In this article we will be taking a look at a paranormal hot spot located deep in woods lining the shores of West Bay Lake, Wisconsin – the Summerwind Mansion haunting…
In 1916, the then U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Robert Lamont, purchased the mansion to become it’s first ever owner.
He did not live in the property full time, opting instead to use it as a holiday home for his family.
Over the next 15 years, the family were known to constantly share paranormal experiences that they had experienced within the house, with friends and neighbors.
They frequently complained about poltergeist activity, shadow people running from room to room and unexplained noises echoing from seemingly empty rooms.
For the first few years, the Lamont family seemed to be at peace with the ghostly entities within their retreat – they didn’t seem to bother them that much…
Until one apparition decided to pay them an unexpected visit.
The Lamont Entity
According to Lamont, he and his wife were having dinner in the kitchen one night, when without warning, the basement door blasted open.
Lamont and his wife then sat there in complete terror as they watched the apparition of a shadowy man form by the basement entrance.
Fear eventually put Lamont into a panic, and he reached for his gun and shot twice at the strange specter.
Both bullets went straight through the ghostly figure, and lodged themselves in the basement door.
The Lamont family left their vacation home that night…and never returned.
The mansion was eventually sold on to The Keefers during the 1940’s. They decided to use the house as a rental vacation property.
Many tenants claimed that Mrs. Keefer rarely set foot inside the house, typically handing the keys to guests and leaving them to their own devices.
Nobody knows why the Keefer family decided to rent the property out shortly after they purchased it…
Something obviously put them off using it themselves!
Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw bought the house in the 70’s – they actually moved into the house with their six children with a view to restoring it as they went along through family life.
They tried to hire local tradesmen to help them with aspects of the construction – but the locals would go nowhere near the house due to fear of evil spirits.
While painting a bedroom closet, Arnold stumbled upon a hidden crawl space that was too small for him to get into. He called up one of his children so that they could squeeze in and see what was on the other side.
Mary, his daughter, volunteered to go inside the hidden room. Once in there, she found a pile of bones and a human skull with knotted black hair still attached.
Arnold decided that it was best to leave the grisly find be, so he sealed the crawlspace back up and left it’s contents alone.
Several years later the Hinshaw family decided to bring the skull and bones out and maybe hand them over to the authorities…
When they got back inside the sealed room…it was completely empty.
Since then, the legend of Summerwind Mansion has grown, luring new owners and paranormal thrill seekers to explore the haunted corridors and remains of the house.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll live for the moment you can drop all work and go on holiday. A fortnight in a hot country, a rural retreat for the weekend – you name it – I’m all over it!
But what about a break in one of the most haunted hotel rooms on the planet?
Would you still look forward to your time off work as much?
Room 217 – The Stanley Hotel
Yep, I thought we’d start off with the most famous paranormal hotel destination out of the lot – The Stanley Hotel in Colorado.
The paranormal activity in this well-known spook-fest can be traced back as far as it’s construction, in 1907. It’s reports became so famous that the master of horror, Stephen King, decided to use the hotel as the basis for his book – The Shining.
The most famous Stanley Hotel entity is a lady known as Elisabeth Wilson, who is said regularly appear in room 217.
As far as spirits go – she’s not a bad little entity at all!
In her ‘living days’ she was actually a housekeeper/worker at the hotel – she now spends her afterlife cleaning up after guests…
Many visitors to room 217 have claimed that their bags have been unpacked neatly and the beds made…in the blink of an eye!
Rooms 612 & 325 – The Hawthorne Hotel
The Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts, boasts a ghost that zeros in on rooms 612 and 325. This apparition is said to be a woman who seems to have a real bee in her bonnet…for reasons unknown.
Numerous guests staying at these two rooms have complained about the female entity turning the lights on and off, all through the night.
She has also been known to steal hotel room keys and the car keys off visitors.
There have also been reports that are slightly more creepy in nature – the sound of distant children crying throughout the night!
Room 324 – Toftaholm Herrgard
This popular Swedish hotel has a rather tragic story behind it’s paranormal visitor…
Legend tells us that a local boy, from a poor family, fell in love with the daughter of a past owner of the hotel. This father was not pleased at all – he wanted his daughter married to a rich guy – not some local peasant!
He stopped his daughter from marrying this young lad and broke his heart by doing so…
The young man then hung himself in room 324.
Many guests have reported phantom scratches and noises coming from the room during the night – the locals to the area believe that these noises are caused by the broken-hearted spirit of the peasant boy.
Rooms 8 & 10- The Battery Carriage House
No article on haunted hotel rooms would be complete without a report involving a headless man, right?
Known as Charleston’s most haunted inn; the Battery Carriage House in South Carolina is known to be visited by ‘The Gentleman Ghost’ – a rather disturbing headless apparition that centers on rooms 8 and 10.
There’s no real malice in this ghost – he just appears at the sides of visitor’s beds in the middle of the night.
A little frightening I know – but he justs stands there for a few moments, then disappears.
Room 302 – Hotel Del Coronado
Room 302 in the Hotel Del Coronado, California, is famous for a ghost named Kate Morgan. Her body was found in this room with a gunshot wound to the head, back in 1892.
It looked like a suicide but the bullet used did not match the gun – her death remains a mystery.
