7 Haunted New England Forests You Should Not Explore

Entertainment, Ghosts, Paranormal, Strange News, Unexplained
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By bestselling author and paranormal investigator Joni Mayhan

New England has long been known for its hauntings. With legends steeped in historical lore, ghosts abound at every corner, especially in the heart of these haunted forests. Would you dare step foot in these paranormal hot-spots?

1) Blood Forest – Lancaster, MA


(photo courtesy of Town of Franklin, MA)

Like most haunted forests, the urban legends surrounding Blood Forest are plentiful. Some say a young couple was murdered in the woods while on a camping excursion. Others claim that the namesake of the forest, Arthur W. Blood, murdered other town members and hung their bodies from the trees. While we do know the forest was named after Arthur W. Blood, who donated the land to the town, most of the stories surrounding the property are eerie, at best. Visitors to the property report strange white apparitions walking along the stone walls, as well as sightings of a large black humanoid creature who attempts to steal people’s energy.

2) Gilson Road Cemetery – Nashua, NH

(Photo courtesy of Sandra Chase)

The cemetery and surrounding woods nearly bursts with paranormal activity. A gruesome Native American battle supposedly happened there long before a cemetery was created, causing the land to be saturated with powerful spiritual energy. Daring investigators report seeing strange orbs of lights shoot up from the ground and float into the sky. Apparitions dressed in colonial attire have been seen lurking near several of the unmarked graves. People often hear their names whispered here, as well, only to turn and find themselves alone in the darkness.

3) Archer’s Pond Ossippee, NH


(photo courtesy of www.nhtourguide.com)

Located just outside the White Mountains in New Hampshire, Archer’s Pond has drawn many curious spectators, hoping for a paranormal encounter. The history of the land certainly supports a haunting. In the mid 1800s, the majority of the population was decimated by a smallpox outbreak, with the bodies hastily buried in a cemetery on the south side of the lake. Crumbling cellar holes are scattered throughout the area, where investigators report hearing ghostly voices. Another legend claims that a man named Archie murdered everyone in the nearby village and then threw their bodies into the lake. Witnesses to the activity report having their cars shaken, hearing blood curdling screams in the forest, as well as seeing disembodied apparitions lighting the darkness.

4) Freetown State Forest – Fall River, MA


(photo courtesy of NE Paranormal Research)

Legends have surrounded the famous Bridgewater Triangle area in Fall River, Massachusetts, for decades, but many people shy away from the Freetown State Forest. The forest is isolated, located in the heart of the area. A known area for body-dumping, rumors also linger about satanic ceremonies being held there. Several mysterious deaths also happened in the area, lending some validation for the hauntings. In 1978, the body of a fifteen-year-old cheerleader was found tied to a tree and in 1987, the body of a drifter was discovered in the forest. Other deaths have occurred in the forest as well, including a newborn baby found in a trashcan at a nearby rest stop and two men who were found shot to death on Bell Rock Road, which splices through the forest. Paranormal sightings include possible UFOs, fireballs that zip through the dark skies, as well as apparitions and disembodied voices. Most people brave enough to explore the woods at night report the overwhelming sensation of being watched.

5) Rutland State Park – Rutland, MA


(Photo courtesy of Christina Aube)

Hidden in the middle of the 150 acre Rutland State Park are the ruins of a turn of the century prison camp. Built in 1903, the camp was a working industrial camp for local prisoners serving lesser sentences, such as drunkenness and other minor offences. In 1907 a 30-bed tuberculosis hospital was added to the grounds. Prisoners from all over the state were brought in to be treated, some serving sentences for more violent crimes. The camp and hospital was demolished in 1934 after being deemed a watershed area for the Ware River, which flows into the newly built Quabbin Reservoir, providing drinking water to Boston and its suburbs. The overgrown grounds contain hidden treasures, including an eerie tunnel, the crumbling ruins of the solitary confinement cells (pictured above) and the remains of a cave-like root cellar. Disembodied voices and apparitions have been witnessed by investigators. Many claim the area was once used for satanic worship, tainting the ground with negative energy. The area was the subject of the book The Soul Collector, written by Joni Mayhan.

