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History of Ghost Stories - Early Sightings, Famous Ghosts and Haunted Places


Since ancient times, ghost stories—tales of spirits who return from the dead to haunt the places they left behind—have figured prominently in the folklore of many cultures around the world. A rich subset of these tales involve historical figures ranging from queens and politicians to writers and gangsters, many of whom died early, violent or mysterious deaths.

What Is a Ghost?

The concept of a ghost, also known as a specter, is based on the ancient idea that a person’s spirit exists separately from his or her body, and may continue to exist after that person dies. Because of this idea, many societies began to use funeral rituals as a way of ensuring that the dead person’s spirit would not return to “haunt” the living.

Places that are haunted are usually believed to be associated with some occurrence or emotion in the ghost’s past; they are often a former home or the place where he or she died. Aside from actual ghostly apparitions, traditional signs of haunting range from strange noises, lights, odors or breezes to the displacement of objects, bells that ring spontaneously or musical instruments that seem to play on their own.

Early Ghost Sightings

In the first century A.D., the great Roman author and statesman Pliny the Younger recorded one of the first notable ghost stories in his letters, which became famous for their vivid account of life during the heyday of the Roman Empire. Pliny reported that the specter of an old man with a long beard, rattling chains, was haunting his house in Athens. The Greek writer Lucian and Pliny’s fellow Roman Plautus also wrote memorable ghost stories.

Centuries later, in 856 A.D., the first poltergeist–a ghost that causes physical disturbances such as loud noises or objects falling or being thrown around–was reported at a farmhouse in Germany. The poltergeist tormented the family living there by throwing stones and starting fires, among other things.

Three Famous Historical Ghosts

One of the most frequently reported ghost sightings in England dates back to the 16th century. Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was executed at the Tower of London in May 1536 after being accused of witchcraft, treason, incest and adultery. Sightings of Boleyn’s ghost have been reported at the tower as well as in various other locations, including her childhood home, Hever Castle, in Kent.

America’s own rich tradition of historical ghosts begins with one of its most illustrious founding fathers: Benjamin Franklin. Beginning in the late 19th century, Franklin’s ghost was seen near the library of the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; some reports held that the statue of Franklin in front of the society comes to life and dances in the streets.

Though many ghost sightings have been reported at the White House in Washington, D.C., over the years, perhaps no political figure has made so frequent an appearance in the afterlife as Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s 16th president, who was killed by an assassin’s bullet in April 1865. Lincoln, formerly a lawyer and congresseman from Illinois, is said to have been seen wandering near the old Springfield capitol building, as well as his nearby law offices. At the White House, everyone from first ladies to queens to prime ministers have reported seeing the ghost or feeling the presence of Honest Abe–particularly during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, another president who guided the country through a time of great upheaval and war.

Haunted Places

Some locations simply seem to lend themselves to hauntings, perhaps due to the dramatic or grisly events that occurred there in the past. Over the centuries, sightings of spectral armies have been reported on famous battlefields around the world, including important battle sites from the English Civil War in the 17th century, the bloody Civil War battlefield of Gettsyburg and the World War I sites of Gallipoli (near Turkey) and the Somme (northern France).

Another particularly active center for paranormal activity is the HMS Queen Mary, a cruise ship built in 1936 for the Cunard-White Star Line. After serving in the British Royal Navy in World War II, the 81,000-ton ship retired in Long Beach, California in 1967; the plan was to turn it into a floating luxury hotel and resort. Since then, the Queen Mary has become notorious for its spectral presences, with more than 50 ghosts reported over the years. The ship’s last chief engineer, John Smith, reported hearing unexplained sounds and voices from the area near the ship’s bow, in almost the same location as a doomed British aircraft cruiser, the Coracoa, had pierced a hole when it sank after an accidental wartime crash that killed more than 300 sailors aboard. Smith also claimed to have encountered the ghost of Winston Churchill–or at least his spectral cigar smoke–n the prime minister’s old stateroom aboard the ship. Many visitors to the Queen Mary have reported seeing a phantom crewmember in blue overalls walking the decks. Around the ship’s swimming pool, reports have been made of mysterious splashes and ghostly women in old fashioned bathing suits or dresses, along with trails of wet footsteps appearing long after the pool had been drained.

Among major cities, New York is especially rich with ghost stories. The spirit of Peter Stuyvesant, the city’s last Dutch colonial governor, has been seen stomping around the East Village on his wooden leg since shortly after his death in 1672. The author Mark Twain is believed to haunt the stairwell of his onetime Village apartment building, while the ghost of poet Dylan Thomas is said to sometimes occupy his usual corner table at the West Village’s White Horse Tavern, where he drank a fatal 18 shots of scotch in 1953. Perhaps the most famous New York ghost is that of Aaron Burr, who served as vice president under Thomas Jefferson but is best known for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel in 1804. Burr’s ghost is said to roam the streets of his old neighborhood (also the West Village). Burr’s spectral activity is focused particularly on one restaurant, One if By Land, Two if By Sea, which is located in a Barrow Street building that was once Burr’s carriage house.


The 17 haunted places you need to avoid after dark in Essex

While Essex is full of beautiful countryside and fun attractions, there is a darker side to our wonderful county.

Without doubt there are some scary sights and chilling old buildings that would test the very bravest visitor at night time.

To make matters worse, many of them have spooky stories attached to them to make them even more terrifying.

There have certainly been lots of cases of people claiming they’ve seen ghosts and ghouls around the county.

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If you love being scared then this is the best guide - and if you’re a scaredy-cat here are all the places to avoid.

The Cage, St Osyth

If a building is dubbed one of Britain’s most haunted houses, you probably want to take it seriously.

Several paranormal TV shows have filmed at The Cage since it went up for sale in 2015, and it took a total of 12 years for a buyer to be interested.

The cottage was formerly the prison for notorious Essex witch Ursula Kemp who was hung in 1582 after being accused of causing the deaths of two children.

It is said that Ursula was a midwife but cursed a child when the mother decided to choose her neighbour to deliver the baby instead.

The infant later died and she was accused of cursing the family.

Witch hunters tracked her down after rumours grew that Ursula was able to cure and inflict illnesses.

The current owner of the house, Vanessa Mitchell, has also appeared on TV talking about what she witnesses at The Cage house.

She lived there for four years but was constantly bothered by ghosts, flying objects and spooky happenings in her house. She has even reported being pushed and hit by spirits and seeing &apossatanic&apos images inside and outside the property.

She spoke to EssexLive about what she saw, read it here.

Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker

The bunker is the location of large-scale Halloween events every October - and with good reason.

Popular TV show Most Haunted have filmed there and it’s now been called one of the most notorious haunted locations in the county.

Hidden 125 feet below picturesque countryside, this ‘secret’ bunker is said to be teaming with ghostly figures and paranormal sounds.

Legend has it that concrete was poured day and night for weeks during its construction. But one day, a worker&aposs hard-hat was found in the wet concrete but he was nowhere to be seen, leading everyone to believe he had been accidentally buried alive within the walls.

An ancient burial ground was disturbed during the building of the bunker too and there is also believed to have been a suicide in the main stairwell.

Brave visitors have reported seeing ghostly figures and hearing growls and heavy thumps.

The bunker is open with social distancing measures in place.

