If you were a fan of “Sabrina The Teenage Witch,” you know that one of the most iconic characters from the show is the cat, Salem.
A scenic view in Salem, Massachusetts. (Link: https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/salem-us-ma-salem.htm)
Salem is not just known for being the name of the cat that talks in the aforementioned show but it is also actually related to a place in Massachusetts, where many women, alleged to be witches, were killed. From the years 1692 to 1693, the Salem witch trials occurred and more than 200 people were accused of practicing witch craft. A total of 20 were executed from those alleged but eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.
An illustration showing the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. (Link: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-the-salem-witch-trials-175162489/)
However, Salem, Massachusetts remain to be one of the places where tourists go to if they want to get a good scare. One of the hot spots in Salem is the House of the Seven Gables. Are you interested to know what can scare you in this home? Read on below!
A photo showing the facade of the House of the Seven Gables. (Link: https://7gables.org/)
The History Of The House Of The Seven Gables
The first section of the home was built sometime in 1668 for Captain John Turner and his family lived there for three generations. Years later, a kitchen was added to the home and by 1676, a south portion of the home was installed.
The home is one of the best architectures seen during its time because of its Georgian style. Today, the House of the Seven Gables is one of the oldest surviving mansion houses all over North America. It has a total of 17 rooms.
The family of John Turner III lost their fortune so they had to sell the home to the Ingersolls. They further remodeled the home. The House of the Seven Gables or the Turner House was what inspired the famous American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables.” He is the relative of the Ingersolls and the author lived across the street. Since then, many people who have read the novel of Hawthorne wanted to see if the actual House of Seven Gables in Massachusetts match the description of Hawthorne.
An undated photo of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of the popular books The House of the Seven Gables and Scarlet Letter. (Link: https://www.thoughtco.com/nathaniel-hawthorne-1773681)
By 1908, the home was purchased by one Caroline O. Emmerton, the founder of the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association. She turned the home to a museum two years later and the admission fees were the funds that helped the association. Architect Joseph Everett Chandler had to make a few tweaks in the home in order to not disappoint visitors who want to see the House of the Seven Gables.
The owner of the House of the Seven Gables, Caroline Emmerton. (Link: https://thingstodoinsalem.com/index.php/2018/04/16/meet-the-past-caroline-emmertons-gables-tour-at-the-house-of-the-seven-gables-april-21-2018/)
Today, visitors can see a lot of artifacts, objects, framed works, photographs, glass plate negatives, and the book library of Hawthorne.
A photo showing the gift shop at the House of the Seven Gables. (Link: https://7gables.org/shop/)
The Ghosts At The House Of The Seven Gables
Many people have claimed that they experienced something different while at the House of the Seven Gables. Particularly, the staircase leading up to the attic is said to make visitors fill dizzy or lightheaded. Others claim that they feel a force pushing down on them while they walk their way up to the attic. For others, they noted that when they got to the attic, they felt a push as if it was forcing them to get out of the attic.
The attic at The House of the Seven Gables. (Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/9629988712)
The ghost of Susan Ingersoll, who is the cousin of Hawthorne, is said to be frequently seen around the House of the Seven Gables. Ingersoll lived there until she died at the age of 72 and Hawthorne frequently visited her on her last days. The ghost of Ingersoll is usually seen walking around the halls but no one ever really had a close encounter with her.
The ghost of a boy is also seen in the attic. It is believed that the ghost of the boy belongs to Hawthorne when he was still a child since he loved to play at the House of the Seven Gables when he was still a kid. One photo was uploaded online by a visitor of the House of the Seven Gables and it seemingly showed a child hiding behind the bushes. Others claim it may also be the spirit of Hawthorne’s son, Julian.
A photo allegedly showing the spirit of the boy at the House of the Seven Gables. (Link: https://ghostsnghouls.com/ghost-picture-salem-seven-gables-house/)
Other paranormal activities that were experienced at the House of the Seven Gables are cold spots, being touched by unseen entities, hearing some persons screaming, hearing deep growling sounds, water taps and electricity turning on or off on its own, and the feeling of being watched.
A Rocking Chair Rocking On Its Own
One visitor of the House of the Seven Gables wrote on Trip Advisor the following experience, “I actually visited the House of the Seven Gables back in 1984 with my first husband. The tour of the house was enjoyable and very informative. However, for us the highlight of the tour was witnessing a rocking chair in the attic rocking by itself! At first we thought it had been rigged as part of the tour, even though the tour guide and most of the group had already left the room, but when we inspected it closely we found no wires or strings or anything that could have caused the chair to move.”
The House Of The Seven Gables During Halloween
The House of the Seven Gables offer a lot of activities during the month of Halloween. On weekend nights, there are theatrical events and during the day, there are tours that visitors can enjoy.
One of the shows is called “Legacy of the Hanging Judge.” Magistrate John Hathorne actually is the great grandfather of Hawthorne and he played a role in the deaths of those accused to be witches. The play is actually interactive because the visitors may be accused of being one of the witches.
This year, the remaining Halloween-related events at the House of the Seven Gables are on October 26 and 27.