6) Bellow’s Pipe Trail – North Adams MA


(photo courtesy of Joni Mayhan)

A haunted trail that runs through the Mt. Greylock State Reservation in western Massachusetts is the site where the ghost of Old Coot roams. After returning from the Civil War in 1865, William Saunders was devastated to discover that his wife had remarried while he was away at war. He retreated to the remote Bellows Pipe area, where he set up a camp and became a recluse, known locally as Old Coot. When hunters discovered his remains, they reported seeing his spirit fly from his body. Old Coot continues to haunt the woods near his old camp. Witnesses report seeing his semi-transparent shape at the edge of the trails and often hear strange sounds emitting from the darkness.

7) Haynesville Woods – Haynesville, ME


(photo courtesy of maineanencyclopedia.com)

Local legend abound on a stretch of Route 2 that runs through the Haynesville Woods in northern Maine. Witnesses to the paranormal activity report seeing a woman stumbling along the road. If offered a ride in this familiar tale, she vanishes into thin air shortly before reaching her destination.Others report seeing a young girl near the side of the road. The rural road has been the site of many accidents over the years, as well, and was immortalized by the 1965 song, “A Tombstone Every Mile,” written by local country legend, Dick Curless.

Explore these haunted forests, if you dare, but be forewarned that you might not come out alone.

You can check out Joni Mayhan’s paranormal masterpiece Bones in the Basement below.


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  • Kayl

    I’ve been to gilsons road cemetery before. I stood in the back left corner and faced the yard and felt my vision go blurry before I heard faint gunshots in the woods behind me.. As I was leaving the cemetery, I tripped on a headstone I didn’t see before. I only lost my balance for a second, then I was pushed over by an unknown force. Real creepy stuff that old cemetery.

    • TheGameGuru

      I live down the road, they used to burn witches there.

      • Endless

        There were no witches burned anywhere in this country. Those are just stories. They hanged witches, they never burned them – Not even during the Salem with trials.

        • Michael Stratford

          Also false. There were witches burned, just not lawfully. You’re mistaking the fact that it was never legal to burn a witch at the stake as a form of capital punishment for whether or not groups of people inflicted these punishments without the lawful authority. Be careful about countering a myth with a fact that is not accurate.

          • Endless

            *sigh* No. During the Salem Witch Trials, over 200 people were accused of witchcraft, and only 20 were killed. All of them hanged. They burned the remains. If there were witches (or anyone) burned at the stake, it was so incredible rare that it’s completely undocumented.

          • Michael Stratford

            Correct, as it pertains to that particular event there were no witches burned at the stake, however there is a lot more to history than the Salem Witch Trials. You can continue to pretend your blanket statement was accurate, but it was not. There are documented cases of lawless townsfolk burning people at the stake for a variety of things, one of them being the presumed use of witchcraft.

            As for your cute little *sigh* — really? If you’re just so tired of responding to people correcting you, then simply don’t respond, rather than make it seem as though it is such a burden. Plus, that’s sort of obnoxious, and I don’t think my response was such that it earned that kind of silliness.

  • k steinbrecher

    She forgot (or doesnt know) about vale end in wilton nh. I personally went with paranormal investgator shane sirois of trueghost.com and it was so active. I was physically assaulted by something there. It out of no where got so black and the next thing i saw was the sky and was sore for days. Shane said… I virtually was sent horizontal and slammed to the ground on the back of my neck like i was clothes lined. The hauntings in the woods are intense and the cemetary in the middle of the woods is even worse.