Pitsea Mount (St. Michaels Church)

Foreboding black dogs have featured heavily in literature over the years, including in The Hound of the Baskervilles and Harry Potter.

Both were used to foretell the coming of death.

But did you know that two ghostly black dogs have been spotted on Pitsea Mount, where the remains of St Michael’s Church lay.

The church dates back to the 13th century and only the tower and the cemetery remain.

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In 1988, a group of youngsters were playing in the churchyard and said they saw two black dogs.

The dogs were described as being very large and had red eyes.

They had seen the animals at the north side of the church near to the ‘Witches Grave’.

The group tried to climb higher and get away from the dogs but they vanished as quickly as they appeared.

They are known as the Black Shucks of Basildon and have gone down in legend with some believing that a sighting is an omen of death.

Canewdon village

The village of Canewdon has a long history with witchcraft and the paranormal.

It is apparently home to witches and warlocks galore and has dozens of ghost stories, mostly focused on the church. It was even once dubbed ‘The village where witchfinders feared to tread’.

Legend has it if you if you walk around it seven times on Halloween you’ll see a witch, 13 times you will become invisible and if you run round it anti-clockwise, the Devil will appear, meaning Essex Police have even sealed this area off previously on October 31 to avoid hordes of people prepared to give it a go.

The most widely seen apparition is that of a faceless grey lady who has been spotted floating on moonless nights from the church’s west gate towards the river.

Many of these ghosts are believed to be the spirits of supposed witches who wander the earth unable to rest due to injustices committed against them when they were alive.

The Spiderman of Stock

Back in the 1800s, a man named Charlie (nicknamed the Spider) developed the alter-ego of ‘Spider’ to entertain guests - and to fund his drinking habit.

He would disappear up the chimney in one of the rooms with a pint of beer, drinking it before descending down a different chimney and appearing in a different fireplace.

The ghost of the Spiderman is said to occasionally haunt the Bear Inn even today.

The Red Lion Hotel, Colchester

When you look at one of the oldest inns in East Anglia, a few ghostly happenings go hand-in-hand.

The Red Lion is said to be plagued by the ghost of Alice Catherine Miller - a chambermaid who was brutally murdered by her lover there in 1638.

Sightings have been startling staff and guests since the 1800s. A couple of centuries ago the hotel owner was so terrified by the ghost he bricked up her old room to stop the hauntings, but in vain.

Her ghost has been seen in various rooms and staff have heard her talking to them. She has also been spotted disappearing through one of the walls to her bricked up bedroom. The assistant manager also saw her in an old rocking chair, and when he asked if she was alright, she replied ‘yes’ before vanishing into thin air.

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Hylands House, Chelmsford

One of Chelmsford’s most iconic buildings has seen its fair share of mysterious happenings. It was built in 1730 so it’s had plenty of time to build up a few spirits.

Staff have reported various unexplained encounters over the years including a man wearing a Victorian long coat and a top hat on the landing of the first floor.

An eerie voice has also told staff to “get out!” while they’re in the cellar.

An angry man has been reported in the library, as he doesn’t like strangers in the house, and a young girl often appears in the drawing room when the piano is being played.

The Fox and Fiddler, Colchester

A young chambermaid called Sarah is said to haunt this Colchester pub.

However, although some are scared of her, Sarah is apparently a ‘fun loving ghost’ who has been known to play pranks on the pub’s members of staff as well as the guests.

It’s said that Matthew Hopkins, otherwise known as the Witchfinder General, was responsible for the death of Sarah.

The story says that he dragged her down into the pub’s cellar and bricked her up in a disused tunnel under the inn.

Chelmsford Prison

The prison was made famous for being used in the sitcom Porridge, but did you also know that there are claims it is haunted?

To start with, there are reports of apparitions of a woman “wearing a crinoline dress and bonnet” and a figure of an “old-fashioned prison warder” carrying a lamp.

Both staff and prisoners have told of strange apparitions with some also reporting the ghost of a priest.

Noises with no apparent source have often been heard over the years including disembodied voices, the sounds of children playing, unexplained bangs and footsteps.

If you ever get a chance to be inside the prison, you may hear the sounds too.

Colchester Castle

The castle was built way back in 919 and is said to be one of the most haunted castles in the UK

Originally the prison was maintained by private enterprise which meant that prisoners were kept in the most barbaric of conditions and often left to rot or to die.

The spookiest rumours that surround the castle involve a Quaker called James Parnell who was arrested and imprisoned in Colchester Castle in 1656.

After refusing to pay a magistrate fine he was imprisoned, treated badly and died in April 1656.

Matthew Hopkins - the Witchfinder General - also features in the history of Colchester Castle - in 1645, he interrogated and imprisoned suspected witches there.

Many of the women were executed despite protesting their innocence.

Layer Marney Tower

Lord Marney himself is said to haunt the halls of this historic building.

It is thought the Lord haunts his former home because he is unhappy the building was not completed to his liking, his son dying two years after he did (1523), leaving no male heirs to continue the construction.

He’s been spotted, in full armour on horseback, climbing the staircase of the tower.

Although the building dates back to Tudor times (Elizabeth I stayed here), the majority of the ghosts seen in the grounds are wearing Victorian clothing. Poltergeist activity in the east wing has been witnessed with objects moving in front of people, and the ghosts of servants and workers have also been seen in the building.

Royal Hotel, Purfleet

Room 31 is said to be haunted by the ghosts of a young couple.

The story goes that the girl was murdered by her boyfriend after an argument about his gambling habit.

There are reports of figures standing at the far end of the balcony, with items mysteriously moving and drinks been thrown onto the floor.

Most guests refuse to sleep there, making it the least used rooms in the hotel.

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Essex Regiment Museum, Chelmsford

In horror movies, there’s not much scarier than a spooky child’s voice.

Yet, in recent years, there have been reports of staff hearing the laughter of a child in the early hours at the museum.

The slamming of a door has also been heard.

Manningtree

Manningtree is known for once being home to the self-titled ‘Witchfinder General’ Matthew Hopkins.

Hopkins and his assistant John Stearne are thought to have sentenced nearly 400 people to death in their time as witch hunters.

The ghost of Hopkins is said to haunt Manningtree at full moon and particularly Mistley Pond where he drowned many people for witchcraft.

Several people have also said to have seen his ghost in different pubs around the area including The Mistley Thorn Hotel, The White Hart Inn and The Red Lion.

Tilbury Fort

Tilbury Fort is an English Heritage site which is steeped in history. Queen Elizabeth herself rallied her troops to fight against the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The ghosts of her soldiers can apparently been seen guarding the walls at night but they disappear when you approach them.

Some have also claimed that they have heard phantom soldiers marching day and night from the parade grounds.

St Osyth

St Osyth is an unusual name and it is said to have been taken from Princess Osyth, the royal figure who was beheaded by Vikings after she refused to renounce her faith.

The story goes that after she was beheaded, the Princess rose from the ground, picked up her head from the floor and walked to the nearby monastery where she knocked on the door three times before collapsing.

Every year on October 7, it’s said that the St Osyth ghost makes the same walk through Nuns Wood clutching her severed head.

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The New World Inn, Great Warley

It is said that it is essentially impossible to spend a night in room 14 of The New World Inn in Great Warley, now known as De Rougemont Manor.

