Author: Peter Muise

  • Bizarre Boston: Raising Hell at Harvard

    Bizarre Boston: Raising Hell at Harvard

    When I think about college students raising hell, I picture kegs of beer, red plastic Solo cups and loud music. Oh, and maybe a beer funnel or two. In my mind, the phrase “raising hell” is just a metaphor for having a wild time. However, maybe it’s not always just a metaphor. For some Harvard […]

  • Bizarre Boston: Ghosts of the Parker House Hotel

    Bizarre Boston: Ghosts of the Parker House Hotel

    Boston is an old city, and old places tend to have a lot of ghosts—or at least a lot of ghost stories, if you don’t believe in the supernatural. Given our city’s age, it shouldn’t be a surprise that paranormal investigators think we have lots of ghosts here. Haunted theaters, haunted dorms, haunted bars and, […]

  • BIZARRE BOSTON: The Secret North End Tunnels

    BIZARRE BOSTON: The Secret North End Tunnels

    In H.P. Lovecraft’s classic 1927 horror story Pickman’s Model, the sinister painter Charles Pickman brings one of his fans to his North End basement studio. The basement has an old well in the middle, which connects to a network of tunnels. Pickman says: “Look here, do you know the whole North End once had a […]

  • BIZARRE BOSTON: Nix’s Mate: Pirates, ghosts and erosion

    BIZARRE BOSTON: Nix’s Mate: Pirates, ghosts and erosion

    Dozens of islands dot Boston Harbor and like the city itself they are full of strange legends and unusual histories. The smallest of the Harbor Islands is Nix’s Mate (sometimes also spelled Nixes Mate). It’s so small you might sail right by without noticing it. It consists mainly of a black and white beacon (about […]

  • BIZARRE BOSTON: Ann Hibbins, Boston’s wealthy witch

    BIZARRE BOSTON: Ann Hibbins, Boston’s wealthy witch

    While the Salem witch trials of 1692 are the most famous witch trials to have occurred in colonial New England, people were tried and executed for witchcraft in other cities and at other times as well. Several women were unfortunately executed right here in Boston. Usually people accused of witchcraft were poor and socially marginal, […]

  • BIZARRE BOSTON: Phantom airships over Boston

    BIZARRE BOSTON: Phantom airships over Boston

    People have been seeing strange things in the skies for thousands of years. The Biblical prophets saw angels and mysterious wheels. In the Middle Ages, Europeans saw phantom armies and demons, and since the 1940s, people around the world have seen flying saucers and other strange machines. Strange phenomena have been seen hovering over Boston […]

  • BIZARRE BOSTON: Shocking death of James Otis, Jr.

    BIZARRE BOSTON: Shocking death of James Otis, Jr.

    Here’s a morbid question. Do you want to choose the way you die? Personally, I don’t think I want to. James Otis, Jr. (1725–1783), an important figure in the American Revolution, definitely did. And he exited this mortal life in his preferred way, even though it was a rare and dramatic one. Otis was born […]

  • BIZARRE BOSTON: Who Is buried In John Hancock's Grave?

    BIZARRE BOSTON: Who Is buried In John Hancock's Grave?

    Boston’s history is full of Revolutionary War heroes. Sam Adams and Paul Revere both lived here and their graves in the Old Granary Burying Ground on Tremont Street are popular tourist attractions. John Hancock, who is best known for his elaborate signature on the Declaration of Independence, also rests in the Old Granary. Or, at […]