If fresh seafood is your thing, then the Catania Fish Market is your heaven on earth.
Seafood is an important part of Sicilian cuisine, as you might expect from a Mediterranean island. The fish market in Catania is one of Italy’s largest and dates back to the early 19th century. Since then, the tradition hasn’t changed much.
Every morning (except Sundays), fishermen bring their catches from around the island to the Catania Fish Market. People flock to the market to see what they can score or just to observe. It’s very popular with locals, and tourists are more than welcome too.
Even as someone who dislikes seafood, the market was an experience I wouldn’t want to miss. As I walked through the stalls, I was surrounded by the unmistakable smells and metallic sights of fish.
There was sea life of all kinds for sale, including octopuses, squids, shellfish, urchins, rays, and small sharks. And of course, there were many, many varieties of fish. I wouldn’t be able to name them all, but it’s not hard to find out what’s available. The vendors aren’t shy about announcing what they have.
Everywhere I went, I heard the shouts of fishmongers trying to attract customers with grand arm gestures. Buyers negotiated prices as they decided what to serve to their families and restaurant guests that night.
Friendly and in good spirits, each vendor seemed happy to be there and proud of their offerings. Based on my experiences, they encapsulated the Sicilian people well: warm and hardworking.
Loud voices mingled with the sounds of huge knives hitting chopping boards. It seemed every few seconds a blade came down on a fish before its blood was quickly washed away.
If you don’t eat seafood, don’t worry. There’s something for you too! Every now and then I came across a stall selling chicken and other meats. There’s also an entire section of the market dedicated to fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and other vegetarian products from different regions of Sicily.
With all of the different sights, sounds, and smells, the market was an adventure for the senses. It was crowded, it was messy, and it was at times overwhelming. It was full of quality food and genuine people.
It was exactly the way a market should be.
The fish market’s opening hours are every morning from 7 AM to 2 PM, Monday through Saturday. It is located behind the Amenano Fountain at Piazza del Duomo. If you’re lost, ask a local where you can find “La Pescheria,” or simply follow your nose.
Few destinations in the world offer a better mix of culture, excitement, relaxation, and value than Thailand. Whether you’re an adventurer, a spa seeker, or anything in between, you’re likely to find your perfect oasis somewhere in this beautiful country. If you’re looking for a vacation that fits everyone’s needs, here are 10 reasons why you should consider visiting Koh Samui.
Reason 1: The beaches are plentiful, quiet, and gorgeous
If you’re going to an island, chances are you’re looking to spend time on the beach. Most of the time, you want a beach that’s tranquil and not overrun with other tourists. Koh Samui has a less touristy vibe than some of the other islands in Thailand, such as Phuket. Of course, every tropical destination has its crowded beaches. But if you wander off the beaten path a little, it’s easy to find quiet sanctuaries. Different people have different opinions on what is the best beach in Koh Samui. However, the majority are located near the west side of the island, far from the hustle and bustle of the Chaweng area in the northeast. Lipa Noi in the west and Taling Ngam in the southwest are both home to beaches that are sure to fill you with a sense of peace. Once you get there, venture into the crystal blue water or simply enjoy the view with a coconut in hand.
Reason 2: The nightlife scene is vibrant
After a day of relaxing on the beach, what’s better than a night of partying on the beach? Koh Samui has countless options, whether you’re looking for a high energy beach bar or a laidback indoor pub. Here are a few recommended bars and clubs around the island.
At Chaweng Beach, head to the popular ARKBar, grab a drink, and watch a nightly fire show on the water. Performers treat you to stunning visuals with fire tricks both on and off the water, all set to upbeat music. After the show, the party doesn’t stop. International DJs play music until 2 am. Other options include the highly rated Cha Cha Moon Beach Club and the crowd-drawing Green Mango Club across the street. And if you’re searching for a different kind of experience, Absolut Ice Bar Samui might have what you want, where everything from the walls to the shot glasses is made of ice. Don’t worry, jackets and hats are provided.
While Chaweng is considered the heart of the nightlife scene, don’t count out the amazing hangouts in other parts of the island. The famous Coco Tam’s at Bophut Beach is said to have some of the best drinks in Koh Samui (try their signature Dark Passion - a cocktail of vodka, passionfruit, and watermelon juice). And in the west, the luxurious Nikki Beach Club in Lipa Noi is where it’s at.