This is because the room apparently contains the spirit of the previous inn owner, Mrs de Rougemont.


10 Scary and Creepy Paranormal Sightings That Actually Happened

10) The Greenbrier Ghost

Zona Heaster Shue died in her home in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, in 1897.

Her death was ruled natural, and Zona was laid to rest as a victim of heart failure.

Over the four nights following her daughter’s death, Mary Jane claimed to have seen her daughter’s ghost.

Zona told her that her husband had killed her, breaking her neck in a fit of rage.

Her body was exhumed, and an autopsy revealed her neck was indeed broken.

Her husband was sentenced to life in prison, where he died.

Photo credit: Federico Bebber

9) The Ghost Of James L. Chaffin

James L. Chaffin died in 1921 after a fall, leaving confusion about his will in his wake.

After a few years of confusion, one of Chaffin’s four sons, James, challenged the will.

He claimed to have been visited by Chaffin’s ghost.

The ghost told James that there was another will, and gave him the clues he needed to find it.

To everyone’s surprise, he did.

The will divided the farm equally between the family and expert analysis concluded that the handwriting belonged to the dead man.

Photo credit: flickr/[email protected]

8) The Montrose Airfield Ghost

Lieutenant Desmond Arthur died in a plane crash in 1913.

The government ruled that Arthur was at fault for the crash, blemishing his record.

His ghost, it appears, took offense.

The personnel stationed at Montrose Airfield reported multiple UFO sightings of a ghostly pilot.

They decided it was Arthur, back from the grave to clear his name.

The government reopened the investigation, freeing Arthur from blame.

His ghost was never seen again.

Photo credit: askmypsychics.com

7) The Cock Lane Ghost

William Kent and his wife, Fanny, moved out of a house rented from Richard Parsons after a dispute over a loan.

When Fanny died from smallpox shortly afterward, Parsons took the opportunity to take his revenge.

He told the press that Fanny’s ghost haunted the house.

He staged séances where Fanny accused her husband of poisoning her with arsenic, drawing large numbers of crowds.

Only when it was discovered that Parson’s daughter was responsible for the ghostly sounds was suspicion lifted from Kent and Parson forced to pay restitution.

6) The Haunting Of Lowes Cottage

The Smiths bought Lowes Cottage from two sisters in 1994.

Their initial satisfaction faded as the house began to turn against them.

They fled the cottage after the wife claimed a spirit had tried to rape and strangle her in her bed.

They still owed the sisters 3,000 pounds.

The sisters took the Smiths to court, where the Smiths filed a counter suit against the sisters for not revealing that the house was haunted.

Photo credit: ludchurchmyblog.wordpress.com

5) The Haunting Case Of Stambovskys V. Ackley

Most suits involving haunted houses flounder in court.

The case of Stambovsky v. Ackley was different.

Helen Ackley claimed her house was haunted for years, going so far as selling her story to multiple media outlets.

The only person she didn’t tell, it seemed, was Jeffrey Stambovsky.

Stambovsky bought the house in 1989.

While he never reported seeing any signs of paranormal activity, the idea of living in a haunted house terrified his wife so much that he sued Ackley for fraudulent misrepresentation.

The judges ruled that “as a matter of law, the house is haunted.”

Photo credit: flickr/[email protected]

4) The Gray Man

The Gray Man might just spare your home in a hurricane, according to residents of Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

Since 1822, residents have reported sightings of a spectral figure.

Local legend says that he always appears before a major hurricane.

Should you be lucky enough to encounter him, your home will be spared from the destruction, even if the surrounding homes get completely destroyed.

The most recent sighting was in 1989 during Hurricane Hugo.

However, after a local woman was advised to stay away from this area during a phone psychic reading in 2016, she decided to go anyway.

She hasn’t been heard from since.

Rumors persist it has something to do with her spotting The Gray Man.

Photo credit: ghostsnghouls.com

3) The Hammersmith Ghost

The Hammersmith area of London was on edge in January of 1804.

The previous month, sightings of a ghostly apparition plagued the area, culminating in the death of Thomas Millwood.

Francis Smith shot Thomas Millwood because, he claimed, he thought Millwood was the Hammersmith ghost.

Millwood was dressed in all white clothing at the time of the shooting.

He was accused of murder after much deliberation, and later pardoned, but the Hammersmith ghost was never seen again.

Photo credit: flickr/pauldowning

2) The Ghost Of Russel Colvin

Russel Colvin disappeared in 1812, leaving his brothers-in-law, the Boorns, in a pickle.

Amos Boorn, the brothers’ uncle, claimed to have had dreams about Colvin’s ghost.

The ghost told Amos that his remains were hidden on the Boorn farm.

The remains in question turned out to belong to an animal, but there were a few articles belonging to Colvin on the property that amounted to circumstantial evidence.

The Boorn brothers’ names were not cleared until Colvin returned alive seven years later, just one month before the scheduled execution.

Photo credit: flickr/melanys

1) Booty v. Barnaby

In 1687, a sea captain named Barnaby and his crew saw his neighbor chased into the flames of a volcano by a mysterious figure in black on the island of Stromboli.

When he returned home to England, he found out that his neighbor, Mr. Booty, had died the same day.

Barnaby was convinced he had seen Booty chased into hell. Mr. Booty’s widow sued Barnaby for slander.

She lost the case on the grounds that too many witnesses had in fact seen Booty chased into hell.

Photo credit: flickr/midnight-digital

Conclusion

Sometimes the power of suggestion is all that it takes to let the supernatural into our lives.

Whether real or imagined, hoax or paranormal visitation, the bizarre consequences of these hauntings are enough to prove that alleged ghost sightings can have lasting impacts.


Most Haunted Places in South Carolina

South Carolina is an interesting state that is jam-packed with a rich history. Amidst the salty marshes, rocky outcrops and subtropical coniferous forests there are tales of slavery, war and bloodshed which have given rise to many local ghost stories.

Let’s Check out 13 of the most haunted places in South Carolina:

13. Rose Hill Plantation, Union

One of the most haunted plantations in the country, the Rose Hill Plantation was built in 1827 and the family lived, died and was buried right there on the property! Their ghosts are still said to roam the property in both the house itself and the on-site cemetery.

12. The Hermitage, Murrells Inlet

In 1849, a wealthy Doctor named Allard Flagg moved into The Hermitage and invited his beautiful sister Alice to come and live with him.

Alice fell hopelessly in love with a young lumberman, but her brother did not approve of the match and sent Alice’s lover away.

Alice was angry at her brother’s interference and continued to meet with the lumberman in secret.

However, when Dr. Flagg learned of the couple’s secret engagement he sent Alice off to boarding school in Charleston.

She fell ill with malaria and died soon after her brother brought her home to The Hermitage. When Dr. Flagg discovered the engagement ring on a ribbon around his sister’s neck he threw it into the marsh.

This meant that Alice was buried without her most treasured possession and explains why her ghost is now seen leaving The Hermitage and walking to her grave in All Saints Cemetery all the while clutching her chest where her ring once nestled.

She has also been spotted wandering the marsh in search of her ring.

11. Seven Devil's Bridge, Woodruff

Seven Devil’s Bridge is definitely one of the most haunted locations in South Carolina and it is all said to be because of the restless spirits of seven people who were hanged from the bridge.

