It’s that time of year again, when the air chills, and we begin celebrating the things that scare us most. One way we can face those fears directly is to visit places with scary or creepy histories, filled with stories best shared around late-night campfires. Luckily, the United States has an abundance of spooky spots that fit the bill perfectly.
How many awesome spooky spots can there be in America? Well, this is now the third year we’ve written a new article on this topic, if that gives you any idea, and there’s still a ton of new articles we could write! (Check out Best Spooky Spots for Seniors This Halloween and More of the Best Spooky Spots for Seniors This Halloween for our past suggestions.) New for 2019, we’re actually splitting our usual article on this topic into two parts, since we wanted to cover even more petrifying places! Below, you’ll find spooky spots on the East Coast and in the Center of the Country. In the second part of this article, which we’ll published soon, we’ll feature a few downright frightening destinations on the West Coast and in Hawaii and Alaska.
Without further ado, here are few new spooky spots to sink your teeth into!
Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, NH
The Omni Mount Washington Resort has a long history and is certainly one of the more stunning places to stay the night on one of these lists. The Mount Washington Hotel (its original name) was built in 1902 by coal and railroad baron Joseph Stickney and designed by architect Charles Alling Gifford. To show just how big a deal the Mount Washington Hotel was, Thomas Edison turned the lights in the hotel on for the first time at the opening ceremony. Its brushes with the famous and renowned doesn’t stop there. In its time, the hotel has hosted presidents, celebrities, and even the Bretton Woods Conference, one of the most significant World War II meetings of world leaders.
What if you could stay in the bedroom of a princess that never quite left?
So, none of that is remotely creepy. Old, sure, but not scary. So, what lands this location on this list? Well, what if you could stay in the bedroom of a princess that never quite left? The wife of the original owner, Princess Carolyn Foster Stickney (she married a prince of France after the death of her first husband), is said to walk to halls of hotel nearly 100 years after she died. She is commonly spotted on the balcony of the hotel, watching guests enter and leave or descending the steps for dinner. You can even stay in her old room, 314 (called the Princess Room), and sleep in her bed. Guests have reported waking up to find her sitting at the foot of the bed, brushing her hair. Others report strange things happening in the room, like lights and the fireplace turning on and off inexplicably. For more stories about this hotel, check out Episode 123 (Unnoticed) of the Lore Podcast, which we’ve previously written about!
Woodburn Governor’s Mansion, Dover, DE
The Woodburn Mansion, the current residence of Delaware’s governor, is a majestic example of Georgian architecture that was built in 1798. As with any building that old, it’s seen its fair share of history and has built up its own legends. One such legend is that the Woodburn mansion was a part of the underground railroad, protecting and helping to shepherd escaped slaves to freedom. Of course, you’re not here for this type of legend. No, you’re in the mood for something a bit more Halloween-y. Well, you’ve come to the right place — the Woodburn Mansion is full of ghost stories.
The first, and our favorite, ghost attached to the mansion is affectionately called the Wine Ghost.
The residence’s two most famous ghosts are actually acknowledged on the Woodburn Manion’s official site. The first is one of the earliest ghosts attached to the mansion, affectionately called the Wine Ghost. If stories are to be believed, this is the ghost of the mansion’s original owner, Charles Hillyard III. It’s said that if you leave a glass of wine downstairs overnight, you’ll find it empty come morning. Charles has also been spotted wandering the house. The other is the Girl in the Gingham Dress, who walks the grounds holding a candle. She was reportedly spotted at the inaugural party for then-Governor Mike Castle. Other ghosts are said to haunt the mansion, though most are said to be benevolent and unfrightening. Most, not all.
Center of the Country
James M. Nederland Theatre, Chicago, IL
The James M. Nederland Theatre (originally called the Oriental Theatre until 2018) opened its doors in 1926 and has become a home of Broadway in Chicago, entertaining locals and tourists ever since. Sadly, it’s not the first theater to have stood in that spot. Before the Nederland Theater was built, the Iroquois Theater was there, opening its doors for theaters goers. On a cold December day in 1903, a fire broke out in the theater, killing over 600 people and changing our fire safety codes to this day. The disaster was so great that the alleyway behind the theater had to be turned into a temporary morgue. To this day, that alleyway is called Death Alley.
Some people report ghostly figures lingering in the alleyway or being shoved by some invisible force.
With so much heartache in one spot, it’s entirely understandable that tales of haunting would break out. Reports of extremely cold spots and disembodied voices are common. Sometimes, people will report seeing ghostly figures lingering in the alleyway or state that they’ve been shoved by some invisible force. So, if you happen to catch a show at the beautiful Nederland Theater, don’t forget to walk around the back of it. You may even get two shows for the price of one.
Sallie House, Atchison, KS
Who knew that one of the most haunted houses in the country was in the tiny town of Atchison, Kansas? While the house was built in the mid-1800s, the first reports of haunting activity began when Tony and Debra Pickman moved into the house in 1993. The paranormal occurrences started slowly, until things really got started on October 31, 1993. Tony went to the kitchen one day to find a little girl staring at him (who would later be identified as Sallie). After that, they began hearing disembodied noises, mysterious fires broke out in the home, and Tony was physically attacked.
If demonic children or evil spirits sound like fun to you, you’re in luck. You can visit, and even stay the night!
The level of activity in the house continues to this day, making it very popular for ghost enthusiasts. It’s also made appearances on numerous television shows and is the focus of a four-part series on another podcast we’ve featured, Astonishing Legends. Between the stories of pentagrams in the basement, blood in the master closet, Sallie, and evil spirits, the Sallie House is one seriously creepy house. And guess what? You can visit it, and even stay the night!
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This Halloween, if you’re not in the mood for a scary movie or a fake Halloween haunting, maybe it’s time to take a little risk and see if you can experience the real thing. Luckily, there’s almost certainly a spooky place near you, meaning you’re never too far from some Halloween fun or terror, depending on your perspective. Happy Halloween, everyone!
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