Ghosts in Haunted Cemeteries – Haverhill, MA

Haverhill Haunted CemeteriesAre you looking for haunted cemeteries in Haverhill, Massachusetts?

Several Haverhill cemeteries are very haunted. They’re great for ghost research.

Even better, they’re on a line that predicts where ghosts will be reported. (See my article, Find Haunted Places in Haverhill.)

I’ve investigated several Haverhill cemeteries, multiple times.

My most memorable investigations were during dramatic tour of three Haverhill sites, thanks to the Essex Ghost Project.

Here are my notes from that eerie and fascinating tour:

Walnut Cemetery, Haverhill, MA

Located at: Kenoza Street, Haverhill, MA

Walnut Cemetery is large and has some very harsh, ghostly energy, especially around the Victorian-era graves.   I was immediately drawn to the large, crypt-style embankment, where bodies were once stored during the winter, until the ground was soft enough  in the spring to dig their graves.

Check it for EVP, and the usual EMF spikes, of course.

Next on that tour, psychic Gavin Cromwell was drawn to an area with a large tree… and an odd marker of cement and stone, left resting against the tree.   In that area, Gavin perceived the spirit of a woman in black. She was pointing towards the area where the flagpole is. She’s connected with something maritime, perhaps a sea captain.

Then, I was drawn to a hilly area with some of the oldest graves in the cemetery.  Some of the best photos of the night were taken in that area. So, be sure to use the flash on your camera or phone when you’re taking pictures… and take lots of them in that part of the cemetery.

A local historian and paranormal researcher – who asked to be unnamed due to his day job – accompanied us in this cemetery. He directed us to another set of graves, bearing the surname Ela.

We attempted to record EVP, but Gavin & I felt that male energy (either living or ghostly) was suppressing efforts by some spirits to communicate.  We came up with the word “sin” in connection with this.

Several investigators – including me – saw the little angel figure move, and both Gavin and I felt that at least one child (perhaps disabled, who died young) is not with his or her mother, Effie Ela.

In general, that cemetery is too large to visit after dark without a preliminary visit to see where the “hot spots” are.  Also, the energy is generally muted at first. You’ll need patience – and at least an hour – to get the most from your investigation.

However, once the activity starts surging, it’s worth the wait.

Pentucket Burial Ground

Location: off Groveland St., Haverhill

This burial ground includes a memorial to victims of a Native raid, and the grave of a Salem “Witch Trials” judge.

In general, it’s a chilling cemetery, even on a sultry summer night.

And yes, I mean “chilling” in more ways than one.

When we stood in a circle, holding hands, and asked Judge Saltonstall to make his presence known, the blast of icy air was astonishing.

Gavin felt certain that the judge won’t “cross over” because he’s sure that his destination will be Hell.  However, the judge was asking us to save Mary or help Mary… perhaps his wife or daughter.  (We didn’t think that Mary was still there.)

Nearby, a few graves set apart from the others – often indicating that they died “in sin” – are worth further research.

Before leaving, we searched for the grave of Polly Winters.

Gavin had felt the presence of Polly Winters during a Haverhill investigation in 2008, and – even before we saw the grave – he was certain that she was in this cemetery.

When Gavin said it, his voice was different. He didn’t have his usual introspective manner; it was like he was reporting the name on cue, not sensing it.

It’s still something that troubles me. In retrospect, the Polly Winters “psychic connection” didn’t seem authentic. I’m not sure where that came from, or why.

Haunted Hilldale Cemetery

Location: Hilldale Ave., Haverhill

Hilldale cemetery, Haverhill, MA - with orbs
Hilldale grave with two orbs. (The white at right is an insect.)

This cemetery is a gem for research, with apparitions and very clear spectral energy.  (That may sound dramatic, but the site is definitely unusual.)

However, until the cemetery has been cleaned up and some holes filled in, it’s not wise to go there… especially after dark when it is closed and patrolled.  (You will be arrested if you go there at night. We were there with permission.)

In a circle there, I felt the presence of a spirit saying, “Sheridan, James.”  I wasn’t sure if it was actually James Sheridan, saying his name as if reporting for duty.

Later, an Essex County Ghost Project historian told me that someone named James Sheridan is buried in that cemetery.

(Note: I rarely perceive names, and certainly not given and surnames in combination.  So, this had to be very intense energy for me to discern the full name with such certainty.)

Also, researcher Chris G. and I both saw an odd, squat figure – too large to be an animal – that vanished, as well as an apparition of a man, crawling along the far edge of the hill.

These Haverhill sites are definitely eerie, and likely to be haunted.  If you’re looking for ghosts, start at any of them and see what happens.

