Yet another SouthCoast haunted location has gone viral on social media, and everyone's been tagging me in the story and posting it on my Facebook wall, asking if I'd ever heard of what is calling "Massachusetts' Most Haunted Street": Wolf Island Road in Mattapoisett.

Not only have I heard of it, I've investigated it for my radio show Spooky Southcoast, which you can listen to Saturday nights from 10 pm to midnight on WBSM (and if you're new to the program, we have live streaming video and audio and video archives on, as well as on the free Spooky Southcoast app for Android and iPhone, plug-plug).

In fact, I captured my very first example of Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, at the Ellis-Bolles Cemetery on Wolf Island Road, way back in April of 2006. For those unfamiliar, EVP is the idea that ghosts can imprint their voices on recorded media, that we won't hear with our own ears at the moment but that appear on the recording upon playback.

The radio show had only been going for a few months, and Matt Moniz had recently joined the Spooky Crew. He was pushing for Matt Costa and I to get out and do some actual paranormal investigating, and this was our first real attempt.


Here's the tale as I originally told it in my first book, Ghosts of the Southcoast:

It’s all too easy to consider a cemetery to be haunted, but think about it—if you were a ghost, wouldn’t the cemetery be the last place you’d want to hang around? It is one thing if, for reasons unknown, a spirit is somehow imprinted to the place where the physical body died. But to think a spirit would want to willingly stay where the body is laid to rest is pretty macabre, even when we’re talking about a ghost. Yet so many cemeteries and graveyards are reputedly haunted, and paranormal investigators just starting out continue to use them as their training ground. But in one Mattapoisett burial ground, the paranormal might not be so benign.

Ellis-Bolles Cemetery gets its name from the Ellis and the Bolles families that make up a majority of the plots, which date back from the early 1800s until around the 1950s. It stands in the middle of a nearly deserted and mostly dirt road called Wolf Island Road that, at night, increases the creepy factor on the way to the cemetery. The most prominent legend associated with Ellis-Bolles, like most good ghost stories, has its roots in truth. During King Philip’s War, the wooded areas of Rochester and Mattapoisett made a strategic hiding point for both sides. It’s alleged that near where the cemetery now stands, there was an ambush and the captured prisoners were subsequently hanged from the trees on Wolf Island Road. No one is exactly sure which side ended up on the business end of the noose, and the ghostly shadow figures often reported to be dangling from the branches in modern times offer no indication as to who won that particular scuffle.

Another Wolf Island Road legend has grown over the years, this one with nothing more than its continued telling to back it up. According to the tale, in the early 1970s a carload of teenagers was cruising around in a Ford Mustang and went speeding down the dirt road. At some point, the driver rammed his Mustang into a tree and everyone in the car was killed instantly.

According to the legend, if you head out onto Wolf Island Road, park your car and blink your headlights three times, off in the distance you will see another pair of headlights blink back in your direction, before you hear the loud roar of a Mustang’s engine and see the headlights speeding toward you, even though you can’t quite make out the car to which they belong. You can feel the ghostly vehicle and its occupants as it passes through your car, but by that point the only thing you’ll see are taillights fading in the distance out your back window.

Of course, this is also a common story associated with many other graveyards—I know of at least one in Massachusetts that shares a similar lore—but that doesn’t stop the locals from passing it on.

In the trips that I’ve made out to Ellis-Bolles Cemetery, there has never been a phantom Mustang and I have yet to see hanging Wampanoags or colonists in the trees, but I have acquired interesting evidence. When we began Spooky Southcoast radio in 2006, cohost Matt Costa and I decided we should check out Ellis-Bolles one night on our way into the WBSM studios. Armed with digital cameras and tape recorders, we spent about an hour poking around not long after the sun had gone down. In looking at one grave, Matt noticed strange pitting on the granite of the tombstone and pointed it out to me. I responded by saying, “That’s weird,” and on the audio tape we caught an EVP that sounded to me as if it was a voice repeating the word weird. It had a high-pitched squeak to it, almost as if it was a female voice. It is not uncommon for the voices on EVPs to repeat what the investigator has said, and often it is done so in a mocking fashion.

We sent the EVP out to different experts to have it analyzed, and what came back was very interesting. One analysis placed it outside the normal human speaking range and determined that was being said was actually something more akin to Marion or Miriam. Now, Ellis-Bolles is only a stone’s throw from Marion, so that’s one possibility. But we also went back on a return trip along with our show’s science advisor, Matt Moniz, and discovered a grave near the spot the EVP was recorded with the name Mary.

On that return trip, the two Matts were investigating a grave with a symbol on it while I was on the other side of the cemetery and we each had a recorder rolling. Matt Costa was recording on analog tape, while Matt Moniz and I each ran digital, albeit at two different settings. When Costa asked Moniz about the symbol, Moniz informed it was a Freemason symbol. Immediately after, we caught an EVP repeating the word Freemason—on all three recorders. Even more incredibly, I was standing about twenty feet away from the two Matts when it imprinted on my recorder.

Whatever may be present at Ellis-Bolles Cemetery, it definitely seems to have strength greater than that of your usual graveyard ghost.

And here is the EVP we captured. Listen and tell us what you think!

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