5 Thanksgiving Ghost Stories from Plymouth, Massachusetts
Massachusetts is home to many, many ghost stories. Seeing as it is home to many of the oldest established territories in United States history, it's no surprise that the land has seen its fair share of blood and terror. However, today we are going to focus on one of the oldest towns in the nation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims landed back in 1620.
Surprisingly, as relations between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans that inhabited the area upon their landing were actually pretty good, no blood was spilled for a while after the Pilgrims landed. However, death was still right around the corner for many. A major bout of smallpox ravaged the Native populations, wiping out massive numbers of people, and the rough winter killed almost half of the Pilgrim population in the area. By the late 1630's, however, tensions had risen between the Pilgrims and the ever-encroached upon Indian people, which led to a number of skirmishes and massacres, including the extremely bloody Pequot War and the even more gruesome Metacom's War, in which thousands upon thousands of lives were lost.
This history is often highly debated, and it's hard to know exact numbers when you're counting on the record keeping and document storage techniques back in the day, but Plymouth is a town with a lot of dark history residing beneath a quaint surface. Let's check out a few places in the area that hold extremely dark history of their own.
#1.) PLYMOUTH BAY & THE 1749 COURTHOUSE
Long after the Pilgrims had emigrated from the area and spread out into the rest of what would become the United States of America, on Christmas Eve 1778, a ship by the
name of the brigadine General Arnold departed Boston bound for the West Indies. Unfortunately, the crew of 105 men wouldn't make it even close to their final destination.
Soon after the vessel's departure, a massive blizzard began, and the captain steered the ship towards Plymouth Harbor to seek refuge. Unfortunately, the ship became stranded on the White Flats in the middle of the bay, and was stuck. Over the next two days and nights, the ship began slowly to break apart, and eventually a party of men was sent off in the only boat the ship possessed to gather help from the Plymouth settlement. By the time residents from Plymouth reached the shipwreck for rescue, more than half of the sailors were dead. 70 men succumbed to frostbite and other cold-related afflictions while waiting for rescue aboard the ship, and an additional
9 men died after being brought back to shore. The dead were buried in an unmarked grave at Burial Hill, and the story of the General Arnold became a spooky local legend.
Many have reported seeing the phantom shape of the General Arnold (a la the Flying Dutchman), stuck out on the White Flats, filled with doomed sailors in Plymouth Bay while walking the shores late at night, while others have claimed hearing the screams of the sailors as they froze to death and have even felt their presence around their (now marked) mass grave at
In an interesting twist of fate, the 1749 Courthouse in Downtown Plymouth was actually used as a makeshift morgue for all of the sailors after their bodies were brought ashore, and the courthouse building is now rumored to be haunted as well, with reports constantly being made of shadow figures being sighted in the windows of the building.
#2.) THE JOHN CARVER INN
Built in 1969 as a Holiday Inn, and converted to the John Carver Inn in 1988, this hotel is known as one of the places to stay in Plymouth if you are seeking a paranormal experience.
The land that The John Carver Inn was built upon was supposedly once the location of a Revolutionary-era home which housed medical students. However, these were not your
average doctors-in-training. These medical students would rob corpses from the nearby Burial Hill cemetery, amongst other burial grounds in town, and practice on them in their home during the night. When the people of Plymouth finally discovered the gruesome secret that these students held, they kicked them out of town and attempted to wash their hands of the affair. However, it seems like the dead haven't forgotten.
There aren't many details about the haunting of the Inn online, but the third floor of the hotel is reported to be the hotspot of activity, specifically in rooms 311 and ultimately
309. People feel chills in these rooms, hear whispers and other phantom voices and have claimed to have seen figures walking about the rooms. Whether these spirits are from the history of the land, or the many negative events that have probably transpired in those rooms over the years since the hotel was built, I don't know. But to many, it seems that the dead are still returning to warn the living against committing the crime of grave robbing.
