03/12/13

10 Haunted Places on My Travel Wish List

If I won the lottery and had no responsibilities, I’d travel the world exploring haunted locations. Unfortunately, I can’t trek the globe just yet, but I can plan ahead. Here are 11 haunted places on my travel wish list (America edition). How many have you visited?

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, KY
A favorite destination for both amateur and professional ghost hunters, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium once housed patients struck by TB. Thousands of people died at the 87-year-old facility, and legend has it a “death chute” once funneled bodies from one floor to another. According to another popular legend, a nurse committed suicide in Room 502 and haunts the hospital to this day. Update: The owners of the sanatorium are reportedly planning to turn it into a haunted hotel.

Photos of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville
This photo of Waverly Hills Sanatorium is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Spooked The Ghosts Of Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Ghost Hunters: Live From The Waverly Sanitorium

Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, LA
I’ve long had my eye on the haunted Myrtles Plantation. Billed as one of the most haunted homes in the nation, the 217-year-old plantation is famous for a ghostly mirror and a murderous slave named Chloe. Other legends involve an Indian burial ground, voodoo practitioners, and a large blood stain that never fades. The ghost of William Drew Winter, an attorney shot and killed on the property, is also said to stagger up the stairs, reliving his last minutes over and over.

Photos of Myrtles Plantation, Saint Francisville
This photo of Myrtles Plantation is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Myrtles Plantation: The True Story of America’s Most Haunted House
History & Haunting of the Myrtles Plantation

The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, MO
The Lemps made their fortune in beer, dominating the St. Louis beer market with the Lemp Brewery and Falstaff brand beer. However, depression plagued the prominent family, and three Lemps committed suicide in the family home between 1904 and 1949. A fourth Lemp shot herself in a separate residence. Today, the Lemp Mansion is a restaurant and inn, not to mention one of America’s most haunted homes. Tales of ghostly knocks, phantom footsteps, disembodied voices, and sightings of a deformed spirit in the attic are just a few of the strange events said to occur at the historic property.

Photos of Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn, Saint Louis
This photo of Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Lemp: The Haunting History
Ghosts of St. Louis: The Lemp Mansion and Other Eerie Tales

Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, MA
In 1892, someone took an axe to Andrew and Abby Borden inside their Massachusetts home. Evidence pointed to Andrew’s daughter, Lizzie, but a jury acquitted Borden of the crime, and she remained in Fall River until her death in 1927. The site of the infamous murders is now a bed and breakfast, and guests can sleep in the same room where Abby died. Strange events at the home include the sound of a woman weeping, muffled conversations in empty rooms, and an apparition in Victorian-era clothing. The Lizzie Borden House is rather tasteless with models of the victims crushed skulls, photos of the murder scene hanging on walls, and a Lizzie Borden movie playing in the parlor. But who am I kidding? I’d totally go there if given the chance.
Photos of Lizzie Borden House, Fall River
This photo of Lizzie Borden House is courtesy of TripAdvisor

History’s Mysteries – The Strange Case of Lizzie Borden (History Channel)
Biography – Lizzie Borden: A Woman Accused

West Virginia Penitentiary, Moundsville, WV
The West Virginia Penitentiary is one America’s most haunted prisons. The 137-year-old jail once housed 2,400 violent criminals, 2,000 more than builders intended, and 85 executions took place on the property. Suicides, murder, and torture were also common. According to visitors, the prison’s paranormal hot spots include the chapel, the shower cages, death row, a recreational area known as the Sugar Shack, and the site of former hangings. Ghost hunters have also spotted faces in long-abandoned cells and shadowy figures in hallways, among other things.

Photos of West Virginia Penitentiary, Moundsville
This photo of West Virginia Penitentiary is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Haunted History of the West Virginia Penitentiary: Afterlife With No Parole
Ghost Lab, Season 2, Episode 4, “Afterlife Sentence”e

The LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans, LA
Madame Delphine LaLaurie was a New Orleans socialite who had a nasty habit of torturing and murdering black slaves. However, no one knew what Delphine was up to until a fire broke out in her Royal Street mansion. When bystanders entered the home, they found mutilated slaves chained to the walls of the slave quarters. A mob stormed the house, destroying almost everything in sight, and the LaLauries fled the city, never to be seen again. Authorities later found bodies buried in the yard, including one belonging to a small child. 

Today, the mansion is off limits to the public, but many insist the building is haunted. Tales of agonized screams and moans surround the old property. Some people claim to have seen slaves staggering around the upper balcony. Though I’ve been to New Orleans twice, I was more interested in parades and cocktails than ghostly legends (what a shame). If I ever go again, I’ll be sure to stop by the LaLaurie Mansion.