Numerous visitors are convinced that Kate’s spirit never left room 302 – she has often appeared standing by the room’s window and there are untold reports of poltergeist activity linked to the room.
Most Haunted Hotel Rooms
These are just the tip of the iceberg – there are hundreds (maybe even thousands!) of other hotel rooms out there that have links to the paranormal.
Do you know of any rooms that we have not mentioned here?
If so, please leave information about them in the comment section below.
Looking for a vacation getaway, that may include some unseen guests? Check out the haunted Virginia Beach, where it is rumored that a number of spirits continue to make their presence known to visitors…
Coors & The Cavalier Hotel
Stay the night in the historic Cavalier Hotel, where you may encounter the ghost of Mr. Adolph Coors, the founder of Coors Beer.
In June 1929, Coors fell to his untimely death from a window of the hotel. Although the death was ruled a suicide, many believe that Coors was pushed from the window, thus the reason his spirit still lingers.
Many workers and guests claim to have an uneasy feeling when they venture onto the sixth floor, and an eerie sound of something heavy hitting the pavement has been heard.
Another ghost who occupies the hotel is believed to be a former employee, who knows about other ghosts who haunt the building.
Visitors have reported seeing an African American man, dressed as a bellhop, who has warned them of venturing up to the sixth floor because “there are ghosts up there.”
A cat has also been seen by guests, wandering the halls, although countless searches by the staff have never located the animal.
The cat supposedly belonged a young girl who lived in the hotel.
One day, the cat fell into the pool and the girl went in after it, but tragically both lost their lives. Scratches, mews and sightings of the cat have been reported to the hotel staff on a frequent basis.
Whether it be cold spots, disembodied voices, elevators that run on their own or numerous other ghost sightings, the Cavalier Hotel is a haunted staple in Virginia Beach.
If you have a car, be sure to travel down Elbow Road; one of the most haunted roads in America. Be careful though!
Elbow Road is known for its dense forests, sharp turns, and lack of street lights, all which have contributed to hundreds of accidents in the Virginia Beach area.
Locals have claimed to see multiple apparitions along this stretch of road over the years. A male jogger, who was hit by a car, has been seen and heard calling for his dog in the woods.
An older woman named Mrs. Woble, who was allegedly murdered, now walks through the fields alongside the road, looking for her home.
Strange lights can be seen coming from the now non-existent house Mrs. Woble used to occupy.
And a young girl, who drowned in the adjacent lake while fishing with her father, is rumored to make her presence known to those who dare to stop their car on Elbow Road at night.
According to legend, if you sit on the hood of your car, you will see the young girl’s footprints making their way towards you.
This dangerous road has seen so many fatalities in recent years, that sections are currently being renovated to prevent further accidents.
As any good ghost hunter would know though, renovations often times stir up more spirit activity!
Princess Anne Country Club
Another stop along your ghost hunting journey should be at the Princess Anne Country Club. Since this is an exclusive members only club, you’ll have to know someone to get an invitation onto the premises.
The club was built in 1916 for those who wanted to work on their athleticism. It is believed to be haunted by two spirits: a young bride and an evil man.
The beautiful bride is fairly often seen in the bar area of the country club. She will disappear into thin air, while barely causing a stir.
The evil man, on the other hand, supposedly wears a black cape and has chased employees away from the building.
Other paranormal reports include hearing the clanking of silverware in the dinning room, as if someone is setting up the tables for dinner service and 1920’s music heard wafting through the rooms, even when no one is present.
It’s no surprise that Virginia Beach is haunted. Between the long history from the first settlers who built their homes here, to the battles which raged on during the Civil War, to the countless people who have lived and died on this soil; the spirits have made themselves known.
Haunted Virginia Beach will continue to attract historians and ghost hunters alike.
There is just so much to talk about when it comes to Georgia haunted houses. The South was riddled with too many untimely deaths.
This is the place where approximately 13, 000 prisoners out of 45k brave Union soldiers died at the Andersonville Prison due to exposure and disease among other tormenting causes like starvation.
Can you believe they used to ship out roughly over a hundred bodies every day?
They say you can feel a chilling and strong presence of tormented souls stretching their hands out to you like they’re begging for help.
Those who’ve toured this old building have been quoted reporting to have felt too much despair and death!
From the Town Hall in Braselton, to the Warren House in Jonesboro (formerly a Civil War hospital), Georgia is full of haunted houses and ghost stories.
Stories are told of an old haunted house in Savannah, popularly known as the Kehoe House. The Kehoe ghosts here however are friendly and have nothing negative or evil about them.
This is unlike the case at the Tailor House in Oglethorpe, Macon County where the original builder and occupant of the building Col. George W. Fish, went into fits of rage and trashed the whole place just because they didn’t ask him permission to rebuild.
The house has remained “un-renovated” to date.
They’re either afraid that he’ll not like the renovations or maybe they just don’t know how to ask him after pissing him off the first time!
But really… how many of these stories can be confirmed? Some haunted house stories are quite controversial and truth be told, very confusing.
In Ms. Pitt’s house, Waverly Hall, stories have been told of her ghost appearing but the strangest part about this house’s haunting stories is the reports of laughing children.
Thorough research into the matter has revealed that Ms. Pitts died without children of her own… so who are these kids playing Casper inside this spooky residence?