Reason 3: Shopping opportunities are vast
If nightlife isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Many markets are open late, so you can spend the night shopping instead. The Fisherman’s Village Walking Street in Bophut is made up of hundreds of local vendors selling everything from funny t-shirts to handcrafted bowls. You’ll also find plenty of snack vendors along the way. Other outdoor markets to check out include the Lamai Night Market and Chaweng Night Market, which are also large and full of variety. These markets are great places to practice your bargaining skills and leave with souvenirs for everyone.
If you prefer the vibe of an indoor shopping mall, you’re in luck. Central Festival Samui in Chaweng boasts 90,000 square meters of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space. You’ll find familiar favorites like Starbucks, Uniqlo, and Adidas, as well as several local and independent shops. The complex also has a spacious food court, a movie theater, and a play area for kids.
Reason 4: Active thrill-seekers will find plenty of adventure
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to soar high above the trees of the rainforest, ziplining can give you the answer. Koh Samui hosts several highly rated ziplines, but the title of the biggest and longest zipline on the island belongs to Skyhawk Adventure. With 33 platforms and a 5,000 meter-long zipline, it’s an adrenaline rush for all ages. You’ll be accompanied at all times by professional staff and securely fitted with the highest quality safety equipment on the market. So strap in and admire the views, savoring the feeling of flying with the warm breeze against your face. If you’re daring, try abseiling upside-down!
If you’re a Muay Thai fan, you’ll find that too. There are plenty of shows you can watch and enjoy, but if you’re up for it, why not sign up for a class? The Lamai Muay Thai Camp and Superpro Samui Training Camp are both wonderful places to learn and practice your skills as a beginner, an experienced fighter, or somewhere in between.
Of course, if you prefer water over land, there are plenty of water sports on the beach. Surfing, parasailing, jet-skiing, and flyboarding are all great ways to get your heart pumping while taking in the views. Unfortunately, Koh Samui is not the best place for snorkeling, but if you’re looking to snorkel you have some options...
Reason 5: It’s the perfect home base for day trips
Koh Samui is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is just a short distance away from the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. Koh Tao is known for its wonderful snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities and Koh Phangan is a great place for partying (it’s famous for its monthly all-night Full Moon Parties). To get to either of these islands, simply hop on a high-speed ferry and you’ll be there in less than 2 hours.
If you’re looking for an even easier day trip, it only takes about an hour to get to the magnificent Ang Thong National Marine Park. This oasis is the perfect place to kayak, hike, sightsee, take photographs, or simply relax. There’s lots to see in Ang Thong, such as limestone mountains, waterfalls, monkeys, and the stunning Emerald Lake (to name just a few). If one day isn’t enough for you, you can camp overnight in a tent or bungalow.
Reason 6: It’s home to some great ethical elephant sanctuaries
We’ve all seen those pictures of tourists riding on the backs of elephants. It may look fun, but did you know that in order for this to happen, elephants are tortured and forced into labor? Places like Samui Elephant Sanctuary and Samui Elephant Haven have taken steps to prevent the exploitation and abuse of elephants by rescuing them from ill-meaning captors and giving them new lives. While riding is not allowed, you can take pictures with these happy giants, feed them, and even bathe them. Ethical organizations around Thailand make it possible for you to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime Thai elephant experience while having fun and supporting the groups that deserve it. If you don’t go with one of the sanctuaries mentioned here, remember to do your research before booking!
Reason 7: The temples are super impressive
Okay, this one is cheating a little. There are stunning temples all over Thailand. But Koh Samui is the only place you’ll find the Big Buddha temple (or Wat Phra Yai), a golden Buddha that sits 12 meters (39 feet) tall. It’s truly a sight to see.
Not far from Big Buddha, Koh Samui also houses the elaborate Wat Plai Laem. This temple pays homage not only to Buddha but also to the 18-armed goddess of mercy and compassion, Guanyin. Throughout the temple, you’ll find bright colors and intricate details featuring an intriguing mix of Thai and Chinese elements. As it’s surrounded by a lake, you’ll feel peace all around. You can even feed the catfish and carp in the lake for a small fee of ฿10 (US$0.30). Wat Plai Laem is usually not too crowded, giving it even more of a serene feel.
Another temple worth mentioning is Wat Ratchathammaram in Lamai. With its red terracotta walls and sculptures, this temple is quite unique. It’s another attraction that is usually not full of tourists.
As with all Buddhist temples, remember to be respectful and dress modestly. Make sure your shoulders and knees are covered up. It’s also required that you remove your shoes before entering.
