FALL RIVER — Ready to scare yourself silly?

Halloween season is in full swing, which means one thing: ghosts.

Or does it?

It also means legends. And haunts. And creepy tales. Like a hitchhiker who mysteriously appears in the backseat of your car. Or lights that flicker for no reason. Or even objects that fly across a room.

Of course, not all ghosts are angry, if these stories are to be believed. Some sound like they’re just out to cause some mischief.

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Our little corner of New England has its fair share of history, which sometimes lends itself to those ghosts, legends and haunts. And as Oct. 31 approaches, we can all suspend our disbelief a little bit.

We rounded up some of the more popular stories.

Check ’em out … if you dare!

Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River.


This is where Lizzie Borden is buried. Some have reported seeing strange lights here.

Restoration project:Historic Oak Grove Cemetery entrance restored


Right around the time of the King Philip’s War in 1675, a renegade or Christian Indian was taken captive by fellow Indians and brought to this enormous rock more than 100 yards behind what is now the Swansea Town Hall.

Abrams Rock, Swansea

The Indians were reported to have told Abram that he would be released, but only after he survived three falls from the rock measuring more than 40 feet high. After surviving the first two falls, Abram died on the third fall, and local legend says his spirit haunts the woods around the rock.


Lizzie’s home, the site of the brutal ax murder of her father and step-mother, is said to be haunted. Visitors have heard sounds of a woman weeping, seen lights flicker and even had a ghost in Victorian garb tuck them in (the home operates as a bed and breakfast).

‘It is in good hands’:Here’s what the new owner has planned for the Lizzie Borden house

The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum, Fall River Everyone knows the rhyme about Lizzie Borden and her whacks. She was the main suspect in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother at their home in Fall River. She was tried and acquitted, but the phenomenon surrounding her and the murders has never stopped. Today, the home where the murders took place is a bed and breakfast and museum, and attracts visitors from across the country and around the world, who are still fascinated by the case. Guests can even spend the night if they like (the bed and breakfast re-opened for Phase 3, following Massachusetts guidelines). The house also does special ghost tours. For more information about how to plan a tour or visit at this time, visit lizzie-borden.com.


The club is said to be the site of several EVPs and audible “footsteps” as well as sightings of mysterious orbs. Others have seen a ghost woman in Victorian attire.


The old ice house on Interlachen island in the North Watuppa burned to the ground in 1933. Since then, some visitors report seeing large dogs (though no sign of any dogs has been found) and some claim to have been “chased away” by an unknown presence.

Fall River Wonders:The old ice house on the bank of North Watuppa Pond


Some visitors have claimed to hear voices in the narrow hallways of this World War II era warship, and others have reported a general feeling of being watched.

Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep, film the movie "Don't Look Up" on the USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. The USS Massachusetts was decked out with red and blue lights.


At Profile Rock near the forest, ghost hunters encountered some unexpected EVPs: “You will serve Satan,” said one, and the names “Doreen” and “Carl Drew,” were also recorded. The EVPs may be related to Satanic cult murders that happened in Westport and Fall River in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Doreen Levesque was a murder victim and Carl Drew was found guilty of the murder of Karen Marsden, a Fall River prostitute connected with the cult. There have been reports of Native American ghosts as well as Pukwudgies, mysterious creatures in Wamapanoag lore who lure people to their deaths or cause other nasty trouble.

The Freetown State Forest is said to include many spooky areas.


In June 1675, at the beginning of the King Philip War in 1675, Edward Bobet, who lived with his wife and nine kids in a section of Taunton that is now Berkley, decided to seek a safer haven in a secure section of Taunton along the village green. With his family safe in their new home, Bobet and his dog went back to his Berkley farm to retrieve some additional possessions. On his way back home, Bobet was besieged by Indians but managed to outrun them by climbing up a tree at nightfall. But his trusty dog, alarmed at his master’s escape up the tree, would not stop barking and the Indians, thanks to that barking, the Indians eventually found Bobet, shooting him down from the tree and killing him. Witnesses, even today, have reported hearing a frantic dog’s barking near the area of the Berkley/Dighton Bridge, a stone’s throw away from where the tree, where Bobet and his dog once stood. 

Berkley-Dighton Bridge


Some report hearing carousel music and the smell of popcorn. When it was in operation, park-goers reported seeing the ghost of a worker who died in 1987 after falling from the highest hill of the Comet roller coaster. Supposedly they’d see the ghost climbing the coaster, doing his normal rounds, only to see him disappear once he reached the highest peak.

