Profile Rock, at Freetown-Fall River State Forest

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

For my thrill-seeking trail riders, here's a spooky, haunted forest to add to your horse-adventure bucket list this Hallows' Eve. Or maybe you’ve already ridden there and can tell your own ghost story, or debunk the myths!

Freetown, Fall River State Forest

Interesting enough Fall River, Mass., was the home of the notorious Lizzie Borden.

Hotspots to visit: The Ledge and the Pet Cemetery

The trails: Freetown-Fall River State Forest has more than 50 miles of trails for everyone and looks like a beautiful place to ride. The official sites portray a normal, recreation-friendly state park, at least during the day. Muahahahaha!

The myth: This tract of land is considered sacred to the local Wampanoag Tribe. Wamsutta (which means "warm heart"), who sold the land to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is reported to not have had the backing of the tribe to do so. Wampanoag legend claims that the land was cursed for 350 years previous to the selling of the land. It is reported that the curse moved from the Native Americans to the settlers when the property was purchased by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the 1930s. From what I can tell, the Wampanoag were pretty sharp to get rid of prime cursed real estate.

The Ledge is an old granite quarry that was owned by the Fall River Granite Company. It consists of a ledge over a lagoon. Rumored to be 80-feet deep, divers have yet to reach the bottom. It is reported that people experience a sense of dread when at The Ledge. Personally, I always get a feeling of dread when standing on cliff. The Ledge has been witness to multiple suicides and cult activities. If you ask the Wampanoag, they will tell you it was the Pukwedgies.

Here is one account of a night spent in the Freetown-Fall River Forest: "I belong to a paranormal research society. I have had more than my experiences in the Freetown state forest. I have seen spirit/ shadow people, A large white wolf, and a Spirit of a little girl near the site where they found Mary Lou Arruda's body in 1978. I didn't know the history of the forest until after researching the sightings I had. I recently spent the entire night in the forest with my group. We had some people feel like they were pushed. We heard laughter in the woods. Occasionally we heard groans, breathing and screams. We walked 2.5 miles in the woods. Ending at the top of the Ledge. Many time seeing lights glowing like softball size fireflies at the top of the trees. One from our group swore she saw someone jumping from tree to tree but unverified via film. Still need to go over EVP recording and Hi 8 Video."

The Pet Cemetery: While no spooky stories have been reported, who puts a pet cemetery in the middle of a cursed forest? Seriously. Here’s an interesting tidbit: It hasn’t been used since 1984. Strangely enough, Stephen King’s Pet Semetery [sic] was published in November of 1983. Coincidence? I think not.

Have you had any spooky encounters in the woods?