Hike To This Abandoned Settlement Near Boston That’s Rumored To Be Haunted
While you’ll find many wonderful hiking trails near Boston, there’s one that’s unique— it’s said to be haunted! Dogtown is an abandoned settlement near Gloucester, about 36 miles north of Boston. There’s not much left of the homes that were here, but some say that spirits haunt the beautiful woods where the cellar holes from the demolished homes still exist.
Dogtown was a little settlement founded in 1693. It covered about five square miles and was home to around 100 families.
To find Dogtown, travel to Gloucester, then drive north on Washington Street to Reynaud Street. From there, turn left onto Cherry Street, and you'll immediately see the sign for Dogtown.
Over the years, people left Dogtown for other opportunities, and by the early 1800s, it was nearly a ghost town.
Of the few residents who remained, several were suspected to be witches. A group of several women lived independently and carried on in ways not deemed "proper" for women at the time. They wore trousers, entertained men in their homes, made rum, and hosted card games. One was said to be able to put a spell on oxen pulling carts over a bridge near her home, paralyzing them until their owner paid her a toll. Another woman was said to fly around the area on a broom. The "witches" were said to be able to heal people of various ailments by casting spells on them. While it was never confirmed that the women were witches, it's also unknown what happened to them.
By 1830, the town was completely abandoned. The homes were all torn down, and today all that's left of Dogtown is the cellar holes where each home stood.
Each cellar is marked by a boulder with a number etched on it.
Roger Babson was a successful economist who was born in Gloucester. During the Great Depression, he hired several stonemasons to carve inscriptions on two dozen boulders around Dogtown.
The boulders all have words or phrases that were meant to teach ethical lessons or be inspirational.
During your hike, you'll run into many of these boulders, and it can be a fun game to try to locate and photograph as many as you can. They're all scattered across the property, and not all of them face the trails, so they can be tricky to find.
The trail itself can be a bit confusing, so stay alert, as hikers sometimes get lost in these woods.
The Dogtown Loop Trail is 6.5 miles long, but it can be difficult to stay on course without a GPS. While it's a lovely, wooded trail, it's also thought to be haunted.
Hikers report hearing voices and feeling as though they're being watched. Strange lights have also been seen here.
Some people have also reported a large, grey animal stalking them. This area was also the site of a grisly murder in 1984. If you take this hike, enjoy the beautiful scenery, but keep your eyes open for anything strange...
Have you ever hiked through Dogtown? If so, do you think it’s haunted? Share your spooky stories in the comments below!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.