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House of the Seven Gables

Salem's Premiere Historic Site

Many people have read author Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic book, The House of the Seven Gables. That house still exists today.

Some even swear it is haunted, drawing visitors from all over the world to experience the aura and mystery of the house for themselves.

house of the seven gables from outside
Photo courtesy of aresauburn

Not only is it a popular tourist attraction in Salem, Massachusetts but it is the oldest 17th century wooden mansion which still stands in New England, an architectural wonder.

In 1908, the home was officially restored so that it truly had seven gables, a a gable being the triangle formed by the sloping roof. Noted architect, Joseph Everett Chandler, was responsible for the house's restoration.

In time, more vintage homes were moved to the property: the Retire-Beckett House (oldest building on site) which house a museum store, the Hooper-Hathaway House, the Nathaniel Hawthorne house and his birthplace and the Counting House (traditional sea captain's business quarters).

The home which was to become so famous was first built in 1668 by the Turner family.  Nathaniel Hawthorne's cousin eventually bought the home from the Turners.

This was a stroke of fate, for the house deeply influenced Hawthorne and was the genesis for his classic book.

Although it isn't nearly as ominous (at least, not by day) as the dark, gloomy mansion described by Hawthorne, the actual House of the Seven Gables has unique features, including a secret staircase (not for the claustrophobic) and gorgeous grounds.

Then there are those reports of spooky sightings. Susan Ingersol's ghost has even been said to have been seen by some. It is now officially known as the Turner-Ingersoll mansion - but for many it will always be simply the House of the Seven Gables.

For those who are fans of Hawthorne's famous book, other performances allow visitors to encounter characters who portray those found in The House of the Seven Gables book.

The House of Seven Gables has 500 photographs and also contains over 2,000 historical items. There are at least 650 books, many of them quite rare. The gardens and granite seawall are stunning, as is the ocean view.

Special events, many linked to historical events in Salem, Massachusetts (including the Salem Witch Trials) are recreated yearly at the Seven Gables location.

Perhaps one of the most unique Christmas experiences ever can be found by taking part in A Classic Christmas right at the House of the Seven Gables; yet another attraction to add to your "fun things to do in Massachusetts in winter" list.

Classic literary works, most centering around Christmas, provide a charming old-fashioned feeling when performed by actors in the rooms of the home.

Touring the home is a delight in itself but there is also the added bonus of Nathaniel Hawthorne's own home, moved and relocated only a short distance away from The House of the Seven Gables.

house of the seven gables - nathaniel hawthorne house
Photo courtesy of aresauburn

Who could resist seeing where the note author was born and lived? Built in 1750, it was moved to its current location in 1958. The home is also available to rent for family, corporate or wedding occasions.

Of course, a looming question centers on the home's reputation for being haunted. Every year, many visitors write (some even enclosing photos) of the spooky sightings see there.

They write or tell tales of hearing voices (even though no one else is visible in the room), seeing strange figures which appear and vanish suddenly and other mysterious events.

So is the house in Salem, Massachusetts really haunted?

Only a visit there may help find an answer to that question!

House of the Seven Gables Essentials

Address: 115 Derby St., Salem, MA 01970

Phone: (978) 744-0991; Group Tours - extension 104

Email: info@7gables.org; Group Tours - groups@7gables.org

Website: www.7gables.org

Hours Open: January 1 to January 14 - CLOSED
January 15 to June 30 - 10 am to 5 pm
July 1 to October 31 - 10 am to 7 pm
November 1 to December 30 - 10 am to 5 pm
*CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and open 10 am to 2 pm on December 24th and 31st.*

Contact me for current times open as hours may change each year.

Prices:
General Admission (includes guided tour of the House of Seven Gables, also called Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, a visit to the Nathaniel Hawthorne House, the Counting House, the Colonial Revival Gardens, and the waterfront):
Adults - $12.50
Seniors (65 and older) - $11.50
AAA Members - $11.50
Children (5-12) - $7.50

Special Events:
Legacy of the Hanging Judge - $15.00
Spirits of the Gables - $15.00
Combination (any two special events in the same evening) - $27.00
A Classic Christmas - $12 Adult; $8 Children (5 - 12)

Group Tours:
For more information on group tours as well as reservations, call (978) 744-0991 ext. 104.
Adults - $9.50
Student (K-12) - $6.00

Attractions: Tours of the House of Seven Gables (including museum with over 2,000 artifacts and objects and the Colonial Revival Gardens), the Retire-Beckett House (oldest building on site) and museum store, the Hooper-Hathaway House, the Nathaniel Hawthorne house and birthplace, the Counting House (traditional sea captain's business quarters) and Seaside Gardens.

Special Events include the Legacy of the Hanging Judge, the Sprits of the Gables and A Classic Christmas.

Hotel Search: Find the lowest prices for Salem area hotels here!

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