Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oh, the haunted places we will go

Happy Halloween, folks! Halloween's on a Saturday this year. Whaaa? That seems weird to me.

Halloween has become kinda lame, hasn't it? Even kids nowadays miss out on the pure essence that is October 31st. You know -- going to school in your costume, walking in the Halloween parade, having a party of cupcakes and candy before heading home and climbing the walls before your parents came home to escort you trick or treating. My son isn't allowed to wear his costume to school. And in my rural area, there's so many Trunk or Treats and harvest festivals that by the time actual Halloween rolls around, everyone is costume and candy'd out. But, I digress.

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd share some of America's most haunted towns. It'll be a fun, frightening trip. Off, we go.

Key West, Florida -- I'm not being specific here because the whole damn island is haunted. The Hard Rock Cafe's second-floor ladies room is supposedly haunted by a wealthy man who hung himself in, what was then, his house. *shudder*. Take a haunted ghost walk when you're there and you'll hear all the stories including Robert the Doll -- the original Chucky.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania -- Next year, my husband and I plan on going to Gettysburg for a few days for our anniversary -- sans kids. I want to do all the spooky stuff and I can't drag my three kids, who get scared of the Minions movie, along. Gettysburg, most notable for being the sight of the bloodiest Civil War battle (over 50,000 soldiers died) and the Address, is a hot bed of paranormal activity. Maybe I can convince my husband to stay at the haunted Lightner Farmhouse, which was once a hospital for wounded soldiers.

Garnet, Montana -- This is a literal and figurative ghost town. Once a gold mining town that emptied out in the 1940s, the town is now run by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. In fact, the government offers volunteers free housing and a food stipend in exchange for running tours and managing the site. Just don't get freaked out if you hear unexplained piano playing in Kelley's Saloon or see apparitions in the street. Apparently, the ghosts are most active in the winter.

Salem, Massachusetts -- I've been to Salem and all I remember is a lot of kitchy, witchy touristy stuff. But in 1692, 19 people were executed for being witches during the Salem Witch Trials. It's reported that Gallows Hill, the site where many of the 19 were hanged, is haunted with the souls of the condemned. 

Athens, Ohio -- Ohio, a nice Midwestern town, and home to Ohio University and Athens Lunatic Asylum. The Asylum which operated from 1874 to 1993 is a gold mine of creepiness. The hospital performed many lobotomies in its day. Now owned by the university, students report lots of ghostly sightings including seeing faces in the windows and floating figures in the graveyards.

Have you ever been to a haunted city? Where? Give us all the spooky details.


Carrie Beckort said...

I've never been to a haunted city (at least not that I know of), but one of my mom's ex-boyfriends back when I was a teenager used to drive us through a creepy cemetery late at night. Looking back, it was probably a good decision when she dumped him!!

Jill said...

I googled Robert the Doll on your suggestion, and what I found totally wigged me out. I mean, I already find dolls that AREN'T haunted scary.

Have you seen this floating around on the internet? They did a great job remaking this asylum into condos...but I still don't think I'd want to live there:

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I checked out the link. At first, I was like, "I'd never live there," but those condos are nice!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

I love cemeteries.

Jonathan Schramm said...

Kimberly! So glad to see Athens, Ohio on your list. I graduated from Ohio University (in Athens) and have been to "The Ridges" many times. Never at night though, too much a chicken. It definitely has a super creepy vibe anytime of the day, though. Thanks for highlighting my alma mater!

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

You're welcome.

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