#3.) THE SPOONER HOUSE & MUSEUM
Built around 1749 on the "most haunted street in Plymouth", The Spooner House & Museum is home to what is probably Plymouth's most infamous ghost, Abigail Townsend. The Spooner House was occupied by over 5 generations of the Spooner family, and was willed over by James Spooner after his death in the 1950's to become a museum filled with antiques and his families personal belongings. Although the most prevalent ghost was never a blood relative to the Spooner family, the Spooner family members themselves were not disconnected from tragedy and terror. In March of 1778, a young Joshua Spooner was murdered by three soldiers and had his body stuffed down a well. Later on in the trial, Joshua's wife, Bathsheba was charged and convicted for organizing this murder, a conviction which led to the hanging of all four people involved.
A young Abigail Townsend was taken into the Spooner family as a young girl, but
unfortunately would not live with them for very long. She ended up dying a victim to a bad tooth infection in the upstairs of the Spooner House, at a very young age. This is where many of the ghost stories from the Spooner House originate.
Abigail's spirit has been seen on the property many, many, many times. Construction workers have seen her, Spooner family members have seen her, ghost tour parts have seen her- digging into this story, it's hard to tell who exactly hasn't seen Abigail at this point. Many people who have toured the home have reported hearing phantom music from the upstairs, watching a ball bounce up and down and move
around on its own, but most frequently reported is the sighting of Abigail's spirit itself, walking around the home. Abigail is said to be seen skipping rope in the alleyways outside of the house and even peering out from the windows down at interested visitors who stand outside at night and look at the home. Eerie.
#4.) METACOM'S GRUESOME PLAQUE
This one is particularly messed up.
At the end of Metacom's (commonly known as King Phillip) War, the Native American people were not looked upon with the best regards from the colonists. At the end of Metacom's War in 1676, Metacom was quartered in Rhode Island, and one of his hands was sent to Boston, the other sent to England. His wife and son were then sold into
slavery in the West Indies, and Metacom's head was displayed on a spike for over twenty years in the center of Plymouth.
The plaque pictured here is located in Plymouth, and denotes the exact area where Metacom's head was displayed in town. The other marker that I have included a photo of here marks the place of Metacom's death, in Miery Swamp, in Mounty Hope, Rhode Island. In both of these places, negative energy has been reported, and many have become
confused or even nervous when in these areas. Whether or not this energy lingers because of the gruesome crime that occurred in one place and the ridicule and negativity projected by Plymouth residents onto the other, I don't know, but it's still absolutely insane and gruesome history that is hard to believe.
#5.) BURIAL HILL
The most famous haunted spot in Plymouth, the Burial Hill cemetery dates back to the 1600's and is one of the oldest cemeteries in America. There are hundreds of crazy stories stemming from these hallowed grounds, and many more that we will never know.
One famous burial in the cemetery is Mayflower descendant Thomas Southward
Howland, who, at one point in the 1700's, attempted to remove an angry old woman who had taken up residence in a shack on his property. When he tried to get her to leave, Howland saw that the woman in the shack was none other than purported local
witch Mother Crewe who cursed him on the spot, saying: “Make your peace because you will not live to see another sunset. They’ll dig your grave on Burial Hill.” Unfortunately for Howland, he was knocked from his horse and killed the very next day, and ended up buried up on Burial Hill in the family plot before he could even put two and two together. His spirit is seen frequently in the cemetery, dressed in garb from the time.
Many different spirits have been spotted in the cemetery. Pilgrim men with their hats and buckles are reported frequently, along with a Victorian-era husband and wife who
sit on their child's grave and cry. The captain of the aforementioned General Arnold is also seen frequently, pacing about the grounds around the mass grave where he lies buried with his former crew. A more modern entry into the folklore of the cemetery, in 2010, a local man named Wolf actually predicted his own death. For a long period before he died, Wolf was quoted as believing that he would be struck by lightning and die in the cemetery. It happened only a short while after.
PLYMOUTH is one of the most historically relevant places in the birth of our American nation, and spirits from the town's past have definitely stuck around and continue to make their presence known in the town to this day. Have YOU ever visited Plymouth? Do YOU have any ghost stories from the town that you would like to share? Please comment them below and let me know what you thought about all of this!
Thanks for reading, and STAY SPOOKY!
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