New Bedford has the second highest ghost sightings in Massachusetts –


NEW BEDFORD — As Halloween approaches, according to, the Whaling City should be also nicknamed the “Ghost City,” as its been ranked No. 2 for most ghost sightings in the state.

“I wonder if the water kind of holds the energy,” said Laura Parrish, 37, owner of the The Whalehouse, where Herman Melville stayed when he visited the city which was turned into an Airbnb.

“Maybe the underground water streams, I wonder if there’s like something about like the energy and like in the way the water used to flow.”

Parrish, who also sits on the board of W.H.A.L.E, said she knows of several hauntings and ghost sightings around the city. 

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Her three-story Victorian home, which was constructed by whaling merchant Henry Taber as a wedding gift to his daughter Abby Taber Hunt, also served as a prestigious art school and a bed and breakfast.

A ferry has turned into a ghost ship, as it makes its way through a foggy patch hanging above the waters in Buzzards Bay off New Bedford.

Parrish’s husband saw a ghost

“I’ve had so many people share stories of experiences that they’ve had here with spirits,” she said. “However, nothing bad, kind of they all wanted to welcome people here rather than scare them away.”

Parrish said that during the 19th century, on the third floor, there was a man that was quarantined with tuberculosis and died in his room. There has been reports of hearing someone walking around the third floor when no one was up there.

Parrish said her husband also had a sighting when first visiting their home.

“He said he turned around and there was a woman, plain as day, right there, right in front of him walking up the stairs,” she said. 

“But, he felt like she was coming to welcome him to the house.”

The Pasta House is now Bocca. But that’s not the only change at the restaurant. utilized to compile the amount of ghost sightings across the state of Massachusetts.

Apparently, the odds of you seeing a ghost in Massachusetts are actually better than the odds of the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, according to data founded by

New Bedford is the state’s second most popular ghost sighting spot, with 54 recorded haunts, behind Lowell, with 59. The rest of the list includes North Attleboro, Ware and Chicopee.

A before photo of the renovation at The Whalehouse in New Bedford.

Malden, MA wraps up the top five. There are overall 1,398 ghost sightings in the state.

Surprisingly, not on the list, was the “witch trial capital of the world” Salem and Fall River, who is of course home to the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast.

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Haunted sightings around the area

Local legend says there have been other sightings such as hearing carousel music and the smell of popcorn at the old Lincoln Park site, 

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. 

The Bristol County Jail House, New Bedford Armory, and the Zeiterion dressing rooms, have also had recorded hauntings, according to

The New Bedford Armory.

The artists who use the studio spaces above No Problemo on Purchase Street have also had run-ins with a scary spirit up, according to Parrish.

Even her next door neighbor has had sightings in their house.

“New Bedford has been a source of some much pride and innovation … but also so much pain like the whaling industry and the Underground Railroad,” Parrish added.

“There’s a lot of like intense emotions either like heavily negative or heavily positive here and that’s why there’s so much energy here.”

Standard-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be reached at Follow him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.

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