Other haunted houses in Georgia include the century old Lanier Lodge in Cumming. The story goes that a housekeeper walked in on a sad chap just before he pulled the trigger; ending his life in a tragic suicide.
This led to the immediate closure of the room from the public for several years. To this day, the guy is still walking around the building but he has never said or done anything.
Fast forward to a more recent case where the GOGPI team, short for Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations, went on a ghost hunt at a residence in the McDonough area.
They reported strange footsteps, a table being lifted off the floor by an unseen entity; some photos were taken out of the box where the owner had kept them, shadows and doors closing by themselves among other weird happenings.
At least one team member (Larry) reported being touched or feeling the sensation of a touch on the left elbow from a ghostly presence.
The question however still remains, do you believe in ghosts? Or are you a skeptic?
Well, rumor has it that Georgia will make anyone a believer due to the abundance of haunted places especially in Savannah where a large number of haunting cases are reported.
One amazing thing that came out clear at the end of this investigation is that most of the buildings served in one way or another during the Civil War but most as hospitals.
The presence of apparitions in such locations is quite expected as many agonizing deaths must have occurred within these walls.
Another outstanding fact about most of Georgia’s ghosts is that they’re quite a friendly bunch.
Reports rarely include any violence and in many cases the ghosts just remain silent; only choosing to thump on walls and doors with occasional slaps on the face… maybe to naughty house guests?!
There are so many exciting Georgia ghost stories that we might have to cover them in a series of articles…
Judging from the few cases cited above, it goes without saying that Georgia is a hot spot for ghost hunters.
As you continue to dig deep into the Georgia haunted houses dilemma, you will discover that most cases still have a lot of “if’s” and “maybe’s” hanging around them, thus becoming a bit difficult to confirm where the truth lies.
When you think of Florida, you think of theme parks, beaches, and spring break. The word “ghost” is unlikely to cross your mind. That is, unless you are interested in the paranormal…
Florida is steeped in history, and has more than its share of ghosts and hauntings.
Let’s take a look at just a few of some of the places around the Sunshine State where you can possibly spy one or two of the ghosts in Florida’s haunted houses.
May Stringer House
Settled in Brooksville, Florida, the May Stringer house was built in 1856 by John May. The land was used as a plantation until his death two years later 1858.
His wife Marena remarried Frank Saxon in 1866. She died in 1869 giving birth to her daughter Jessie May.
All of the deceased members of the May-Saxon family are buried in the burial ground located on the grounds. Mr. Saxon later remarried himself, and sold the house to Dr. Sheldon Stringer.
The property was later bequeathed by the Stringer family to the state of Florida as a museum.
Instead of keeping with the entire look and feel of the home in its original state, the Museum Association has constructed a Victorian military room, a doctor’s office, and an early 1900’s communication room.
Photographs of the before and after renovations can be found here:
Due to the renovation, people have reported being touched, orbs, apparitions, the ghost of “Mr. Nasty” in the attic, cries, and visitors are advised not to touch the doll in Jessie’s crib.
There is not a lot of information regarding the Southernmost Inn. Aside from being a cigar factory in the late 1800’s owned by Key West cigar baron Francisco Marrero, the building was eventually converted into a lesbian-only resort, Pearl’s Rainbow.
I had the chance to spend some time at the hotel when it was still Pearl’s. It still had it’s late Victorian charm intermingled with up-to-date twenty-first century amenities that every guest should expect.
It was also possessed by a ghost.
While most of the haunting of Marrero’s ex-lover Enriquetta is focused in their Fleming Street mansion, it seems that there is yet another ghost that has a connection to him and his factory.
The woman, which myself and my partner had sighted, was a slender woman in Edwardian dress with sad expression.
There also was a male apparition that kept coming and going as well throughout our stay; however, the female was the primary inhabitant of the resort.
We experienced the radio and television going off when they were not plugged in, footsteps, the feeling of being watched, and a male and female talking in our room at night.
We didn’t feel threatened, and neither should the guests of the now established Southernmost Inn.
Ernest Hemingway House
Whether you love ghosts, cats, literature, or all three, one of the most charming landmarks that you must visit in Key West is the Ernest Hemingway House.
The home is nestled in a quiet neighborhood away from the bustle of Duval Street, and overflowing with lush gardens and up to fifty polydactyl cats.
Mr. Hemingway himself lived in the home for several decades until he made Cuba his primary residence in the 1950’s.
The author can still be seen in his home today, allegedly in his writing studio along with his third wife Pauline. He is most often seen watching guests tour his home, from the inside of the house.
A stately two-story home that was built in 1871 by Clara Barkley Dorr. Mrs. Dorr occupied the house after the death of her husband Eben Dorr, with her hefty inheritance of $51,000.
She lived outwardly peacefully until she died in 1898, and did not remarry. For all of her projected normalcy during her lifetime, the home is steeped in the paranormal after her death.
Orbs, vortexes, and white apparitions have been sighted by guests touring the home. Objects have moved on their own accord, women’s skirts have been pulled down, and the odor of roses can be smelled throughout the place.
There is also the sound of crying in an upstairs bedroom, which was attributed to a residual energy of the supposed death of one of Mrs. Dorr’s children in the 1880’s.
However, according to burial records, the youngest Dorr child died at age 19:
There is also the apparition of the “translucent woman” that can be seen dancing madly all over the property.
