How many haunted taverns are there in New England? A lot, I guess, because this is my second post about a haunted tavern this summer.
Today's tavern in question is the Kimball Tavern in my hometown of Haverhill, Massachusetts. The tavern sits near Bradford Common on the south side of the Merrimack River, and was built around 1690 by Benjamin Kimball. Seven generations of the Kimball lived in it for the next two centuries.
The tavern played an important part in local history, because it was here that a group of local landowners met to create Bradford Academy (later Bradford College) in 1803. In 1921 the building was sold to the Marble family, who operated an antique store there, and it was later bought by Bradford College.
Sadly, Bradford College shut down in 2000, and Kimball Tavern was then sold to the Wood family, who ran an antiques store from it. The Woods shut down their store a few years ago, and the building is once again for sale. The asking price is $599,000.
In addition to getting a 300+ year old building with six bedrooms and three baths, the buyer may also get some ghosts. According to Roxie Zwicker's Haunted Pubs of New England (2007), a former Bradford College student named Tom experienced strange phenomena in the tavern.
|Your author in front of the tavern.|
For example, once when making a presentation the projector became mysteriously unplugged, and photos taken of him during the presentation seem to show a shadowy figure standing between him and the camera. In fact, Tom could not be seen in the photos at all.
Tom also claimed that many people glimpsed shadowy figures through the windows when the building was unoccupied. Tom and a friend visited the tavern one night to take photos, and saw a group of figures looking at them from an attic window. These figures also appeared in the photos. Tom believed they were the spirits of the Kimball family.
Many local children also thought the building was haunted, and according to Christopher and Nancy Obert's Legendary Locals of Haverhill, Massachusetts (2011), people have claimed to hear the sound of a young girl inside, as well as see the shadow of a dog and hear footsteps in empty rooms. So there you go. If you buy this building you might get some ghosts.
Sadly, I don't have an extra $600K lying around, so I won't get the chance to own this beautiful old (and possibly haunted) building. Hopefully whoever buys it will run it as a business of some kind, or even a museum, so I will get a chance to see the inside. Hopefully the ghosts will stick around as well.
I'll be a guest on Midnight FM this Thursday, 8/25/21, to discuss my book Witches and Warlocks of Massachusetts. I'm excited to talk with host Tim Weisberg about New England's weird and wonderful folklore. The show airs at 10:00 pm Eastern time!