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Joshua Ward House

Salem, Massachusetts

Built on the foundation of the former sheriff that was responsible for hanging witches during the infamous Salem witch trials’s house, many reports of hauntings in the house have been reported. The sheriff used an old English law that allowed him to crush a suspected witch with rocks to make him plead guilty or innocent. The man eventually died, but he did so, he “cursed” the sheriff. The sheriff died 5 years later of unknown causes. Candles have mysteriously been taken out of their holders and melted, trash cans have turned over, it is always cold in the corner of one room, alarms are set off for no reason, one guest has seen an elderly ghost sitting by the fireplace, and a picture has been taken of one of the ghosts

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81 Comments

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cassie says:

March 16, 2008, 4:19 pm

Okay first off, I believe in ghosts so I don’t have any problems with those stories. Honestly though some of you are getting a lot of stuff wrong. First, about all the “Giles put a curse on the Sheriff”, please I highly doubt that this man was powerful enough to curse somebody just by speaking it out loud. I do believe in witchs though, I am a witch so I know how it works. For the person that said no person got hung for having herbs, wrong. Back then anybody caught with herbs, books on such things, hell if a cat walked into your yard you were suspected of Witchcraft. I’m not saying they didn’t go after Christians they did because they were sick ******** they went after anybody. It is correct though that us witchs don’t believe in the Devil. I know a lot about this stuff, and some of the above comments are crazy!

maria says:

March 30, 2008, 5:28 am

HELLO PEOPLE! I don’t know if any of you realized that this “things” are real and it even worst that you could ever imagine this “things” ghosts and spirits and stuff can harm you, didn’t any of you ever hard of possessions ´well this “things” can do that.so please don’t make this a competition.
believe me you don’t want to met or see this ghosts spirits or even demons

Kirah says:

April 9, 2008, 12:20 pm

Ok look, he said more weight not more rocks you guys need to get your facts straight and yes I am so sick of people comming to Salem and always asking me things at work so if you want information just go to a stinking tore ok! sorry about that rant but he did say more rocks

jw says:

April 23, 2008, 1:02 am

A few years back I took one of Salems haunted tours, and this was one of the stops. What creeped me out was the fact that the house and I share the same name…

Theresa Ramirez says:

June 20, 2008, 8:14 pm

Ha Ha!!! This story is fun-ny cuz i read the coments and went on the web to find out that they were true!(the comments) What kind of idiot do you think i am to be believin’ in all your crappola?! Well let me tell you this, yesterday i saw a cow i my back yard and it decided to spend the night at my grandmas!!! Now let’s see if your crappola beats mine!!!!!!! that’s what you get 4 messin’ with the crappola queen!!!Next time that cow comes 2 visit i’ll try 2 milk it!!! 🙂

ailin says:

June 21, 2008, 11:39 am

dude that’s realy scary i like scary stuff i like have 100 books aboute ghosts i mean real story’s

William ALIA says:

June 22, 2008, 9:30 pm

All these tails of haunted houses are imaginable by human being , always we heard stories but we see only movies, let’s be real and rid of this absurd, we don’t want to go back to the past where people were not intelectual , it’s 2008 we need to be real and do step in , not step out , please inform us about technology better than waste time then our lives.

danika says:

July 17, 2008, 12:55 am

heyy pplz…
umm ghosts areee deff. real…
i just got back from a grave yard and all i see is these
weird clearish, sometimes short or tall looking things or (ghosts) as we say. buit still . u should believe its
all true and it very little when u meet ppl that know how to contact ghost. :]
please stay chill. :}

ke says:

August 28, 2008, 10:38 pm

how come no one has talked about how the trials became a way to gain land? if you accused someone you could posibley aquire there land in the deal- and giles said more weight fyi- Salem is my home town and i have worked directly with historians having worked at the witch dungeon- pioneer village- and the gables- and they were puritans not christians duh-

Melanie says:

September 8, 2008, 4:34 pm

The act of “pressing” was actually on the lawbooks. It was used before the witch trials in England and other countries as a sentence. It was on the English lawbooks to use it in a non plea to get the accused to plea aye or nay to their accusation. Giles was pressed for this same reason. He was the first and last person to have this applied in a “lawful” mannor in America. As for his last words, it is hotly debated between “more weight” and “damn you, I curse you and all of salem” (speaking to the sherriff). There is nothing to prove either way, since the only written record doesn’t actually tell what his dying words were. Both are heresay and it’s possible that he said nothing, due to the fact that he was being crushed. At a certain point, he would have been able to do nothing.

Sarah says:

September 11, 2008, 4:12 pm

Okay, to the moron who said “witches don’t exist” obviously doesn’t know of the particular religion called “Wicca” in which some of it’s followers call themselves “witches” and it has actually been around longer than Christianity. So saying that it doesn’t exist might as well be saying that Christianity does not exist.
On the subject of orbs – they prove nothing since they could be a reflection off of dust, insects, mist, or reflective surfaces.
To the person who said Giles Corey meant to say “more weight” I say “how in the world would we know what he ‘meant’ to say?”
To the person who said that Gallows Hill is not haunted – I was reading a historical web site that said they doubt the hangings actually took place there since the carts carrying the victims would not be able to go up that hill.
Okay… I’m not reading anymore of these reviews since some of them are just soooo ridiculous that I can feel my IQ dropping.
btw, if anyone’s interested in witch hunts, I strongly recommend reading the Malleus Maleficarum.