The translucent woman does not resemble the late Mrs. Dorr, so it is unclear as to who she may have been in life.
1876 Lightkeeper’s House
Substantially younger than the rest of the 16th century buildings in the city, the 1876 Lightkeeper’s House is the best of Florida’s haunted houses.
In the 1800’s, William Harn, along with his wife and six daughters came from Maine to superintend the lighthouse during the period.
The house gives every impression of being cursed in a sense. A workman died due to a construction accident in the early 1800’s, and there was the death of two little girls due to the lumber accident that was well publicized in the 1880’s.
A fire destroyed the building several decades later, where it set empty until the St. Augustine Junior Service League obtained $200,000 in fundraisers and donations to make repairs on the crumbling building between 1981 to 1986.
A Welcome Center, gift shop, and small maritime histories museum encompass the space where burnt timbers once predominated the site.
Most avid ghost-hunters are aware of the story of the St. Augustine lighthouse itself, and focus their energies on that part of the property.
The hauntings seem to spill over from the Lighthouse to the 1876 House, and vice versa.
I was lucky to investigate the property several years ago, and found that there are several spirits in that building that have nothing to do with the Lighthouse itself.
One of the most intense that stands out to me to this day was that of a soldier that inhabited the brick basement area downstairs.
There is no record of any solider’s death, so how he is associated with the basement is a mystery.
There were also the apparitions of two little girls that seem connected with the dolls housed in the glass cases in the basement, and the figure of a woman in 1940’s dress can be seen in the first-floor Welcome Center.
Real Florida Haunted Houses
We hope you have enjoyed our article on the real Florida haunted houses. If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subjects we have covered here please leave them in the comment section below.
Texas is known as the Lone Star State, bringing up images of cowboys and the wild west. What it usually doesn’t bring to mind are thoughts of the paranormal.
However, Texas haunted houses are plentiful and prominent in the southern state.
From the La Carafe in Houston to the eighteenth century Spanish fort in Goliad, the place is crawling with tales of spirits and unexplained phenomenon.
For example, in a place called Mineral Wells (a little west of Fort Worth), the Baker Hotel opened its doors in 1929…
The Baker Hotel
It cost over one million dollars to build, which was a considerable amount of money at the time and an extremely risky business venture considering that the stock market had just crashed.
Society’s elite came to the hotel for the cure-all mineral springs nearby and, possibly, to also partake in alcoholic beverages during the Prohibition.
When it eventually closed for good in 1973, many reported that they witnessed windows opening and closing on their own. There have also been reports of a boy in a wheelchair moving about the abandoned hotel, as well.
A popular and well-circulated story is of the Lady in White. The story goes that she maintained an affair with the hotel manager but, eventually, she threw herself from the balcony of the fourteen story building to her death.
Some claim that the stress of honoring the secrecy of the affair is what led her to end her own life.
The Lady in White reportedly stays to the seventh floor, where she once lived in one of the rooms. Those claiming to have seen her say that she is nude and bloody or wearing a white dress.
The woman’s red hair is a consistent aspect of the story and that is what is most noticed when people catch her staring out a window.
Maids also find her lipstick on wine glasses in her former living quarters, even when the room is uninhabited.
The La Carafe Bar
Another haunted site, this one right in the heart of Texas, in the La Carafe bar in Houston. This bar is believed to be the oldest known bar in the state, as it was built in 1866.
This bar was thought to be a popular watering hole for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, though the most popular ghost sighting at La Carafe is not a fallen soldier. No, the most popular ghost is a former employee named, “Carl.”
Carl, who worked as a bartender at the La Carafe, is usually witnessed looking out of a second-story window. According to some, his eyes can also be felt on you or he might even make a strange sound to alert unsuspecting patrons of his presence.
Most associate the unexplained footsteps coming from the second floor of the establishment as Carl making his way around, as well as the sudden and distinct cold spots that manifest without reason inside the building. Objects have even been witnessed moving without any visual explanation.
The Presidio La Bahia
During the Texas Revolution in 1836, at the Presidio la Bahia (a Spanish fort on the fringe of Goliad), arguably the worst massacre of the revolution was enacted. A total of 342 Texan soldiers were ordered to death by General Lopez de Santa Anna.
Paranormal investigators report seeing the aftermath of the Goliad Massacre, at an estimate of three days or so after the act may have taken place.
They estimate the time frame that they are seeing these apparitions by the state of decay the Texan soldiers appear to be in at the time of the sightings.
They are piled in the Quadrant, some of the soldiers being described as “not young enough to shave.” Doors bang repeatedly and rhythmically throughout the night, out of time with the wind or without any wind at all.
Apparitions are witnessed gliding through the fort and some claim they hear another unseen entity turning a lock.
Paranormal investigators even report the sound of approaching horses, their hoof beats drawing nearer and nearer to the courtyard in the middle of the night.
The state of Texas is wrought with the spirits of the long departed, whether they remain because they loved their job like Carl the Bartender or because their lives ended prematurely in the midst of a violent revolution.
Texas haunted houses are where some of the most vigorous and undeniable reports of paranormal activity emerge, as expected from a state that boasts that “everything’s big” there.
The gently rolling hills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains are home to Sweet Briar College, a seemingly serene college for women.
