Some of the Most Haunted Places in America
A Ghost or Something Else?
Many people in the United States today have a fascination with ghosts and hauntings. Over the last 5 years or so especially, haunted places have really come into the mainstream. With tv shows of live ghost hunts, and stories depicting family hauntings and demonic possession. There are still a lot of skeptics, but you must remember, there is still so much about this world that is not explained, or that hasn't yet been discovered.
Most of what we know right now was unknown to mankind at some point in time. Everything in life is something that must be discovered in order to be understood, and ghosts are no different. Just because we don't see them or hear them, does that mean they cease to exist? Let me ask you, does air cease to exist just because we can't see it? No. It's still there, and we know that because it has been scientifically proven. We need air, or we would not be living. Some poeple claim they can see and hear ghosts. Others say they have never experienced any sort of haunting in their entire life. But I have a perspective for you to think about for a moment.
What if we are being haunted every day, and we just don't know it? Your TV volume suddenly turned down...must be a faulty TV, right? The door slammed shut....probably the cat playing around downstairs. You could have sworn you shut this door when you came in.....no big deal, you must have forgotten and didn't realize. How did the keys end up over there? I'm sure there is an explanation, isn't there?
We explain a lot of things away, every single day in our lives. We make an excuse that suits us or sounds reasonable. But what if these things are just ghosts going about their own daily activities, and getting themselves sometimes mixed up with OUR daily activities? It's definitely something to think about, and also not completely unlikely. Even in ancient times, people held the belief that once you die you are not really dead but just in a different body or different existence. Where did they come up with such silly ideas in the first place, if they didn't have some sort of experiences throughout time that were unexplainable?
During this article, we will explore some of the better known haunted places in America right now. I am listing them in no specific order, because most of it is a matter of opinion, and while one group of people may consider one place to be the number one in hauntings, another group will disagree. No matter what order they are placed in, they are all well known for their resident ghosts, and some of them are not so nice when introduced to human company.
A Building With a Lot of History
The true number of deaths occurring at Waverly Hills varies widely depending on who you ask. Anywhere from 6,000 to 100,00 has been documented on numerous websites on the Internet. However, it is firmly believed by those who know the history of the Sanatorium, that it is more around 6 to 10 thousand deaths total, with the likeliest total being close to 8,000. Either way, that's a lot of death for one building...
Waverly Hills Sanatorium
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium was opened in 1910, and used as a Tiberculosis hospital. TB was rampant at this time, and the Sanatorium remained open to help fight the disease until the year of 1962. At this time, Waverly Hills closed it's doors due to the invention of an antibiotic that was strong enough to fight against TB . It reopened later in 1962 as a nursing home called Woodhaven Geriatric Center. Woodhaven eventually ended up being closed down because of complaints of patient neglect in 1982. Considering what this building has seen in so many years, it isn't difficult to understand why the undead may choose to reside here.
It has been claimed that over 100,000 people died here during it's run as a hospital. However, this information is almost certainly untrue. Although there were many deaths from TB that occurred here, the exact number is something that can only be speculated, at best. It is more likely around 8 or 10 thousand deaths, considering that the most patients to have died from the disease in a time period of 1 year was only about 152.
But no matter how many perished behind these doors, we know that a lot of people suffered. It is speculated that about 8-10 thousand people have died here. Some of the most haunted areas of Waverly Hills are said to be the death tunnel (used to transport dead bodies down the hill,out of sight of other patients), room 502,certain hallways,and the entrance.
One of the more famous ghosts have been nicknamed Timmy. There have been many people who have seen the spirit of a young boy in the same dark hallway. He seems to have a playful way about him, and likes to throw balls through the hallways and corridors. Often these balls will go unnaturally in the way that they roll,almost as though they are being guided by an invisible hand. Other times people will actually throw the ball down the hallway and into the darkness, and it will be thrown or rolled back at them.
There are also quite a large number of people who claimed to have seen the spirit of a woman running and screaming near the main entrance, covered in blood and with chains dangling from her wrists. Is this one of the abused nursing home patients, calling out for help, and unaware of her own death?
There have been a large number of other strange happenings. There are reports of shadow people moving through the darkness, screams and voices where there is nobody else around, balls of light, slamming doors, and even lights appearing to be on inside the building, even where electricity is cut off.
Now, the building hosts ghost tours, and also historical tours. They run a haunted attraction as well during the Halloween season, hiring people to dress up and scare the pants off anyone who dares to step inside. If you ever find yourself near Louisville, this is a place that you will want to check out, atleast for the historical tour if nothing else. The grounds are beautiful in an old and enchanting kind of way, and maybe you'll end up having your first paranormal experience right there in the halls of Waverly Hills.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary is a nearly 200 year old prison located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Al Capone actually had stayed in this prison for 8 months, when he was charged for having a concealed weapon. It is said that he even had experienced many strange things right there in his cell by an unsettled spirit. The prison has been abandoned since 1971, but the stories of hauntings and ghostly apparitions began long before the prison closed it's doors for good. You can still get in for a tour, if you dare.
This prison was notorious for physical abuse and punishment, and this fact has probably led to a lot of unsettled souls still wandering around, in search of their freedom and happiness, forever confined within the walls of this vast prison. Talk of hauntings began as early as the 1940's, but since the prison is no longer in operation, it has become a hotspot for ghost hunters and paranormal research. And the ghosts that reside here in this particular location are not for the faint at heart. They are known to come across as being quite angry, and wanting to be left alone.
