September 27, 2009

The Charlesgate: Terror in a Luxury Setting

The Charlesgate is a beautiful old building near Boston's Back Bay Fens, and used to have a reputation as one of the most haunted spots in Boston.

The Charlesgate was built in 1891 as a luxurious residential hotel, but was sold to Boston University in 1947, and later to Emerson College. Both schools used it as a dorm. Students who lived there in the 1980s and '90s told many tales of ghosts and strange phenomena. Here is a selection:

A male freshman sleeping in room 623 awoke one night to find a strange man floating in the air above his bed. It sounds like a bad dream, the but the story was verified by the floor's resident adviser, who saw the floating man when he came to investigate the freshman's scream.

Students using Ouija boards in the building encountered malevolent entities with names like DLD and Mama, who talked about windows into the spirit world and could shatter glass.

A female student sleeping on a bottom bunk felt someone climb onto the top bunk late at night. Her room mate was away, however. When she looked on the top bunk in the morning, the sheets were wrinkled as if someone had slept in it.

Girls talking in a room were terrified when the door slammed shut and the lights went out. In the darkness, they had strange entities moving around the room. When the lights came back on, the walls and ceiling had been gouged and scarred.

Emerson College sold the dorm to a developer in the 1990s, and it's once again high-end luxury residences. It doesn't seem to be haunted anymore. Either the ghosts either departed with the students, or the new residents are too discreet to talk about any supernatural happenings.

I got this information from Holly Mascott Nadler's Ghosts of Boston Town. An interesting fact about the author: she once wrote for the TV show Laverne and Shirley!


Rhea said...

I love ghost stories. I am familiar with the building you wrote about here.

Robert David Sullivan said...

I like ornamentation, but that sign is disgusting -- like a bowl of congealed pasta. Maybe all the ghost sightings are the result of indigestion?

Peter Muise said...

Thanks for the comments! It's one of those buildings I walked by for years without knowing the stories about it.

Rich Clabaugh said...

Thanks for the post Peter! It's strange the ghost stories stopped, I wonder if all the youthful energy of the college students is what woke them up?