Yet, amidst the peaceful setting, supernatural events are openly reported on a consistent basis.
This historic college is host to a couple of well-known ghosts who have an intimate and eternal connection with the establishment.
Indiana Williams, the founder of Sweet Briar, and her daughter are said to still be present on campus in ghostly forms…
Family History And Spooky Beginnings
Indiana Fletcher Williams owned the Sweet Briar plantation which made her a wealthy and respectable woman. The plantation was inherited from her father, a former teacher and advocate of education.
Indiana married Henry James Williams, an Irish immigrant, in 1865. Daisy was born two years later and was raised in a sheltered, pampered lifestyle.
Sadly, Daisy died when she was 16 from an inherited enzyme disorder. Henry passed away a few years later, leaving Indiana a widow and bereaved mother.
Upon Indiana’s death in 1900, she stated that her entire estate was to be turned into a school for women. The estate was comprised of over 8,000 acres and was worth approximately $1 million.
This gesture was intended as a tribute to her young daughter, but other members of the family did not agree with her decision.
These family members fought Indiana’s will and lost. The college was founded one year later. However, before it was officially opened, a good friend of Daisy’s claimed she saw Indiana’s ghost wandering in the dining room several times. Signora stated that Indiana wasn’t talking or interacting, just floating around.
The First Year at Sweet Briar
In its beginnings, Sweet Briar’s campus consisted of four buildings and 50 female students. The Williams’ family grave is located on campus and a special statue was placed over Daisy’s grave.
Apparently, a bitter family member defaced the statue, destroying all but the base. A new statue was erected and it came with a new feature. On a windy day, students can hear the statue “screaming.”
It has been determined that a certain part of the statue’s construction is the cause of the sinister sound. However, this is still accepted as a proper ghost story on campus and students still frequent the screaming statue.
Tucked away in a remote forest with no form of communication, the first graduating class at Sweet Briar had ample sources of inspiration for spooky stories.
These ladies ended up writing a book titled In The Light of Ember which is a collection of accounts of strange and spooky experiences on campus.
An Adolescent Ghost
Students and visitors have been reporting experiences with Daisy’s 16-year-old ghost for over 100 years. Many of these stories feature incidents with the same objects.
For example, an old music box from the Williams family that is out of order is sometimes reported to be playing eerie music.
However, the most commonly repeated story is the echoes of supernatural laughter heard all around the campus.
A former school president had a young daughter who acquired an imaginary friend upon moving into the President’s House on campus.
This house was in fact the home of Indiana, Henry and their daughter. Daisy’s room still contains her original furniture.
Barbara Hill was not concerned about her daughter’s imaginary friend until her daughter informed her that her friend lived in the walls of the house and was named Daisy.
One of the girl’s dormitories holds an off-limits attic. Local police have been called several times to investigate the attic when residents complained about hearing noises up there. The source of these noises was undetectable by the police officers.
The Mystery of the Medallion
Mrs. Martindale was the director of the halls of residence for over 20 years at Sweet Briar and she was a meticulous lady.
One day, she required something from her supply storage on the first floor of the Gray Residence Hall. In addition to her supplies, Mrs. Martindale discovered a framed medallion featuring the bust of Daisy.
Nobody in residence had ever seen or heard about this medallion. It was found on the same day the Daisy Gymnasium was completed, and it ended up being mounted inside the entrance to the gym.
Over 10 years from Signora’s original silent sightings of Indiana, the woman’s ghost appeared to her again. This time Indiana didn’t keep quiet; she told Signora that there was silver stashed in one of the walls in her house.
Signora came to the school’s president with this story and the president had the school’s carpenters break open the wall that Indiana said the silver was in.
To everyone’s surprise, the silver was there, wrapped up in paper packages covered in grime.
The Ghosts of Sweet Briar College
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject of the ghosts of Sweet Briar College please leave them in the comment section below.
In these days of enlightenment it is difficult to imagine that until just a few short years ago, public institutions practicing torture, sinister experiments and cruelty existed in our society.
Founded with the best of intentions these places soon became overcrowded and hellish for the people who lived in them.
Many who walked through their doors never left. Secreted away and segregated from society they remained voiceless until death released them from their misery.
Who were these people?
Sadly they were often those who today would be diagnosed with conditions such as autism, epilepsy, and depression.
Born in a period where the science of the mind was in its infancy they were often guinea pigs for harsh and inhuman treatments. Thankfully, society has moved on.
One by one these institutions have closed their doors and their occupants returned to society. For many though salvation came too late. Left behind and forgotten in death, these ghosts of a shameful past cling to the haunted and abandoned insane asylums where they were once incarcerated.
The Ridges Lunatic Asylum, Ohio, USA
Built at the end of the nineteenth century, the first residents in this sprawling institution were veterans of the American Civil War. Although they did not know it, these early occupants were the lucky ones.
By the 1950’s the asylum was terribly overcrowded and no longer concerned with therapeutic approaches to mental illness.
Patients were routinely lobotomized and subjected to electric shock treatments in a bid to cure them. Worse still, the elderly, the rebellious and the unwanted were now accepted into its care for the feeblest of reasons.
Conditions in the asylum were barbaric and hopeless. Visit today and you can still see the legend ‘I was never crazy’ carved into a wall by a desperate inmate.
