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The Booo! Blog: Paranormal New England

Is The Rebecca Nurse Homestead Haunted?

New England Paranormal Investigators,Anthony Duda,The Rebecca Nurse Homestead,Danvers,Massachusetts,Haunted,The Salem Witch Trials,Ghosts,Paranormal,www.AnthonyDuda.com
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead,Danvers,Massachusetts,Haunted,Salem Witch Trials,Ghosts,Paranormal,www.AnthonyDuda.com

Please Note: Due to format changes,
English/Spanish text audio is not available
for this addition of The Booo! Blog.











A Tale of Two Salems

Located and landlocked in the heart of Essex County, Danvers, Massachusetts is an unassuming town, much like many others. The familiar juxtaposition of strip malls and rural New England dominates the landscape. It's acceptably pleasant, even very nice, but "Nothing to see here..." might be the initial reaction of a casual visitor, especially when compared to New England's more scenic opportunities. No, there aren't too many 'Kodak Moments' in Danvers. Unless, of course, you happen to be a paranormal investigator...

"Oh Shitteth! We Should Not Have Donneth That..."

Whether due to lingering shame or aggressive marketing on the part of its seaside neighbor (or a bit of both), a frequently-ignored fact is that Danvers voluntarily entered history's version of the Witness Protection Program. You see, until 1752, the Town of Danvers did not exist, and had a completely different identity: Salem Village. Yes, that Salem. Shortly after hanging nineteen innocent people and crushing another, the townsfolk collectively realized they had screwed-up big time and, hoping to bury the past, save their butts and dispense with the stigma attached to the witch trial mess they created, came up with "Danvers" as the slick, guilt-free new name for their village.

The oft-ignored dirty little secret, however, is that most of the witch hysteria did not happen in Salem Town (what we now know as Salem) but in Salem Village (now Danvers). While Salem Town certainly did have some craziness going on back in the day, the bulk of the name calling and finger pointing actually happened in Salem Village. In fact, even the hangings and the "pressing" (a quaint,17th century term to describe crushing someone to death) occurred outside the limits of Salem Town. 

Today, Salem is flocked to as the 'Witchcraft Capitol of the World', even though it suffers from a touch of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The business owners embrace all the spooky stuff but, by and large, the permanent residents of Salem do not. For a variety of reasons, they would prefer their city not be invaded every October, available parking not the least among them. Even within the city ranks there is a whiff of conflict, as some would prefer Salem to be known for its rich maritime history instead of black cats and broomsticks, let alone its darker side.

Even though it's actually deeper in witch trial history than Salem, Danvers has, for the most part, successfully deflected all of the hoopla and publicity. It's amazing what a simple name change and some Teflon can do. Sometimes, however, things still stick. And, yes, sometimes, the buried refuse to remain dead...

The Rebecca Nurse Homestead

Rebecca Nurse was one of the twenty innocent people put to death, 'convicted' of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. Stoic and dignified to the end, she was hanged on July 19, 1692, her story probably the most well-known of the unfortunate victims.

I have heard and read numerous reports of odd sensations and occurrences from people visiting The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, her original home meticulously maintained by the Danvers Alarm List Company, a dedicated group of living history reeanactors in the Danvers, Massachusetts area, and finally had the time to quickly grab some equipment and spend a few hours there.

Date of Visit: Friday, July 24, 2015

Time of Visit12:30 PM - 2:30 PM EDT (Time approximate)

Location of Visit: 149 Pine Street, Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts, USA

Coordinates of Visit: N42° 33' 30.094", W70° 56' 53.885" (WGS84)
                                     42.558359,-70.948302 (GPS)
 
Weather Conditions During Visit: Sunny, 78°F 

Equipment Used During Visit: 1) Moditronic Deep Infrared Camera  2) Spectercam Full Spectrum HD Camcorder
                                                  
                                                  
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead is open varying hours depending on time of year. Please call 978-774-8799 or visit the website for further information. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and super-pleasant, and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Admission: Adults: $7.00, Seniors (65 and older): $5.00, Children 16 and under: $4.00, Children under 6: Free. Guided tours begin at 10:30, 11:30, 1:00 and 2:00 and last 40 minutes to an hour. All information is believed accurate at the time of this writing.


