Haunted Nightclubs: Dancing with the Dead
Can nightclubs be haunted?
Nightclubs are for the young...for the wild and rebellious to dance the night away and maybe pick someone up along the way. At least this has been the ubiquitous definition of a nightclub since they were first established; however, it is not just the young (or the living) occupying these clubs. Throughout the past twenty years, there has been sighting upon sighting and multiple experiences of the paranormal in haunted nightclubs all over the United States. Oddly, many of the entities in these haunted nightclubs seem to be either angry or deathly upset about something...maybe they can't stand the loud music and annoying young adults...or maybe they are destined to party for eternity.
Haunted Nightclubs: Masquerade
Masquerade nightclub is a haunted nightclub nestled in the heart of the south...Atlanta, Georgia. This eccentric goth-rock club is known by many rockers and gothic persons residing in the peach state's beloved capital, more specifically for the décor and theme of the nightclub. Heaven and Hell...the first and second levels of the haunted nightclub feature bands and DJs, with the first floor of "hell" being the dance club portion of the venue. When people want to take a break from the loud bands or the DJs' blaring music, they can head out to the side-bar area known as "Purgatory" (pictured to the right). The haunted nightclub draws a mixed crowd of young teens and even some older goth folks. More recently, the Masquerade has become the talk of the town for other reasons besides the show-casings of local and regional musical talents...it has came to be known as a haunted nightclub.
With a gothic décor similar to a Medieval castle, it is no wonder the Masquerade is home to paranormal phenomena. It is said that a ghost haunts the premises...the dark image of a black man who seems to enjoy hanging out in Heaven, between the area of the stage and restrooms. He has been seen by employees and customers alike. Weird goings-on include turned upside-down amplifiers on a nightly basis, strange noises, and cold spots. One particularly creepy occurrence around the year 2002 was that the staircase had just been inspected and collapsed not long after it passed inspection. No one was killed but it is eerie, nonetheless. Is this spirit that haunts the gothic haunted nightclub a friendly spirit or evil? Or maybe just mischievous? In addition to the mysterious black man, there has been female screams heard by employees, which have been presumed to be those of young women who were tragically killed in this haunted nightclub when it was still a mill.
Ironically, this once turn-of-the-century Atlantean mill is not haunted by just your typical run-of-the-mill ghosts...it is haunted by something else altogether! As of late, a vampire has been spotted at the Masquerade, stalking the property at night...waiting to find his next young and delicious victim. Many of this haunted nightclub's attendees have noticed this being in and around the Masquerade's walls. Some claim that this is just a heist by the club to gain more clientele, while others swear it to be true. Is it possible that the black man ghost is this "vampire" in disguise? Or is it the other way around? Either way, watch your back...and your neck when you step into this dark club!
Haunted Nightclubs: The Castle
The Castle is another gothic haunted nightclub located in historic Ybor City, one of the oldest parts of the city of Tampa, Florida. I, myself, have been to The Castle on numerous occasions, although I am a bit older now and have grown out of the club scene. The Castle was originally an old cigar manufacturing plant, one of many that made up the meat of Ybor City in the late 1800s to the days of the Great Depression. When you first walk into The Castle, you will show your ID and pay the fee as with any normal club, while doing so you will notice heavy chandeliers above you, with a bar to the right and a bar to the left. Straight in front is a dark, decrepit looking staircase that leads you up to the second level. I always enjoyed the second level the most, as this is where the large dance-floor is located, as well as what the haunted nightclub goers call the "Red Room" (a small blood-red room with convenient bar). You will see the most strange individuals in this haunted nightclub, including a man named "The Senator" who wears female lingerie and heels and also characters dressed up as Peter Pan and Batman. Drag queens and out-of-this-world freaks occupy the nightclub on a weekly basis...and usually do not bother you unless you are bother them.
With The Castle being world-famous for its envelope-pushing parties and wild events, it is also becoming known for a particular ghost known as Rex. Rex is a very tall man with long hair and knee-high black boots that frequents The Castle's atmosphere. Normally he keeps to himself and no one has quite had a long conversation with the man...he is sort of an enigma at this point. How the ghost rumors began is due to a particular experience of a young woman who happened to attempt a conversation with Rex. He led her outside, in a very romantic and alluring way, and when she began to feel frightened by his eerie ways, she looked away for a split second and looked back...and he was gone! The outside part of The Castle is fenced in and one must go through the club in order to leave...and the weirdest part was that no one noticed Rex leave that night. Truthfully, none of the doorkeepers at The Castle even remember taking Rex's identification or money from him...ever! It is speculated by many that Rex is a ghost, haunting The Castle's ominous gothic environment. Still others claim that Rex is indefinitely a vampire...possibly waiting for a willing victim to open up to him. This would not be too far-fetched, as many of the club-goers believe themselves to be vampires or volunteer blood to these so-called "vampires".
Ybor City is one of Florida's national historic landmarks and full of spooks and with The Castle having an old historic building as its location, the customers and employees of The Castle are bound to see some sort of paranormal activity! Could it be possible that the evil that possibly circulates within the walls of this building has created its own physicality of sinister energy, in the form of a tall, looming vampire spirit? Anything is possible at The Castle, trust me...I know.