Fiona Broome says:

September 22, 2008, 9:23 am

Thank you for many great insights regarding haunted Salem. I’m collecting information for my next book — which will be about Salem’s ghosts — and these comments have suggested good points for me to research.

rosemary says:

October 8, 2008, 9:33 am

Went to Salem the day before Halloween. Nothing really was scarey other than the motor cycles that were loud…lol

But it was fun and hope to see it again sometime

nikky says:

October 11, 2008, 2:50 pm

died of natural causes, most people do that duh. Just cause a candle falls doesnt mean its a ghost, candles always melt and fall. IF you believe in ghost then you believe that the temp. will drop… the corner is a pyshic thing, you believe it it will happen. Jeez, some of you are really… different.

todd says:

October 14, 2008, 5:15 pm

lol @ morons who said witches dont exist thats real funny. i guess jews dont exist either. and by the way sarah i have read the malleus maleficarum and i find it a greater read than the bible

Desiree says:

October 28, 2008, 8:25 pm

He did curse the sheriff when he died n itz a true stor when i went to salem and took the spellbound ghost tour we went to this place n i have real pics of ghosts in front of the building it is truly haunted want proof i’ll send you the pictures! Americanswty143@yahoo.com

John says:

November 5, 2008, 1:51 pm

the truth is that Giles corey did curse the sheriff. he stated very clearly “Sheriff Corwin, I Hex you and this Hellish village of salem and this county of essex.” It is in a document housed in the Peabody Essex Museum you need credentials and have to wait on a list for a long time to see them. most of the documents were destroyed in the great fire of salem in 1914.
Dont trust spellbound tours.
they lie.

I know I’m an Expert on the history of the
town not her competition, however I do offer
Private Tours if requested.

blondie says:

November 5, 2008, 7:42 pm

hello i am very interested in this type of thing if it is possible to give me some address to the haunted places in salem i would greatly appreciate it. thank you

michelle says:

December 17, 2008, 4:49 pm

ghosts appear as orbs in pictures.

maria harrison says:

December 17, 2008, 9:05 pm

oh ghosts are real. i have been seeing and hearing ghosts for years although not much since i have got older but when i was younger hardly a day went by when i did not see or experience something paranormal. My parents lived in a large victorian house and, although itself wasnt spooky, lots of spooky things happened there and when i left home i seem to have taken some spirits with me because i was haunted for many years after i left and in many different homes. I have lots of stories I could tell but you probably wouldnt believe me, not many people do. All I know is that I have had so called “hard men” terrified at some of the goings on in my home. I know it is hard to believe if you havent experienced it yourself but dont be too quick to discount all stories as fake

kelly says:

April 1, 2009, 8:49 pm

All as i know is that when i went to Salem i went by the joshua ward house, and i took several sets of photos. The center window facing the house is highly haunted. There were a lot of orbs in one photo and then there were none in the next photo.

Jillian says:

July 18, 2009, 9:30 am

I so think that place is haunted.Also to all you ppl who think an orb is a ball of light your wrong it is a ball of energy from a sprit!GOSH

ToriAngel says:

March 14, 2010, 6:30 pm

I have been to Salem,Ma many many times my first time visiting I somehow knew exactly where to go and how to get there (and I am usually directionally challenged lol) We went to the House of the 7 Gables but werent able to take the tour I was disappointed as I have always loved Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writings… we did alot of “touristy” things (and yes as a person who visits there often I do “feel” for the residents the traffic IS bad, some ppl are very rude and they should get more info before going there as well as be respectful of ppl and property I have seen laws violated often it bothered me and I dont live there) I was NOT impressed by some of the stuff felt I wasted money also felt I could do a better job then some of the so called “tour guides” … a few years later I went back with a Wiccan friend she brought me to other places that was a MUCH more enjoyable visit … I now try to go to Salem every Halloween/Samhaim its more of a large block party the whole city is into it although this past year it was a bit disappointing and more like a large college party town than other times I have gone ….

since my first trip to Salem I have been told some family memebers/ancestors are buried there another friend and I literally went to EVERY cemetery in Salem there was a cyrpt with one of my family names at one place however the ancestors I was looking for then werent buried there a short time after that I learned that crypt DOES contain some of my ancestors in fact, one of my ancestors was a Mayor of Salem maybe it sounds strange to others but to me i then understood why i feel so “at home” in Salem

as far as ghosts I have seen them in Salem its not like ppl seem to think or believe I have seen some things while I have visited that can only be described as supernatural

whether you believe or not thats your individual choice

the Pilgrims came here in search of a land where they could practice their religious freedom

if you dont agree with another’s thoughts views or beliefs you have the right to your own that’s part of our freedom here in this country and it should be respected people do not deserve to be attacked, abused, mocked , harrassed b/c their opinions differ from another

there are things to learn from the witch trials regardless of why they may have happened hopefully these type of acts of persection will never be repeated in history here in our country

i am looking forward to my next visit to Salem …since my last visit I have learned that I possibly have a family tree link)s) to someone who was hanged during the witch trials still looking for the connections/proof the person who shared it didnt know the details but that would connect my family tree on both sides to the Salem area 🙂

I have also been to Peabody, Danvers (the memorial site there)

I think people should experience a visit to Salem if not for the history of the witch trials but for many other layers of history also there and the sheer BEAUTY of the city

Luvjdepp says:

March 27, 2010, 3:39 am

That picture is very unsettling, yet at the same time compelling. Personally though, I think it’s someone wearing a costume as it looks way too three dimensional to be a spirit.

