Specters are believed to mingle in Boston’s historic burying grounds, and a handful of turn-of-the-century taverns and hotels serve a mix of spirits and ghost stories. Here are some places you can catch ghosts, channel notable Bostonians, and enjoy the season’s scares.
The Warren Tavern: One of Paul Revere’s favorite haunts to sip a spirit or two, this 1870 Charlestown tavern is the oldest in Massachusetts.
MaryLee Trettenero, a popular Boston psychic, has conducted four paranormal investigations at the tavern. “When we do paranormal investigations [between 1:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.] with equipment, we first ask the manager if anyone has seen apparitions,” she says. “One of the waitstaff has seen a Victorian woman dressed in black in the front room of the Warren Tavern. This is also where most of the paranormal activity registers on our devices when we do investigations.”
Trettenero says one of the bartenders has also seen an apparition of a man in a wig and tights across from the bar near the porthole window, and the manager has heard the mysterious click of high heels outside his basement office.
Visit during Trettenero’s haunted Charlestown tour. www.warrentavern.com
Park Restaurant & Bar: In the heart of Harvard Square, Park is located in a dungeon where convicted witches were once held. “To this day, the staff often notes odd occurrences — papers being moved, computers being turned on and off,” says a restaurant spokesperson. “On opening night, a glass shelf holding expensive bottles of whiskey came crashing down!”
Channel the ghosts of colonists at this handsome restaurant by ordering the New England hasty pudding (a favorite of those days) topped with poached local cranberries and vanilla ice cream. www.park
Ned Devine’s: In Boston, you’ve got to have at least one haunted Irish bar. Ned Devine’s in Faneuil Hall is the chosen one. “Some of the staff and management have claimed to hear voices and see a colonial woman spirit at night,” says a restaurant spokesperson. Come to the Halloween party to raise a pint and see for yourself. www.neddevinesboston.com
Omni Parker House: This hotel may be celebrated as the place where the Boston cream pie was conceived. But this time of year it’s all about the ghost of Harvey Parker, who founded the hotel 160 years ago. There have been sightings by guests in the past of the heavy-set, mustachioed owner and there are other ghostly encounters in the building. For example, elevators are often called to the third floor — the same floor Charles Dickens occupied — when no button had been pushed (Dickens’s ghostwriter?). A security officer reported seeing a shadow of a man wearing a stovepipe hat on the wall in the oldest section of the hotel. And, on the 10th floor, the sound of rocking chairs has reportedly kept guests awake all night, despite there being no rocking chairs in the hotel, and bellmen have seen bright orbs of light floating down the floor’s corridor. www.omnihotels.com
Haunted Boston Ghost Tours: This 90-minute, family-friendly walking ghost tour begins at the Central Burying Ground in the Boston Common and ends at the Omni Parker House, hitting on spots along the way like Boston’s haunted T stop and the site where many public executions took place. The lantern-lighted tour runs nightly through mid-November, and all ages are welcome. www.hauntedboston.com
Boston Night Tour:
Upper Deck Trolley Tours has a new one this season, the Boston Night Ghost Tour, a trolley ride through Boston’s streets to discover its haunted past. The hour-and-a-half tour departs from Faneuil Hall, but it is not all about the ride — part of the experience involves a walking tour to visit burying grounds. Through Oct. 31.
Ghosts and Gravestones:
On this hour-and-a-half tour, you’ll stroll Boston’s 400-year-old burying grounds while listening to ghastly tales spun by a cast of characters. The tour is performed as part of the city’s Parks & Recreation Department and its Historic Burying Grounds initiative, and a portion of ticket proceeds go toward maintenance of Boston’s historic cemeteries (each tour visits two of the three burying grounds including Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, The Granary Burying Ground and King’s Chapel Burying Ground). The tours run through Oct. 31. May not be appropriate for children 13 and younger, and children under 7 are not allowed. Reservations are required.
The Spirits of Charlestown Haunted Historical Ghost Tours: Led by psychic MaryLee Trettenero, this 90-minute tour departs from Charlestown’s City Square Park, snakes along the Freedom Trail in Charlestown, and ends at Warren Tavern. You’ll discover “ancient energies embedded in the soil that reveal little known facts and forgotten history” and possibly capture orbs in your photos. Post-tour, throw back a Sam Adams and enjoy a bite at haunted Warren Tavern (tour participants get 10 percent off food) while you learn about the tavern’s paranormal investigations. Through Oct. 30; private tours also available. www.bos
Laurie Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.