Ghostly Encounters

Perhaps those flickering lights and bumps in the night are just random occurrences … or maybe not. Some spots in Hingham just feel spooky.

Photography by Derrick Zellmann

Haunted Hingham_DZP_North Street-6207 North Main Street

Built more than 300 years ago, the stately house at 207 Main Street is one of the oldest in Hingham and has seen its fair share of owners—most notably, a succession of various members of the Lincoln family (ancestors of Abraham Lincoln).

When current owners Carolyn and Mark Loughlin purchased the house in 1997, they were aware that their new home was once host to people integral to Hingham’s past. What they did not realize, however, is that one or two of them may have chosen to stick around!

That all changed the day an old, yellowed newspaper clipping mysteriously appeared on their front porch. Whoever placed it there must have wanted the couple to know about the ghostly encounters said to have taken place in their home.

“As the story goes,” says Ms. Loughlin, “a certain Solomon Hobart, drunk on grog, threw himself into our fireplace and burned to death. The former owners believed that Solomon could be the one haunting the house.”

As far as the Loughlins are concerned, if there is a ghost, he is a friendly one, and has caused them no trouble except for the timer on the outdoor lantern, which goes off at random moments.

“We have replaced that timer several times, but it never seems to work,” says Loughlin. “I always say: ‘That’s Solomon Hobart, because there is no mechanical reason for it!’” —Laura DeSisto


Scarlet Oak Tavern

Historically known as the Daniel Whiton House, Haunted Hingham_Scarlet Oak_DZP-4the iconic Queen Anne’s Corner eatery Scarlet Oak Tavern is rumored to have been the scene of ghostly activity since its formative years as the Country Fare Restaurant and Whiton House Restaurant.

At least one spirit still lingers on the property, claims Scarlet Oak’s director of human resources and former manager Laura Ferry, including that of a little girl named Sarah who reportedly died in a fire. Sarah’s presence was first noticed during renovations of the old property in 2008, when two child-sized footprints mysteriously appeared on the exposed beam ceiling above the tavern’s newly built pizza oven. Today they remain a chilling attraction to those visiting the restaurant.

Haunted Hingham_Scarlet Oak_DZP-5 Haunted Hingham_Scarlet Oak_DZP-6

“Lots of the stories have come from the guests and servers,” Ferry says, explaining that the most common reports include wine bottles randomly popping off the shelves of the wine wall, furniture moving by itself and mysterious tiny handprints appearing on various window panes. Ferry remembers several years ago a regular guest, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant, telling his server that he could see a little girl dressed in a Colonial-era poet’s collar and pigtails roaming among the staff. She’s even had her own ghostly encounters, including once in the basement while fetching wine for the bar. “As I was coming up the stairs, I heard this distinct, loud whistle—like someone calling me. I stopped, walked back down a couple steps to look and nobody was there.” —Colby Radomski

Haunted Harbor?

Could spirits be lingering around Hingham Harbor? One story that’s captivated our attention is the tale of Sarah Derby (1714-1790), the founder of Derby Academy and daughter of prominent Hingham fisherman John Langley. In her book “South Shore Town,” Newbury Award-winning author and former Hingham resident Elizabeth Coatsworth references Derby’s ghost, “seen as a young girl in an old bodice and torn skirt, rowing into the lea of Ragged Island on a brisk northwesterly day, with the waves slapping long the dory’s sides and the clouds streaming over the crest of Weary-All Hill.”

 

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