Modern culture has always had a morbid fascination with ghost stories. There’s something about the unknown that can set our imaginations into overdrive. That shadow in the periphery, the tapping at the window or misheard whisper in the hallway, it often makes us question whether there is more to this world than we can see. So join us as we investigate some of America’s most haunted places.
The Villisca Murder House
In the early hours of June 10, 1912, a grisly murder scene was discovered at a house in Villisca, South-western Iowa. The Moore family and two house guests were found bludgeoned to death. All eight victims, including six children had severe head wounds caused by an axe. The case remains unsolved with no murderer ever identified.
Today the house is famous for chilling paranormal encounters. Some claim they’ve heard children crying, felt unexplained cold spots and seen an apparition of a man dragging an axe. Many think that the spirits of the Moore family remain in the house, bound to eternally re-enact that fateful morning.
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Located in Weston, West Virginia this asylum housed a range of occupants from murderers and rapists to petty offenders of substance abuse and even sufferers of depression. This odd mix of patients led to a harrowing environment of violence and abuse, leaving behind tortured souls that cry out in the night. The traumatic pain of ice-pick lobotomies, rape and torture has imprinted upon this property giving all those who visit a cold and forbidding feeling. Objects moving on their own, lights flickering, shadows in the distance disappearing are all the result of pained souls left behind, doomed to wander the echoed halls of this troubled asylum. And there in Ward R is Lily’s room, the home of a young deceased girl that waits patiently for someone to play with her.
The Drish House
The house of Dr John R. Drish is a historical plantation house in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This stuccoed brick mansion, built by enslaved peasants, has been the site of many spine-chilling events. When Dr Drish passed away, his wife Sarah kept a close vigil over her husband’s body in the upper tower. She burned candles and sat by the body for several days until the funeral. Sarah asked her friends that when she passed away that the same candles be used at her funeral. As she grew older she became obsessed with the candles, insisting that they be burned when she dies. However, when it came time and Sarah passed away her friends and family could not find the candles and they were not burned at her funeral.
Months later, fire crews were called to the old Drish House after neighbours reported the upper tower on fire. When the firemen arrived there was no evidence of a fire what so ever.
Since then, many people have seen a strange glowing light coming from the windows of the upper tower despite no one living there. A haunting figure that resembles Sarah has even been spotted wandering the grounds of the plantation.
The Mansfield Reformatory
The Ohio State Reformatory is a historic prison located in Mansfield, Ohio. This sprawling complex was built in 1896 by architect Levi T. Scott with the hope of reforming troubled boys that were sentenced there. By 1990 the prison was ordered to be closed due to overcrowding and poor living standards – over 200 inmates died at the Mansfield Reformatory.
The building still stands today, with visitors reporting many unsettling experiences. The long, paint peeled hallways home to shadowy figures that lurk in the periphery, their eyes piercing the living souls that have come to visit.
Inside the chapel of the Reformatory, many inmates reportedly experienced painful and slow deaths, hung from the rafters. Those who visit this room have felt ghostly hands grabbing at them when sudden cold gusts of air blow through the room. Many sceptics have been turned into believers in the depths of this old chapel.
Hundreds of unfortunate souls died on the grounds of the Mansfield Reformatory but perhaps the creepiest haunting is that of Helen, the warden’s wife who met a chilling end in the Administration Wing. While reaching for a box on the top of a wardrobe, Helen knocked a gun off the shelf which fired a round deep into her chest, killing her. Many believe that she was murdered by her husband but no evidence was ever found. Now, visitors to the prison report smelling Helen’s distinct rose perfume when entering her old living quarters. Prisoners have even said they’ve felt her ghostly hand tuck them in at night.
The nearly 400 year old Union Cemetery in Easton Connecticut is reported to be the most haunted graveyard in all of the United States. Many people have had strange encounters at the corner of route 59 and 136 near the old church. There have been reports of strange lights and unexplained mists, some of which have been caught on film. There’s even been a book written about this location by Ed Warren detailing the haunting.
There are two stand-out figures that roam these chilling grounds. First, there’s ‘The White Lady’ that appears in the middle of the road on route 59. She’s dressed in a long white gown with long black hair and sometimes wearing a white bonnet. Many drivers have reported driving straight into her with one off-duty fireman claiming she dented his truck as she passed through. She’s often sighted roaming the grounds of the cemetery. Little is known as to whom it might be but rumours tell of a woman brutally murdered and left in the sink hole behind the church others say it’s the ghost of a woman who died during childbirth, now doomed to wander eternally looking for her lost child.
The other famous figure that haunts Union Cemetery is known as ‘Red Eyes’. A person walking late at night by the graveyard claims they saw a pair of burning red eyes peering at them from the brush. As they turned to run away they claim that they heard footsteps following them. Locals say it’s the ghost of Earl Kellog, a man who was horrifically burned to death in the area in 1935.