The House of the Seven Gables is also known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion after the two families who lived there. The home was built in 1668 by the Turner family. It is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in all of New England and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
After the Turner family fortune was lost, the Ingersoll family purchased it. Susan Ingersoll lived in the mansion until she was 72 years old. Her cousin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, visited her quite often. The house inspired him to write the novel The House of Seven Gables.
The spooky looking house, along with its eerie inner passageways, has a reputation of being haunted. Some of the staff and guests claim to have seen Susan Ingersoll’s ghost walking in the hallways or peering out the windows. Others have seen a ghost boy playing in the attic area. Footsteps have been heard on the upper floors he plays with his toys.
Travelers visiting the home have seen faces in the window, tapping on the glass, and whispering in their ear as they walk along the guided tour. Some of the guests feel uncomfortable up in the attic area—as though someone is watching them. They say they feel dizzy or off balance. Some witnesses have seen the rocking chair in the attic move on its own. Others believe they brought a spirit or two back home with them after taking the tour.
The 30 minute tour is quite an adventure in itself. Be prepared to climb up a "secret stairway" behind a fireplace and then going through a hidden passageway before entering the attic. This in itself was worth the price of admission. Be sure you wander on the grounds and see the seaside gardens and other historic buildings, including Hawthorne’s birth home.
You can reach The House of Seven Gables by vehicle, on foot, or it is on the trolley drop off route. You are going to find this to be one of the highlights of your trip to Salem.
The House of the Seven Gables
115 Derby Street
Salem, MA 01970
Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning firstname.lastname@example.org