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
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 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.