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Ghosts & Hauntings

The 6 Most Haunted Places In America Will Terrify You

Haunting is a phenomenon that seems to lay upon a place in layers, like geologic strata, with the most recent and energetic spirits most likely to interact with their environment in a manner that we humans can detect. Of course human ability to sense such things lays upon a sliding scale. Typically, as the strikingly accurate Handbook For the Recently Deceased from Tim Burton’s haunted classic Beetlejuice states, “The living usually won’t see the dead.” But for the most sensitive people, such as Amy Allan, co-star of Travel Channel’s “The Dead Files,” many locations harbor spirit activity, and some locales are virtually alive with the dead performing elaborate pantomimes.

Over the last decade or so, with the popularization of ghost hunting TV shows and the broad “normalization of the paranormal,” we’ve seen the emergence of “super haunts”: destinations with so much spirit energy that it can be detected regularly by people of average sensitivity and register on ghost hunting equipment.

Savvy entrepreneurs have seized on this trend and market their spooky domains for paranormal tours, investigations, and overnight stays. Paranormal investigators, thrill seekers, and the curious flock to these venues in droves, expressly hoping to make contact with the other side.

But for those seeking a more intimate paranormal experience, one off the beaten and heavily marketed path, there are active properties in virtually every community in the land, hidden local gems full of haunted history and spine-chilling supernatural secrets.

America’s Most Haunted is made up of the best of both worlds — the celebrated super haunts and those that typically fly under the radar.

Best “super haunts”:

The Ohio State Reformatory – Mansfield, Ohio
the ohio state reformatory
This gothic castle-like structure was built in 1896 with the noble goal of reforming juvenile and young-adult offenders. As with many best-laid plans, the ideals of the Reformatory gradually gave way to institutional reality, the path to a better life yielding to a warehouse of despair, pain, even death.

Plagued for decades with overcrowding, decay, and explosive violence, the doors to OSR were closed for good in 1990 by a federal order citing “brutalizing and inhumane conditions,” but something remained behind. Along with the peeling paint and rusting iron bars, the troubled spirits of forgotten inmates still linger behind its thick stone walls.

Ghosts of angry men physically attack visitors and staff. Eerie whispers echo through the cells blocks, calling by name those who dare climb reverberating metal stairs to its upper tiers. Apparitions of emaciated prisoners flicker in and out of the dark shadows of solitary confinement, tucked deep in the bowels of the building.

And the heartbroken spirit of Helen, wife of a former warden, cries out in her former quarters, her distinctive rose perfume accompanying her presence.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium – Louisville, Kentucky
waverly hills sanatorium
Once the last best hope for those suffering from tuberculosis, aka “The White Plague,” this enormous bat-winged shaped building retains the memories and emotions of its former patients and staff. Before the modern age of antibiotics, fresh air and nutrition were the primary treatments for TB. Doctors tried many experimental procedures to help the afflicted, but drastic surgeries often maimed or even killed the patient outright — another case of best intentions gone awry.

The highly contagious disease could also affect the brain, causing many to go mad. The slow agonizing death suffered by many Waverly’s residents left a residue of dark energy to fester in the building. Ghostly forms follow visitors through the narrow corridors. Phantom footsteps and eerie voices echo among the walls of the body chute, aka “the death tunnel,” the discrete final exit for many patients.

An entity known as The Creeper climbs the walls and ceilings with its spindly spider-like limbs. Thought to be a harbinger of evil, it moves with unnatural speed, stalking those who roam the creepy, lonely corridors. Originally a place of hope for the afflicted, Waverly Hills is burdened with the weight of thousands of suffering souls.

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum – Weston, West Virginia
the transallegheny lunatic asylum
Before 19th century reform revealed mental illness to be a medical condition, asylums were the dumping ground for society’s unwanted. Originally a destination of enlightened empathy and treatment, the famed Kirkbride method emphasized institutionalization and an architecture that afforded a pleasant aesthetic, but TALA eventually became just another overcrowded, underfunded warehouse of pain and misery.

