Friday, November 21, 2014

Theresa Takes on the Most Haunted Places in America

Close to Halloween, I posted two separate articles from different sources (Viral NovaPeople), each trying to compile the perfect, state-wide list of haunted places.  The choices made by the authors of those articles sparked a fair bit of conversation and debate over on Theresa's Haunted History's Facebook page, which inspired me to see if I could come up with my OWN Haunted America List, even better than the other two.

It was a lot tougher than I imagined!  My criteria started off simply---I wanted to choose a location for each state that anyone, no matter what his/her level of paranormal prowess, would instantly recognize as being haunted.  For several states, the choice was clear.  For other states, there were dozens of possible picks that I just had to use my best judgment on, based on how well known it was, television appearances, historical significance, and intensity of the haunting.  And then there were the states where, for the life of me, I could not think of even ONE haunted location!  States like Idaho and Utah just simply aren't known on a national level for their ghosts. However, with help from various websites, I was able to fill in the blanks and am reasonably happy with my list and I hope you are too! Grab a snack, because this is a long one.

*In the interest of brevity, I've tried to keep the information on these locations as short as possible.  If you'd like to learn more about their history and ghost stories, please click on the links I've provided.  Nearly all of these locations are open to the public, with a vast majority of them hosting ghost tours and other special events.*

Sloss Furnace, Alabama

Alabama Sloss Furnance--This steel factory, which operated from 1882 to 1971 has been featured on numerous paranormal shows for its long and violent history with the paranormal.  In 1906, a foreman named Slag allegedly fell to his death into a vat of melted iron ore, many believing it wasn't an accident.  After that, the furnace was plagued with strange accidents, missing persons, disembodied voices and the sighting of a half-man/half-demon that supposedly attacked a security guard.  Today, the location is home to a haunted house attraction, and has been investigated numerous times, with evidence seeming that the old foreman is still trying to exact his revenge.

Alaska Begich Towers of Whittier--Less than 200 residents live in the tiny town of Whittier, almost all of who live in the haunted Begich Towers.  Disembodied whistling and heavy phantom footsteps are common. The towers, which is home not only to most of the residents, but to almost all of the city government buildings, post office, doctors offices, etc., is actually the former Hodge Building, built between 1953 and 1957 for soldier housing.

Arizona Bird Cage Theater--At least 26 people have been killed in this former brothel/casino/saloon, which opened its doors in 1881. The apparitions of both cowboys and prostitutes have been seen, along with the feelings of being touched, and the disembodied sounds of laughing and yelling.

Arkansas Crescent Hotel--Known to many as America's Most Haunted Hotel, the Crescent was once used a medical facility run by the infamous Dr. Baker.  Dr. Baker himself has been seen, along with several of his patients, and even a stonemason who fell to his death while working on the construction of the original hotel in 1885.

California Winchester Mystery House--There actually aren't too many ghost stories attached to the Winchester Mansion, but it definitely earns a spot based on its history alone.  After Sarah Winchester, heir to the Winchester Rifle fortune, lost both her husband and child, she blamed the spirits of those killed by the Winchester Rifles.  To appease those spirits, she was told to construct a grand home and NEVER stop the construction.

Stanley Hotel, Colorado

Colorado Stanley Hotel--Stephen King's inspiration for The Shining, the Stanley Hotel has plenty of its OWN ghosts, including phantom piano music and sightings of the original owners. Room 217 is considered to be an especially active spot.

Connecticut Dudleytown--Dudleytown is an alleged cursed area of Cornwall, sometimes referred to as The Village of the Damned.  According to legend, the founders of Dudleytown were descendants of Edmund Dudley, who was beheaded for treason during the reign of Henry VIII, and thus cursed. Dudleytown apparently had a significant number of residents who went insane and/or committed suicide, with one claiming to have had visions of demons before her death. Today, those who dare to trespass on this wooded area have noted that the woods are abnormally quiet, and balls of light dance around the ruins of the old town. 

Delaware Fort Delaware--This old Civil War-era fort is still haunted by those who lived and died within its confines, notably a woman in period clothes who is seen in the kitchen area and has also been photographed.  Fort Delaware hosts public ghost hunts throughout the month of October.