  • jax


    i used to live in amity maine not far from haynesville. check out this article its about a murderer who burried his victims limbs in cemented buckets in the haynesville woods. there are many other thing about those woods. like a hug abandoned house thats almost hidden by the trees. there are cars with trees growing up through the center and toys outside like the people just vanished. over the years people were taking things for the first floor. but anybody whoever took anything from the upstairs died the next day. i personally know of a man who lived in pitlock on route 2 that got his head ran over the day after he took a brush from upstairs. now the upstairs door is borded up with boreds and railroad spikes.

    • The Ghost Diaries

      Jez that is an insanely creepy and disturbing story, thx for sharing, seriously!

    • secklund

      Cool stories, but seriously…have you ever bothered to proofread anything or did you just skip going to school? The errors are excruciating

  • Alicia

    The state forest that runs through Lowell, Dracut and Tyngsboro is extremely creepy. I grew up down the road from it and would experience the feeling of someone watching me as I would walk through the woods on my own. My mother would try and walk our dog up there as well and he would usually forcefully turn them around. I’ve heard stories of it being haunted by Native American spirits.

  • thomas carr

    what a bunch of bs

    • albert glidden


    • Mike

      The only thing that smells bad here is your baseless judgement of things you do not understand. As is often the case with skeptics like you, it’s just too difficult to stop insulting long enough to maybe learn something new…The funny thing is that I know I’ll have the last laugh when you have to leave this world and are surprised to find that you still exist- that you are a conscious entity but without a physical body- you know, a GHOST. I assure you it’s the truth that someday you will see. Until then you’ll keep on aggressively pushing your viewpoints on all us poor gullible people who dare believe in ghosts.

      • Michael Stratford

        At least they’re not quoting bible fiction while claiming that the paranormal is fake. That is infuriating.

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/loveunderlaw Loveunderlaw


        • SeanX

          touche’….as for the dissing/ dissers…..I am calling you out….go spend a night or two in those places…you are cowards…..ask yourself if…if your faith is strong enough to face the unknown….btw, faith in a deity is also classified as believing in the supernatural aka-Paranormal…

          • https://www.youtube.com/user/loveunderlaw Loveunderlaw


  • Neville Ennui

    You spelled “Ossipee” incorrectly. Just a heads up.

  • Bill McLean

    Been there many many times (Haynesville Maine). Went fishing on all of those occasions. Nothing but fish in those woods. But here – I’ll scare you – “Boo!”

  • TheGameGuru

    I live only minutes from gilson road cemetery. The place is legit and rated one of the most active paranormal spots in the country. I dare anyone who’s a skeptic to spend more than 5 minutes there.

    • albert glidden

      Legit? Hahahahaha

      • Michael Stratford

        WILD MAN, right? The way he used the shortened version of legitimate.

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/loveunderlaw Loveunderlaw


    • Crystal

      I went there a time or two and every time I feel like I want to cry and get overwhelmingly uneasy. But I didn’t capture anything during my investigation. It was actually the calmest cemeteries I’ve been too. Creepy fog that over hovered low to the ground though. Check it out sometime.

  • orion

    I love a good ghost story and like the idea of going into
    some creepy place and experiencing that scare. However, that feeling of being
    watched in the woods or the feeling that someone is behind, may be nothing more
    than one of those primitive survival instincts that are buried deep inside all of
    us. When we find ourselves in a primitive setting, like the woods, those
    instincts may kick in, like they did in our ancient ancestors, to keep us on
    guard against prey. This can account for the feeling of eyes upon you, the raised
    hair on the neck, etc.

    The power of suggestion plays into this also. If I go into a
    supposedly haunted place hoping to experience something and having heard
    stories form others, I am more likely to have an experience. Tripping over something
    suddenly becomes the feeling of being pushed. A shadow or reflection of
    sunlight becomes a ghostly specter.

    That’s not to say that I don’t believe in residual energy
    being held to a location. It may very well exist. But until it’s proven, this
    is nothing more than a good fun scare, like the type you get from a well-made
    horror movie or going to a Halloween theme park.