Haunted Nightclubs: Lake Club
The Lake Club was located in Springfield, Illinois and has been featured on a Discovery television shown known as "A Haunting." This story I found to be particularly frightening, as it involves premonitions and sightings that go beyond the blasé cold spots or floating orbs. The club was first established in the 1940s, in an old two story building that had served other business purposes including being a movie theater and skating rink. In the 40s, many famous singers and performers played their tunes at the Lake Club, notably Ella Fitzgerald and even Nat King Cole made appearances. The locally famous club unfortunately shut down in the 50's and didn't open its doors to the public again until 1974. The grand re-opening of the majestic Lake Club would throw the resting spirits into an upheaval and begin a paranormal journey, so to speak, for the new owners and employees of the club.
The newest owner of the Lake Club experienced some frightening noises throughout the old Springfield building...a piano playing on its own, moans, and other strange ghostly sounds. Tricks began to be played on the employees, especially the manager of the club. Items were moved, tablecloths were repeatedly knocked off of tables and onto the floor. That same year, the paranormal activity took a hair-raising and fatal turn. A waitress who was very close with the manager and owner of the club claimed that a floating head had warned her that someone in the club would die within a couple of weeks. Two weeks later...a co-owner of the club passed away at the age of 69. The new owner and employees were quite shaken by the whole occurrence and wanted to rid the club of its psychic, foreboding spirit. As a note on this case, the spirit that haunted the club was given the name "Rudy". Apparently a previous employee of the club in the 1950s named "Rudy" had committed suicide in one of the club's rooms. Everyone believed that this was the main ghost who was haunting their beloved nightclub.
The activity ceased to continue immediately after three Catholic priests blessed each room of the club...but weirdly enough, the club caught fire almost twenty years later...in 1992...and the police and firemen believed it was a case of arson. Could it have been that remaining spirits had finally left the building, taking the remains of their nightclub coffin with them? Or maybe someone set fire to the building in hopes of engulfing whatever evil was left in a heap of hellfire flames?
Haunted Nightclubs: Club Congress
Tucson. A dry, yet majestic piece of established desert, located in the south of the beautiful state of Arizona. Also home to a very well-known and well-liked nightclub known as Club Congress. One can find reviews of this haunted nightclub all over the internet, most of which involve the description of the club as an "indescribable experience". The vibe combined with the décor of the club and connected Hotel Congress is difficult to beat. The history of this hotel/club is an intriguing history, filled to the brim with stories of John Dillinger's hide-outs at the hotel and...you guessed it...ghosts!
One particular room of the hotel hosts the spirit of a man who died by cardiac arrest. The Tucson mythbusters contacted this hotel and nightclub just recently to validate some of the myths of hauntings that circulate the city of Tucson and discovered that the manager knew nothing about a man dying of a heart attack in the building; however, he did tell the crew an even creepier story about a young, sad woman who shot herself in room 242. This is a room that has been known to host serious cold spots, as well as multitudes of taken pictures colorfully displaying a whole gaggle of orbs, floating about the room's air. Some claim to even have witnessed a translucent mist hovering in one particular area of the room...reportedly the same place that the woman was found...with a bullet in her head.
Another familiar ghost occupying the Club and Hotel Congress is a spectre known as "T.S.". Supposedly he was killed during a heated card-game, sometime around the 1920s or 1930s. The hotel was actually established in 1919 and, as previously mentioned, played an important role in the capture of the infamous bank-robber, John Dillinger. In the '30s, the hotel set fire and John tried to escape the hotel with his recently stolen loot when a firemen actually recognized his face and the arrest was made. Is it possible that the ghost known as "T.S." could possibly be John Dillinger's ghost, returning to the hotel in search for his loot? We'll never know...unless someone would like to do a séance in the club or hotel one night and inform me who pops into the room!
Read More on Haunted Places:
In a Californian city first founded by fifty German families, Chain Reaction seems to be a fairly normal and common landmark amongst the other run-down clubs and bars of the area. Anaheim has its hair-raising secrets, one of these secrets being that the Chain Reaction club is the residence of a ghost...possibly more than one!
Imagine this - you are an employee of the Chain Reaction club, closing down the business after a long night of hosting local teenagers and entertaining the masses. You walk to the back door of the club, which faces a dark alley...suddenly...you hear laughter. It sounds as if the laughter is emanating from the dark alley that you have just turned your back to. You spin around and run to the back door to look out into the alley and catch whomever is playing this nasty trick on you. Click...slam! You slam the back door open as if saying "got ya!"...no one is there. You lock the back door up for the second time when you hear someone talking in the lobby of the club...though you just locked up the front doors! Someone has to be playing tricks on you...this is not funny anymore! Maybe a customer got locked inside? You walk briskly to the lobby of the club and your night just got creepier...no one is in the entire building except you! What does this mean? Is Chain Reaction haunted? Well, this is the experience that many of its employees have endured...so you tell me?
On a more positive note, at least there are no floating heads or blood-hungry vampires stalking the premises!
Written and copyrighted © by Kitty the Dreamer (May Canfield), July 16th, 2012. All Rights Reserved.
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