Photos of Lalaurie Mansion, New Orleans
This photo of Lalaurie Mansion is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Madame Lalaurie, Mistress of the Haunted House
Mad Madame Lalaurie: New Orleans’s Most Famous Murderess Revealed

Bird Cage Theatre, Tombstone, AZ
Though I’m not usually into Old West stuff, I’d like to visit the Bird Cage Theatre. Opened in 1881, the Bird Cage was everything you could want in a den of sin: theater, brothel, saloon, and gambling parlor. It wasn’t long before the theater established a reputation as one of the wildest places in the West, and the building’s 120 bullet holes verify the rumors. The Bird Cage closed in the late 1880s, and the building was sealed up for 45 years before becoming a tourist attraction. Now, guests report hearing shouts and laughter from the stage, apparitions in Western clothing, and a ghostly man wearing a visor. Are the theater’s former patrons behind the strange events?

Photos of Birdcage Theater, Tombstone
This photo of Birdcage Theater is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Ghost Hunters, Season 3, Episode 1, “Tombstone”
Desert Honkytonk: The Story of Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theatre

Sorrel-Weed House, Savannah, GA
Completed in 1840 for wealthy shipping merchant Francis Sorrel, the Sorrel-Weed House has a long and tragic history. In 1861, Mrs. Sorrel reportedly jumped to her death from the upstairs balcony. There are also rumors of a slave who died in the estate’s carriage house, though no one is sure if the death was a suicide or murder. Whatever the story, the Sorrel-Weed House has a reputation for being one of Savannah’s most haunted buildings.

Visitors and passerby report seeing figures in the windows and disembodied voices inside the old home. TAPS investigated the house for their 2005 Halloween episode and recorded an EVP of a woman screaming for help. Other creepy events include shadows that look as if someone is being beaten and dramatic changes in temperatures. Photo anomalies are also common. I somehow missed the house when I was in Savannah last September. Next time!

haunted sorrel weed house savannah

The Sorrels of Savannah: Life on Madison Square and Beyond
Savannah Shadows: Tales from the Midnight Zombie Tour

The Grand Canyon Caverns Underground Suite, Peach Springs, AZ
Part of the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon Caverns Underground Suite is a series of caves with a reputation for paranormal activity. Visitors report mysterious shadows and the feeling of being watched. Some say the shadows belong to Indians buried in the cave, while others think they belong to the souls of lost explorers. However, I’m interested in spending the night in the Underground Suite, a makeshift room 22 stories underground. Wouldn’t it be something to see a ghost so far beneath the earth’s surface and have nowhere to run? Alas, the rate of $700 a night is a bit out of my budget.

cave hotel room

Monmouth Plantation, Natchez, MS
Ever since living in Charleston, I’ve had an interest in Southern history which is why I’d like to visit the Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, MS. Legend has it the plantation’s former owner, General John Quitman, appears in his military uniform from time to time, ensuring the property is to his liking.

Photos of Monmouth Plantation Natchez, Natchez
This photo of Monmouth Plantation Natchez is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Haunted Natchez (MS)

Know of a haunted place I should visit? Share your recommendations in the comments below!

11/10/12

Creepy Photo of the Day: Tombstone Shadow Man

shadow person picture tombstone, az

A paranormal investigation team took this photo in Tombstone, Arizona. CBS 5 reports that investigators claim the street was empty at the time of the pic, so who, or what, is in the picture?

Send your ghost pics to to ghostsghoul@gmail.com.

06/3/12

The Buford House Haunting

tombstone arizona's buford house

Despite what traditional ghost tales might suggest, not all lovesick ghosts are women. The heartbroken spirit of a scorned male reportedly haunts the historic Buford House in Tombstone, Arizona.

Located at 113 East Safford Street, the Buford House once operated as a bed and breakfast. Two sheriffs, a mayor, and a state senator have reportedly slumbered inside the home’s historic walls, as did the legendary actor John Wayne. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, though the history of the Buford House is far from pleasant.

The Tragic Tale of George Daves and Petra

Legend has it that a man named George Daves once lived at the Tombstone home, across the street from a lovely young girl named Cleopatra Edmunds, or Petra for short. George and Petra were childhood friends, but their innocent relationship eventually blossomed into something more and the two made plans to get married.

Driven by love and ambition, George toiled away in distant silver mine. The grueling work kept him away from Tombstone, and Petra, for months at a time, but George didn’t mind the temporary separation. Soon he would have enough money to marry his sweetheart and support a family. However, these happy dreams soon went up in gun smoke.

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