The Rebecca Nurse Homestead,Danvers,MA,Salem Witch Trials,Haunted,Ghosts,Paranormal,www.AnthonyDuda.com



The Rebecca Nurse Homestead
Danvers (Salem Village)
Massachusetts







The Buildings

All of the structures on the grounds of The Rebecca Nurse Homestead look as though they belong, but only the house itself is original to the land. The barn and shop were located at another homestead, and re-erected on the property in 1983 to replace the original Nurse barn that burned down in 1964. The Shoemaker's Shed and Dairy Shed were brought from other locations as well. The impressive Salem Village Meeting House is an exact reproduction of the 1692 Salem Village Meeting House, and was built in 1984 for the film Three Sovereigns for Sarah, which was filmed on the location.

The Grounds

Sitting on 25-acres of grassy fields and woodlands, I can't say that I blame whomever or whatever for wanting to hang around the place past their mortal expiration date. Not only are the grounds saturated with history, they also drip with atmosphere. One gets the impression that the centuries-old trees are the silent sentinels of the property, watching over the Homestead.

The Graveyard

So far, I've sounded much more like a tour guide than a paranormal investigator, but here's where things take a turn for the creepy: Welcome to The Nurse Graveyard...

Family graveyards presented somewhat of a problem for the early settlers, and it went something like this: Uncle Ezekial dies. Uncle Ezekial is placed in a wooden box. The wooden box containing Uncle Ezekial is planted in the ground. The wooden box eventually rots and, well...so does Uncle Ezekial. Uncle Ezekial seeps into the ground water. Before long, Uncle Ezekial is with you in your bathtub (creepy). And in your tea (beyond creepy). And suddenly, the chamber pot becomes the most valued and fought over possession in the 17th century New England home. Yes, the entire family has come down with a screamin' case of "Uncle Ezekial's Revenge". Or worse.

To avoid all this unpleasantness, family graveyards were located as far away on the property as possible from the house and ground water supply, so as not to contaminate the well. The Nurse Graveyard is located in the back of a field, far from the living area.

"At The Corner of Happy and Healthy"?

Since Rebecca Nurse was convicted and executed for the charge of witchcraft and cavorting with the Devil, she was not allowed a Christian burial. In fact, none of the twenty men and women found 'guilty' were allowed such burials, their bodies simply and unceremoniously thrown into a ditch after the party was over. It is believed that Rebecca Nurses' son, Benjamin, secretly retrieved her body from Gallows Hill under the cover of darkness and buried her somewhere on the Nurse Homestead grounds. The grave was not marked in case the 'good' people of Salem Village got curious and decided not to let Rebecca rest in peace. There is a memorial that was erected in The Nurse Graveyard in 1885 but, the truth is, no one knows for certain where her remains are buried. To avoid the ground water contamination issues mentioned above, it's a safe bet to assume that she was buried on the grounds as far away from the house as possible, and that probably would have been the area that is now the family graveyard.

Speaking of Gallows Hill, the 'official' Gallows Hill, located in Salem (Salem Town) in what is now known as Gallows Hill Park, is one of those big, fat lies of history. The real Gallows Hill, where the carnage took place, is likely located on what is now private property abutting a Walgreens on Boston Street, a location known as Proctor's Ledge. It's ironic their sales slogan is that their stores are located "At The Corner of Happy and Healthy". My guess is that Rebecca and the gang would beg to differ.

Blast from the Past

Twice while walking through the house, I felt a very noticeable cold breeze hit me while taking pictures. There is no air conditioning in the original section of the structure, and the indoor temperature averaged 80°F. I could find nothing to account for the sensation.
(Click on image to enlarge)


Cold Breeze Photo #1
Cold Breeze Photo #1
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): A blast of cold air hit me while taking this shot in the kitchen of The Rebecca Nurse Homestead. I saw nothing unusual when taking this photo, yet the camera recorded this image. These are not blurred images caused by the movement of a handheld camera. While EXIF data shows that the shutter speed was, indeed, slow (1/20 sec.), the camera was securely tripod-mounted. Whatever this was, it was moving and blurring the image, not the other way around. Taken with the Moditronic Deep Infrared camera.
Cold Breeze Photo #2
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Another 'cold air' shot taken in the kitchen of The Rebecca Nurse Homestead. Again, I saw nothing unusual. Taken with the Moditronic Deep Infrared camera.
Cold Breeze Photo #2
The Macabre Mosaic