Now haunted by the ghosts of its past, the Ridges attracts those interested in the paranormal.
One of the most interesting features of the derelict building concerns a patient called Margaret Schilling. In 1978, Margaret somehow locked herself in an abandoned ward.
Removing her clothes and folding them neatly, she lay down upon the freezing floor at the coldest time of the year. Why she didn’t call for help or try and unlock the door, nobody knows.
A month later her body was discovered. If the staff who lost the unfortunate Margaret believed they could now wipe her shameful death from the history of the asylum, they were mistaken.
As she lay on the cold hard floor, Margaret’s body left an indelible stain which no amount of scrubbing will ever wipe clean. The perfect impression of her frail body marks her death for as long as the building stands.
Today though, it is not the building but the nearby cemetery which attracts most attention from ghost hunters. Said to be haunted by soldiers from the civil war, ghostly apparitions can be seen roaming among the gravestones.
Bizarrely, some of these gravestones have been arranged in a perfect circle for no apparent reason. Cross a little wooden bridge to a small island and you find a further cluster of isolated graves.
Rumored to be those of the criminally insane they can’t be buried on consecrated ground. Not surprising then that this cemetery with its unmarked graves, strange arrangements and spectral inhabitants now attracts those interested in witchcraft, demonology and the dark arts.
The Metropolitan State Mental Hospital, Massachussets, USA
Opened in 1930 the Metropolitan State Mental Hospital hides a grisly past. As well as the usual suffering of patients that took place as a matter of course, the hospital is the scene of a notorious murder.
A murder so shocking that it earned the institution the nickname ‘the hospital of the seven teeth’. Free to roam around the extensive grounds, one of the patients Anne Marie Davee decided to go for a walk in 1978.
It was a walk from which she would never return. Sometime later seven teeth were found in the possession of another patient, Melvin Wilson.
Despite suspecting that Wilson had a hand in Ann Marie’s disappearance no action was taken until an investigation by the Massachussets State Senator.
Eventually, Wilson led police to the three sites where he had buried the murdered and dismembered body of Ann Marie.
Walk the beautiful grounds today and you too may get the eerie feeling that someone or something is watching you.
Numerous reports of paranormal activity have been reported by workers in the now derelict building that was once the main asylum.
Shadowy figures are seen to dart and flit about the empty rooms. Locked doors open and then slam shut again. Screams and flashes can be seen from the wards where electro therapy took place.
In a bid to placate the restless souls who wander through the building and surrounding grounds, efforts have been made to identify the 350 former residents buried in unmarked graves.
Sadly there is no evidence that it has worked yet.
Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, Victoria, Australia
Originally named the Mayday Lunatic Asylum, this hospital in Victoria Australia was built in 1867 to house 1,200 patients. Closed in 1995 it has become the focus of paranormal investigators and amateur ghost hunters.
One of the most ubiquitous ghosts that haunts the asylum is Matron Sharpe. Reputed to have been a kind and caring nurse in life, she appears in different rooms and is seen walking down the long granite staircase.
A benign spirit she doesn’t make those who see her uneasy or frightened. Perhaps reluctant to abandon their workplace other former employees still hang around the asylum.
These include Tommy Kennedy a former resident and kitchen hand. Enter his kitchen uninvited and you may feel him poking you and pulling at your clothes.
Another employee, a gardener, still tends the grounds dressed in his old green jacket . He materializes pottering among the flowers and vegetables before disappearing into thin air.
Sadly, the ghost of a child is often seen in the former chapel and is said to approach female visitors. Unable to speak, the poor girl tries desperately to attract the attention of women who appear sympathetic.
One can only imagine this heart breaking child was once abandoned and is still waiting for her mother to return.
Perhaps the most sinister haunting though, is that of a female patient thrown from an upper window by another inmate.
Her ghost is still seen standing on the spot where she fell and giant orbs have been photographed hovering outside the window where she was pushed to her untimely death.
The Rolling Hills Asylum, New York, USA
Built in 1827 to house paupers, drunkards, lunatics, handicapped, orphans, widows, vagrants and murderers’ the Genessee County Poor Farm as it was known, welcomed one and all.
Closed at the end of the twentieth century the former asylum was converted to shops and an antique mall. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before customers and shopkeepers began to report strange unexplained events.
A nurse wearing an old fashioned uniform was often seen striding purposefully along the corridors. Before she could be approached she would disappear, her footsteps still echoing through the air.
On another occasion a stunned employee of the mall opened a door to see an old man being bathed in a tin bath by the same nurse. Hastily closing the door, she waited a moment or two before peeking again. The room was empty.
As the incidents of disembodied voices, apparitions and shadow people became more frequent, the management of the building decided to call in experts with paranormal experience to perform an investigation.
What followed was a chilling and terrifying encounter with the supernatural.
Recounted by a manager of the current Rolling Hills complex, it took place in the basement of the building in a room once known as the Christmas Room.
Lit only by a pink glow stick, the investigators formed a circle. A small rocking horse and a ball were placed in the middle. During the evening, the glow stick and rocking horse began to move around of their own volition.
Stunned by what they were witnessing the group was further astonished when a hand and arm materialised in thin air and snatched the ball away.
