It’s been said that 12 workers on the building that would become the City Hall in Providence, Rhode Island would die during construction. The ornate 5 story building became a fixture of the small town in 1875, overseeing the government of Providence. With a bloody beginning to its life, it’s not hard to see why the gorgeous building is reported to be the most haunted location in Rhode Island. Today, we explore the Providence City Hall and the spirits that roam the halls after all these years.
The building even predates electricity, originally set up with gas powered lights and an elevator that worked by water power from the boilers. State of the art at the time, it even employed caretakers to set the clocks and keep the building running smoothly during its days of politics and bureaucracy. Several presidents addressed their constituency from the sprawling steps of the City Hall, including Teddy Roosevelt and John F Kennedy. Before its construction, the land that would one day house the municipal building held a theater, a popular place for author readings, including Charles Dickens.
The City Hall has been whispered about by employees and visitors about a strange “feeling,” when walking the halls. Reports of cigar smoke left in offices that were closed and the sound of footsteps throughout the building. Janitorial staff refuse to go into the basement that once housed the giant boilers to heat the hall and keep the lights on. More reports tell of a full bodied apparition of a man in a stovepipe hat, that would appear walking around a corner and disappear when the witness would try to follow. Still more reports tell of papers being invisibly swept off of desks in a room with no draft.
One report even includes a very clear voice ringing out in the bathroom to say “NOT TODAY,” but no source could be found for the voice. This experience caused an employee of the City Hall to call in experts: The Ghost Hunters from syfy. The investigation revealed many EVPs captured, said to be the voices of the dead reaching out. Other ghost hunters have found visual evidence of items moving were captured and analyzed, but they were unable to verify that they weren’t due to a substantial draft in the office. The building is over 150 years old, and it’s prudent to remind everyone that old buildings sometimes have strange noises and drafty rooms from before air conditioning and electricity.
The City Hall in Providence still stands proudly in the historic district, reminding all of the city government working diligently to run the town. With a few ghosts in the halls, it’s not hard to see why this building is not only beloved and historic, but a center for ghostly activity and experiences. Will you be brave enough to explore the building? Take a tour when you visit and don’t forget to ask the employee what their ghostly experience has been in the Providence City Hall.
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Born in Death Valley and raised on the prairie, Deborah is a Wyoming-based paranormal researcher and a senior at the University of Wyoming, studying Communication. Her interests lie in folklore, history, rhetorical analysis and research. With an obvious love for ghost stories, frequently those interests combine with her work on Ghostlandia.