When the doors finally closed for good in 1994, the confused spirits of many former patients stayed locked inside. Murders, rapists, and other violent offenders still mix with those who’s only crime was depression or substance abuse. Tortured ghosts of those who endured horrific ice-pick lobotomies scream for justice inside the asylum walls. The lingering spirit of a lonely child named Lily is one of TALA’s innocent victims. Like a sentinel, she sits patiently in her brightly colored room, waiting for someone to play with her.

Best tucked away, lesser-known haunts:

The Red Onion Saloon – Skagway, Alaska
Many who flocked to Alaska during the gold rushes of the 19th century never made it past the staging town of Skagway. Overwhelmingly unprepared for such a backbreaking journey, many stayed in the town and sought their fortune in other ways. Many women found themselves with little opportunity to make a respectable living and turned to prostitution. With no shortage of customers, these “soiled doves” found plenty of work in Skagway. Brothels became commonplace, and the Red Onion was the best in town.

Although only in operation for two years in the late 1890s, this fascinating place has secured its spot in Alaskan history. It is now a popular tourist attraction, complete with a brothel museum on the top floor. But behind the music and free flowing brew is a collection of the Klondike’s most intriguing ghosts. The spirit of Diamond Lil, a former madam, still keeps a watchful eye on her girls and guests. She caresses male visitors with her ghostly hands and whispers seductively in their ears. A malevolent male presence intimidates unsuspecting staff and patrons, bullying both from beyond the grave. The solid apparition of a woman in a long dark dress glides ethereally up and down the staircase. The gaiety of current clients cannot silence the spirits of those who refuse to be forgotten.

The Lake County History Center – Painesville, Ohio
Museums are an often underappreciated source of paranormal activity. For example, the Lake County History Center has everything one could ask for in a haunted location. It was once the site of the Lake County Poor House, a facility that housed the dispossessed of society, the poor, the infirm, the mentally ill, widows and orphaned children. Mix in some prisoners and the criminally insane and you’ve got a melting pot of misery.

The basement had dirt floor cells with iron doors and cages for the unruly. In contrast, a significant portion of the building was a beautiful home for the facility’s superintendents and their families, elegantly furnished with posh amenities of the Victorian era. Now it is a living museum, filled with antiques and artifacts of days gone by, displays that tell the history of Ohio and its people.

But strange things are afoot at the history center. Disembodied voices, ghostly moans, and children’s cries pierce the silence. Large shadowy figures appear to dart along the hallways. A dark energy roams the basement, appearing at times as a pulsating black mass. The ghost of the matron, a severe and silent woman, still holds vigil on the old dormitory floors, keeping a cold watchful on her flock.

Mission San Miguel – San Luis Obispo, California
Founded by a Franciscan priest in 1797, the mission was one of a long chain of missions along the road known as the El Camino Real. The Franciscans established these respites along the coastline like a chain to heaven, converting many of the local people to Christianity along the way.

The beautiful church built in 1821 still stands today. The mission was secularized in 1834, and in 1848 a civilian named Reed became the proprietor, turning the property into a much needed hotel and general store. Rumors spread that Reed had a plethora of gold on hand at all times. A tragic robbery turned murder left Reed, his family, and his staff brutally slain for a sack of gold. Their dismembered parts were buried in a communal grave in the church’s cemetery.

Today the Mission San Miguel is once again a working church, retaining much of its original character and beauty. The grounds are a museum, a tribute to its former occupants. Encased in the adobe walls are the memories of those who fell victim to its darker days. Phantom priests of decades past return to keep a watchful eye on the congregation. The ghosts of the native people walk amongst the buildings of the old fort acting as protectors of the land. And the spirits of the slaughtered Reed family still linger, seeking justice from beyond the grave.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Reality show to be filmed in medieval “haunted castle” in Wales

British celebrities will take part in a reality show at the medieval castle of Grich in the city-county of Conwy (Wales), which, according to legend, is full of ghosts. It is reported by The Sun.

