Explore haunted locations near RWU

Kathryn Sturdevant, Herald Contributor

Looking for spooky places to visit around RWU? Here are just a couple of places a short drive away.


One of the most famous attractions is the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River. This house is now occupied as a bed and breakfast museum. The history of this house lies in the hands of gruesome murders that occurred on Aug. 4, 1892. The bodies of Andrew Borden and Abby Borden were found hacked to death in this very home. It is speculated they were murdered with a hatchet or an ax. The only evidence found was a handleless hatchet that was cleaned in the basement.


To this day the murder of the Bordens remains unsolved, although Andrew’s daughter was a highly speculated suspect. It was her demeanor toward the incident and the speculated grudge she held against her father and her stepmother Abby. The house is claimed to still be occupied by the spirits of Abby and Andrew. There have been multiple witnesses of paranormal activities, such as noise of footsteps and disembodied voices. It is also said if you take money from his home, you can get scratched. The foundation of this home will always be a remembrance of these gruesome murders. 


Right at the heart of Providence lies the Biltmore Hotel. The hotel, built in 1922, has served a vast majority of the public for many years. It is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Rhode Island, due to its sinister background. This hotel helped to serve as inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining and Robert Bloch’s Bates Motel.


In 1918, Johan Leisse Weisskopf helped to finance the building, but he was known to be an open satanist. As it is said, the intentions of the building were already directed toward the dedication to Satanism. Chicken coops were placed on the roof of the hotel for the purpose of using chickens for rituals. According to controversy during prohibition, the hotel was open to illegal drinking, which caused mob activity and terrible events to happen. The hotel’s dark past and the Satanic rituals have helped to trap spirits within the walls of this hotel.


Multiple murders had occurred in this hotel, with six of them allegedly being implemented by the police themselves. There was also a horrific drowning of an 11-year-old prostitute. One of the most sighted ghosts is said to be a man who committed suicide by jumping off the 14th floor. People on the lower levels have said to have seen an apparition of this man’s body suddenly plummeting past their windows. Others have reported heavy stomping, such as drunken people dancing in empty rooms. The darkness in the hotel will linger for eternity. 


Some other places include the Perron house in Burrillville, which inspired “The Conjuring.” New owners have moved in and they claim that activity is still going on.


The claimed cursed forest of Fall River, Freetown-Fall River State Forest. Not only are there sighted ghosts, but UFO sightings as well as multiple murders and a cult sighting.


The Taunton state hospital was established in 1854 and was a psychiatric hospital. It is easy to call this place haunted, just by the gothic-like architecture and now that it has been long abandoned. It was claimed that Lizzie Borden herself was taken here as she awaited the trial of her father and step mothers’ murders. Due to the long history of multiple deaths and the gruesome way patients were treated back then, the “asylum” is still active with the lost souls of those admitted there.