It is said that these seven ghosts haunt the bridge at midnight each night and that no living person is able to cross the bridge unharmed at midnight.

Those who have attempted to cross during the witching hour have experienced all manner of terrifying experiences with most ending up broken down and screaming in horror! Would you dare to face the seven devils in the dead of night?

10. Admiral's House, Charleston

The Admiral’s House was built in 1905 and it is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in South Carolina.

It was built in the early part of the 20 th century and it has had a history of slavery and torture.

The most common report of paranormal activity on the property relates to the ghost of a small slave girl who is often spotted in a clump of trees on the property.

9. Baynard Plantation, Hilton Head

Baynard Plantation has a very interesting ghost story attached to it. It is said that if you visit the ruins of the property after the sun goes down, then you may get to see and hear the ghostly funeral procession of former owner William Baynard passing by his former home!

8. Greenville Tuberculosis Hospital, Greenville

Greenville Tuberculosis Hospital is a building with a very colorful history!

It started out as a hospital for tuberculosis patients, but it has also served as an insane asylum and a prisoner release site over its lifetime so it is really no surprise that it has some spooky tales to tell! It is a popular spot for paranormal investigators to explore and there have been many strange sounds and disembodied voices heard here – some of them have even been recorded.

The noises include banging, screaming and the clanging of bells!

The hospital is actually long gone having burned down some time ago, but the area is now a park and locals often see shadow figures wandering around, sometimes even straying into nearby homes.

The building may be gone, but the ground on which it once stood remains one of the most haunted locations in South Carolina.

7. White Point Gardens, Charleston

There is so much going on at White Point Gardens in Charleston that it would probably fill an entire book! This is without a doubt one of the most haunted places in South Carolina!

Also known as The Battery, the gardens are said to be haunted by the spirits of countless pirates that were hanged here.

It is said that these swashbuckling ghosts roam the gardens searching for their executioners in order to exact their revenge!

6. Salem Black River Church, Sumter

Salem Black River Church was built back in 1846 and it is said to be home to several different ghosts. In fact, it is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in South Carolina.

One of the ghosts is said to be a spectre of a Southern Belle, another is a very sad little boy often seen sobbing. It is also said to be haunted by a priest whose entire family was wiped out by the plague.

At the back of the church is a small building where people have experienced cold spots, seen lights flickering and even encounters a shadowy figure of a man who might be the priest in question.

5. Cypress Garden Ruins, Moncks Corner

What is unique about this spot is that these ruins are not actually real! They are man-made ruins that are leftover from the filming of the movie ‘The Patriot’!

That doesn’t mean that they are any less haunted than some ancient ruins might be, perhaps these spirits are attached to the land as it was before the film crew moved in!

It is said that from time to time a strange figure can be seen just standing in the middle of the swamp and many people say there are strange noises and an eerie feeling when you pass by the faux ruins!

4. The Abandoned Mansion, Santee

Known simply as ‘The Abandoned Mansion’, there is not much known about this old house in Santee, South Carolina. Nobody seems to know when the house was built, who lived here or why it was abandoned.

There are no government records regarding this house – it’s existence is a complete mystery! However, it is known to be haunted.

Several people have reported seeing lights flickering in the upstairs windows as they pass by.

3. Hell's Gate, Spartanburg

Hell’s Gate, or Oakwood Cemetery as it is officially known, is one of the most haunted cemeteries in South Carolina.

Many visitors say that their cellphones start to act very erratically in the cemetery for no apparent reason. Batteries will drain, or the phone will ring when there is no incoming call. Some people have even managed to answer these phantom calls only to be met with the ‘busy’ tone on the line!

Those who visit after dark have seen strange lights and a mysterious miss that seems to shroud the ground. Others have reported hearing the laughter of small children echoing around the creepy burial ground.

2. Crybaby Bridge, Anderson

Another creepy bridge in South Carolina is Crybaby Bridge in Anderson. It is said that if you stop on the bridge at night and cut off your engine, then you will be able to hear the disembodied sounds of a baby crying.

You may also see the spectre of the baby’s mother walking along the bridge in search of her lost child.

1. South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, Columbia

South Carolina Lunatic Asylum was built between 1822 and 1827 so it has had plenty of time to collect a large number of ghosts. The building is now considered to be one of the top haunted places in South Carolina.

The building was designed by renowned architect Robert Mills. This was the second state in America to put aside funds to build a purpose-built facility for the treatment of the mentally ill. By 1950 it was housing more than 5000 patients.

There were the usual tales of lobotomies and forced sterilizations, but for the most part, it seems that South Carolina Lunatic Asylum had a much better reputation than some of the other asylums of the time.

When calls for institutionalization came in the seventies South Carolina was so much slower to release patients. This was because they took the time to find homes and healthcare that the patients required.

However, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t enough pain and suffering to ensure that some of the lost souls that found themselves in the asylum stuck around even after death.

Those who have visited the abandoned hospital say that there are unexplained cold spots, strange noises and disembodied voices all over the building.


Essex Ghosts: 15 chilling stories of the most haunted places in Essex according to ghost hunters

Essex is well known for having some of the most haunted locations in the UK.

From visible spirits to stones being thrown, ghost hunters and even everyday people from across the county have experienced it all.

Essex Ghost Hunters, who run events at various haunted locations in Essex, have seen many of these chilling sights for themselves.

Russell Old, company director, has given Essex Live an insight into some of the most haunted locations in the county.

1. Harwich Redoubt Fort

Location: Harwich

According to Russell, Harwich Redoubt Fort is one of the most haunted locations in Essex.

The fort, built in the early 19th century to protect Harwich port from invasion, is apparently home to a number of spirits.

Witnesses have reportedly seen apparitions through the windows and have heard unexplained footsteps. Some have even reported being touched by unseen hands.

"We&aposve been to Harwich many times," Russell said. "One of the rooms we call Annie&aposs Room.

"Her spirit holds people&aposs hands and your hands get pins and needles, it&aposs really good fun.

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"But in the cells there is a dark spirit. One time we could hear shuffling footsteps in one of the cells when suddenly the whole group was physically pushed across the room."

The group claims there have also been many other mysterious noises, apparitions and hot and cold spots, and that the fort is well known for the apparition of a headless soldier.

It is reported that in 1972 a soldier was decapitated by a cable attached to a 12-ton cannon which broke under the strain. The soldier has been reported to be walking within the grounds of the fort headless and sometimes with his head tucked under his arms.

2. Beeleigh Abbey

Location: Maldon

Visitors to the grounds and woodland surrounding Beeleigh Abbey have reported numerous sightings.

And inside the building, the ghost of a hooded man has been seen standing in the corner of one of the rooms, a figure thought to be either a monk who once lived there of a man who was executed.

The group claims that poltergeist activity has also been witnessed, including trap doors opening and beds violently shaking.

"We do a ghost walk around Beeleigh Lock which takes us along the pathway around the back of the Abbey," Russell explained.

"My uncle, who I started the group with, once had a cross he was carrying pulled off of him."

3. Borley Rectory

Location: Borley

According to Russell, this is the group&aposs favourite place to visit.

They&aposve been to the grounds of the rectory, which was destroyed by a fire in 1939, many times. And on each occasion something has happened.

"One time we were talking in the church car park when we noticed some apparitions and shadows," he said.