According to data from open sources, the castle was built in 1283-1289 by order of Edward I of England. For four years one and a half thousand people erected the fortress and walls. The castle is surrounded by a stone wall with round towers and loopholes. 

According to local residents, the ghost of the previous owner, Countess Dandonald, who died in 1924, wanders around the castle. According to legend, the woman’s spirit is angry because her husband took the valuables out of here. 

About ten years ago, a mysterious silhouette appeared in the photo, which was noticed on the first floor of the castle in the former banquet hall. In addition, it is rumored that objects are moving mysteriously in the castle. Also, fans of everything mystical believe that there you can meet the ghosts of gamekeepers and a maid who died after falling from a horse.

The creators of the reality survival show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Became interested in the legends of the ancient castle, in which celebrities perform creepy tasks. 

The producers are delighted with Greich Castle. It is planned to spend almost 1 million pounds and six weeks to prepare the location for filming.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Loftus Hall is the most famous haunted house

Almost any house built 150 years ago is tempting to think of ghosts. Of course, if it was not restored beyond recognition. But a special pleasure is to visit, or at least look at photographs of a house in which ghosts are definitely found. Well, exactly: in the opinion of its owners and those who live nearby.

Loftus Hall is one of those. Even if, in the opinion of the locals, ghosts were not found in it, they would be worth inventing again – this is how the atmosphere of this gloomy house located on the windswept and washed by waves of the Hook Peninsula in the Irish County of Wexford has to do this.

But, before we tell you what is so paranormal in this Loftus Hall, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with real historical events related to the house. Moreover, they are worthy of attention without any devilry.

Photo # 2 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

We can say that the history of the house began in 1135, when the Norman knight, Raymond Le Gros, landed on the peninsula. To assimilate faster, the knight renamed himself the more familiar to the Irish ear by the name Redmond.

The castle, built by the knight, stood for two centuries, until in 1350 the descendants of Redmond built a new house in its place. It is interesting that they were building right during the Black Death – a plague pandemic that arrived in Ireland by ship from Bristol a year earlier. The new house, Redmond Hall, was named.

Photo # 3 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photo: Shutterstock

Three centuries later, in 1650, the house became the site of one of the fiercest sieges of the Irish Uprising. The owner of the house, 68-year-old Alexander Redmond, with his two sons, a couple of local activists and a tailor who happened to be in the house at an unfortunate time, barricaded himself and bravely repulsed the attack of almost 90 British for several days. 

In all fairness, most of these Englishmen have crawled into neighboring villages, indulging in robbery and violence, instead of laying siege to an impregnable home.

The attack was repulsed with the help of the Irish forces arrived in time, which attacked the British under the cover of a thick fog, which in time fell on the Hoek Peninsula.

According to local chronicles, Alexander repelled several more attacks. When the British nevertheless conquered Ireland in general, and Redmond Hall in particular, Cromwell even let Alexander die in peace in his own house – for his courage.

Photo # 4 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Well, after the death of Redmond, his relatives were evicted from the house and soon the house was sold to a family of Englishmen named Loftus, who live nearby. 

Subsequently, the Redmond repeatedly tried to sue Loftus Hall back, but to no avail. But as compensation, they were given land in the neighborhood.

The Loftuses moved rapidly up the court stairs. If in the 18th century the head of the family was called Baron Loftus of Loftus Hall, then already in 1800 the title of Marquis of Eli was created especially for the Loftus.

Actually, the 4th Marquess of Ely gave the modern look to Loftus Hall. A major renovation was undertaken by the Marquis in the second half of the 19th century: he very much hoped that Queen Victoria would come to visit. After all, the Marquis’s mother was her maid of honor!

Photo # 5 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

The Queen never came. But the 4th Marquis of Ely became the owner of a luxurious house with such unprecedented conveniences as flush toilets at that time. And, alas, the owner of huge debts. Soon the house had to be sold and its wanderings began among different owners.

In 1917, the house was sold to the monastery order of the Sisters of Providence. In 1983, the house was converted into a hotel. Well, in the early 2000s, it was acquired by the Quickly family. In 2020, it became known that the house was again put up for sale. Moreover, Quickly emphasize that they will not choose a new owner, but “the house will choose him.” And that’s why…

The story of how the devil sailed to Loftus Hall and what happened after his visit dates back to the 19th century. It sounds like this.

On a cold rainy night, a dark-robed rider rode up to Loftus Hall on a dark horse. He said that his ship was caught in a storm and had to dock in a nearby bay. The Loftuses were away, the family of their distant relatives, the Tottenham, lived in the house. They sheltered the rider and offered him shelter and bread.

Photo # 6 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Tottenham’s daughter, young Anna, immediately fell in love with a mysterious stranger. A couple of days later, in the evening, everyone sat down to play cards. During the game, Anna dropped the map and, bending down to pick it up, saw that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of legs.

The stranger realized that he had been discovered. He immediately soared up, surrounded by devilish flames – and, as expected, made a huge hole in the roof.

It would seem that the devil is expelled, you can live on. But Anna, after the disappearance of the stranger, became not herself. She went crazy by leaps and bounds. The family, frightened by this development of affairs, locked the girl in her favorite sewing room.

There Anna sat, almost motionless, clasping her knees with her hands and soon died. 

According to another version of the legend, before her death, she managed to give birth to a child – that is, the devil did not lose time during two days in the house. 

Anna was not buried in an ordinary coffin: they could not straighten her and buried her in a sitting position, in which she spent the last months of her life.

Since then, according to numerous testimonies of guests and owners of the house, ghosts of a girl have been walking around the house. And the house itself has become a place of attraction for lovers of everything paranormal and creepy – excursions, especially popular on Halloween, are regularly conducted in Loftus Hall.

If you consider yourself a mystic, but do not have the opportunity to visit Loftus Hall yet, we recommend watching the gothic horror film The Lodgers 2017. It is filmed entirely in the luxe and eerie interiors of Loftus Hall, and has received excellent critical reviews. Here’s the trailer:

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Ghosts & Hauntings

The ghost of the Haycock Manor Hotel: a beautiful legend about a frequent visitor to an ancient building

For decades, the Haycock Manor Hotel, located in the small English village of Wansford, has attracted tourists by claiming to be the home of the ghost of Queen Mary Stuart.

Mary of Scotland, aka Mary Stuart, according to legend, visited the Haycock Hotel on the way to Fotheringay Castle, where she was executed. Why, in this case, she chose a hotel in a small village as her last refuge , and not a stone castle, is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, visitors to the hotel claimed to have seen the ghost of Queen Mary, the Mirror writes.

The last resting place of Mary Stuart

Because of her intrigues against Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart was put on trial and sentenced to death, which took place at Fotheringay Castle. On the way to the castle, Mary of Scotch stopped at the Haycock Hotel.

Mary Stuart

Despite the fact that the woman spent only one night in the hotel, this is the place she, for some reason, decided to choose as her last home. At least that’s what those who encountered her ghost say.

Manifestations of supernatural powers

Many of the hotel guests, who ventured to spend the night in the last refuge of Mary Stuart, complained about strange things that happened to them.

Some guests claimed to have seen a ghost, which they identified as Mary of Scotland. Why they were so sure that the ghost was exactly Mary Stuart is not clear, because the history of England has a large number of women rulers, and it is simply impossible to remember them all.

Other hotel guests recall seeing an obscure ghostly cloud-like figure in the oldest part of the hotel. They also shared that they often encountered the feeling that there is someone else in the room – someone who cannot be seen, but can be felt.

Hotel Haycock

Guests also reported that they heard quiet voices and footsteps, although there was no one else in the rooms.

Despite the fact that such stories can scare ordinary people, they are not of interest to real seekers of the paranormal, since they can easily be explained by the dilapidated state of the building.

haycock hotel

Haycock Manor is currently closed for renovation, which means that if the phenomena of supernatural forces could be explained by the state of the hotel, then after the renovation they should disappear.

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