Denbigh Insane Asylum, Wales, United Kingdom
This beautiful Gothic building was built in the 1840’s in North Wales, United Kingdom. Built to accommodate Welsh speakers who did not fare well in English asylums it now lies empty and vandalised in the Denbighshire countryside.
Another building constructed with altruistic intentions, it soon housed not only the mentally ill but pregnant women who had brought shame upon their families, the elderly and embarrassing relatives who needed to be hidden away from acceptable society.
Local superstition suggests that the ground on which the asylum was built was cursed by three witches who lived in the area. The most famous of these witches was Bella Fawr.
Those fascinated by witchcraft still break into the grounds of the asylum to try and invoke the spirits of the three ladies who once weaved their wicked spells and incantations.
Demons and witches have been seen screaming in the old isolation wards and a tunnel leading from the hospital is said to end under the cottage of one of the witches.
With a history that emulates that of most Victorian asylums, it is fair to say that the building has seen its share of suffering and misery.
Today, various ghosts are rumored to roam the area. These include a doctor and lab assistant who are seen in the morgue, two young students who were murdered in the grounds of the asylum and an old lady seen wandering around.
The same old lady has been seen in the little chapel built in the grounds. Witnessed walking through the church by a group performing a seance, her apparition terrified the group so much they never returned.
Pennhurst Asylum, Pennsylvania, USA
The cruel and quite terrifying practices that existed in this asylum went a long way in changing the public’s perception of the insane and their treatment.
Shockingly exposed in the 1960’s it painted a picture of neglect and inhumanity. Entitled ‘Suffer Little Children’ a television expose revealed unacceptable overcrowding and under-staffing.
Patients were tied to beds, high functioning adults were left uneducated and under stimulated and the chemical cosh was used to subdue and control those with behavior problems.
Since its closure a variety of paranormal events have been recorded. Distressed and angry voices have been heard on numerous occasions.
The terrified voices ask visitors why they have come and beg to be left alone in peace. Shadow people including that of a small child move about the empty buildings.
Chairs rock backwards and forward and doors are slammed by unseen hands. Some visitors claim to have been scratched and shoved and objects have been thrown across rooms.
One of the most compelling testimonials comes from a group of three men who witnessed a nurse appear before them. A firefighter, a police officer and a U.S. marine they were hardly the most suggestible of witnesses.
Built with the best of intentions, they became the shame of modern society. Institutions where the mentally ill were treated in the most cruel and inhumane fashion.
Experimented upon, deprived of their rights, neglected and often mistreated, those who entered insane asylums often lived a hopeless and hellish life.
If it is true that hauntings spring from anguish, despair and pain then mental institutions provide a rich breeding ground. Woven into their very fabric is the misery and hopelessness of those who once lived within their walls.
Some were lucky and escaped their atrocious existence, others sadly ended their lives in misery.
Forgotten by society their tortured souls still remain hidden and voiceless, destined to be tied forever to the haunted and abandoned insane asylums where they spent their final days.
Ghost and poltergeist activity are hot topics of debate today, made more so by a flood of movies and television shows. The fascination for the paranormal has been around for a very long time and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon.
Every state, and every country for that matter, has famous locations for ghostly sightings, and Alabama is no exception. Here are a few of the real haunted houses in Alabama.
Sweetwater Mansion, designed by General John Brahan (a veteran of the War of 1812) is a plantation house located in Florence, Alabama. Construction began in 1828.
Sweetwater has been a hotbed of reported paranormal activity. The 8 bedroom home was occupied, after completion in 1835, by Robert M. Patton, General Brahan’s son-in-law. The home had been alternately occupied by Confederate and Union Soldiers during the Civil war.
Sweetwater has, famously, been investigated by paranormal investigators featured on A&E’s Paranormal State. Some of the more famous sightings were by, the properties’ former caretaker, Emmer Lettie Region.
On one occasion she witnessed the image of a male laying in a casket in the parlor of the home. He appeared to have a bullet hole in his head. It was later discovered that Billy Patton, son of the former owner, was killed during combat in the Civil War and his wake was held in this same area of the plantation home.
Lettie was the last caretaker of the home and it is said that she had taken to nailing doors shut within the plantation home in order to isolate herself from paranormal activity.
Kenworthy Hall (also known as Carlisle Hall or Carlisle Martin House), is located in Marion, Alabama north of Hwy 14. This is another location that has ties to paranormal activity related to the Civil War.
Kentworthy Hall was constructed in the late 1850’s to early 1860’s by Edward (or Edwin) Kentworthy Carlisle, an established cotton grower in the region.
The hauntings purported at this location are of a young women, seen by passer-bys, sitting at the window on the fourth floor.
This could possibly be Anne Carlisle, daughter of Edward, who is believed to have committed suicide by jumping from the window after discovering that her lover, a soldier in the Confederate Army had died.
Oakleigh Historic House
Oakleigh Historic House in Mobile, Alabama is part of the Oakleigh Historic Complex. There are several buildings that include; The Post Civil War Reconstruction Barracks and a cottage.
Oakleigh house was built in 1833 by a dry goods merchant and brick mason James W. Roper. Poltergeist activity, such as furniture moving on its own and disembodied figures have been seen.
It is also believed to be haunted by a female ghost who has been seen in the parlor of the mansion as well as shadow figures.
