The 13th Floor

America has a Stonehenge, and It’s in New Hampshire!

Salem, New Hampshire is a small Main Street community located in the south-east corner of the state, right on the border of Massachusetts. Its location makes it a bedroom community for Boston. The town also has the distinction of being a pivotal plot point for the 1973 Robert Redford / Paul Newman film THE STING, which gives mention to its Rockingham Park Race Track.

In the small town of Salem, there’s a strange marvel that people from all around the world flock to see. No one knows much about its origin. There are many theories, but folks who believe in a New Age way of thinking say it has powers far beyond our comprehension. You see Salem, New Hampshire shares something with another small town in Wiltshire, England. Both towns have their very own Stonehenge, and this series of large stacked rocks scattered over 105 acres is one of New England’s biggest mysteries.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The American Stonehenge is a maze of structures and man-made chambers. The site contains caves and what are suspected to be giant stone meeting chambers for an unknown ancient civilization. Known to many as Mystery Hill, the site contains thirteen stone chambers as well as several enclosures and pathways all laid out in large flat gray stone. The site also incorporates natural caves as well as springs. As for the reason for its existence or who built the structure, that part still remains unknown.

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The structure first made its first historical appearance in 1907 in the publication THE HISTORY OF SALEM, N.H. In the book, the area is described as “a beautiful spot, among rough boulders and soft pines, about which the most weird and fantastic tale might be woven.” The history of the site before this time remains a mystery. Some believe it is proof that Irish monks settled the region long before any recorded European settlement.

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Although, mostly clouded in speculation, there are a few strange things about this site that bare further examination. For instance, there’s a large stone some have dubbed the “sacrificial stone” which is a large flat bolder which is big enough for a man to lay flat upon. The “sacrificial stone” contains groves around it that many believe were used to drain blood from victims. However, more recent theories have stated that the same time of device could be used by soap makers to extract lye from wood ash. As to the age of the site, carbon dating place some of the structures back to 2000 BC, meaning portions of the structure were in use by the Native American tribes when Europe would have been in the late Bronze Age. Further evidence of early Native American use was found when an excavation of the site found shards for rock indicative of tool manufacturing. Of course, this is bad news for those who still believe Irish Monks inhabited the region since no artifacts from the European Bronze Age were ever recovered here.

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That fact hasn’t stopped the speculation and wonder at this ancient American marvel. Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is said to have often visited the site, and it is even said to be the inspiration behind “The Dunwich Horror”. The location even got a mention in an X-Files episode entitled “Die Hand Die Verletzt”, an episode in which Mulder and Scully are called to investigate an occult murder in rural New Hampshire.

To visit The American Stonehenge, check out the location’s website here and book your trip.