The House of the Seven Gables (also known as the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) is a Colonial mansion built in 1668 and can be found in Salem, Massachusetts found at 54 Turner Street.
The house is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in all of New England and is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Salem.
The house became famous following the book by Nathaniel Hawthorne “The House of the Seven Gables” in 1851. Later it became famous following the successful 1940 film of the same name starring Vincent Price.
Photo courtesy of aresauburn
The house was originally built in 1668 by Captain John Turner, a sailor of some years. The original house had only three gables with the other four being added in the following years.
After one of the Turner sons lost the family fortune, the Ingersoll family purchased it. They had also made their money from the sea.
When Captain Ingersoll died, Susanna (sometimes also spelled Susannah) Ingersoll, who was Hawthorne’s cousin, lived in the house until she was 72 years old
Whenever the young Nathaniel visited the house, he was told stories of the history of the house by Susanna and the family. Horace Ingersoll told Hawthorne a story of Acadian lovers that later inspired Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1847 poem Evangeline.
Susanna told Hawthorne about a secret staircase and other oddities of the house, including the now missing gables (due to remodelling by the Ingersoll family).
Following Susanna’s death, the house was purchased by a Hawthorne fan, Caroline Emmerton, who became the founder of the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association, and she restored it from 1908-1910 as a museum whose admission fees would support the association.
It was after the death of Susanna that the new owners started getting strange reports of unexplained things happening.
People standing outside the house would often see the form of a woman peering out of one of the windows. After a few seconds, the woman would vanish. This woman has also been caught on camera a few times.
It is believed that this woman is none other than Susanna who could not bear to be parted from her beloved home.
Unexplained noises were reported coming from the attic. A few people who went up to the attic reported seeing a young boy playing there – before vanishing before their eyes. To his day he can sometimes be heard running around the attic, and playing with his toys.
Employees and visitors alike have reported that faucets and lights have turned on and then off and toilets flushing – again without any logical explanation.
Over the years there have also been reports of people spotting the ghost of a young man. After seeing picture of Nathaniel Hawthorne, they confirm that this was the man that they have seen.
Many of these sightings of Hawthorne have occured at the house next door, which is Hawthorne’s birth house. But some of the sightings occur in the House of the Seven Gables.
Vincent Price tours the House of Seven Gables