The Joshua Ward House: Haunted Residence

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 19 January 2024
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Joshua Ward, famous for his thriving maritime business in the late 18th century, left behind more than just a legacy of trade in Salem, Massachusetts. His residence, the Joshua Ward House, stands today as a monument to a bygone era, and perhaps, to something more spectral. This historic house, now etched into the fabric of Salem’s rich and haunting history, has garnered a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the city.

Built on the foundation of a former sheriff’s dwelling, infamous for his role in the Salem Witch Trials, the Joshua Ward House is a nexus of unexplained phenomena and ghostly encounters. From visions of a ‘woman in black’ to inexplicable occurrences, the house seems to echo with the whispers of its troubled past. Join us as we delve into the mysterious allure of the Joshua Ward House, where each creaking floorboard and flickering shadow might just reveal a hidden chapter in Salem’s eerie history.


The Joshua Ward House
The Joshua Ward House | Credit: bromco

The Joshua Ward House, located in Salem, Massachusetts, holds a rich history that dates back to the 1780s. Originally known as the “Ward House,” it was built by Joshua Ward, a wealthy merchant and shipowner. The imposing three-story mansion with its elegant Georgian architecture served as a prominent residence during its early years.

Joshua Ward, a successful businessman and influential figure in Salem, was also known for his involvement in the Salem Witch Trials as the sheriff. He played a controversial role in apprehending and prosecuting accused witches during the dark period of hysteria and fear. Some locals believe that the spirits of those unjustly accused now haunt the house, seeking retribution for their tragic fate.

Over the years, the house changed hands and underwent several renovations. It was later transformed into a commercial property, serving as a hotel, a restaurant, and even a funeral parlor. The varied uses and long history of the Joshua Ward House have contributed to its reputation as a site of ghostly encounters and paranormal activity.

Today, the Joshua Ward House is a prominent landmark in Salem, drawing visitors intrigued by its haunted past and historical significance. As the stories of its legends and ghostly encounters continue to capture the imagination, the Joshua Ward House remains a fascinating destination for those interested in delving into Salem’s bewitching past.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

The Joshua Ward House in Salem, Massachusetts holds a dark history of paranormal and tragic events that continue to captivate the imagination. Here are some notable occurrences that have contributed to the house’s chilling reputation:

The Joshua Ward House
The Joshua Ward House | Credit: starbrunks

The Sinister Specter – George Corwin

Step into the haunting realm of The Joshua Ward House, where the malevolent shadow of George Corwin looms large. As High Sheriff of Salem during the infamous Salem Witch Trials, he wielded his power with chilling cruelty.

With nepotism paving his path, Corwin played a damning role in the trials, relishing in the torture of accused witches. Among his victims were Sarah Good and Rebecca Nurse, whose lives he callously snuffed out.

As Sarah Good faced her accusers, her last words cut through the courtroom: “You are a liar. I am no more witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life God will give you blood to drink.”

But her plea fell on deaf ears, and Corwin tightened the noose. Even beyond the gallows, Corwin’s dark deeds continued. Rumors swirl of him luring the accused to his home, subjecting them to unspeakable horrors in his basement.

Read Also: Pickman House

The Haunting of The Strangler

Step into the eerie world of Joshua Ward House, where the chilling ghost of High Sheriff George Corwin still roams, a dark legend from the Salem Witch Trials. This very land was once his domain, and his haunting presence lingers, fueled by tales of vengeance.

On April 12, 1696, Corwin’s life met a mysterious end. While medical records suggest a heart attack, eerie rumors persist about his fate. His involvement in the trials, including the notorious arrest of Mary English, left a lasting mark on Salem’s history.

Local lore speaks of Corwin’s family burying him in the basement, fearing revenge. Others claim Philip English stole his body, seeking retribution. Yet, the truth reveals a less thrilling reality – he was interred in the family tomb on the land. But the second floor holds chilling encounters. Visitors report a terrifying choking sensation, as if Corwin’s vengeful spirit still seeks to “interrogate” his victims.

Giles Corey’s Execution

Enter the chilling realm of Joshua Ward House, where the ghostly specter of George Corwin lingers, a dark legend from the Salem Witch Trials. As High Sheriff, his sadistic methods earned him a reputation as a heartless murderer.

Allegedly reveling in torture, Corwin’s favorite method involved tying victims from neck to ankles, extracting confessions until blood streamed from their nose.

Giles Corey, a victim of his cruelty, defied till the end. Refusing to confess, he faced the brutal “pressing under heavy weights,” defiantly uttering “More weight!” until his last breath. Beyond the grave, Corwin’s malevolence endures. Visitors claim his vengeful spirit roams Joshua Ward House, a haunting reminder of his vile legacy.

The Vengeful Spirit of Giles Corey

At Joshua Ward House, one name stands out in the realm of hauntings – Giles Corey. Employees blame his spirit for the paranormal occurrences they face daily.

