Flaunting the Hub’s haunts

Granary Cemetery is allegedly haunted by the ghost of Paul Revere (well, his bottom half.)

In honor of Halloween, Metro caught up with Hillary Kidd, owner of Haunted Boston Ghost Tours, a lamp-lit walking tour of the city’s most ghoulish grounds, to get a rundown of some local haunts, because who doesn’t love to be spooked on the creepiest holiday of all?

Topping her list of the most notoriously haunted locations in Boston, believe it or not, is Boston Common, where visitors regularly report seeing apparitions.

“It is essentially one huge, unmarked cemetery,” Kidd said.

Most of the paranormal experiences happen near the site of a large elm tree that stood near the Parkman Grandstand and was used for hanging criminals and alleged witches throughout the 18th century.

Kidd believes she had her closest encounter with the paranormal there in 2008.

“I gave a tour one night, and was sitting around talking to customers. People were taking photos, and we looked at it, and there was a neon green orb streaking across the front of me. Where we were standing there was no light source, and no dirt kicked up.”

Not far away, on the southeast corner of the Common, rests one of the two oldest stations on the Green Line – Boylston Station – which was constructed on a mass grave filled with the casualties of the Revolutionary War.

Kidd said that people have reported seeing British Red Coat soldiers standing on the tracks.

“When they were digging for the T, they uncovered a mass grave where the station is now… We’ve heard reports of T drivers who make the sharp turn from Arlington into Boylston and seeing the soldiers,” she said.

The MBTA did not return a request for comment about the alleged Boylston Station haunting.

 But two historic buildings that embrace theirs haunting are The Omni Parker House Hotel and the The Boston Athenæum.

The Omni Parker House Hotel is where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie. It’s where the Boston Cream Pie was invented. And it’s also where a business man reportedly drank himself to death, and has since haunted staff and guests, particularly in room 303 where he reportedly died.

That room was turned into a utility closet after people spontaneous combustion in waste paper baskets there, as well as hearing a man laughing. The hotel also reports on its website that elevators often sometimes by themselves, strange shadows, orbs, and interactions with the hotel’s founder, Harvey Parker, who died in 1884.

And the famous “skin book” at the Boston Athenaeum is a creepy attraction that intrigues tourists, but according to Kidd, it’s not the most paranormal part of the historic library.

Doctor Thaddeus Harris reportedly haunts the building. In 1842, Nathaniel Hawthorne said he spotted the ghost of Harris reading his own obituary in that morning’s paper, and seeing him several more times in the following weeks.

As for Kidd, she’s halfway between a skeptic and a believer when it comes to the supernatural.

“I’m not 100 percent sure one way or the other. I’m waiting for a full body apparition to appear before me, then I’ll decide.”


Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox


2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch


2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.


2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.