Florida St. Augustine Lighthouse--Built in 1874, the St. Augustine Lighthouse is most famous in ghost lore for being the location where Ghost Hunters filmed an episode in which they caught the apparition of a shadowy man, believed to be the former keeper, peering down on them.  But, the sounds and apparitions of three little girls believed to have drowned nearby also have been reported.

Georgia Moon River Brewing Company--Opened to the public in 1999, the Moon River Brewing Company is housed in the old City Hotel, built in 1821 by Elazer Early. Since opening to the public, the brewery has been noted for its paranormal activity including bottles being thrown at people and a resident ghost named Tony who likes to hang out in the billiards room

Hawaii The H-3 Freeway--Although the planning for this freeway, which cuts across Oahu, began in the 1960s, it wasn't fully open to the public until the 1990s.  Built over two Hawaiin temples, many islanders were outraged at its construction, and feel the road is cursed.  Construction crews were plagued by such activity as sounds of chanting, rocks moving, and equipment sailing through the air.  Many native Hawaiins refuse to use this road.

Old Idaho Penitentiary

Idaho Old Idaho Penitentiary--Serving as a prison from 1872 to 1973, the Old Idaho Penitentiary was featured on an episode of Ghost Adventures.  Common reports include intense feelings of sadness and anxiety where the executions took place, and disembodied footsteps and voices throughout the prison.  Tours and special Halloween events are available.

Illinois  Resurrection Mary--She's the quintessential vanishing hitchhiker, haunting an area outside of Chicago, waiting for a ride back to Resurrection Cemetery.

Indiana Willard Library--Sightings of Willard's Gray Lady date back to the 1930s when a custodian first saw her.  She is still being seen today, along with various other paranormal activities.  Activity is so prevalent that the library has installed various webcams so that viewers all over the world can help investigate these claims.

Iowa Villisca Axe Murder House--A small town in Iowa was shaken to is core in 1912 as couple and their young children, plus two neighbor girls who were spending the night, were brutally attacked as they slept.  The crime was never solved and today the home is open to ghost hunts and tours, where numerous visitors have claimed contact with the murder victims.

Kansas Sallie House--Built in 1872, the Sallie House has long been known for its paranormal activity, including full bodied apparitions, poltergeist activity, and plenty of unexplained sounds.  Featured on television and in books, the home is now open to tours and paranormal investigations.

Waverly Hills, Kentucky

Kentucky Waverly Hills--This former TB hospital is often cited as being one of the most haunted locations in the country, if not in the world.  Shadow beings, a little boy, and a nurse who killed herself or just some of the ghosts you can encounter at the formidable building, which is open for tours and investigations.

Louisiana Myrtles Plantation--Stay the night at Myrtles Plantation to catch a glimpse of Chloe, a former slave, or the children she allegedly cared for.  There's also a pretty haunted mirror in the parlor where multiple witnesses claim to have caught photographic anomalies.

Maine Kennebuck Inn--Originally built as a private residence in 1799, the Inn is said to be haunted by Silas Perkins, a clerk who passed away in the mid-20th century.  He likes to make his presence known by throwing around wine glasses and other objects.

Maryland Dr. Samuel Mudd House--After shooting President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth was injured while fleeing, and sought refuge at the home of Dr. Mudd, who patched him up and let him stay there for 12 hours.  Later on, Dr. Mudd was found guilty of accessory to the assassination for aiding Booth.  Today, the home where this all occurred is haunted enough to have attracted the attention of Ghost Hunters. The team captured an EVP believed to be Dr. Mudd saying "I am Not Guilty," and investigated claims of a chair that moves on its own, the ghost of one of the Mudd children, and the apparitions of people standing around a fire outside.

Massachusetts Lizzie Borden House--Now a Bed and Breakfast, you can sleep where the famous axe murders took place, back in 1892.  Visitors have reported cold spots, apparitions, and the indentation on the bed where Mrs. Borden was killed that resembles a body lying there.

Whitney House, Michigan

Michigan The Whitney House--Now a restaurant, the old mansion was built in 1894 by lumber baron, David Whitney.  He has been spotted wearing a rather dapper tuxedo, but the most haunted area of the house is the elevator.

