HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES

(Turner House)(Turn-Ingersoll Mansion)

115 Derby Street, Salem, MA

(978) 744-0991

Status: Former Residence; Museum

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History

The earliest part of what is now the House of the Seven Gables was constructed in 1668 for Captain John Turner. It was 2 room 2 ½ story house facing Salem Harbor with a large central fireplace. It is now located in the center of the house with the dining room being formed of the once central ground floor room.

It remained under the ownership of John Turner II and John Turner III. By 1676 a kitchen and parlor had been added to the ground floor and another bedroom on the second floor.

John Turner III lost the family fortune and sold the house to the Ingersolls of which Nathaniel Hawthorne – who wrote the famous book published in 1851 based on this house - was a relative.

Nathan Hawthorne, whose relative John Hawthorne had been a judge during the horrific witch trials, strongly believed his family was cursed by the evil done during the witch trials.

In 1908 Caroline Emmerton bought the house and renovated it from 1909 to 1910. After turning it into more what was described in Hawthorne’s novel rather than anything historically accurate, she opened it as a museum with the admission being used for household costs.

The birth house of Hawthorne – which was located 4 blocks away – was moved to the site and can now be toured by anyone who pays admission to the site.

The museum remains open to the public now and has been a public museum now for 112 years in 2022.

 

Paranormal Activity

The official policy of the house is that it is not haunted and there are no ghosts present. The Salem Ghost Tour stops outside the house but does not enter.

The apparition of a man is seen on the “secret” staircase. It is not so secret as its in Hawthorne’s book, so everybody’s knows where it is. Many try to link both the ghost and the staircase to the Underground railroad but there are no connections, and the staircase was built almost 50 years after the Civil War; there was no Underground Railroad after the war.

The attic was once used as the servant’s quarters and the phantom footsteps of one of those servants are still heard. It is a young boy who’s giggles and laughter are also heard. A few lucky witnesses have even seen his apparition in the attic.

Susannah Ingersoll – the cousin of Nathaniel Hawthorne and first told him the stories of the horrors of the witch trials almost 2 centuries before – also haunts the house. Her apparition forever wanders the halls of her home and is often see looking at the windows to see who is in her gardens.

Other Reported Activity: apparitions, shadow figures, disembodied voices, unexplained sounds, light anomalies; empathic feelings of unease to the point of nausea in the attic; chills and strong feelings of not being alone and being watched.