"We were standing next to my car, which I&aposd only had for a few weeks, when stones started being thrown towards it. It happened about five times in two or three minutes.

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"It&aposs one of our most well known experiences. The rest of the group were standing round the other side of the car, so we had no idea where the stones were being thrown from."

Ghost hunters like to quote the legend of a Benedictine monastery supposedly built in this area in about 1362, according to which, a monk from the monastery carried on a relationship with a nun from a nearby convent.

After their affair was discovered, the monk was executed and the nun bricked up alive in the convent walls.

But it was confirmed in 1938 that this legend had no historical basis and seemed to have been fabricated by the rector’s children to romanticise their gothic-style red-brick rectory.

4. Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Location: Kelvedon Hatch

The large underground bunker near Brentwood was maintained during the cold war as a potential regional government headquarters.

Since being decommissioned in 1992, the bunker has been open to the public as a tourist attraction, with a museum focusing on its cold war history.

According to the group, several apparitions roam the complex, including a grey figure who moves from room to room. Witnesses have described it as taking the form of an ‘unusually tall elderly lady’.

"We&aposve had sleepovers there," Russell said. "It ended at 2am but a couple of us stayed until 7am in the morning.

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"Once my head hits the pillow I&aposm asleep, but the others said they couldn&apost believe I slept through what they heard during the night.

"The bunker was locked off so nobody could get in, but they heard doors banging and people were frightened, so much they couldn&apost even go out and look. I would have been straight out.

"The spirit of a high ranking officer can be found in the communications room, he&aposs a very &aposno talking&apos and &aposbe quiet&apos type of person.

"We got a lot of K2 hits in there, one of the pieces of detecting equipment we use."

5. Red Lion Hotel

Location: Colchester

The Grade I listed building has reportedly been the home to a number of spirits for centuries.

According to the group, there are at least three known ghosts within the hotel, the most active spirit being that of Alice Katherine Millar who was a chambermaid at the hotel.

It&aposs claimed she was murdered by her partner in 1638 and now haunts the building.

"I&aposve only been there once and it was quite a few years ago, but one of the girls was using a dowsing rod and she was getting all the correct answers from the spirit about how she was feeling," Russell said.

"We did a really good Séance in the bottom cellar where we found out the spirit we were communicating with was from parliament. We asked if she worked there and she said yes."

6. The Cage

Location: St Osyth

Used as a prison to hold people accused of withcraft in the 16th century, The Cage is widely regarded as one of the most haunted locations in the county.

It is well known for the imprisonment of Ursula Kemp and other women who were accused and subsequently hung in 1582, the group claims.

The current owner had to move out when strange things started happening, including when she saw a man in modern day clothes at the top of the stairs.

Ghost Stories from across Essex

According to Essex Ghost Hunters, The Cage is now extremely active with spirits of jailer, a young child, a suicide victim, and Ursula Kemp.

"We once did a Séance there and two of our team members became very angry with each other," Russell said. "We were holding hands and the spirit was forcing fist punches towards people&aposs faces.

"The energy was very angry and we were getting a lot of K2 hits upstairs."

7. Cash&aposs Well

Location: Stanford-le-Hope

Cash&aposs Well is another of the group&aposs favourite venues to visit.

The domed building of the former mineral well is located close to the One Tree Hill country park on the outskirts of Martinhole Wood at Langdon Hills.

"We took guests in there, it&aposs a wooded area with the well in the middle," Russell said. "People just burst into tears.

"That was the spirit working. There is a story of a man who was beaten up at the well, and some of the guests said they could feel the man&aposs pain."

8. Canewdon Church

Location: Canewdon

Essex Ghost Hunters have visited the church a few times, and it&aposs a location they describe as "a little spooky".

However, they are yet to experienced something unexplainable.

They have heard a few unusual noises, but have come to the conclusion that it’s the wind blowing through the fins at the top of the church tower.

The village of Canewdon has been long associated with historic witches and witchcraft, as well as paranormal phenomena.

Legend has it, if you see a stone fall from the church tower, you can be certain that a witch has died, but another has replaced her in her coven.

9. Coalhouse Fort

Location: Tilbury

Many people who have worked at Coalhouse Fort over the years claim to have seen strange shapes and shadows and heard strange sounds, while others have seen full apparitions.

There have been the sounds of children’s laughter and the eerie footsteps that have followed people along the tunnels.

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Things have been thrown and chairs have been moved, and the group describes the poltergeist activity as "overwhelming".

Stones and lightbulbs are the most common objects thrown, mostly across rooms or sometimes even at people.

10. Hadleigh Castle

Location: Hadleigh

The castle was occupied for around 300 years from the early 13th century, but by 1600, the castle was apparently in ruin.

During the 19th century, secret chambers in the ruins of the castle were supposed to have been used by smugglers to hide their ill-gotten gains.

According to the group, it was also during this time that the castle got a reputation for being haunted by a woman in white.

People have reported various sightings at Hadleigh Castle, they vary from a huge black dog with red eyes to hearing the muffled voice of a woman talking.

11. Layer Marney Tower

Location: Layer Marney

The grand Tudor gatehouse, located a few miles from Colchester.

One of the most prominent ghosts at Layer Marney Tower is that of Lord Henry Marney, the creator of the Tower.

The Lord is believed to haunt his former home because he is unhappy that the building was not completed to his liking, according to the group.

Witnesses claim to have seen him in the Tower, with some visitors claiming to have seen him dressed in full armor walking down the 96 steps of the spiral staircase.

One of the rooms in the Tower is also said to be haunted. Workmen have heard doors being slammed, but the only door up there is rusted shut.

12. Palace Theatre

Location: Southend

The Palace Theatre still plays a very active part in the Southend community, but rumour has it that there are spirits lurking behind the curtain.

According to the Essex Ghost Hunters, actors have reported weird tobacco smells, and theatre-goers sitting with no one beside them have reported feeling a hand on their shoulder.

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The spirit is thought to be that of a theatre manager who hung himself from the fly floor when the theatre got into financial difficulties. Sightings of a ‘distinguished woman in white’ and the sound of a piano coming from the deserted pit add to the "eerie atmosphere".

13. Ruins of St Peter&aposs Church

Location: Arlesford

After standing since around 1300, the chruch was all-but destroyed in a fire in 1971 and was beyond repair.

Because of its Grade II listed status the ruins still remain, and whilst the haunted history isn’t clear, the ruins are a big attraction for paranormal teams.

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It&aposs claimed to be used for witchcraft. Paranormal teams have reported on a lot of spirits being present, most happy for people to explore but others not so pleasant.

14. St Osyth&aposs Priory

Location: St Osyth

Situated on an estuary formed by the junction of the rivers Stour and Blackwater, the Priory is set within 20 acres of formal gardens.

According to the group, St Osyth was a 7th century East Anglian Queen, beheaded in nearby “Nuns Wood” by Danish invaders, when she refused to renounce her faith.

Her executioners were astonished when she picked up her head and, holding it at arms length, walked to the village church, where she knocked several times on the door before slumping to the ground.

Legend has it that every October 7, her ghost repeats the routine, and can be seen in the churchyard at midnight holding her severed head.

15. St Peter-on-the-Wall

Location: Bradwell

It&aposs one of the oldest buildings on the list, dating back to around 650AD, and up until 1920 it was used as a cow barn.

