The Ghost of the Seven Gables

Salem, Massachusetts

The House of Seven Gables was built in 1668 and is located in Salem, Massachusetts.  It is the oldest surviving 17th-century wooden mansion in all of New England.  The house is also known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, named after the two families that once lived there. Susan Ingersoll lived in the house until she was 72 years old and was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s cousin.  He visited her quite often and his experience at the house inspired him to write, The House of Seven Gables.

On one of my visits to New England (prior to moving up there), I had taken my mother and aunt for a tour of the mansion.  There were quite a few people in line as we toured, but I had stayed at the rear of the line because of my distaste for too many people in crowded places. I don’t have claustrophobia.  I just don’t particularly play nicely with others.

Anyway, as we were nearing the dining room, I had a feeling as if I was being watched.  I was constantly looking over my shoulder but alas, nobody was there.  As we entered the dining room, it suddenly got really cold where I was standing and I mentioned it to my mother and aunt, who both looked at me like I was crazy and said they didn’t feel anything.  People usually look at me like I’m crazy, so that is nothing out of the ordinary, but this time, I was being serious.  The hair on my arms stood on end and I got goosebumps.  I still had the feeling like someone was behind me.  At that point, I heard the tour guide say, “It has been suspected that this house is haunted.”  That was all I needed to hear.  I spun around and said over my shoulder, “I’m outta here!”

Yes, I have a tough exterior and not many people would mess with me, but deep down, I’m a chicken shit.  Don’t tell anyone.

As I stood outside, waiting for the tour to end, I still had a feeling that someone was watching me.  It was unnerving.  I kept looking at the windows upstairs and could have sworn I saw the curtain move.  The windows were closed and the upstairs portion of the house was closed off to tours, etc.

Afterwards, I looked up some information regarding the house.  Here is what I found:

The House of Seven Gables did indeed have a reputation for being haunted.  Many have claimed to have seen the ghost of Susan Ingersoll roaming the hallways and peering out of the windows.  There had also been reports of a ghostly boy haunting the attic area. Supposedly, he can be heard running around the attic and playing with his toys.  In addition to the apparitions being seen, many visitors and employees have heard strange sounds — sometimes toilets flush on their own, and faucets turn on and off by themselves.

So, I wonder if Susan Ingersoll had tried to make me shit my pants?  What do you think?


Yes, I wrote another experience about one of many experiences that I have experienced. 🙂  I hope you enjoyed it and hope you return…over and over and over again.

2 thoughts on “The Ghost of the Seven Gables

  1. aquaverse

    Had to share this (Marc Shuster was my American Lit teacher)

    Seven Gables

    by Ronald Fischman on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 9:55pm ·
    for Marc Schuster

    gnarled rough bony bulging
    bearing a wart like a wayfarer’s satchel
    dares not touch the dowager’s
    limp, unringed hands
    that droop under tethers, not gold
    highlit by hypocrisy hands
    harried by history hands

    the shadow of long-ago gentry hands
    wielding power as birthright
    smooth soft massive bulging
    bearing a wart like a corpulent crown
    plying tools of no meaner mettle
    than the trigger of a shotgun
    treating history as pigeons

    time pulls the trigger on the idle marksman

    the deed becomes word
    in signing, the dowager’s right hand
    emerges from the ruffles.
    smooth, frail, bony, bulging,
    bearing a ward like a crown of thorns
    a wart


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