I think you’ll be impressed.

humorous ghost divider

Related news stories

Big-name ghost hunters descend on Merrimack Valley (Eagle Tribune, 26 Mar 2009)

Well-known paranormal investigator Fiona Broome will join the tour of Haverhill graveyards that date back centuries, as well as the walk of the Tenney property in Methuen…”

 Haunted in Haverhill (Haverhill Life, October 2017) – Includes details of a Hilldale Cemetery investigation, and a list of other, nearby haunts.


Betsy Ross Ghost Investigation – Another TV Hoax?

stars-and-stripes1The Betsy Ross episode of “Ghost Hunters” had barely aired when I started receiving emails.

People are asking me if Betsy Ross was a hoax, but I suspect that many are actually asking me about the TAPS team.

I’ll repeat my previous statement:  I’ve known Jason and Grant for years.  I trust them 100% and have no doubts about their integrity.  They didn’t get into ghost hunting for fame or fortune, and they’re not going to knowingly risk their reputations for something as silly as show ratings.

Have the show’s production staff ever faked evidence, edited the show so the televised version was different from what occurred, or outright conned the stars…? Those are fair questions that I can’t answer.


It’s important to separate the issues.  First, there’s the TAPS investigation of the Betsy Ross house.  The Ghost Hunters’ reveal segment summarizes what they experienced.

Then there are the historical questions, which are academic more than experiential.

So, criticism of the house’s history does not reflect one way or the other on the integrity of the Ghost Hunters’ episode and especially not the stars’ investigations.


Regarding Betsy Ross, her famous Philadelphia house and her involvement with one of the earliest American flags… no one can absolutely, positively prove anything one way or the other.  They can only talk about evidence that’s lacking.

In court, both sides would rely mostly on hearsay and circumstantial evidence.  It’s true that no one can prove that she sewed anything in that house… but they can’t prove that she didn’t.

I’m posting part of an email that I sent to one reader this morning.  The Hollow Hill reader who’d written to me referred to a link supposedly “busting” the Betsy Ross legends.

Here’s part of my reply:

lantern-w-flagsI wouldn’t take that article too seriously. Few events in history were lived as if they’d need to be documented for skeptics.

Really, could you absolutely, positively prove what you had for lunch a week ago, and provide enough overwhelming evidence to convince a rabid skeptic? Probably not.  A receipt or your memories probably wouldn’t be enough.

There are groups that insist there was no Holocaust. You’ll also find hundreds of articles that claim that the Oklahoma City bombing  was a government conspiracy, and the Pentagon was never hit by a plane on 9/11.

Likewise, many people have written carefully footnoted articles insisting that no astronaut has ever walked on the Moon.

Note: Please don’t comment here about those controversies.  I’m not taking sides in those arguments, just showing that many (or most) historical accounts have two or more sides with enough evidence to raise questions.

In my opinion, historical arguments can actually increase activity in a haunted site.  The spirits know the truth and they may try to convey it to us, by whatever means they have.


For people who will only believe in Betsy Ross if they see her, in person, and actually witness her stitching the flag…. well, there is no proof that will satisfy them.

To them, it’s all “myth and folklore” and there’s nothing anyone can do to convince them otherwise. I am sorry for their cynicism. Their lives must be very bitter.

Is the Betsy Ross story entirely true? People will decide for themselves how much makes sense, given the existing evidence and the strength of historical traditions.

Here’s something to consider: If you don’ t believe that Betsy Ross sewed the famous flag, it might be smart to look for hauntings at the home of the person who actually sewed it.  He or she may have a story to tell.


When considering the haunting of any location, documented history can affect how we tell the story, but little else.

For example, we’ve seen sites that increase in activity because visitors believe that the location is haunted.   Those visitors’ beliefs and emotional reactions may contribute to the residual energy.  Gilson Road Cemetery (Nashua, NH) may be an example of that, as may Louisiana’s Myrtles Plantation.

We’ve also heard reports of ghosts who should logically haunt where they lived and/or died… but they haunt a site more popularly associated with them.  (Portsmouth, NH’s Sise Inn comes to mind, since the ghosts probably lived in a nearby house.  By the time people researched the facts, the ghost stories were already associated with the Sise Inn.)

In my opinion, history can anecdotally support evidence of paranormal activity, and vice versa.

Did Betsy Ross actually sew the famous flag in that house?  Maybe she did.  Maybe she didn’t.  History is not especially relevant to the credibility of any ghostly encounter at the famous Betsy Ross house.

History can be an issue when psychics make claims that contradict well-documented facts.

However, the TAPS team were there for physical evidence.  History is not a factor, one way or the other, and it makes critics look silly when they raise irrelevant arguments.

Salem, MA – Ghosts Along the Judges Line

Salem's House of Seven Gables and the Haunted Judges LinePatterns emerge when I study profoundly haunted (or “active”) areas. They help me identify overlooked ghosts and paranormal phenomena.

