Boston’s spookiest spots 😱

Plus: The award for best costume goes to …

 It's Monday, Boston. 

🎃 Happy Halloween! The MBTA may be failing us this year, but it delivered on the costume front this weekend. Stick around ‘til the end to see what I mean. 

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • The state will send eligible taxpayers a refund soon 

  • Buying a house in Boston just got … a little easier?

  • Low-key Halloween plans for a Monday night

Up first…


Boston's spookiest spots

Illustration: Katie Cole

This city isn’t short on things that’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up: The rent. The lack of a proper Happy Hour. But what about … the ghosts? 

There’s a lot of dead people wrapped up in Boston’s nearly 400 years as a city, so if you’re looking to get spooked this Halloween, make sure to pay these haunted spots a visit.

The Omni Parker House

If a hotel has been around for more than 160 years, there’s a good chance there’s been a ghost sighting, and The Omni Parker House hotel in downtown Boston has enough to go around. Some guests claim to have seen the ghost of Harvey Parker, the hotel’s founder, wandering the 10th floor. And don’t forget about the elevators that are called to the third floor without a button being pushed — that’s allegedly the doing of the ghost of Charles Dickens, a previous third floor occupant.

Boston University’s Kilachand Hall

This dorm used to be a luxury apartment building that housed some of Boston’s elite, one of them being Nobel- and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill. He lived in room 401 and died in his sleep in 1953. Ever since BU bought the building in 1954 and converted it into a dorm, students have reported flickering lights, doors opening and shutting, and knocks on doors with no one there. Hard pass from me.

The Boston Common Hanging Tree 

There’s a small plaque near the Frog Pond commemorating “The Great Elm” tree where the Sons of Liberty once assembled. But the plaque fails to mention that this tree was also the site of many public hangings. Although a windstorm knocked down the tree in 1876, some visitors have reported apparitions hanging from trees in the Common and the sound of a rope creaking from a branch. Yet another reason we’re excited about the Boston Common transformation plan.


Quick & Dirty Headlines

Photo: Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe, Illustration: Katie Cole

🤑 Eligible Mass. taxpayers will see nearly $3 billion in refunds as early as tomorrow, thanks to an obscure law limiting how much money the state can keep in its coffers. If you’re eligible, you’ll get back roughly 14% of what you paid in personal state income tax liability in 2021. If you see “MASTTAXRFD” posted in your bank account, that’s your refund. If you get a check, you’ll see a few sentences on the check explaining why you’re getting it. Pull out last year’s tax return to see how much you’ll get back here

🏠 Closing on a house in Mass. just got *slightly* easier for some buyers. The new MassDREAMS program will offer some first-time homebuyers up to $50,000 to help with a down payment and closing costs. The catch? You have to buy in one of 29 communities that were hit hard by the pandemic: Boston, Framingham, Quincy, Worcester, to name a few. You can get up to $50,000 in assistance if you earn up to 100% of the area’s median income and up to $35,000 if you earn between 100.01% and 135% of the area’s median income. See if you qualify here.

❄️ Winter outdoor dining is near. Here are some of the best spots. Eater Boston compiled a guide to some of Boston’s best heated patios, igloos and yurts (yes, yurts). You can spend an evening sharing Spanish tapas at Toro around a fire pit, or splurge on a private, heated yurt at The Bowery Bar. The yurts start at $100 depending on when you go and can accommodate up to eight people ($12.50 a person if eight of you split).


A low-key Halloween night

Gif: Regal Movies via Giphy

🎥 Watch Halloween on Halloween at the Coolidge Corner Theater. Tickets are $15.50. Movie starts TONIGHT at 7 p.m.

🎃 Take a stroll through Back Bay to see some spook-tacular Halloween decorations (and adorable trick-or-treaters). The corner of Dartmouth Street, Commonwealth Avenue, Marlborough Street, and Clarendon Street are some of the best spots. 

🍎 Make your own treats with this Apple Crunch recipe by Jasper White, the head chef and owner of Summer Shack. The king of seafood can also make a mean dessert. 

🌯 Get a $6 entrée at Chipotle as part of their “Boorito'' deal. All you have to do is be a Chipotle Rewards member and show up in your Halloween costume | Offer only valid today from 3 p.m. until the store closes.

🧙‍♀️ Stay in and stream Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+. See if you can spot all the Massachusetts filming locales in the first movie (the second one was mostly shot in Rhode Island).


The award for best costume goes to ...

Photos: u/dawnofthethread, u/Orange_Prius, u/somethintotacobout, Gif: Katie Cole

These people who dressed up as the Orange Line on fire. Bonus points to the costume partner who dressed as the passenger who jumped off the bridge into the Mystic River. You did not miss a detail.

Really glad we’ve graduated from the predictable Boston sports fan costume to dressing as our crumbling transit system.

✍️ Thanks for reading! In honor of the Boston Book Festival this past weekend, we asked our IG followers to share a Boston memoir in six words. This one from @jillybeansoup was our favorite: “Came to start over. Never leaving.” We’re really glad you're here.

💃 For more hot takes and late night thoughts, follow me on Twitter and IG @emilyschario. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected].