Halloween is the time of year that often brings about talk of haunted houses and other spooky places where spirits are said to roam. If you enjoy the safe kind of scare, choose a virtual haunted house or take a stroll through an old abandoned mansion populated by actors in costumes. However, if you’re up for more than just a Halloween fright, read up on these famous haunted houses & other spooky places that are reported to be haunted for real.
Haunted House 1 – The LaLaurie House in New Orleans
The LaLaurie house on 1140 Royal Street in New Orleans is reported to be one of the most famous haunted houses in America. Purchased in 1832 by Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas LaLaurie and his wife Delphine, the mansion quickly became the center of the social scene. Lavish parties were given with the help of a generous allotment of slaves. The merriment was to last only two years, however. On the night of April 10th, 1834, the mansion caught fire on account of the carelessness of an aged cook and though the flames were extinguished, the slaves were found chained in their quarters, dead. Their names smeared by the media, who branded them slave torturers, Madam LaLaurie and her husband fled to France where they lived out the rest of their days. One hundred years later, the LaLaurie house has now been converted into luxury apartments. It is now said that the slaves who perished in that fire can still be heard screaming and moaning in the dark. Furniture can be seen moving by itself, disembodied voices are heard in the courtyard and spectral hands sometimes reach out and grab unsuspecting tenants. The LaLaurie house has even been touched by Hollywood. Actor Nicholas Cage is rumored to have purchased the mansion for over 3 million dollars in 2007 but lost it due to foreclosure. Would you ever want to live there?
Haunted House 2 – The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina
The Biltmore Estate was constructed by Mr. George Washington Vanderbilt for him and his wife, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser Vanderbilt. The couple moved in in 1895 where they lived happily until Mr. Vanderbilt’s passing in 1914. Distraught by her husband’s sudden death, Edith went on speaking to Mr. Vanderbilt as though he still walked the halls beside her. Though servants believed she’d gone mad with grief, Edith insisted the spirit of her husband remained with her until her passing in 1958. The Biltmore Estate is now a popular tourist attraction, offering Christmas wine tours, candlelight tours, concerts, dining and more. It is during these visits that guests often report hauntings. People talk of a strong feeling of being watched, especially during the candlelight tours of the basement and laundry rooms. The temperature seems to drop suddenly when moving from room to room and some have claimed to see the ghost of a little girl wandering the halls. The strangest sighting is the creepy appearance of an orange cat, who pads silently through the estate minus its head. Photos of the inside of the house are forbidden. Are the owners of the Biltmore Estate concerned that evidence of the hauntings will deter guests or is it something else? Perhaps it is something you must see for yourself.
Haunted Island – Poveglia – Italy’s Island of the Dead
Poveglia, a small, non-descript island floating in the lagoons of Venice is rumored to be one of the most haunted places in all the world. When the bubonic plague swept through Europe in the 1300’s, it left an unfathomable pile of dead. Unable to cope with the smell, the corpses were brought over to Poveglia where trenches were dug and bodies were piled and buried atop each other. Some, perhaps the luckier, were cremated. Soon fear and terror spread as fast as the disease itself and anybody exhibiting even the slightest symptoms of bubonic were sent to die on that same island. It is estimated that over 160,00 people perished in this fashion. 1922, the island of the rotting dead was deemed fit home for an insane asylum. If the patients were not already crazy when they arrived, the constant tormenting wails, screams and sudden appearance of the damned made sure they were so soon after. To make matters even worse, an overzealous doctor performed experimental lobotomies on the already traumatized patients, torturing them mercilessly. Driven insane by either his deeds or the spirits, the doctor died horribly when he threw himself off the bell tower, only to cling to life before being choked to death by a mysterious black mist. The island has remained closed to all visitors since with the exception of only a few or the bravest and craziest. Recently, the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures team visited the island for an investigation, only to have their lead ghost hunter, Zak become possessed by an angry spirit.
Haunted Hotel – Canada’s Banff Springs Hotel
It was the late eighteen-hundreds when the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway saw the gorgeous mountains, pristine lakes and hot springs of the Rocky Mountains turn to cash reserves in his minds eye. In 1888, Banff Springs Hotel was erected and open for business. Though the original wooden structure caught fire in 1926, it was successfully reopened in the 1930’s after being rebuilt from stone. The stunning Canadian hotel is said to be home to more than just its many living guests. One such spirit is said to be that of a bride who, while walking down a staircase lit by candles, fell to her death in a panic when her long gown caught fire. Another tragedy occurred in room 873, when a man, his wife and their young daughter were murdered. The room has been permanently blocked off on account of the little girl’s fingerprints appearing on the mirror despite numerous attempts to wipe them off. Other spirits rumored to inhabit the old hotel is Sam, a helpful bellhop, a kindly bartender who takes a notion to let his patrons know when they’ve had too much to drink and a headless bagpipe player. Which, of course, begs the question: How can he play bagpipes with no head?
There you have it. Four truly haunted places that put Halloween attractions to shame. Have you ever visited a haunted house, island or hotel?