The Hub has accumulated its share of eeriness over the centuries. Get in the Halloween spirit at these spooky sites around Greater Boston
Edgar Allan Poe statue
Native son Edgar Allan Poe’s disdain for the city of his birth was mostly due to his dislike for Boston’s long-gone literary establishment, so it’s strange that it took until last fall for a proper local tribute. The Poe Returning to Boston statue by Stefanie Rocknak—located a few blocks from Poe’s birthplace—depicts the master of the macabre with a raven, a human heart and scattered books that fly from his suitcase, creating an appropriately dramatic effect.
Edgar Allan Poe Square, corner of Boylston and Charles streets
The country’s oldest public park is the site of many ghost stories, particularly the spot marked by a plaque (above) where the Great Elm once stood. The infamous tree saw many public hangings until 1817, and many people report getting uneasy feelings in that area.
Southeast corner of the Frog Pond
Zoo New England
This non-profit’s two zoos both host kid-centric trick-or-treat events: Stone Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo (above) on October 17 & 18 and Franklin Park’s Zoo Howl on October 24 & 25.
Franklin Park Zoo: One Franklin Park Road; Stone Zoo: 149 Pond St., Stoneham; 617-541-LION, zoonewengland.org
Ghosts & Gravestones
Murder, mayhem and supernatural manifestations—that’s what you’ll learn about on this tour led by a costumed guide. Visit historic burying grounds, listen to tales of the Boston Strangler and more as a trolley shuttles you to various scary sites around town.
Salem Haunted Happenings
Just north of Boston lies the city best known for the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692. What better place for one of the biggest Halloween celebration around? Haunted Happenings occurs throughout October and feature tours, magic shows, historical presentations, haunted houses, live seances, a carnival and several costume parties, along with a 5K race and children’s parade on October 17 and a fireworks finale on October 31.
This venerable Beacon Hill library is home to a rather disturbing volume about notorious 19th century highwayman James Allen that is bound in its subject’s skin. If any book in Boston is haunted, it’s this one.
10½ Beacon St., 617-227-0270, bostonathenaeum.org
Revel in the silly side of the season at this store—in business since 1965—located in Cambridge’s Inman Square. Rent or buy Halloween costumes and accessories for all ages, from the scary to the goofy to the just plain outrageous.
200 Broadway, Cambridge, 888-482-1632, bostoncostume.com
The Freedom Trail boasts three historic cemeteries—the Old Granary, King’s Chapel and Copp’s Hill burying grounds—which can be creepy day or night. Don’t forget Central Burying Ground (pictured) on Boston Common, where the ghost of a little girl has been spotted.
Haunted Boston Ghost Tours
Enjoy a 90-minute, family-friendly walking tour of some of the Hub’s most supernatural settings. Every night at 8 p.m. starting on Boston Common, expert guides reveal tales of haunted subway tunnels, Colonial-era cemeteries and more, all grounded in historical facts that need no embellishment.
Information: 617-605-3635; tickets: 800-979-3370; hauntedboston.com
Omni Parker House
This historic hotel, the oldest in the country and the place where
Boston cream pie was invented, has seen guests come and go over the years, yet apparently some never left. Spirits allegedly haunt the halls here, including the spectre of founder Harvey Parker.
60 School St., 617-227-8600, omnihotels.com