Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Ghosts of Joshua Ward House

The cause for the following haunting is said to be the result of the Salem Witch Trials that took place in the late 1600s.

A Sadistic Sheriff

A wealthy merchant and sea captain by the name Joshua Ward built his home in 1784 on Washington Street in Salem, Massachusetts.

This large brick mansion is in the Georgian/Federal style and in more recent times has been used as a hotel and then for office space.

Ward had his new home built on the remaining foundation of the house that once stood on the property.

This original home belonged to George Corwin who was the High Sheriff of Essex County in Massachusetts.

Corwin was the sheriff who signed the arrest warrants for those accused of witchcraft in Salem between 1692-93.

Nineteen men and women were accused of witchcraft and executed under Corwin’s watch.

He was nicknamed The Strangler because he tortured the accused while they lay prone in his home’s cellar. He would tie their necks to their ankles until blood ran out of their noses--this was slow torturous strangulation.

The pressing of Giles Corey
When one of his last victims, Giles Corey refused to confess to witchcraft Corwin had stones placed upon his chest--crushing him to death.

It is said that Corey did not confess, but with his last breath he cursed Corwin for his despicable act of barbarism.

Some believe Corwin succumb to this curse for he died at a relatively young age in 1696 of a heart or blood ailment just four years after the witch trials ended.

At the time of his death, Corwin was so despised that his family and widow buried him in the cellar of his home fearful that an angry public-- would desecrate his corpse.

Later his body was moved to a more proper burial site.

A Haunted House

Joshua Ward House
The Joshua Ward House, for years, has been believed to have paranormal activity.

Initially, it was felt that two ghosts resided in the mansion, George Corwin and his last victim, Giles Corey.

Both these ghosts are restless. Items are often found out of place in the mansion.

Trashcans are found turned over, books are pushed off shelves, and various rooms are found in general disarray.

Candlesticks have been found on the floor with their tapers found melted into the shapes of letters.

Over two years, one alarm in the home was triggered over 60 times without explainable cause.

Cold spots are felt in specific parts of the home.

The apparition of Sheriff Corwin has been seen sitting on a chair near one fireplace.

In the mid-1980s several witnesses reported being choked by an unseen entity.

A Female Entity

Carlson Realty bought the home in the 1980s, with the intent to turn it into their main headquarters.

After they moved in, one realtor--Dale Lewinski took pictures of the staff with her Polaroid camera for a holiday welcome display she was putting together.

In one photo, she discovered a frightening image. In this shot, she had taken a picture of a female employee from the chest up, but instead, the image that developed was of a strange, full-length figure, a female with wild black hair.

This photo was first published in Robert Cahill's book entitled, Haunted Happenings.
Some believe this spirit is yet another victim wrongly accused of witchcraft.

The Joshua Ward House went up for sale at the beginning of this year.

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