Where to Find Ghosts, Ghouls and Scares in the Granite State
New Hampshire is apparently one very haunted state. The Granite State is haunted by everything from a love-struck pirate and mischievous children to malevolent spirits in cemeteries and mill workers who perished in fires. Do you dare visit a few this Halloween season?
We’ll post this disclaimer just in case – some of the places mentioned are private property, and as such do not welcome uninvited (living) guests and most cemeteries do not allow admittance past sunset. Please conduct your own ghost hunting in a responsible and respectful manner.
The Chase House
698 Middle Rd.
The house was built in the late 19th century as a home for orphaned children and eventually became a court-appointed children’s home. Legend says a young girl hung herself in her room and can now be seen late at night in the hallway. When she’s approached, she reportedly runs away and disappears. Some say they’ve heard her screams from inside her former room. Locked doors have been said to open of their own will and lights/ceiling fans have turned on and off for no reason.
Mark H. Wentworth House for the Chronically Invalid
Mark H. Wentworth’s House For the Chronically Invalid begun as a facility to care for the aging and was privately owned until the 1990s — now it’s open to many state care patients. For the last 20 years, both patients and staff have reported activity such as the feeling of not being alone, locked doors opening, footsteps, objects that move around and other spooky feelings.
Alton Town Hall
1 Monument Sq.
There have been reports of heavy footsteps, furniture that moves on its own, doors that open and close mysteriously and disembodied voices.
Amos J. Blake House Museum
66 Route 119
The Soul Seekers Paranormal Society reports a number of possible paranormal events at the museum originally built in 1837, which does offer tours and has been featured on the show “Ghost Hunters.”
Located on a 24-acre tract of land, this former estate of railroad magnate Benjamin A. Kimball is said to be haunted. There have been instances of unexplained loud noises, lights behind closed doors in vacant rooms and antique clocks that suddenly — and mysteriously — begin working again.
New Hampshire State Hospital
105 Pleasant St.
The first “New Hampshire Asylum for the Insane” was built in 1842, though it’s name was changed to the “New Hampshire State Hospital” in 1901. Buildings have been updated and added over the years, but the originals still stand. There are reports of hearing footsteps, elevators that start on their own, papers and files that have been seemingly pushed off tables, cold spots and a strong feeling of not being alone when you’re certain no one else is around.
Ocean-Born Mary House
One of New Hampshire’s famous hauntings. In 1720, notorious pirate captain Don Pedro captured the ship “Wolf” off the shore of Massachusetts. When he spied a red-haired baby that had been born just that day onboard, he promised to spare everyone’s lives if the child was named after his mother, and so the baby was named “Ocean-Born” Mary Wallace.
Mary grew up, married and had children, though she was widowed at a young age. Eventually, Captain Pedro tracked Mary down and the two ended up marrying, and they lived together in a mansion overlooking the town of Henniker for a number of years. One day, Mary found the body of her murdered husband on the grounds of the house – many suspected he was killed over pirate treasure. Mary buried him under the huge hearthstone in the kitchen.
Mary died at age 94 in 1814. Since then, the ghost of a tall, red-haired woman with glowing green eyes has appeared in the upstairs window and on the main staircase. Many occupants of the house have reported feeling Mary’s presence and some believe that she protects the house from harm.
Mary’s two-story wood-frame house is still a private residence. Mary Wallace is buried in Centre Cemetery behind the Henniker town hall.
RG Sullivan Building
175 Canal St.
The building used to be a cigar factory that used child labor. Supposedly you can still hear children crying and can witness doors closing violently on their own.
It’s said that in 1624 the building burned to the ground during a town-wide Halloween party killing 70 people. Now people have reported the feeling of being watched as they walk through the current building rebuilt on the grounds.
Cocheco Falls Millworks
100 Main St.
The source of the haunting is said to be a fire that killed a number of the mill workers and damaged large portions of the mill — today the refurbished building is home to apartments and offices. Strange, unexplained lights have been reported at night throughout the building but are concentrated on the upper floors. In the basement, lights have been said to go on and off without anyone in the rooms. It’s said some have heard disembodied voices, especially in the entrance to the two towers and in the stairwells. Others have reported hearing strange sounds that were determined to be the noises of the machines that once filled the mill.
Haunted NH Inns and Restaurants
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant
1 Bicentennial Sq.
The restaurant is located in the former county jail — some of those jail cells were preserved and are now used as private seating areas. There are rumors of a ghost nicked named George who likes to throw food, move furniture and table settings, drink unattended beverages and generally pester staff and customers with troublesome poltergeist behavior.