The church still stands today in fairly good condition. It’s said that the church is haunted by ghostly, silent figures that walk around inside the chapel and unexplainable light shines within.

But, according to the group, it’s unclear what the ghostly figures are and why they’re there. It’s been reported that a regular lonely man died there praying.

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Haunted Places in Michigan

Where are some interesting abandoned places in Michigan?

Lucky for those of us who love urbex (urban exploration or, in other words, exploring abandoned places), Michigan is a great state for it. There are plenty of interesting, unusual, and sometimes straight-up spooky abandoned places peppered all over the state. Some of our favorites include the always-eerie Sugar Loaf Ski Lodge, in Cedar, which was abandoned in 2000 and is always worth a gander. Of course, you can only view this one from the outside to enter is considered trespassing. However, it’s an interesting look at what life once was a little over two decades ago now (seriously, 2000 was more than 20 years ago). Plenty of buildings in Detroit have been retaken by nature, and they’re always a sight to see. For example, there’s the old Pontiac Silverdome, as well as Southwestern High School. These places always seem to offer a glimpse into the past.

Are there any Michigan ghost stories?

Of course. Michigan is a state filled to the brim with creepy stories, urban legends, and, of course, the occasional ghost story. For example, the old orphanage in Marquette is at the center of many a local legend, including whispers that, if you pass it at night, you’ll still hear the crying of children inside – even though it’s been shuttered and locked since the 1960s. There’s also the famous Paulding Light, which is a strange and unexplained light that appears along Highway 45 nearby the town of Paulding. Many theories about what it could be have resonated throughout the years, but today, it still remains unexplained. Craving a little more haunted Michigan spookiness? Check this article out for 10 haunted places in Michigan you’ve got to see to believe.

What are some of the most creepy places in Michigan?

Mackinac Island is thought to be one of the most haunted places in the state. It’s the single most often sought-after place in the entire mitten for ghost hunters to gather and see what they can find. We’re home to a few super-creepy haunted lighthouses, too, like Seul Choix Point Lighthouse and the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse. There is also the world-famous (or should we say infamous) Traverse City State Hospital, which was built in the 1800s and housed severely mentally ill folks for decades. They say there’s a portal to hell on the grounds, too, and only the brave go looking for it.


The most haunted places - and best ghost stories - in the Bay Area

The Presidio Officer's Club, which underwent a historic renovation a few years ago, is just one of many spots in the Presidio that supposedly houses ghosts. A lady in a black dress has reportedly been seen in the officer's club and a Muni driver once reported picking up a gentleman in military dress at the Presidio — only to look in his rearview mirror and see the man had vanished. Many ghost investigators believe that renovations kick up spirit activity so the ghouls of the Presidio Officer's Club may be enjoying a revival.

Leah Millis / The San Francisco Chronicle Show More Show Less

Suite 1221 at the St. Francis Hotel is always in high demand: It's where singer Al Jolson died mid-poker game in 1950 . and maybe never left. Rumor has it that the ghosts of John Barrymore, Fatty Arbuckle and a lovely lady in a white dress also frequent the stately hotel.

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The Neptune Society's Columbarium holds remains of around 30,000 San Franciscans, some from over a century ago. Stories from visitors indicate that not all of them are resting peacefully, as ghost sightings and other paranormal encounters have been reported by caretakers and visitors alike.

As the story goes, around a century ago a woman didn't notice as her stroller and baby rolled into Stow Lake. When she did, she wandered the lake's shores all night asking passersby if they had seen her baby. The last place she checked was the lake, from which she never emerged.

Chronicle photo/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

Hailed for its unique Victorian architecture, the Queen Anne Hotel began as Miss Mary Lake's School for Girls in 1890. Many believe that headmistress Mary Lake continues to haunt the hallways and, in particular, room 410.

During Prohibition, the York Hotel in San Francisco secretly opened the Empire Plush Room where the drinks continued to flow. Some people say the ghost of a 1920s pianist named Lester still performs there long after the final curtain comes down on the stage.

The Rosehill Cemetery at the Black Diamond Mines near Mt. Diablo is supposedly haunted by a woman known as the "White Witch" who can be seen floating around the tombstones.

The bloody, fascinating history of Chinatown makes it an alleged hotbed for spirits. Did tunnels run under the region for drug runners? Is it true that there's really a building boarded up against ghosts? Curious for more specifics? There are multiple ghost tours from which to choose.

Curt Teich Postcard Archives Show More Show Less

The Whittier Mansion, which survived the 1906 earthquake, remains home to spirit of its original owner William Franklin Whittier, who died in 1917. The mansion still stands at 2090 Jackson Street.

Art Frisch/San Francisco Chronicle Show More Show Less

The Blue Lady haunts the Moss Beach Distillery — which started out as a booze-smuggling Prohibition hot spot — searching for her lover who is said to have been a piano player at the distillery.

Now a private residence, the property at 2220 Sacramento Street, once the Mansions Hotel, was built by silver tycoon Richard Craig Chambers in 1887. Chambers' niece Claudia is said to haunt the premises after dying under strange circumstances her family called a "farm implementation accident."

Currently at rest and serving as a museum at the Alameda Naval Base, the eighth USS Hornet was commissioned in 1943 in the heat of World War II. On-ship dangers — and the highest suicide rate in the Navy — claimed 300 lives on the Hornet in its 27 years of active service. Visitors and crew at the now-museum report mysterious moving objects, ghosts of sailors wandering the ship, and other paranormal activity.

Numerous people from former prison guards to visitors have reported hearing inexplicable cries and other noises at Alcatraz. Others have reported being struck by a sudden chill. It is, after all, Alcatraz.

After being killed by Justice David Terry during a duel more than 150 years ago, US Senator David Broderick is said to be seen pacing the halls of the Haskell House in Fort Mason.

Legend has it that Hicks Road, which swings through a rural part of San Jose, is home to albinos who chase trespassers who drive through.

Steve Castillo For The Chronicle/STEVE CASTILLO Show More Show Less

There are many mysteries surrounding San Jose's Winchester Mystery House. Switchback staircases descending seven steps before rising eleven, windows with 13 panes, and secret passageways. The biggest mystery of all: Does the eccentric woman who built the home over a century ago, Mrs. Sarah Winchester, still roam its halls?

Lance Iversen/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

The Flood Building was built on the ruins of the burned down Baldwin Hotel. People claim to hear the eerie screams of men, women and children. Or perhaps that's just the sound of the usual street rabble late at night.

Sophia Germer/The Chronicle Show More Show Less

In 2011, 25 caskets were unearthed at this site, an old Masonic cemetery, at the University of San Francisco. Hallowed ground indeed.

The city of Colma, at the northern end of the San Francisco peninsula, has more dead than living. Most of the land is dedicated to cemeteries, like the one shown above. Colma's the place to go if you're looking for a ghost.

So you want to see a ghost this Halloween.

Well, we make no promises. The existence of the supernatural is up for debate (unless you're a die-hard paranormal investigator). But if you're going to give it a go, we've found the best places in the Bay Area to get spooked.

The Bay Area is full of supposedly haunted locations. And it's no surprise that San Francisco, with its wild and tawdry history, has long been a hotbed of ghostly activity.

"Murder was an exceptionally fashionable crime in the San Francisco of early gold-rush days," writes Joseph Henry Jackson in the 1947 book "San Francisco Murders."

