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Who You Gonna Call? (Ten Haunted Places In New Hampshire)

Alana Hoskins, paranormal researcher

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1 – Alton Town Hall, Alton

Workers in this town hall, which was built in 1894, have reported ghostly activity such as the sound of heavy footsteps and voices speaking when no one else is in the building with them. There have also been reports of doors opening and closing on their own.

 

2 – The Chase House, Portsmouth

Built in 1762 and originally owned by a wealthy merchant, this house served as a home for orphaned children from 1882 until the start of the first World War. rumor has it that a young girl living in the Chase House hanged herself one day in her bedroom, and to this day her spirit haunts the building. Residents of the house say that a ghostly figure can sometimes be seen in the hallway, and other reports state that she can be heard screaming from the bedroom where she died. She is also said to unlock doors and turn the electricity on and off.

 

3 – Pine Hill Cemetery, Hollis

Pine Hill Cemetery, nicknamed Blood Cemetery by the locals, is the final resting place of more than three hundred people, some of whom have been interred there since the 1700s. Along with reports of mysterious noises and floating orbs of light in the graveyard at night, Pine Hill Cemetery is said to host one specter in particular who gives the cemetery its morbid nickname. Abel Blood, who was interred in 1867 nest to his late wife Betsy, was rumored to have been murdered, and his ghost supposedly haunts the cemetery, scaring visitors who come to his final resting place. His gravestone bears a carving of a hand pointing up to heaven, but it is said that if one visits the headstone at night, the hand will be pointing down.

 

4 – Ocean-Born Mary, Henniker

Legend has it that in 1720, a pirate captain named Don Pedro captured a ship off the coast of Massachusetts. Although he intended to pillage the ship and kill the passengers, he noticed that there was a newborn baby among the passengers and vowed to spare everyone if the child was named after his mother- and so the child was named Mary Wallace, otherwise known as Ocean-Born Mary. Mary was widowed at a young age and eventually Don Pedro himself tracked her down and married her; the two lived in a mansion overlooking the town of Henniker. One day, Don Pedro was found murdered, possibly killed over pirate treasure. Mary buried her husband under the hearthstone in the kitchen and lived out her life in the mansion. Although Mary died at the age of 91 in 1814, it is said that her presence in the house lives on. Some report seeing a tall woman with bright green eyes and long red hair walking the halls and on the staircases, and some believe she protects the house from harm.

 

5 – New Hampshire State Hospital, Concord

When this facility first opened, it was called the New Hampshire Asylum for the Insane. While it opened in 1842, it wasn’t renamed to “New Hampshire State Hospital” until 1901, Two years after that, it became the sole caretaker for all “insane” people in the state, and all county asylums were shut down. By 1930, there were about two thousand people in the hospital- about 0.4% of the population of New Hampshire. The hospital was replaced with what is now the current state psychiatric hospital in 1989, and while some of the buildings were renovated or repurposed as administrative buildings, some were simply left abandoned. The hospital’s graveyard (used in instances where the family did not want to handle funeral arrangements) can still be found nearby, although the cemetery’s owner has kept it isolated from most visitors over the years.

 

6 – Star Island, Isles of Shoals

In the 1600s, Star Island was home to a growing community of fishermen and their families. While today it is a popular summer resort and vacation spot, it is said that the island’s past still haunts the area- literally. There have been many reports of spirits and specters all over the island, including an old man who allegedly committed suicide and whose ghost can be found wandering his former home, and a young body who fell to his death from a rocky cliff on the outskirts of the island. The island’s chapel in particular is supposedly a hotspot for spirits, and some say they can hear singing and footsteps coming from the church when it is empty. The Oceanic Hotel is also reported to be haunted by several spirits, like a man with white hair and a lady dressed all in white. Guests also report hearing strange noises on the third and fourth floors and coming from the attic; some say it sounds like someone is scratching at the walls or pushing furniture around. Doors in the hotel will also open and close on their own. Some even say that at night, a mysterious black dog with red eyes roams the island, vanishing whenever it’s approached.

 

7 – Amos J. Blake House, Fitzwilliam

This property was originally built as a store with living quarters attached in 1837. It was purchased by Amos J. Blake in 1865, and in 1966 it was given to the Fitzwilliam Historical Society by the remaining members of the Blake family. Now a museum, it is said that the premises are haunted by the spirit of a young boy, and some have reported seeing floating misty orbs, objects moving on their own, and a ghostly cat.

 

8 – Kimball Castle, Gilford

Built in 1899 by Benjamin Kimball, Kimball Castle has since fallen into a state of serious disrepair. In the 1960s and 1970s it was heavily vandalized, with nearly everything from the interior stolen or destroyed. A nature preservation area was created on the land, with hiking and skiing trails, but today the castle is not open to the public and trespassers will be prosecuted. However, past visitors have reported many supernatural occurrences within the castle’s walls. The castle’s current owners report seeing the apparition of a tall, shadowy man and hearing the sounds of horses kicking and stamping in the stables. They have also reported cold spots, floating lights, and doors opening and closing on their own. The castle was featured on an episode of the SyFy Channel’s show Ghost Hunters in 2009.

 

9 – Smuttynose Island, Isles of Shoals

While today this island is a popular tourist summer spot, in 1873 it was the scene of a ghastly double murder, deemed one of the most gruesome crimes in New Hampshire’s history. A fisherman named Louis Wagner had been working for a man named John Hontvet, who lived on the island with his wife Maren and her family, including Maren’s sister Karen and their sister-in-law Anethe. In March of 1873, a bankrupt and destitute Wagner broke into the Hontvet house while the men were away, intending to steal money and valuables. However, the three women in the house awoke, saw the intruder, and panicked. Perhaps fearing that he would be caught, Wagner used an axe to murder Anethe and fatally wounded Karen. Maren, however, managed to escape from the house out into the frigid winter night, tracking her sisters’ blood into the snow as she ran for the beach. Maren hid on the icy beach until morning, barefoot and wearing only a nightdress. By morning, she was able to flag down some neighborhood children for help, and the men returned to find Karen and Anethe’s frozen bodies in the house. Wagner was later arrested in Boston. Although Wagner was convicted and later hung for his crimes, it is said that the ghosts of Karen and Anethe still haunt the island. Some even say that Maren’s voice can be heard crying out from the rocks on the beach where she hid from her attacker.

 

10 – Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant, Concord

Formerly the Concord county jail, this restaurant is said to be haunted by the spirits of former inmates, including a playful poltergeist called George, who has been known to move drinks and plates, mess with food, and knock things off of tables. Regardless of resident spirits, the restaurant is most known for its upscale Mexican cuisine today.

So what do you think? Are these places really haunted, or are these stories nothing more than local tall tales? There’s only one way to be sure- visit any of these locations and see for yourself!

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Who You Gonna Call? (Ten Haunted Places In New Hampshire)