The Three Chimney’s Inn
17 Newmarket Rd.
The oldest part of the inn was built in 1649 by Valentine Hill, who also built a sawmill and gristmill in the area. It’s his daughter, Hannah, who is said to still haunt the inn. Records show that she was married at age 20, and though there is no further mention of her life or death, it’s believed that she drowned in the nearby Oyster River.
There are 23 guestrooms and the ffrost Sawyer Tavern if you’re brave enough to stay or dine!
The Notchland Inn
Is Nancy Barton haunting the inn? There’s a tombstone in the front parlor of the inn with the inscription: “1778. Nancy Barton. Died in a snowstorm in pursuit of her faithless lover.” One border of the property is Nancy Brook, which comes from Nancy Pond, which is on the top of Nancy Mountain — all named for Nancy Barton.
Nancy was engaged, but her faithless husband-to-be ran off with her dowry before the wedding could take place. Rather than just accept her fate and his treachery, she soon set out on foot to find him, but was caught in a terrible snowstorm. Friends found her frozen body next to the brook that now bears her name.
Guests of the present day inn have reported ghostly words written on mirrors in steam (even though the shower was not running) and lipstick.
The Beal House Inn
2 West Main St.
This restaurant and inn was built back in 1833. The identity of the ghost supposedly haunting the halls is not known, but staff members have reported such spooky activity as a door being closed with great force, a particular hallway that has made both staff and unknowing guests feel strange, moving shadows and shapes just out of the edge of the light in the basement, pillows floating above furniture, noises and voices in unoccupied rooms, objects that aren’t in the same place as you left them and, according to hauntedtravels.com, one new staff member quit after a week because he couldn’t stand to be in the building one moment longer.
The Tilton Inn (The 1875 Inn)
255 Main St.
This inn has been featured on the show “Ghost Hunters.” The inn’s resident ghost is named Laura, who is said to have perished at just 12 years old during a fire sometime in the 19th century. Multiple guests have reported seeing a young girl in various rooms and hallways throughout the inn.
The Windham Restaurant
59 Range Rd.
You’ll find an entire section of the Windham Restaurant’s website is dedicated to the spirits that haunt the building. There seem to be a number of ghosts that haunt virtually every section of the restaurant — “Jacob,” or “The Man in the Blue Suit,” is seen most often, though many have reported hearing children’s voices and seeing a young girl as well.
Events include chairs and place settings moving of their own accord over night, the smashing of expensive dishes and wine glasses, a man seen falling down the stairs, the seemingly playful stacking of decorative Christmas presents into towers, electrical problems and a curious obsession with blond women. A number of women — all with light hair — have reported feeling a presence, and their jewelry has again and again come unfastened for apparently no reason. One such event, says the restaurant’s website, was captured by investigators from The New England Ghost Project.
The Hotel Portsmouth, formerly The Sise Inn
40 Court St.
The Hotel Portsmouth, formerly the Sise Inn, is an 1881 Queen Anne mansion that was eventually turned into an inn. Guests and staff report that the hunting appears to center around Suite 204 on the third floor. The spirits reportedly like to play with ice from the nearby ice machine (ice has been seemingly laid out in a trail or piled in a heap on the floor) and to lock and unlock room 204.
The Country Tavern (sadly, the Country Tavern closed in 2020)
452 Amherst St.
It’s said that Elizabeth Ford, who lived in the house two centuries ago, never left. The story goes that upon returning home after a year at sea, Elizabeth’s husband found her with a newborn baby, murdered them both and buried their remains on the grounds. Some believe Elizabeth is still looking for her lost child.
The Omni Mount Washington Hotel and Resort
The lobby, Madison Room and room 206 are all said to be haunted. The lobby is said to be haunted by a little girl, babies are heard crying in the Madison room and a malevolent lady is believed to haunt room 206.
Reportedly there is a pair of big, red eyes that will follow you from the Stark Road graveyard, located on the left side of the road.
Pine Hill Rd.
Blood Cemetery is the nickname for the Pine Hill Cemetery in Hollis. The name comes from the ghost who supposedly haunts it — Abel Blood — who was buried there in 1867 next to his wife Betsy. There is a hand carved into the headstone that points upwards, and some say the hand will suddenly change to point down. Strange tapping noises and photos have all been recorded.
