since its purchase in 1774. And according to “Myths and Legends of Our Own Land” by Charles Skinner, there was a young farmer and a wealthy man’s daughter who held their love affair at the windmill.
The young farmer came from a modest family who encouraged him to marry whomever he wished; however, the same cannot be said for the girl. Her father was classist, and insisted his daughter marry a wealthy man, not one who is bound by the land, so to speak. The couple decided to meet in secret at the windmill almost every evening.
But secrets can only be kept for so long and, as it goes, word of the affair got to the father of the girl. Angry, he decided that he would meet them at the windmill to surprise, humiliate, and scold the couple for not properly respecting his wishes.
The couple met again at the windmill, except this time was different. They did not expect anyone to come upon them when they suddenly noticed the daughter’s father approaching. Hastily, they both attempted to hide within the windmill. The young farmer took refuge on the first floor and the daughter went for the stairs to hide above.
At the time, the daughter was wearing a dress, which drew the attention of her father who was looking into the windmill. After seeing her there, he rushed in to confront the couple. Except he could see no one, and could barely see at all in the dark windmill. Even as his eyes adjusted, he could not find them.
The daughter believed that she had been seen, so she slowly crept backward away from the stairs until she was caught on a loose floorboard. She started to fall and threw out her hand into the air, a move that saved her by catching onto a rope attached to a mechanism.
As soon as the rope was activated by her weight, she set the gears of the old windmill into motion. Then she heard a fall and a cry that turned from anger to anguish, as though someone was in great pain. The wealthy father just so happened to be standing on one of the millstones as the rope was pulled and the gears turned. The father fell, and consequently, his arm was crushed to a pulp.
Knowing he was in mortal danger, his daughter and the farmer tended to his wounds as much as they could, then lifted him up and carried him home. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done for him. However, this incident did give him a change of heart. The kind of change in heart that really only comes after your life is soon about to end. He put away his elitist values and his views and consented to the marriage between the farmer and his daughter. He soon died afterward, putting the daughter in heavy grief.
Grief that she would never heal from. She never went back to the old mill, as she heard it was inhabited by her father’s ghost. After months of delaying her wedding day, grieving and being overwhelmed with guilt, she finally married the farmer. It is unknown what happened next for the couple, but if nothing notable was said, it probably means that they lived a normal, happy life afterward.
The Father’s Ghost
As previously remarked, it is said that the father’s ghost resides within the windmill itself. It’s also said that he’s not a very happy person. He’s known as a ghost who curses and spits out profanity quite frequently. According to Myths and Legends, the book previously mentioned, on windy nights the profanity becomes so dirty that it becomes “visible in the form of blue lights, dancing and exploding” around the building.
Not much more is said about the ghost of the father but the windmill does overlook the roundabout within Powder House Square. A roundabout where many crashes do occur, so it may be possible that the wrecks are partially caused by the father. His own anger seeping into the spirits or psyches of the drivers themselves.
Other Hauntings of Boston
After visiting the powder house, which used to be a windmill, you may not be satisfied with getting cursed at by an angry ghost. Perhaps you want more ghostly encounters. And luckily for you, you’re right next to Boston, one of the most haunted cities of America. In Boston, you can visit many haunted places.
Perhaps you wish to visit a graveyard, maybe even the oldest graveyard in the city, in which case you would want to visit Granary Burying grounds which is just that. It’s said that orbs of light and the spirit of Paul Revere can be spotted on the grounds.
Or maybe you wish to see the Lady in Black. Whose story is also one of romantic folly. To see her you would travel to Fort Warren located at the Boston Harbor. No matter what you decide, there are plenty of opportunities to see ghosts, and if you’re lucky, interact with them.