There is something not quite 'right' about The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, as the photographs seem to indicate. During my visit, the kitchen seemed to be the focal point of activity and photographic anomalies. In particular, the back kitchen windows seemed to almost tell a story. Life sucked back in 1692 New England and, other than the Church (and Rebecca would soon discover in the worst way that they had no sense of humor), any type of social life was frowned-upon. Perhaps she spent much of her time sitting at her kitchen table, gazing out those windows. And Rebecca Nurses' kitchen is as good a place as any for a dash of common sense and a pinch of caution: Our brains often try to make recognizable shapes out of random patterns, a phenomenon known as apophenia, so we always have to be mindful of 'seeing' things that are not really there. Still, taking everything into account, the following photographs definitely fit into the 'high weirdness' category, which is why I present them here. There have been some interesting online comments concerning these particular windows, and I was determined to get to the truth. I'm not sure that I have, but this may be the first time they have been photographed and examined using deep infrared and full spectrum technologies. The soft focus is inherent in both technologies. No manipulation was done on these images except minimum contrast enhancement and black and white conversion. So, without further adieu...

(Click on image to enlarge)


Rear Kitchen Windows (Deep Infrared)
Rear Kitchen Windows (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015).
Rear Kitchen Windows (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015).
Rear Kitchen Windows (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Left Kitchen Window (Deep Infrared)
Enlargement: Left Kitchen Window (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Enlargement of left kitchen window.
Enlargement: Left Kitchen Window (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Enlargement of left kitchen window.
Enlargement: Left Kitchen Window (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Right Kitchen Window (Deep Infrared)
Enlargement: Right Kitchen Window (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Enlargement of right kitchen window.
Enlargement: Right Kitchen Window (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Enlargement of right kitchen window.
Enlargement: Right Kitchen Window (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Top Left Pane (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Top Left Pane (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Is Rebecca Nurse still gazing out her window?
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Top Right Pane (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Writing? What does it say?
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Top Right Pane (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Top Right Pane (Deep Infrared)
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Top Right Pane (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homest. ad, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Writing? What does it say?
Enlargement: Left Window, Lower Half, Upper Left Pane (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Is that a woman hanging from a tree?
Enlargement: Left Window, Lower Half, Upper Left Pane (Deep Infrared)
Enlargement: Right Window, Top Half, Lower Right Pane (Deep Infrared)
Enlargement: Right Window, Top Half, Lower Right Pane (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Who's this satanic-looking little fellow?
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Lower Right Pane (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): This was barely visible in Full Spectrum, so I didn't post it. See the cross? There is no cross inside the home in that location. And what's with the hunched, Nosferatu-like figure?
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Lower Right Pane (Deep Infrared)
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Center Pane (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Left Window, Top Half, Center Pane (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Lynch mob scene in lower portion of window?
Enlargement: Right Window, Upper Half, Lower Right Pane (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Head and shoulders shot of a hooded figure?
Enlargement: Right Window, Upper Half, Lower Right Pane (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Left Window, Lower Half, Center Pane (Full Spectrum)
Enlargement: Left Window, Lower Half, Center Pane (Full Spectrum)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Is that one evil-looking face or what?
Enlargement: Right Window, Lower Half, Upper Left Pane (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Hello, Kitty! Is this a profile of an animal head?
Enlargement: Right Window, Lower Half, Upper Left Pane (Deep Infrared)
Left Window, Upper Half, Upper Center Pane (Deep Infrared)
Left Window, Upper Half, Upper Center Pane (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Apparently, an evil pig demanded equal face time. He's such a ham!
Enlargement: Left Window, Upper Half, Lower Center Pane (Deep Infrared)
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers (Salem Village), Massachusetts (2015): Another shot of the 'mist', this time in the window. And finally, what you've all been wondering. Witches? Admit it, you know it's crossed your mind...
Enlargement: Left Window, Upper Half, Lower Center Pane (Deep Infrared)
...What About Donatella??
...What About Donatella??
Seriously? Do you have any doubt? I'm just sayin'...





















































































































































































































































































Is The Rebecca Nurse Homestead Haunted?

I will leave that question for you to ponder while examining these photographs late at night. Come to your own conclusions. Time for bed? Perhaps you should leave the nightlight on, just in case...

Until next time, pleasant dreams...