Photo by Hank Pollard July 1973


Professional ghostbusters deployed with the paranormal investigation team in 2005 to debunk claims that the city Armory is haunted. The mission aired in November as Episode 107 of “Ghost Hunters,” a one-hour weekly TV series on the SCI-FI Channel. At the request of the National Guard, ghosthunters set up their command center in the empty Armory and began searching for reasonable explanations of the mysterious happenings there. They had been on the job for three hours when, nearing midnight, they entered the gymnasium of the castle-like fortress on Sycamore Street. The soundman was knocked to the ground, claiming he felt cold and something from the ground pulled him backward. He quit after filming that episode.

New Bedford Armory


Acushnet homeowner Kate Zahner told the Standard-Times in 2016 that she heard whispering on a baby monitor in her son’s room. She learned that her house had once been Kirby’s Funeral Home (since relocated to Tarkiln Hill Road in New Bedford. She’s also heard children’s voices and seen shadows, and psychics, mediums and paranormal investigators have visited and they’ve reported hearing and seeing spirits and ghosts, she said.


Guests have reported seeing a sea captain looking out to the sea in one of the bedrooms. As well, a ghost named Sarah reportedly wanders the halls looking for her father.


Mattapoisett Town Hall also has a prankster poltergeist named Abner, employees claim. Abner Harlow was a town clerk from 1912-1917 and 1924-1946. Harlow was known for being very disorganized, and he apparently likes to play practical jokes on the staff.

A haunting tale:What this clerk has to say about the Mattapoisett Town Hall ghost


Located at the entrance to New Bedford Harbor, the island was named after William Palmer, an original settler of Old Dartmouth. The light was built after New Bedford sea captains petitioned for its construction. The island was used as an internment camp for Native Americans during King Phillip’s War (1675-1676) and as a garrison during the Revolutionary War, according to Destination New Bedford. There was even a hotel and amusement park, but all but the light were destroyed in the 1938 Hurricane. When the hurricane hit, lighthouse keeper Arthur Small left his wife in the oil house, which was the highest point on the island, while he went to light the lamps. She watched him get hit by a wave and tried to take a rowboat to save him. Instead, he watched in horror as a massive wave destroyed everything on the island and took her with it. Some say it’s been haunted ever since.


The old Lakeville Hospital on Route 105 is rumored to harbor ghosts of patients. Some say faces in the windows, strange lights and the sounds of people in distress can be seen and heard inside the abandoned building. One account tells of blood spatters appearing on a window.


There are ghost stories about Adoniram Stone Negus, the original Chief Pumping Engineer, who some say continues to haunt the facility. Legend has it he died a day prior to retirement.

From ghosts to submarine engines:Freetown plant has seen it all

Quittacas Water Treatment Plant in Freetown


With parts of it dating back to 1690, Fearing, owned by Major Israel Fearing, has been used as a tavern, courthouse, town hall, post office and private residence. These days, it’s a museum refurbished back to its colonial style. Ghost hunters once heard an electronic voice phenomena saying “Hey Ashford … I killed Grandpa, Ash. I just knew you’d feel the pain. Then … you can consider it … a gift.”

Fearing Tavern in Wareham.


A ghost hunting group called Legend Trippers visited Fort Taber, for a special event to give attendees a chance to hunt for paranormal activity in Fort Rodman, as well as its numerous batteries, considered one of New England’s “most paranormally active ” locations. 

Fort Taber in New Bedford


Apparently Millicent, the youngest daughter of Henry Huttleston Rogers, a financial backer of many of Fairhaven’s historical buildings, was buried in the foundation of the library that bears her name. This has led to alleged sightings of a woman walking in the hallways, surrounded by a blue light. People have also said that from outside of the library, they’ve seen a woman in the windows of the tower, a section completely closed from the public. There’s also rumors of paintings that move and another spectral presence of a janitor who tragically died in the building, but never left.

Millicent Library in Fairhaven


During the Revolutionary War, Major Israel Fearing led 100 men from Wareham to help drive British troops away from the fort. His spirit is associated with the fort, especially relating to sounds of cannon fire. As well, there have been reports of a ghost jogger who stops people and asks them for the time, only to disappear while they look down at their watch.