The history of one of Massachusetts’ most mysterious spots is filled with murder, fear, and the possibility of the paranormal.

Behind its beautiful, shady paths and sunny clearings, the Freetown State Forest is actually hiding one incredibly dark reputation. It has long been a hotspot for terrifying real-life occurrences and plenty of rumored supernatural happenings.

Part of the fabled “Bridgewater Triangle,” this haunted forest in Massachusetts appears to be a magnet for the weird and horrifying. It is known as the Cursed Forest of Massachusetts, and after learning about the area’s history, it’s easy to see why.

Related Stories

The Haunted House In Massachusetts Both History Buffs And Ghost Hunters Will Love

The Haunted House In Massachusetts Both History Buffs And Ghost Hunters Will Love

The Oldest Hotel In Massachusetts Is Also One Of The Most Haunted Places You’ll Ever Sleep

The Oldest Hotel In Massachusetts Is Also One Of The Most Haunted Places You’ll Ever Sleep

A Haunted Fortress In Massachusetts, Fort Revere Park Is Truly Creepy

A Haunted Fortress In Massachusetts, Fort Revere Park Is Truly Creepy

Its haunted reputation is based on more than just rumor and speculation. The Freetown Forest is the site of numerous documented tragedies and crimes. In November of 1978, the corpse of Mary Lou Arruda was found tied to a tree in the woods. She was a local 15-year-old who had been recently abducted from the nearby town of Raynham about two months prior. James M. Kater was tried four times for the kidnapping and murder of Arruda and eventually convicted.

However, that’s not even the creepiest story about these haunted woods in Massachusetts. In 1980, police were investigating a murder near the forest. They were approached by a number of locals who claimed to have witnessed Satanic cult activity in the woods. Some believed that these reports were connected to the so-called “Fall River Cult Killings” that occurred during the same period. Suspicious clearings, stained with animal blood, were found in the Freetown Forest. The curiously arranged carcasses of cattle were later discovered in the woods, lending more steam to the rumors of ritual sacrifice within the forest.

The forest was also the site of three more murders. In 1987, a homeless man was somehow mistaken for an undercover police officer and killed in the forest. In 2001, two men were found riddled with bullets on Bell Rock Road, which winds through the woods. There have also been numerous assaults reported along the perimeter of the forest and along its shady paths.

Other incidents border on the more bizarre. In 2006, reports of roving and aggressive dogs plagued the area. In the same year, an escaped emu was spotted wandering through the forest and rushing at visitors. As recently as May of 2016, wires were found stretched across frequently traveled paths through the woods. The wires had a sinister purpose: to catch off-road motorbike riders across the neck, and likely decapitate them.

The supernatural reputation of this forest is equally formidable. The woods have allegedly been the site of blood sacrifices, UFOs, ghosts, black helicopters, mysterious orbs of light, strange disappearances, giant snakes, poltergeist activity, and even rumored abductions.

President Ronald Reagan himself reported seeing strange lights in the sky within the forest. Many people believe that the forest exerts a dark influence that drives people to suicide, while even older legends assert that Pukwedgies, humanoid creatures from Wampanoag native tradition, are known to stalk the woods.

Whatever you believe, there’s no arguing with the fact that the Freetown State Forest has fascinated residents for years. There are more than 50 miles of unpaved roads and paths that wind throughout the forest. If you’re not bothered by the forest’s dark reputation, it’s a beautiful place to hike, bike, ski, and even dogsled.

However, even skeptics may want to make sure they leave the forest’s shadow before night falls. If you’re curious to explore more of the region, check out some of the best trails in the Freetown Falls State Forest.

Have you ever explored these haunted woods in Massachusetts? If you’re looking for even more paranormal adventures, gas up the car and take this road trip to some of the most haunted places in Massachusetts.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

More to Explore

Haunted Places In Massachusetts

What are the most haunted places in Massachusetts?

Some of the most haunted places in MA include:

  • The Hoosac Tunnel
  • USS Salem


With so many haunted places in Massachusetts, it’s best to get in the car and take a road trip to some of the state’s most notorious haunts. If you find yourself in the northwest corner of the state, a visit to Hoosac Tunnel is a must. Nicknamed “The Bloody Pit,” more than 200 people have died working on the construction of this tunnel, one of the deadliest construction projects in Massachusetts’ history. On the other side of the state, getting aboard the USS Salem, one of the most haunted vessels in the world, is a must for fans of the paranormal. You can tour the ship and learn all about the haunted history of this ship year-round, but they do a special haunted-themed tour during October.

Are there any haunted restaurants or bars in Massachusetts?

The Sun Tavern is a haunted bar in Massachusetts.

Tucked away in the charming town of Duxbury, The Sun Tavern has been a local favorite for many years. In fact, part of the building dates back to 1741. With walls that old, it should come as no surprise that many believe this to be one of the most haunted restaurants in Massachusetts. Local lore suggests that the ghost that flips tables and makes his presence known is Lysander Walker, a man who lived in the building in the mid-1700s and committed suicide in the house.

What are the most popular ghost stories in Massachusetts?

The tale of Lizzie Borden is one of the most popular ghost stories in Massachusetts.

While locals may have a different answer, one of the most popular ghost stories in Massachusetts that are known nationally is the tragic tale of Lizzie Borden. Many remember the sing-song rhyme you may have grown up reciting, but you may be surprised to learn that the story behind Lizzie Borden is true, and you can visit the Lizzie Borden House, which is located in Fall River. The house is a paranormal hot spot, with countless paranormal teams confirming that there’s something...or someone...still here. Reports of doors opening and closing on their own are common, but there have even been reports of apparitions and disembodied voices, and some say they’ve been touched/scratched while in the house. The house has been converted into a museum as well as a bed & breakfast, so if you’re feeling really brave, you can rent a room and spend the night in the same room where Lizzie Borden’s stepmother was killed.

Explore Massachusetts