The first time I saw that picture was on a program called “Haunted History: New England” and I swear it was a color photo. Either way, hoax or not, that damn thing is ugly to look at.

L says:

May 9, 2010, 4:16 am

@ Potter
Giles Corey did in fact curse the Sheriff. His name was George Corwin
It is said that Corey’s final breath was “I curse you and Salem”
About 4 years later, Corwin died of what seemed to be heart failure.
Since then, it is said that all sheriffs in Essex county have either died or have retired from heart-related ailments.

@Tiffy-Wiffy
He said “More Weight.” Corey wasn’t a petrified man. In fact, the only way they couldn’t condemn him of his witchery…or wizardry, as they called men accused, was to not say anything at all when he was being tried. He was reserved, and was willing to protect his family at all costs because the citizens could divide up his land if he admitted to the “crime.” Corey had a well-kept farm and a good chunk of land, thus, remained calm and reserved, even as he was being pressed to death.
Rumor has it that even his tongue popped out with the exceeding pressure. The “Pressing” lasted about 3 or 4 days, which is agonizing torture. Many tours won’t tell you they tortured those kept captive in jails and whatnot, but it’s very, very true. This all happened.

As for the Ward house, it’s built on Corwin’s home, and supposedly he was buried there for several years until they moved his body to Broad Street Cemetery.

I live in Salem, MA. Born and raised.
Whoever doesn’t believe this needs to go back to their history books and review a little bit. The Witch nonsense began over in England and worked its way over with the settlers, who were busy trying to cram Christianity down the throats of everybody else. Even though there were no REAL WITCHES, the whole event still holds true and the haunting of those innocent individuals is still valid and proven.

julia says:

August 28, 2010, 1:29 pm

I think his is true in some way. Every time I walk by the Joshua Ward House, in one of the windows, I see a white bust statue, then the next time I walk by it, the bust is gone.

Maria says:

October 24, 2010, 6:09 pm

I only passed by this house on a trip through Salem. Wish I could have toured the house.
The house of seven gables was supposed to be haunted, but I didn’t witness anything when I toured it…

L says:

October 24, 2010, 8:57 pm

The Lyceum in Salem is. By Bridget Bishop whose orchard was there prior. Also, on the sixth floor of the Hawthorne Hotel, one of the rooms is also fairly haunted. I work at a photography studio in Salem, and one of the customers were spending a few evenings there. They said it was pretty spooky.

Another recommended place I’d visit is Howard St Cemetery. I only recommend it because not too long ago, before the “Great Escape” was built into the old jail, I snuck in at dusk just to get a glimpse of what was inside. I’m not easily spooked…but this place just…gives me the worst feeling and I get uncomfortable showing even the cemetery off to my friends who visit from all around. I don’t think I’ll be going back in there…Not with the renovations and everything.

Lastly, it’s not “Roosevelts” anymore, but…I think it’s called “Spirits 500” or something. Whatever is across from Hess a bit down the way. Supposedly that’s haunted.

If you wanna be somewhere that gives to bad vibes, go to Howard St Cemetery or even Gallows Hill at night.

eric says:

December 21, 2010, 3:50 pm

gay!

Brian says:

February 3, 2011, 10:10 pm

My Dad was was Boston but unfortunately I grew up in north Jersey and ended up in Maryland a place where few honor history. I have relatives all over NE,,,Manchester, Bridgten, Springfield, New Bedford, Baaston, etc and spent many summers in Eastham on the Cape.I like going to Bridgton in October…is a great little town. NE too dam, cold in Winter though, I love the Ravens but Belichek the best coach in football and Brady is great. I plan on going to Salem this year and wonder if it is worht the hype. Will go in October. New England really nice but folks in the South are much friendlier…whatever they color or race. I did not believe in ghosts for a long time but this guy who left comments saying he is a physicist and ghosts are bs,,,idiot. It was a physicist who convinced me ghosts are real. I did not completely understand what he was telling me but it had to do with energy and other dimensions, string theory etc…all of which made him speculate that personal energy, what we call ghosts could be a real possibility, My wife who is religous says ghosts do not exist….she says what we think are ghosts are demons. Now that is scary!

AthenaNY says:

July 10, 2011, 9:39 pm

I saw the picture of the ghost on tv.It’s freaky!It’s a woman with wild frizzy/curly hair and a face you can’t really make out.I was hopin the picture was here too

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