The Rebecca Nurse Homestead,Danvers,Massachusetts,Haunted,Salem Witch Trials,Ghosts,Paranormal,www.AnthonyDuda.com






Update, January 12, 2016: There has long been a debate concerning the actual location where the hangings took place. A group of researchers, using scientific methodology and process of elimination, today announced the results of the work they began in 2010. As mentioned in my blog, the actual location was not the 'official' Gallows Hill, but the unassuming, rocky location next to the Walgreens at 59 Boston Street in Salem known as Proctor's Ledge.

Legal Disclaimer: All information, opinion and theories on this website and blog are published in good faith and for general information purposes only. I do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information on my website and blog is strictly at your own risk, and I will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with its use. All opinion and theories are strictly my own, and should not be construed as fact.

12 Comments to Is The Rebecca Nurse Homestead Haunted?:

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Kendra Morgan on Friday, July 31, 2015 12:47 AM
Greetings Mr. Duda: I've never been to her home because I live too far, but after reading this I believe it's haunted. The pics are amazing and what you wrote made be laugh out loud! Serious and light at the same time. So good!
Reply to comment


Mark Nguyen on Monday, August 03, 2015 12:15 AM
Interesting blog, Anthony. I learned a lot, as I always thought the ones accused of witchcraft in Salem were burned at the stake, but you said they were hanged or crushed to death. I looked it up, and you're right. The only ones burned were in Europe. Parts of your blog are humorous, but still respectful and you make it work and bring it to life. Very well done, Sir! I thought it interesting that Salem as it's known today wasn't the center of the horrors, it was actually Danvers, MA. So much great information that I haven't gotten elsewhere. I'm looking forward to reading your older blogs and your next. Some late night spooky reading, as you say ;) I think I've become a fan. Thank you, Mark Nguyen
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Dwayne in OH on Tuesday, August 04, 2015 7:11 PM
History and the paranormal are two of my favorite subjects. I've noticed that many of your blogs mix both. I guess that's going to happen, but your blog is great. I always learn so much. I can't get enough of your web site, and find myself reading and re-reading only a few days letter. I love your work. It's much appreciated and enjoyed.
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Artygurl on Wednesday, August 05, 2015 3:12 PM
I've been to the Rebecca Nurse house. I didn't see any ghosts and didn't take pictures but did get a creepy feeling that I wasn't alone in that house. I just shrugged it off because the place is old. The ones you captured are amazing! Back to Danvers before long for me. I'll let you know my experience.
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Cole T. on Thursday, August 06, 2015 10:33 AM
Mr. Duda: I really like your site. Did you know someone else on the web got something on camera from the windows at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead? Not nearly as detailed as what you got, but I guess she was just using a regular camera. It's here: http://www.deboradale.com/ghosts-of-salem-rebecca-nurse/
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Sean Hodges on Friday, August 07, 2015 4:54 PM
The Donatella Versace comment had me pissing myself!!! 😄 Spot on! Maybe you should add her plastic surgeon too?
Reply to comment


Markster92324 on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 3:06 PM
Hi Anthony. Your pics are incredible. I understand what you say about not reading too much into them but there's just too much coincidence for it to be random. Most of it pretty much relates to the witch trials and what happened to Rebecca Nurse. The pic of a woman hanging from a tree, that's exact. The cross with that person standing in front of it and that demon thing scared the shit out of me, and not much scares me. Amazing! The most in your face paranormal stuff on the web if it's real. I believe you when you say nothing was photoshopped-the rest of your site is great and shows the highest integrity. Impressed and spooked to say the least. Thanks for sharing!
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Heather on Friday, August 14, 2015 11:13 AM
Bookmarked :)
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Lonnie Martin on Monday, September 07, 2015 9:50 PM
AWESOME blog! I'll be in Salem in Oct and will definitely make the trip to neighboring Danvers. I've been to Salem 3 times but never knew about the Rebecca Nurse house. Can't wait! The pics are creepy as hell. Thks- Lonnie Martin
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Dominique on Saturday, September 12, 2015 1:58 AM
Boo! This was just the right bedtime story. Thanks so much.
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Angie on Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:33 PM
You're an excellent blogger and those pictures scared the crap out of me. I don't know if I want to go there or not but it might be fun for Halloween. Thanks for the spooky stuff. I know I can always count on you 😱
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SisterSabrina2 on Wednesday, October 07, 2015 12:24 AM
Hi Anthony! I was looking for some scary October things to do and found your site. The Rebecca Nurse house, Haverhill Street in N. Reading, the ghost car in N.H. I've made my list. Now I just have to work up the nerve! Fun reads. Thanks for all you do.
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