Richards DAR House
Richards DAR House (Daughters of the American Revolution) is also located in Mobile, Alabama and has a colorful history of apparitions.
The, now, historic museum house was constructed in 1860 for Charles G. Richards and his wife Caroline Steele. The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who now operate the house, have allowed paranormal researchers to conduct investigations.
There has been sounds of disembodied children singing, laughter and other voices within the home. A figure has also appeared in the upstairs bedroom window.
Adams Grove Presbyterian Church
Adams Grove Presbyterian Church is located in rural Dallas County, Alabama and was built in the 1850’s near a cemetery.
Both the, now, neglected church and cemetery have had supposed paranormal activity, including the ghost of a Confederate Soldier.
It is said that the soldier will approach guests and attempt to warn them away from the property.
Haunted Houses in Alabama
All over the country there are homes reported to be haunted and lists of real haunted houses in Alabama can be found readily for would be ghost hunters and paranormal researchers.
There are too many to list in this one piece, but what I find particularly fascinating is that much of the paranormal activity at these locations is associated with the American Civil War.
Not all of the locations above are available to the public as museums. The Adams Grove Presbyterian Church is private property. Always check with the property owners prior to attempting any actual paranormal research at these, or any other location.
Do you find castles, hayrides or graveyards filled with phony ghosts, weapons, chainsaws and mazes amusing? Are you done with the monotony of life and are looking forward to experiencing real paranormal activity?
Do deaths, gore, torture and spookiness give you an Adrenalin rush? You, my friend, are one of those adventurous folks who love to dig into weird mysteries of the world.
Join us at one of the creepiest ghost hunts in some of the most haunted houses in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Top 5 Haunted Houses In Cincinnati, Ohio…
1) Stenton House:
The Dutch built Stenton House in 1850. This eerie Victorian mansion witnessed the suicide of a Dutchman and two young pupils.
The past occupants of the building have reported ghostly apparitions, spooky sounds of objects hitting the floor on the topmost story and phantom footsteps.
After the Second World War, the mansion was subdivided into multi-unit dwellings known as the Cornell Place Apartments.
As of now, the owners use this property as private residence. Some apartments were sealed for safety purposes.
Guest tours and photography is discouraged because the government respects the privacy of its corporeal as well as spiritual residents.
2) Tracy’s Home on Dunham Road, Amelia:
The Tracy family occupied this farmhouse during 1802 to 1803. A group of native Indians called Cherokees from the surrounding woods raided the house in that period.
The riot resulted in sudden death of the youngest girl of the Tracy family. Since then, her spirit has been chasing people away.
In 2005, the descendants renovated the house for visitors. Some parts of it are open for tours while rest of the house is restricted for the guests.
3) McClung House:
A sweet little deserted house on the Main Street with a dark history of homicide. Who wouldn’t want to explore it?
The McClung House built in 1870 had no supernatural history until 1901, when two lovebirds by the name of John and Rebecca McClung moved there.
John was a jealous, aggressive and dominating character. He forbade Rebecca from mingling with the neighbors.
She was not allowed to go outside without his permission. Often, the people saw Rebecca sitting by their bedroom window, admiring the outside scenery.
One day the neighbors heard her pleas for help. When the police arrived at the crime scene, they found John with a bloody log by the mutilated corpse of Rebecca.
However, John was later acquitted due to lack of substantial evidence. After the incident, many folks have seen Rebecca’s spirit walking around the graveyard.
A few neighbors have seen her sitting by the same window. She is still upset because John was not convicted for her murder.
4) Chambers Road House:
A deserted house in shambles, with unkempt lawn and a messy barn sets out the mood for a horror story. There are plenty of stories floating around this “supposedly” haunted place.
Two decades ago, a family of five occupied the house. The husband was mentally sick and as per the local tales, he shot his wife, two kids and horses occupying the barn. The youngest one escaped to a nearby tunnel. The father, who later committed suicide, eventually murdered him.
There are reports of ghostly sightings in the house, the barn and the nearby tunnel. You can see a few bullet holes and dry blood splattered across the walls.
The unnatural aura surrounding this place attracts ghost hunters and paranormal experts from all over the world. Some of them reported peculiar sounds like neighs, screams and gunshots after the sunset.
If you want to explore this place, be a little cautious and make sure, you are never alone!
5) The Handlebar Ranch:
Tiny Town AKA Munchkinville, formally known as the Handlebar Ranch has nothing to do with black magic, witches or murders, just a bunch of pissed off retired midgets.
It is a village of evil circus dwarfs, located towards the north of Cincinnati, near Mt. Rumpke. Like some bad rural myths, the stories surrounding this village pass on from one generation to another.
Annie and Percy Ritter, the last living owners of the house died in late 1990’s. Although we’re not sure where the midget rumors started, but Annie’s barely 5-feet-tall frame and unfriendly attitude towards teenagers might have something to do with it.
In 2002, this 30-acre piece was transferred to the Rumpke. At present, the place is in mess. All that remains of it is cemented walls, lonely wooden bridge, crematory, the wagon wheel gate and a church for devil worshipers.
We don’t recommend trespassing, unless you want to irritate the midgets.
With this, we complete our list of the top five haunted houses in Cincinnati, Ohio. They go beyond the bogus Halloween homes and incite true fear in the hearts of the bravest men. Do remember to visit them!