Minnesota Greyhound Bus Museum--In this unique museum, tools will go missing only to show up later stacked neatly in another location.  Shadows dart around the vintage buses, with the Number 9 being especially susceptible to haunted activity. The apparition of a little girl around 9 years old has also been seen and heard quite often.

Mississippi Cedar Grove Inn--The mansion pre-dates the Civil War and its first owners never seem to have left.  The man of the house prefers to make his presence known with the scent of pipe tobacco, while his wife prefers to be seen walking down the front stairs.  There is also the ghost of a little girl who died upstairs, and the souls of Civil War soldiers who stayed in the home during its use as a hospital.

Missouri  Lemp Mansion--Once home to millionaires in the brewery business, a steady decline led to the suicides of no less than 3 members of the Lemp Family.  Today, the home is open as an inn, hosting ghost tours, murder mystery events, and much more.  It is haunted by several members of the Lemp Family, including a son with Downs Syndrome who makes his presence known in the attic.

Montana Little Bighorn Battlefield--The spirits of both soldiers and American Indians have been spotted roaming the grounds where the infamous battle took the life of General Custer.  Disembodied screams and the sounds of horses have also been observed.

Nebraska Alliance Theater--The Alliance Theater began as the Charter Hotel in 1903 and became a theater in 1938.  It is home to the spirit of an actress named Mary, who was killed by a falling light fixture.  Today she makes her presence known by messing with the lights, showing up in a shadowy form, and manifesting phantom footsteps that run up and down the aisles.

Goldfield Hotel, Nevada

Nevada Goldfield Hotel--Built in 1908, the former hotel is filled with ghost stories, the most famous being that of Elizabeth.  It is believed that Elizabeth was a prostitute who found herself pregnant and chained to a radiator in one of the rooms. She was later murdered after the baby was born...or was she?

New Hampshire Spalding Inn--Established in 1926 as a spring/summer retreat for private members, this hotel was made famous when Jason and Grant from Ghost Hunters took it over in 2009. One of the most paranormally active spots in the second floor of the Carriage House, where voices, shadows, and apparitions have been noted.

New Jersey Hindenburg Crash Site--When the great zeppelin crashed on May 6, 1937 ninety-two people lost their lives.  Outside the hangar which housed what was left of the airship, witnesses have reported a variety of phantom voices screaming such phrases as:  "Away the lines; Christ be blessed, away the lines!" and "She's afire!"

New Mexico State Penitentiary--This prison had a relatively short run, operating from 1956 to 1998, but that was plenty of time for it to be labeled one of the most violent...and most haunted in the country.  Featured on Ghost Adventures and Dead Files, this prison is known for the phantom slamming of cell doors, apparitions, and other spooky happenings.

New York Rolling Hills Asylum--Not much is discussed about this location today, but several years ago it was THE go-to pay-to-play location for ghost hunters and paranormal investigators.  It began life in 1827 as a poorhouse farm and a long history of disembodied screams, shadow people, and doors slamming shut on their own has led to countless television appearances and investigations.

North Carolina The Biltmore--This palatial estate was constructed as a summer home for George Vanderbilt in the late 1800s, and many say George has never left.  His ghost has been seen in the library, and a disembodied woman's voice has been recorded whispering his name.

San Haven Sanatorium, North Dakota

North Dakota San Haven Sanatorium--Founded in 1909 as a TB hospital, San Haven would later go on to become a home for the developmentally disabled.  Apparitions have been spotted peering out from the windows, and the disembodied cries of babies have been heard.

Ohio Prospect Place--Built in the 1800s by abolitionist, G.W. Adams, this house has been featured on several television shows, and featured in several books on hauntings.  Still, its one of those places that I think is actually underrated.  Various ghostly happenings go on in the old home, including reports of a little girl who died in the home and held in the cellar until burial, a murdered slave hunter, and some creepy goings-on in an upstairs ballroom. I investigated the home several years ago and it was an awesome experience!

Oklahoma McBride House--This house, built in 1895, was recently the subject of a book on hauntings...and for good reason.  It is haunted by several ghosts, most notably that of Dr. McBride, the very particular builder of the home who is still watching over his property today.