There are a number of jail cells where strange things have happened, such as cell doors closing, or disembodied voices telling trespassers to get out. There is also a watch tower, where a shadowy figure can be seen walking back and forth, presumably going about his day to day routine as a guard, even long after his death. If you're brave enough to venture out to the catwalk, be prepared,because there are known to be a lot of unexplained occurrences here. Voices are heard by people in this area,and also are heard during playback of EVP recordings.
Even more frightening is what the team of researchers from the show "Ghost Hunters" found here. They have video footage of arguably THE best evidence of a haunting ever captured. During the video, a shadowy figure is seen flapping around on the catwalk like something out of a horror movie. It's literally enough to make your skin crawl, and many people have stated officialy that it appears to be 100% legit. Are you brave enough to step foot in here? Others have, and some say they will never go back, out of pure fear for their own lives.
Gettysburg is home to one of the bloodiest battles in history. There is a constant flood of tourists at this location, and along with that has come a flood of ghost stories and spooky happenings. The battlefield itself seems to be a large gathering of ghostly activity. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish a ghost from a tour guide, or somebody who is doing a reenactment and dressed as a soldier. Until suddenly what you thought was a living breathing human, seems to have vanished into thin air right before your eyes.
Devils Den is also flourishing with activity. Many tourists have heard the sound of drums and gun shots, when there is nobody around. One very strange occurrence at Devils Den is that when cameras are used here, they often (not always) will not work properly, or will cease to function at all. It is a common thought that when many spirits are present, their energy can cause electrical equipment to work in odd ways. So this is clearly a sign to most people that the spirits are very active here.
And listen to this story. During filming of the movie "Gettysburg", a handful of actors experienced something that nobody had an explanation for. They were taking a short break at Little Round Top, when a man came up to them. He was dressed as a union soldier, and looked quite rough and frazzled. They all noticed the distinct smell of gunpowder from his clothing. Initially, they all believed he was just another one of the actors working on the movie. He walked around the group, telling them in a gruff voice about how treacherous the war was, and passed around ammunition to the entire group. And then he continued on his way, and was gone. They later found out that nobody knew who he was, and the ammunition given to them were real musket rounds from the Civil War era. Nobody on the set of the movie had used these as props, and it remains unsolved where the man came from.
The Jennie Wade house is said to be haunted by none other than Jennie Wade herself. She died such a quick and tragic death, many wonder if she even had time to realize what had happened when a bullet made it's way into her home and struck her dead instantly. Many visitors have said to become overwhelmed with a strong feeling of sadness, and a heaviness in the air that just wraps around you and envelopes your entire body. Many times people have reported the smell of freshly baked bread, even though it has been a very very long time since anything has been baked in this home. Spirit energy in the form of orbs are often caught in still photography images in the home, making for a wonderful photo opportunity for the ghost enthusiasts out there.
Myrtles Plantation, located in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is a gorgeous mansion, and even the grounds are well kept and offer a birds eye view of what the South is all about. A very peaceful and serene setting is what makes the Myrtles Plantation the perfect place to unwind. Arguably, it is the most haunted house in America today, and many people who have visited will agree without hesitation. It was built in 1796, and is used to today as a bed and breakfast/restaurant, and offers historical and ghost tours of the property. This house is certainly one example where looks can be deceiving. Just because it looks peaceful and quiet, there are many tortured souls who have not been able to rest,and if you watch closely, you may just find yourself crossing their path during your tranquil escape from the big cities.
It is said that the plantation is situated upon an ancient Indian Burial ground, and that many tragedies have taken place here over the ages. Witchcraft, hangings, murders, suicides, all have occurred here on the grounds, and it is no wonder the resident ghosts are unhappy and confused. The most famous ghost thought to inhabit the home is that of Chloe, who was first purchased by the resident family as a slave, but later became the mistress to the master of the home. Most of the story centers on Cloe's revenge against her master, as she was unhappy when her relationship with her master ended, and for revenge she poisoned the family, including two children and the mother. They later died from the poisoning, and Chloe was hung outside the home by other resident slaves who feared retaliation on all of them from their Master. The family, including Chloe, has been seen numerous times throughout the house, even long after death.
Many visitors to the plantation have shared their experiences at the home, and a great amount of the stories are repeated time and time again. It has been told that strange hand prints will randomly appear on the mirrors in the house, sometimes right before peoples eyes while they are standing there. The grand piano will occasionally play by itself, hitting the same, eerie chord over and over. Sometimes if your lucky, you will catch a glimpse of the original plantation owners children playing together, just as if nothing ever happened to them. As if they are completely and utterly unaware that they no longer exist in human form.
This home is definitely one to mark on your list of places to visit if you are a paranormal enthusiast. And when you're finished ghost hunting for the day, settle into your bed and listen closely for the laughs of the ghost children, haunting the plantation visitors on those warm, clear nights.
For more information on these haunted loacations, please follow these links.
- Waverly Hills Sanitorium - Historical and Paranormal Site
Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Historical Society, Paranormal Activity, Guided Tours, Investigations, Information, Merchandise, Volunteers, Owners Tina and Charlie Mattingly
- Home | Eastern State Penitentiary
- Gettysburg National Military Park - Gettysburg National Military Park
- Gettysburg Ghosts Paranormal Investigations
Paranormal investigative group dedicated to researching the paranormal throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. we strive to help hose plagued by hauntings and to educate those interested in the paranormal.
- The Myrtles Plantation