The book cites a California historian who says 1,200 homicides were committed in San Francisco from 1849 to the mid-1850s. By comparison, San Francisco had 59 homicides in 2016, a number that is even more striking considering SF now has 870,000 residents. In 1850, the city had a population of just 21,000.

"This wholesale bloodletting got singularly few people in trouble," the book notes. "The record shows only one official conviction for murder during this period."

There's no shortage of restless souls in the city. If you're looking for an apparition of the celebrity variety, try the Westin St. Francis, where entertainer Al Jolson is said to walk the halls. Want a classic lady in white? The spirit of a despondent mother is said to wander the paths around Stow Lake.


13 Haunted Places to Visit in Wyoming

Whether you are on a ghost hunt or just looking for a thrill, these haunted places are sure to deliver. From the old west to the 1960s you’ll find spirits haunting historical sites, saloons, hotels and theatres throughout Wyoming.

1. Occidental Hotel – Buffalo

This one-of-a-kind hotel built in 1880 has served its community for over 140 years. Although the Occidental Hotel started out as a saloon, it soon became a grand hotel that welcomed notable people like Butch Cassidy and President Teddy Roosevelt. It is said that the daughter of an escort still haunts the halls. Those who see her describe a woman in white with long flowing dark hair. She will tap you on the shoulder while sitting at the bar or move furniture around to get your attention.

2. Irma Hotel – Cody

The Irma Hotel was built by Buffalo Bill Cody in 1902 and named after his daughter. It boasts of having multiple friendly ghosts roaming its rooms. Some even say they have seen Buffalo Bill himself. Others have just had pranks played on them, like the water turning on in their room or their belongings mysteriously moving around while they sleep.

3. The Historic Plains Hotel – Cheyenne

This grand hotel held its opening in March of 1911. The Historic Plains Hotel has a prominent spot in downtown Cheyenne and is still in use today. Legend has it that a woman named Rosie and her fiance spent their honeymoon here. One night she caught her husband taking another woman upstairs. She grabbed his gun and killed them both before going to her room and committing suicide. You can catch flashes of the three of them on the second floor.

4. Fort Bridger State Historic Site – Fort Bridger

This state historic site located in southwest Wyoming is renowned as one of the most haunted places in the state. But it isn’t just the soldiers you may encounter wandering around Fort Bridger. A dog named Thornburgh is reported to have earned a medal of honor after saving a child. When he died, he was buried at the fort. He now stands guard over the cemetery.

5. Fort Laramie National Historic Site – Fort Laramie

Fort Laramie National Historic Site is best known as a stop for travelers along the Oregon, Mormon and California trails before becoming a military post. The site is even featured in the 1970s computer game, Oregon Trail. Another thing Fort Laramie is known for? Its ghost sightings. Many visitors of the fort claimed to have seen a lady in green roaming around. The story says she was the daughter of an agent at the fort. She left one day to go riding but never returned. You can also spot a cavalry officer completing his daily rituals around the fort.

6. Old Faithful Inn – Yellowstone

Built in 1903, Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn is considered a national historic landmark. This, of course, means it comes with some haunting tales. The Headless Bride of the Old Faithful Inn is a story of tragedy. A wealthy woman from back east fell in love with a con artist. Told by her family that if she married this man, they would disown her, she took her inheritance and ran away with him. On their honeymoon in Yellowstone, he chopped off her head and ran away with her money long before anyone found her body. Now the headless bride has been spotted wandering around the hotel in search of her lost love.

7. Wyoming Frontier Prison – Rawlins

The Wyoming Frontier Prison was used for almost 80 years, starting in 1901. While the prison is filled with eerie stories, one of the most infamous urban legends surrounding it is that of the pie lady. A woman living in Rawlins used to bring the prisoners pies. Upon release, one prisoner tracked her down and killed her. He was then sentenced back to prison, where the prisoners took revenge into their own hands and hung him from the second floor. Visitors still claim to catch glimpses of ghosts in the prison, which offer special haunted tours every October.

8. Sweetwater County Library – Green River

Built on top of a graveyard in the 1980s, this county library has had numerous incidents of ghost activity. Books flying off the shelves, computers turning off and on, lights switches being flipped and your name being whispered. They keep a log of staff and patron experiences. During October they hold nighttime tours.

9. The Virginian Hotel – Medicine Bow

More than a century old, the Virginian is no stranger to ghostly sightings. This hotel’s more notorious ghost is the woman in beige. Dressed from the early 1900s, she is said to have stayed at the hotel while waiting for her fiancé to come from back east. When he never arrived, she flung herself out of her third-story room window. Patrons claim to still hear her crashing through the window.

10. The Sheridan Inn – Sheridan

For almost 130 years, the Sheridan Inn has been a community staple. One of its beloved employees and patrons, known as Miss Kate, is said to have never left. Miss Kate moved to Sheridan in 1901 and began working at the inn. In 1906 she moved into her room on the third floor where she spent the rest of her life. After her death in 1968, while the inn was being renovated, her ashes were put in the walls by a friend. She is now the guardian of the inn. You may feel her in a cold spot or have the lights turned on or off on you. The inn keeps a log of her movements.

11. Miners and Stockmen’s Steakhouse and Spirits – Hartville

Known as the oldest bar in Wyoming, Miners and Stockmen’s was built in 1862. This Hartville bar has witnesses shootouts, prohibition and renovations. While there is no one ghost that lays claim to the building, there are many stories of mysterious mischief. The piano may play of its own accord or you could hear boots shuffle behind you, while the lights flicker.

12. Acme Theatre – Riverton

Built in the 1920s and still in service today. The Acme Theatre has changed with the world, transforming from the stage to the silver screen. Many patrons have claimed to see a man up in the balcony watching shows with them. He is thought to be a performer from when the theatre showed vaudeville and penny shows.

13. Wort Hotel – Jackson Hole

The Wort family’s dream was built in 1941 and continues to serve Jackson Hole as a prominent place of business. Its haunting came 20 years later in the 1960s when two small children were killed by a family member while staying in one of the hotel rooms. The children still roam the halls of the Wort Hotel, playing games and causing mischief. Locals have also said that you can see their faces peeking out of windows while driving by.


7. Wickham Farmhouse, Route 25, Cutchogue

The farmhouse, built in 1704, is one of the oldest English-style houses in New York State. On June 2, 1854, however, it became the site of a brutally vicious slaying. James and Frances Wickham, along with a 14-year-old servant boy, were axe-murdered in their bedrooms by a 21-year-old Irish farmhand named Nicholas Behan who, following an intense manhunt, according to The New York Times archives, was discovered hiding in nearby woods, put on trial, hung and buried in an unmarked grave. Descendants witnessed a ghost standing over their bed in 1988, according to Haunted Places: The National Directory by Dennis William Hauck, and sealed off the bedroom.

ETERNALLY YOURS: The Normandie Inn, at the intersection of Smithtown and Lakeland avenues, was once the Hotel Chateau La Boheme. A prior owner claims some strange occurrences have taken place within its storied walls. (Jaclyn Gallucci / Long Island Press)


The Bell Witch Terrorized a Family and Frightened the Fearless Andrew Jackson

One of the most notorious haunting stories in history is that of the Bell Witch, a malicious spirit which first appeared on the farm of the Bell family in northern Tennesse in 1817. The spirit was persistent and nasty, so much so that it was credited with actually killing the patriarch of the Bell family.