From chilled air in heated rooms to objects mysteriously falling, the haunting is typical, but one eerie twist sets it apart. Unlit candles melting into a distinct “S” shape, a sign from warlock Giles Corey seeking retribution from Sheriff George Corwin for his brutal demise.

Unlock the chilling connection between Corey and Joshua Ward House, and confront the vengeful spirit that continues to leave its mark. Enter the haunting legend and brace yourself for a spine-tingling encounter at this historic estate.

Spirit of a Witch

Joshua Ward House holds a bone-chilling secret – the frequent sightings of a female apparition on its upper floor. But it was a single eerie photograph that catapulted her to international fame.

At a bustling holiday party hosted by Carlson Realty in the 1980s, a Polaroid snap captured the unexpected – a dark-haired figure with ghostly features and translucent skin. Published in Robert Cahill’s Ghostly Haunts, this image gripped headlines, sparking curiosity worldwide. More reports of the same spectral figure on the second floor deepened the mystery, hinting at a connection to the witches George Corwin once imprisoned and possibly killed.

Men visiting the house bear the brunt of her vengeful activity, leaving with mysterious chest scratches and an eerie sense of being watched. Could this be the revenge of a “witch” condemned to death by Corwin’s biased trial?

Unravel the enigmatic tale of the female spirit at Joshua Ward House, forever linked to the haunting legacy of the Salem Witch Trials. Dare to confront her spectral presence and uncover the chilling truth behind this captivating legend.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

The Joshua Ward House in Salem, Massachusetts, holds a special place in the lore of this city known for its witch trials. The home’s chilling history and its reported hauntings have had a significant influence on pop culture and media.

The Ward House earned a place on the television screen in the show “Ghost Adventures.” The paranormal investigators visited the home and reported various unexplained experiences, further cementing its reputation as a haunted location.

Today, the Joshua Ward House continues to pique the curiosity of paranormal enthusiasts and tourists alike. Its historical significance coupled with the chilling tales of hauntings keeps it firmly entrenched in pop culture, underscoring our enduring fascination with the supernatural.

How can I visit the Joshua Ward House?

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Salem’s mysterious past with our knowledgeable tour guide at the helm. Your adventure begins at the historic Salem Old Town Hall, setting the stage for a night of spine-tingling tales and paranormal encounters. From there, traverse the eerie streets, each location more haunted than the last, as you explore 8-12 different sites that have witnessed centuries of Salem’s intriguing history.

The tour takes a chilling turn as you step into the hallowed grounds of the Old Burying Point Cemetery, a meticulously preserved burial site dating back to 1637. Here, the final resting places of prominent pilgrims and town officials unveil stories that have long been shrouded in mystery. Your guide weaves together the threads of history, revealing the true stories behind each site, creating a connection between the past and present that is both palpable and haunting.

As the night unfolds, the tour leads you to the iconic Joshua Ward House, adding another layer to Salem’s ghostly tapestry. Discover the secrets held within the walls of this historic mansion and hear tales of the unexplained that have occurred within its confines. The Joshua Ward House, with its rich history and enigmatic ambiance, becomes a focal point for supernatural encounters, allowing visitors to feel the weight of the past in every creak and corner.

What sets this tour apart is the immersive experience of hearing these tales at the very sites where they unfolded. It’s an atmospheric journey that transcends the pages of history, offering a unique and spine-chilling perspective on Salem’s haunted legacy. Discover the origins of Salem’s reputation as a hub for supernatural phenomena, with insights into the city’s rich history and the preservation of its oldest structures, including the renowned Witch House.


The Joshua Ward House in Salem, Massachusetts, stands as a testament to the city’s haunting history. With its connections to the Salem Witch Trials and the curse of Giles Corey, the house invites visitors to delve into the mysterious and supernatural.

As the echoes of the past resonate within its walls, the Ward House continues to captivate the imagination and stir the curiosity of those seeking an encounter with the paranormal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Where is the Joshua Ward House located?

The Joshua Ward House is located in the historic city of Salem, Massachusetts.

Q2: Who was Giles Corey?

Giles Corey was an elderly man accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. He was pressed to death on the site where the Joshua Ward House now stands.

Q3: What paranormal activity has been reported at the Ward House?

Visitors have reported witnessing apparitions, hearing unexplained noises, experiencing sudden temperature changes, and feeling a sense of unease while inside the Joshua Ward House.

Q4: Can visitors take guided tours of the Joshua Ward House?

Yes, the Joshua Ward House is open to the public for guided tours, allowing visitors to explore its historical significance and learn about its paranormal encounters.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Congress Plaza Hotel

Previous Post

The Congress Plaza Hotel: Supernatural Landmark

Next Post

Heceta Head Lighthouse: Haunting Spirits

Heceta Head Lighthouse