Oregon Shanghai Tunnels--Nearly 2000 people were have believed to have been kidnapped and forced into labor using Portland's network of underground tunnels.  Today, that tunnel system is one of the country's most haunted places.  The ghost of a former prostitute named Nina is just one of the many spirits that still roam the tunnels.

Pennsylvania Eastern State Penitentiary--Billed as the world's first true penitentiary, ESP picked up a reputation for being haunted as early as the 1940s when both officers and inmates began reporting strange and unusual experiences.  Since its closure in the 1970s, the hauntings have only increased, and today, the prison has been investigated by numerous groups and has been featured on numerous television programs.

Rhode Island Belcourt Castle--Originally built as a summer cottage in the early 1890s, Belcourt Castle is now home to a haunted suit of armor that screams...and at least two haunted chairs that have been known to dump those brave enough to sit in them onto the floor.  Ghost tours are held during the summer months to accommodate the curious.

South Carolina Battery Carriage House Inn--A gentleman ghost and a headless torso are just a few of the spirits awaiting visitors in this inn, dating back to 1843. If you stay, ask for room 3, 8, or 10!

South Dakota Orpheum Theater--The first recorded sighting of resident ghost, Larry, happened in 1959 when an actor named Ray witnessed a blue, pulsing light, and then experienced a string of bad luck.  Larry was again seen in 1972 when a technical director was startled by an unknown noise that resulted in him finding an old tin-type, believed to be of Larry himself.

Sensabaugh Tunnel, Tennessee

Tennessee Sensabaugh Tunnel--There are actually two 'haunted' Sensabaugh Tunnels, one of which is closed off, and the other which is a drive-through version.  The legends surrounding the tunnel are extremely steeped in folklore, but I've added this one to the list simply because of that darn infographic that kept getting posted over and over by every paranormal group and page on Facebook.  Oh, and for the fact that the tunnel made the news when a group of kids were actually shot at by a property owner while exploring the tunnel!

Texas The Alamo--The Alamo was the site of many deaths on March 6, 1836 and those events left their mark on the old fort.  Today, visitors have seen apparitions, heard screams emanating from the walls, and experienced phantom music.

Utah Fort Douglas--Established in 1862, this former Civil War era camp and fort is now haunted by a soldier named Clem, who likes to hang out in the site's museum.

Vermont Emily's Bridge--The Gold Brook Bridge, aka Emily's Bridge is steeped in legend and folklore, but the basic story goes that a woman named Emily, who died on or near the bridge after a love went south, haunts it.  Activity is at its peak between midnight and 3:30am, when Emily has been known to scratch vehicles stopped on the bridge, make noises, etc.

Virginia Monticello--Once home to former President Thomas Jefferson, many believe its still haunted by him.  Visitors have heard whistling in the gardens, and some have even claimed to have been approached by a gentleman fitting Jefferson's description who asks them what they are doing on the property.

Washington Thornewood Castle--Although its more widely known as the home used in the exterior shots of Stephen King's Rose Red movie, Thornewood does have its own ghost stories, including sightings of both Anna and Chester Thornton, the original owners.

White House, Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. TheWhite House--Ghosts have been seen in the Presidential home since at least the days of Abraham Lincoln.  These ghosts include former presidents, first-ladies...and even a demon cat?

West Virginia WV State Penitentiary at Moundsville--Construction began on the old prison as early as 1866, and it was home to thousands of inmates over its 130 years of service. The Shadow Man, Red Snyder, and R.D. Wall are just a few of the more famous ghosts that still call the prison home today.

Wisconsin Pfister Hotel--The haunted history of the Pfister Hotel was brought to national attention a few years ago when it was widely reported that MLB players staying at the hotel were encountering the resident ghost/s on a regular basis.

Wyoming Sheridan Inn--When a long-time employee and resident of the hotel died, her cremains were interred within the wall of her favorite room.  Today, she is still said to watch over her beloved inn, making her presence known closing and opening doors, flipping lights on and off, and unexplained cold spots.

*What do you think of the list?  Is there anything you would have changed?  Let me know over on Facebook!*

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