Harold Parker State Forest

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Harold Parker State Forest now has 35 miles of woodsy trails and roads, ponds, swamps, forests and rocky outcroppings, but evidence of its 18th-century farming and milling operations may be seen here as well. Ruins of houses and unmarked graves can be found on the grounds. Some say that beyond the stone walls at around 3 a.m., an eerie green light and phantom footsteps prove that the place is haunted.

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Geographic Information

Harold Parker Rd
North Andover, MA
United States

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42.61267091579158, -71.09533095324878
Essex County, Massachusetts
Nearest Towns:
North Reading, MA (2.7 mi.)
Andover, MA (3.8 mi.)
Middleton, MA (4.2 mi.)
Lynnfield, MA (5.6 mi.)
Reading, MA (6.0 mi.)
Boxford, MA (6.0 mi.)
Wilmington, MA (6.1 mi.)
North Andover, MA (6.3 mi.)
Tewksbury, MA (7.1 mi.)
Lawrence, MA (7.4 mi.)


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Comments (9)

  1. I was wondering around at Harold Park last summer and I was near Berry pond where people sometimes take their dogs for a walk. I was walking down a foot path and I felt a very cold breeze go by me. It was not windy at all that day, and was bright and sunny. I came up to a bridge and when I was halfway across it I heard someone else walking behind me. I stopped and the footsteps behind me stopped. I then ran across and waited at the end of the bridge and the footsteps ran after me. Another cold breeze followed by an god awful smell of rotting food and feet. not sure how to describe this experience but it was quite clear I was not welcome there. I headed back to my car to find someone had written “Go AWAY” in sticks tied together on the hood of my car. I had figured someone was pulling a joke on me (all my friends know im a fan of the blair witch project movies) so I took a look at the sticks to see if there were normal knots tied, but the knots were not normal – they were all two half hitches and taught line knots. not many people know how to tie these knots unless theyre eagle scouts (like me) or have marine knowledge. Also, all the sticks used were of birch trees – I think I noticed about two or three of those trees within about 5 miles that I had walked. I returned to the same spot about a week later and the bridge was gone and in its place was a pile of birch sticks all tied together, again with two half hitch and taught line knots used to tie the sticks together. I decided to take a picture of the pile of tied sticks, and later had it developed. in the photo there was a dead deer laying on the ground with a birch stick in its neck. Despite the obvious hints that I was not welcome, I returned a month or so later when it was the beginning of winter. The bridge had returned, and was made of birch trees tied together. I walked around the bridge instead of over it. when I got to the other side that same god awful smell returned – it was nauseating and almost made me vomit. I looked back at the other side of the bridge and there was a deer standing on the opposite side. It looked at me and then walked away into the woods. I took a photo of the bridge made of birch and later had it developed to again show a dead deer with a stick in its neck. when I returned to my car after the third and final trip there I had four flat tires and birch bark rolled up like scrolls and tied with a taught line on my passenger seat. my car was locked and armed. no windows were broken or signs of forced entry. the interior of my car also smelled like death for the rest of the week. now every time I drive by Berry Pond something strange happens with my car; the headlights turn on/off, the horn beeps uncontrollably, or my car even stalls for no reason.

    • I have walked frequently in Harold Parker for more than 20 years. It is a real treasure with much to see and explore. The park employees do an excellent job of maintaining trails and bridges, well as clearing fallen trees that block trails. Harold Parker is an excellent family adventure!

  2. Was there a boys camp formerly in this park, with building that were still standing in 1978 that might have been used for rentals? I had a very scary experience in the Boxford area, which at the time I was told was a former camp, but do not know where exactly it was. There were 2 two-story buildings, an out-building and a very high tree fort that would have been amazing if the environment had not been so terrifying. Any information on this?

  3. my fiancé, myself and my two girl friends were driving around North Andover, when my fiancé mentioned Harold Parker State Forest and I agreed because of how creepy the road was to show my two friends. We drove around there for about 5-10 minutes and when we finally got out of there, our windows were condensed (due to the heat and the 4 of us in the car). My friend, Liz, pulled out her flashlight and goes “hey guys look it looks like a baby’s feet” and we all laughed. Then I decided to look at my window and noticed a shape looking like a baby’s feet as well. And when I did that, my friend, Tina, looked at her window, and yet another baby’s feet on her window. My fiancé, Joe, looked at his window, and nothing. I don’t know how to explain this… none of us have children and my friend, Liz, definitely didn’t have any kids near or around her car at all.

  4. I grew up going to Harold Parker every summer, it was the best place in the world to get away from civilization.
    There was the summer of 96 at 1:30a.m. on a Sat morning. Me and 3 good friends were hanging out in the woods on the opposite side of the the lake, not the side with the bridge… Smoking a L and chillin, we heard footsteps but saw nothing around us.. We were all sitting down on logs we found in a circle in the woods. Every time one of looked around the foot steps would stop. At some point a man appeared from out of no where and one of my friends noticed him first, we all looked and he started running away and eventually vanished into thin air…. It was wild, but freaky at the same time… I was 14 around that time and yes I smoked pot, I started at 12 and a half.

  5. I can personally attest to the Green light in Harold Parker State Forest. I was camping there many years ago.. on site #77. (right across from the bathrooms, right on the pond). It was pretty early in the morning, because it was pitch black out and quiet. I got up to go to the bathroom and as I exited my tent in the field near the bathrooms, I saw a bright green light accompanied by a mi. Not like from a flashlight or a lantern. This reminded me of like an Aurora Borealis type light anomaly. It was so bright.. I’m sure other folks saw it.. tho no one talked about it. I went to the bathroom and came back out, it was still there. I went back into the tent and awoke the next morning and the green light and mist was gone. I’m a paranormal investigator, and it took all of me to not go over to the field and investigate! But I thought that me screaming in the middle of the night, would be frowned upon, should anything have happened to me.

  6. Just last week I was driving in Andover doing Instacart and for some reason my GPS brought me down a road that led to this park. I am not familiar with this area, so I did not realize that this road would turn into a dead end that led right into a steel cattle gate. There were no signs and it was pitch black. Well as I was driving down this road, it was almost as if this gate came out of absolutely no where. I tried to brake, but my brakes completely failed. I crashed into the gate, hard. I was then stranded in the middle of this area with no reception on my phone. I tried walking down the street, hoping to find someone who could help me but there was no one. It was definitely a creepy vibe and I am so glad that I didn’t know it was haunted until now because I think I would’ve had a heart attack. Anyway. A police officer ended up finding me and helping me. My car is totaled but I am grateful to be alive. This is the first car accident I have ever been in, as I am a very cautious driver. The whole situation was just a little eerie, and I’m wondering if maybe something supernatural was trying to hurt me.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.