The weird events began in 1817 when a farmer, John Bell, saw a strange creature hunched down in a cornrow. Bell assumed he was looking at some unknown type of large dog. The beast stared at Bell, who fired a gun at it. The animal ran off.

A few days later another family member spotted a bird on a fence post. He wanted to shoot at what he thought was a turkey, and was startled when the bird took off, flying over him and revealing that it was an extraordinarily large animal.

Other sightings of weird animals continued, with the strange black dog often showing up. And then peculiar noises began in the Bell house late at night. When lamps were lit the noises would stop.

John Bell began to be afflicted with odd symptoms, such as the occasional swelling of his tongue which made it impossible for him to eat. He finally told a friend about the strange events on his farm, and his friend and his wife came to investigate. As the visitors slept at the Bell farm the spirit came into their room and pulled the covers from their bed.

According to legend, the haunting spirit continued making noises at night and finally began to speak to the family in a strange voice. The spirit, which was given the name Kate, would argue with family members, though it was said to be friendly to some of them.

A book published about the Bell Witch in the late 1800s claimed that some locals believed the spirit was benevolent and was sent to help the family. But the spirit began to show a violent and malicious side.

According to some versions of the story, the Bell Witch would stick pins in family members and throw them violently to the ground. And John Bell was attacked and beaten one day by an invisible foe.

The fame of the spirit grew in Tennessee, and supposedly Andrew Jackson, who was not yet president but was revered as a fearless war hero, heard of the weird events and came to put an end to it. The Bell Witch greeted his arrival with a great commotion, throwing dishes at Jackson and not letting anyone at the farm sleep that night. Jackson supposedly said he'd "rather fight the British again" than face the Bell Witch and departed the farm quickly the next morning.

In 1820, just three years after the spirit arrived at the Bell farm, John Bell was found quite ill, next to a vial of some strange liquid. He soon died, apparently poisoned. His family members gave some of the liquid to a cat, which also died. His family believed the spirit had forced Bell to drink the poison.

The Bell Witch apparently left the farm after John Bell's death, though some people report strange happenings in the vicinity to this day.


Ghost Stories of Eastbourne, Haunted Buildings in Eastbourne, Local Hauntings, Photographs, History and Ghostly Legends.

Home » Ghost Stories, Hauntings

Ghost Story 1) The Glyndebourne Opera House Ghost
Whisperings of an eerie episode date back to the time the original house was built. As the legend goes, here is the tragic tale of the ghost of the old well and gardens.

A young girl, the daughter of the cook, would come to the house and play in the garden while her mother was working. Curiosity may have got the better of her, as she leaned over the edge of the deep well and lost her grip, falling to her death. or was perhaps pushed in. The truth may never be known - no screams were heard when she died. Her young, lifeless body was later found (drowned, face first at the bottom of the well) after a full search of the estate.

Many visitors have reported seeing the ghost of this girl wearing the old fashioned dress she died in, her hair still in braids, sitting or playing in the gardens of the house. The popular comment is that "her ghost looks like she has stepped straight out of a history book!" Have a look at the Glyndbourne Opera House page for photos (not of the ghost, unfortunately).


Ghost Story 2) Horrifying Monk in Black at Beachy Head
Over the wind-swept moor of Beachy Head where howling winds blow, a mysterious and malicious monk loiters, haunting the edge of cliffs. The monk wears black robes, and beckons visitors to take the plunge over the 535 foot cliff edge to their death.

The monk approaches lonely or sad visitors and points over the edge of the cliff, encouraging those he encounters to take their own lives. Many have reported the same unsettling feeling of being compelled to walk over the edge. Death by misadventure, suicide, strong gusts of wind or the influence of the malevolent monk in black? The frequent deaths at Beachy Head may be a combination of all four.

Other ghosts seen at Beachy Head include a female dressed in Victorian clothes, whose ghost can be seen walking towards and then over the edge of the cliff. A dapper gentleman carrying a walking stick has also been seen, walking over the edge and disappearing. A farmer&rsquos wife carrying a baby stands by the cliff edge before taking her last steps, with her baby, to their doom below. Countless other sightings or other ghosts at Beachy Head have been reported over the years.

A great many people have been seen walking over the edge of the cliffs, and their bodies are almost always recovered at the base, or in the sea below. But not every sighting of a suicide leads to a body being recovered. Might these suicides be the ghosts of those lost souls who&rsquos bodies were never recovered? Why does the Monk walk the cliffs and why does he wish others harm.

On average, there are just over two suicides per month at Beachy Head. Death arrives in less than five seconds, which is roughly the time it takes to plummet from the top to the bottom. Allegedly, some people literally do die of fright, after the initial rush of air, before they hit the ground. For a brighter look at the cliffs, check out our Beachy Head page. And stay clear of the monk in Black.


Ghost Story 3) The Haunting at Elms Avenue in Eastbourne (By Harry Pope)
It all started in the very late 1990s. A friend of ours was looking to buy a house, so while her husband was out working she visited a house in Elms Avenue, Eastbourne. The estate agent showed her round, together with a silent man, who didn&rsquot say a word throughout her visit. The agent however didn&rsquot stop talking. The silent man wore a black overcoat, a black homburg hat, with an air of tranquillity about him. It seemed to my friend that he was almost looking her over to see if he approved of her buying the house.

She returned home, not having fallen in love with the property, but certainly wanting to buy it. There was a ground floor, two levels above, an attic, in this mid-terrace tree lined road one off the seafront. Not much of a back or front garden, but that didn&rsquot matter.

They had been there with their two daughters for about three months when ghostly &lsquothings&rsquo started occurring. All unexplained, they included the banging of doors during the night, unpleasant and unexplained smells on the landing, and the sound of footsteps when no-one was there. Willum the cat was unconcerned, but would frequently stare up the stairs at nothing in particular when our friend was in the house alone in the hallway. Our friend is a very level-headed person, but after a couple of years the possibility presented itself to purchase somewhere else in the town, and they moved.

A year after they moved, over Christmas, Trish was watching one of those old black and white programmes. It had an old music hall stay sitting in a high backed chair with a ventriloquist&rsquos dummy. The man was wearing a black overcoat, and a black homburg hat. She exclaimed &lsquoIt&rsquos him, the man who showed me round the house!&rsquo

The man was Sandy Powell, who was a famous music hall star of the pre- and post-war periods, an Eastbourne resident for 50 years and used to live in the house. But when he accompanied Trish around the house with the estate agent that day, he had already been dead for 10 years.

For more exciting ghost stories, Paranormal Eastbourne by Janet Cameron is available to purchase here.

Glyndebourne Opera House, Near Lewes

Glyndebourne Opera House
Glyndebourne
Near Lewes
East Sussex
BN8 5UU
England

+44 (0)1273 812321 From ?10 standing to ?230 stalls Glyndebourne Opera House, Tour, Festival, whats on, opening times, directions, Postcode.

The Old Mint House Pevensey

The Old Mint House Pevensey
High Street
Pevensey
Near Eastbourne
East Sussex
BN24 5LF

The historical Mint House in Pevensey highstree, by Pevensey and Westham station, Sussex