Gilson Road Cemetery
Said to be one of the creepiest and most haunted places in New Hampshire. Many sightings of “misty people” have been reported. It’s said that if you walk from the front entrance to the middle you’ll feel as though you’re wading in water. Some have said that while standing at the edges of the cemetery you’ll feel as though you’re being pushed back. A black-hooded figure has been reported a number of times. Voices of humans and non-humans alike have been heard in the woods. Horses and dogs are known to stay away from the area. In homes near the cemetery glasses break, cold spots are felt and doors open and close for no reason. Kids at the nearby sports field have reported that they feel like they’re being watched from the cemetery.
It’s said that the Summer Knight Chapel is the center of the haunting. It’s here that people have reported the spirit of a little girl who will peer out from behind trees and buildings, giggle or even follow you around. Legend says if you curse in front of the chapel a ghost will wash your mouth out with soap — or at least you’ll have the faint taste of soup on your tongue.
“The Blue Lady”
The ghost of a woman named Mary is said to haunt the cemetery. People have said they’ve seen blue lights rise from her grave and then slowly sink back down.
Haunted University and College Buildings
Alpha Theta House
A boiler explosion decades ago killed a number of the residents — it’s said that multiple hot spots and presences have been detected over the years ever since the accident.
Keene State College
Harriet Huntress is said to roam the attic of the fourth floor of the hall. In old age, Harriet used a wheelchair — people say they can still hear the squeak of the wheels.
Smith Hall at UNH
If you polled current students and alumni, you’d probably end up with at least 10 versions of the story behind the haunting at Smith Hall. Reportedly a woman roams the hallways and visits residents in the middle of the night.
Mount Washington College, Formerly Hesser College (now permanently closed)
It’s said that multiple ghosts roam the halls of the former college, including the ghost of a young boy who bounces his ball around the third and fourth floors. Another — the ghost of a young girl who supposedly died of hypothermia in the building — has been seen a number of times as well.
St. Anselm College
Urban legend says a monk fell to his death from the fourth floor window of Alumni Hall. His ghost is said to haunt the building.
Both Colby Dorm and the Colgate Building have supposed hauntings. In the dorm people have head footsteps at night, rattling brass doorknobs and mysterious gusts of wind without open windows or doors. In the Colgate Building some say they’ve seen a dark, male figure with a hat who is sometimes leaning over a railing or walking around the tower.
Plymouth State University
There are possibly three haunted buildings: the Blair Residence Hall, the Mary Lyon Residence Hall and the Samuel Read Residence Hall. Blair: Originally built in the 1960s — it’s said to be haunted by a male spirit, who legend says was Mary Lyon’s lover. Mary Lyon: Built in the 1800s. A malicious spirit is said to haunt the basement. Mary Lyon is said to haunt the underground tunnels on this side, and it’s believed she’s trying to meet up with her lover on the Blair side. Samuel: Reported feelings of not being alone.
Franklin Pierce University
At the turn of the century, The Manor was a brothel run by Edna McGuinness. It’s said that her spirit remains and can be seen in a second story window.
Other Haunted Places in New Hampshire
Island Path Road
Off Route 1A
Accused of witchcraft in 1656 and again in 1671, Eunice “Goody” Cole (who lived at the end of Island Path) eventually died of natural causes in 1680 after enduring years of hatred and persecution. According to legend, she was buried by vengeful townspeople with a stake through her heart. Another legend says that kinder neighbors eventually properly buried her near today’s Meeting House Green. Today the area all along Island Path is said to be haunted — There have been reports of moving objects, lights and a figure that appears in the fog.
Perhaps New Hampshire’s only equine haunting — it’s said that the ghost of a horse, who sought shelter in an abandoned building during a blizzard became trapped, is still trying to escape even in death.
It’s said that on Halloween night at 1:45 a.m. a ghostly jogger can be seen along the road.
The Isles of Shoals
Since the 1800s, the nine islands 10 miles off of Portsmouth have been haunted. Hawthorne even wrote about “Old Bab,” a ghost who lived between the hotel and the sea. At the Oceanic Hotel on Star Island people have heard sounds as if someone is rummaging through drawers and moving furniture on the fourth floor — only there’s nothing but empty attic space. On Smuttynose Island the ghost of Louis Wagner is said to haunt the place in remorse for the two little Dutch girls he murdered here. One of Blackbeard’s wives is said to appear on Lunging Island as a milky-white lady-like figure. White Island has yet another Blackbeard wife ghost — a woman looking for her baby.