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Something wicked this way comes...or should we say, something wicked, you travel towards! New England is one of America's oldest regions of European colonial settlement, and with that long history inevitably comes a few tales of chills and thrills, especially in places where tragedy struck. It also happens that New England is the premier destination for fall activities, and there's no shortage of fall season fun, from Oktoberfest to pumpkin picking and carving to freshly made apple cider donuts.

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So, if you're leaf-peeping this season in America's autumnal capital, and you fancy some genuine frights beyond the Salem Witch Trials and corn mazes with actor zombies inside them, then look no further than the many haunted historic houses in this part of the world. The houses picked out here are not just dressed up to be spooky; they really are! Witchy hex marks, eerie voices, and cold spots are all hallmarks of these haunted spots, so be warned and beware!

Related: Which New England State Should You Travel To For Leaf Peeing This Fall?

America's Oldest & Most Haunted House-The Fairbanks House, Dedham, Massachusetts

Built around 1637, the Fairbanks House is the historic family homestead of the Fairbanks Family. Eight generations of the prolific family--who's extended descendants included national politicians, merchants, and gentlemen farmers--lived in the home for over 260 years. But they also had some dark, not-so-secret family affairs. A highly publicized Georgian-era lovers' murder, as well as suspected demonic activity in the house, were blights on the family that allegedly still haunt the house today. For the last one hundred years, the house has been open to the public so visitors can learn about the Fairbanks Family and historic homestead...and also of its sordid past.

  • Location: 511 East Street, Dedham, Massachusetts
  • Hours: Open for Public Tours May through October on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; No Walk-Ins, must register 24 hours in advance
  • Cost: $15 for adults, $8 for children aged 6-16, free for children under six and active duty military/first responders, $12 for seniors
  • Spooky Details: On the tour, you'll be able to see hex mark etchings and wards on the walls, shoes that were buried in the walls for protection, and bedroom doors with locks on the outside...indicating that they were trying to keep something in...

A Jilted Lover Forever Searching-The Notchland Inn, Hart's Location, New Hampshire

Today this cozy little inn bills itself as a romantic getaway in the White Mountains (which it is), but it's also notoriously known for its association with jilted lover Nancy Barton. Engaged in 1778, Nancy's fiancée is said to have run off with her dowry before the wedding came to pass in order to go wed another woman. As chronicled in New Hampshire Book of the Dead: Graveyard Legends and Lore, Nancy pursued her jilter in ill weather, getting caught in a perilous snowstorm. She managed to find the camp that her former beau and his employer had stayed in before the storm, laying down "beside the dying fire they had left" in order to get warm...she was soon buried in snow and froze to death.

Related: 10 Terrifyingly Haunted US Destinations To Visit This Fall Season

The Notchland Inn, an 1860s granite mansion, is said to have been built near Nancy's final resting place, and some visitors have reported paranormal activity like writing in the steam of bathroom mirrors (though this may be another ghost altogether!). Nancy supposedly makes the sojourn between the campsite and the inn, restlessly wandering the brook she died besides.

  • Location: 2 Morey Road, Hart's Location, New Hampshire
  • Hours: The Parlor is open to the public; rooms can be booked at the Inn via their website
  • Cost: Rooms and cottages range from $285 per night (for two people) to $395 per night (for two people)
  • Spooky Details: Nancy's tombstone was never placed on her grave. Instead, it's displayed at the Inn and says, "1778. Nancy Barton. Died in a snowstorm in pursuit of her faithless lover," which is possibly why she's eternally connected to the Inn!

A Hauntingly Famous Rhyme-The Historic Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts

"Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her mother 40 whacks..." well, her stepmother at least. Lizzie Borden may very well be America's most infamous accused murderess. She was charged in 1892 for the brutal ax slaying of her father and stepmother, Andrew and Abby Borden, inside their family home. Though she was found not guilty, sleuths throughout history up to the present still try to puzzle out America's famous who-done-it. Today, the site of the grizzly double murder is now a bed and breakfast and ghostly true-crime museum where doors are said to move on their own, shadowy figures move in the basement, and artifacts shift and change locations without anyone touching them.

  • Location: 230 2nd Street, Fall River, Massachusetts
  • Hours: 10am-midnight, tours run daily and nightly; rooms can be booked at the Inn via their website
  • Cost: Tours range from $25-$35 per person; Rooms range from $250-$300 per night (for two people)
  • Spooky Details: Visitors can book the room where Abby Borden was found on that fateful morning in August 1892. To add even more to the macabre visit, you can opt into breakfast for $20 per person to enjoy a replica meal (excluding some historic distastes) of the Bordens' last breakfast.

"The Conjuring" Was Here-The Old Arnold Estate, Burrillville, Rhode Island

Built in 1736, the Old Arnold Estate is better known to the public as "The Conjuring House" because its paranormal activity inspired the 2013 film The Conjuring. From the outside, the house appears to be a pastoral gem set on 8.5 acres of land in the countryside, but as the film depicts, it was the site of many haunted happenings, including violent furniture shaking, flashing lights, and dark shadows following residents. Perhaps it's the numerous deaths that have occurred in the home over the centuries, or maybe it's the nearby indigenous burials. The home last sold for $1.52 million in 2021, with the caveat that the new owner did not live in the home for the buyer's own safety. Today, visitors can experience their own paranormal activity via tours, gallery events, and ghost hunting expeditions...though you must be ready to sign a waiver to participate in any of their programs.

  • Location: 1677 Round Top Road, Burrillville, Rhode Island
  • Hours: Tours and special events run throughout the year, including investigations and slightly less spooky day tours
  • Cost: Tours range from $20-$25 for tours, overnight investigations from $960+ per night, and special events vary
  • Spooky Details: The Conjuring House is very active on social media; employees and content creators post frequently and even stream live, so you can virtually experience a paranormal phenomenon in real-time.