    That’ said, I am certainly going to pay a visit to some of
    these places, just for the fun of maybe getting a little bit of a fright. I would
    definitely stay away from the place in Fall River. That sounds less like supernatural
    occurrences and more like dangerous criminal activity.

    • Mike

      @ Orion- I seldom take the time & energy I used to trying to change the minds of the (often) ill-tempered disbelievers out there. You aren’t one of those, as you clearly have an much more open mind. I am writing this time because I think you are one of the few of those that I meet that will truly “get it”. The skeptics go into great detail about the varied reasons why ghosts cannot exist and how the simple-minded merely fool ourselves into believers. Armchair philosophers can and do endlessly debate the subject the result being that neither ever get any closer to the truth. I used to write about all the experiences and evidence I have in the 5 years since I found out what the truth is. I stopped writing because I realized people must have their own personal experiences as definitive proof as I myself did. So now I instead challenge people to do what I did and instead of debating, go on an investigation or two and see what happens. I did and I am very, very glad I did. I simply asked a local paranormal group I found on the internet if I could tag along on a investigation, they were more than happy to. The place we investigated was an old trailer set deep in the back woods of NC. I brought all my own equipment and carefully kept track of everything and everyone around with the eye of a detective. I had to make sure if any evidence was captured that I alone had touched the equipment, I kept the “chain of custody” to me and no-one else. One after another events unfolded that night that I saw, heard, smelled, etc. that were unexplained and well, creepy! A few examples are seeing someone get scratched (hard enough to draw blood) right in front of us as we stood talking. I examined her pantsleg for marks in case something may have poked her although I knew she had been standing still for example. Next we had heard definite footsteps on the front steps as we sat quietly in a circle on the floor-quickly opening the front door showed there wasn’t anyone out there. Then, a teenage daughter of one of the investigators suddenly sobbing fearfully she was being choked, I once she had calmed down and felt a bit better we could make out reddish marks visible on her neck. As we walked around outside, rocks began to be thrown at us from the woods, pinging off the side of the trailer.As the night went on, I became increasingly amazed that I was witnessing the real thing-exciting for sure… The final straw, the moment I knew that it WAS all true, that ghosts are real was after I got home. Earbuds in, I began playing back the audio I had carefully recorded and was amazed that indeed, I had gotten multiple voices that was not us. As if this wasn’t enough, I cannot begin to describe the sickly excitement I felt as something or someone said “MIKE” in a creepy urgent whisper, and obviously very close to the microphone. And, my name was spoken while I was sitting alone in the darkened living room doing the evp session. Anyway, my point is anyone can do as I did, find out once and for all what the truth is, and I will happily help anyone interested if you wish. One more thing i should note is the fact that to date not one skeptic has taken me up on this “challenge”. I guess they are just more comfortable lecturing as to the reasons ghosts cannot exist.

  • Lisa O’Connell

    People this is not a game. You don’t want to mess around with the paranormal. I went to a haunted cemetery and something attached to me, thus starting a 12 years of awful things. It was like a succubus took the life out of me. Finally found some “real” paranormal hunters to clense my home and everything has been good since. Please be careful about this. I went with friends and we all laughed it up like it was fun, but as I stated, it’s not a game.

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/loveunderlaw Loveunderlaw


  • Stargazer

    I guess if you believe this fiction, you’ll believe anything!

  • sabrakatz

    I would be more concerned about meeting human creepers or monsters in any of those woods nowadays…. too many around, and I wouldn’t to unarmed, or alone. But I am not discounting people’s experiences, my husband and daughter and I had a few, in two different homes we owned. Doors slamming, footsteps, covers pulled off us at night, electrical disturbances, etc. The well-known works…. we are now in a small older home we bought recently, built in 1928. I know for a fact that someone died here around 15 years ago, but it was not violent, he was in his 90s and so far, things are quiet!!