In my book, The Ghosts of Austin, Texas, I described two major paranormal patterns connecting almost all hauntings in downtown Austin. With that information, ghost hunters can find dozens of unreported and overlooked Austin hauntings to investigate.

In haunted Salem, Massachusetts, different eerie patterns are emerging. I’m calling one of them “The Judges Line.” It seems to be a ley line.

Ley lines are lines or paths that connect sites with unusual energy. They could be major churches or temples, sites of violence and tragedy, or have some other unusual connection.

Some speculate that spiritual energy flows along those paths, and the energy was there even before the church was built or the violence occurred. In fact, that energy may magnify the emotions or affect the thinking of people when they are on or near a ley line.

As I map important sites related to the judicial side of the Salem Witch Trials, those sites closely follow a line. Oddly, that line also indicates where modern-day Salem judges have purchased homes. (The number of judges’ homes on the line is why I’m calling it “The Judges Line.”)

This line extends directly to haunted Gallows Hill Park, the most likely site of the hangings during the Salem Witch Trials.

If you’re looking for paranormal phenomena and eerie ghost stories, investigate sites along this line. Some of Salem’s most dramatic hauntings and fascinating paranormal activity occur within the yellow band on the map below.

Here is my preliminary, hand drawn map:

Fiona Broome's Judges Line research, Salem, MA

Here are my notes related to the numbers.

1. Chestnut Street (represented by a black line) – Many modern-day judges and elected officials choose this street for their homes.

2. Judge Corwin’s home, also known as “Witch House” since he condemned so many witches during the Salem Witch Trials. It’s a prominent site in haunted Salem, and the house is open to the public.

3. Judge Hathorne’s home, also associated with the Salem Witch Trials. (Nathaniel Hawthorne changed the spelling of his own name to avoid any association with this ancestor.)

4. Sheriff George Corwin’s home – George Corwin was the son of the judge (#2) and benefited by seizing the property of convicted and admitted witches.

5. The home of Samuel Shattuck, a dyer whose testimony helped convict Bridget Bishop, one of the first Witch Trial victims.

6. The home of Massachusetts Bay Colony’s Governor Simon Bradstreet (1603 – 1697).

7. John Higginson Jr. lived here. He was the local magistrate. The Hawthorne Hotel was later built on this property. It’s one of haunted Salem’s favorite hotels; ask for a haunted room if you’re there to investigate.

8. Jacob Manning, a blacksmith, forged the shackles worn by many Witch Trial victims.

9. Thomas Beadle’s tavern, where Witch Trial inquests were held.

A. The home of Bridget Bishop, a Witch Trial victim who may be among the ghosts at the Lyceum Restaurant, now on that site. The Lyceum is a popular and delightful place to dine, and they’re happy to talk about their famous ghosts.

B. Ann Pudeator, a Witch Trial victim whose specter was seen walking along Salem Common, even before her execution. (I think this may be the location of the haunted Inn on Washington Square.  If it’s not, her house was nearby.)

C. The home of John and Mary English, one of the wealthiest families in Colonial Salem. They were accused but escaped to New York.

D. Alice Parker’s home, owned by John and Mary English. Ms. Parker was accused of witchcraft and put to death.

The slightly triangular area near sites 7 and B represents Salem Common.

Gallows Hill Park is indicated on the far left side of the map. The “Judges Line” — generally indicated in yellow — points directly to it.

Gallows Hill Park features a playground and soccer field, and some disputed history. It’s been the location of many Wiccan and Pagan circles and ritual events. And, it’s near the most likely location of the gallows where the Witch Trial victims were executed.

According to some records, many of the “witches” were also buried there, in shallow and unmarked graves.

The small green areas near sites 6, 7 and 8 represent sites with paranormal activity or they are scenes of violence in the 19th and 20th century… or both. These include the Remember Salem shop, where you can take one of Salem’s best ghost tours with the Salem Night Tour.

To get an idea of how narrow the Judges Line is, in relation to Salem in general, here’s a larger map. The Judges Line is indicated in red.

Haunted Salem, Massachusetts - an overview of the ghostly Judges Line.

As I continue my research, I’m finding even more sites that will be represented with red dots. All of them are along the Judges Line.

That is the pattern that I mentioned during the February 28, 2009 show on Darkness Radio. (I was Dave Schrader‘s guest, along with friend and Salem Witch, Christian Day of Hex and the Festival of the Dead.)

In addition, a second pattern has emerged. It’s an odd connection among sites outside of Salem and within the city.  As I applied that pattern to more recent history, I was able to predict where the Boston Strangler killed Evelyn Corbin, even before I confirmed the address with old newspaper records. So, it’s another chilling pattern.