Creepy Cape Cod: Hauntings, Murders and Unexplainable Events

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The Barnstable House

Cape Cod is a collection of picture perfect scenery and postcard moments strewn all across the towns and villages which make up this peninsula.  There are countless reasons why so many call it home and so many choose to visit from all corners of the globe.  It is a slice of paradise at its best with beaches, attractions, shops, and restaurants all waiting to be enjoyed and remembered.

However the Cape is not always sunshine and rainbows.  There have been some odd, eerie, and downright scary moments.  Hauntings, murders, and some plain unexplainable events, they have all happened on these shores.  What better time than the Halloween season to share some of these tales?

Perhaps the most well-known haunted house on the Cape resides along historic Route 6A in Barnstable Village.  The Barnstable House was originally built in 1713 in Scituate and moved to its current location, above a fresh water spring, in 1716.  There have been reports over the years of eleven distinct spirits dwelling inside the building’s walls.  Most famous of these is the little girl known as ‘Lucy.’  The story is that while chasing a ball which had rolled down into the basement ten-year-old Lucy fell into the spring and tragically drowned.  So famous are the hauntings at the Barnstable House that it was even featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters in 2015.

On the other end of the Cape, in Orleans, is another uniquely haunted spot.  The Orleans Waterfront Inn has reportedly been haunted for years by a beautiful, albeit naked, woman.  The female spirit was named ‘Hannah’ by the Inn’s owner Ed Maas.  Legend has it that she was a prostitute who worked at the Inn when it housed a brothel in the 1920’s.  One of the prostitutes was murdered at the Inn and it is believed that the spirit belongs to that unlucky victim.  Famously ‘Hannah’ was spotted one night by a motorist passing by on Route 28 dancing naked in front of an open window on the fifth floor of the inn.  Maas had to explain to the motorist upon receiving a phone call that there was nobody staying on the fifth floor.

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The grave of the Lady of the Dunes

As far as horrifying unsolved crimes go on Cape Cod there are few the make one’s skin crawl more than that of the ‘Lady In the Dunes.’  On July 26, 1974 the mutilated, decomposing body on an unidentified woman was discovered in the dunes near an access road along the Dunes’ Edge Campground in Provincetown.  She had teeth removed, her hands amputated, and was nearly decapitated.  More than forty years later suspects have come and gone with none being charged while the victim has still yet to even be identified.  There have been numerous theories and rumors which have not been verified but can be researched online.  Her remains were buried at the St. Peter’s Cemetery in Provincetown in a grave marked ‘Unidentified Female Body Found Race Point Dunes.’

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The grave of Dr. Samuel Lord in the front yard of a Chatham home

There are dozens of unique cemeteries and graves on Cape Cod.  There are cemeteries with stones dating back to the 17th century.  There are some that contain the graves of some of the most important people to ever grace the Cape; those who helped to build it in its infancy.  There is even the case of Samuel Lord who was buried along present day Training Field Road in Chatham.  To preserve his memory a stone was erected in 1941, it resides in the front yard of a private home.

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The grave of Thomas Ridley deep in the Truro woods

However the most unique of all Cape Cod graves might be that of Thomas Ridley.  Do not go looking for Mr. Ridley in any cemetery though.  His grave lies deep in the woods of North Truro among the pine trees and brush.  Why this odd location?  In 1776 Mr. Ridley died of smallpox.  Fearing a possible spread of the illness his body was buried far away from the rest of the population.  Today the grave could be considered the most difficult spot to find on the entire Cape.  The march through the heavily wooded area behind Montano’s Restaurant leave little room for error with the headstone being roughly the same color as its surroundings and no barely more than a foot tall.  It is definitely a warm weather adventure finding it.

Despite being for the most part a picture perfect paradise enjoyed by locals and visitors alike there have been some scary, dangerous, and downright creepy moments that have happened here.  Halloween season is the perfect time to enjoy a few scary stories, or possibly even visit some of the creepiest spots the Cape has to offer.

By Christopher Setterlund


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