Reason 8: The food is incredible
Again, this is cheating a little because the food is amazing in all of Thailand. But as the country’s top producer of coconuts, Koh Samui is known to have the best in the country. With so many ways to enjoy them, there’s no excuse not to give them a try. You can stay hydrated in the heat by drinking the water out of a fresh coconut or have a coconut shake or cocktail if that’s more your thing. Find an ice cream stall at a market and ask for coconut ice cream with customized toppings, all served inside a coconut shell.
If savory or spicy is more your thing, Koh Samui has got you covered. There are your tried-and-true basics like pad thai, chicken satay, and pineapple fried rice. There’s also no shortage of slightly more exotic dishes like spicy papaya salad, tom yum soup, and insects (if you dare).
To make sure you’re getting the full culinary experience, try a cooking class or spend an afternoon on a food tour. InFusion in Bophut offers both and is highly rated, but it’s far from your only option. There are plenty of amazing classes to choose from, such as Lamai Thai Cooking School, Island Organics, and Smiley Cook. The list is almost endless, so you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.
With so many delicious things around, you may run out of notches on your belt (but don’t worry about it, you’re on vacation). The good news is you can find a new one at any of the markets mentioned above. And seeing as a typical dinner costs under US$3, you just might have to.
Reason 9: It’s one of the less expensive islands you can visit
Southeast Asia has long been known for being the best bang for your buck. Sure, you could spend thousands of dollars on an incredible vacation in the Maldives (where the average daily mid-range cost is US$625). Or you could spend a fraction of that amount for an experience on an island with just as much to offer. I mean, come on. A one hour massage for US$6? Sign me up (then sign me up again, because why not?). According to Lonely Planet, the average daily mid-range cost of a vacation in Koh Samui is a mere US$60. If you find cheaper accommodation and eat mostly at food stalls, that number could shrink even more. Once your flight is out of the way, it’s possible to live very comfortably with little money. Nowhere else in the world will you find such value, especially when it comes to tropical island getaways.
Reason 10: It’s the easiest Thai island to reach
You might be wondering what makes Koh Samui a better choice than other Thai islands. Of course, anywhere you go in Thailand you’ll be hit with low prices, amazing food, and gorgeous sights. When it comes to the islands, the difference is that Koh Samui is the most accessible (tied with the more touristy Phuket). Other islands like Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, and Koh Lipe require multiple transfers between different modes of transportation and it can take up to 7 hours to get there from the mainland. Koh Samui is a simple one hour flight away from Bangkok. With the broad range of experiences you can find in Koh Samui, this undoubtedly makes it the best value. Less time traveling means more time enjoying the island. And now that you’ve read all 10 reasons to visit Koh Samui, you know you won’t want to waste a second.
According to a 2019 poll, 45% of Americans believe in ghosts and other supernatural entities. 36% of Americans have actually had a paranormal experience. If you’re dying to have one of these experiences yourself, you’re in luck. There are thousands of places you can go!
Whether you’re looking to check out nearby haunts, visit spooky spots elsewhere, or embark on a road trip through multiple states, this list is here to help. You should note that some states are so large that their best sites are spread apart, and of course, the list barely scratches the surface of haunted America. However, it will hopefully give you some solid ideas to make your trip as ghostly as possible during the day and into the night.
Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark holds the history of hundreds of men who worked under treacherous conditions, resulting in many deaths. One such man is Richard Jowers, who in 1887 fell from the top of Furnace Number One into the molten steel awaiting him below. In 1906, the ruthless foreman James “Slag” Wormwood met a similar fate. Since then, there have been countless reports of screams, apparitions, and even ghostly physical assaults at the furnaces.
The Gaines Ridge Dinner Club was built in the 1820s and there are several employees and patrons who swear that it is haunted by ghosts. Witnesses have reported a woman screaming and floating past windows, a crying baby, the smell of pipe smoke without a source, and a tall bearded man dressed in black. Some believe this man is one of the building’s previous owners, Ebeneezer Hearn.
The Tutwiler Hotel began as a very successful hotel in 1914. Since then, it has gone through several changes and is now operating as Hampton Inn & Suites. One of the most haunted areas of the hotel is the restaurant, which is thought to be haunted by the hotel’s namesake, Colonel Tutwiler. There is also a phantom known as “the knocker” because he wakes guests up in the middle of the night by knocking on their doors.
Kennecott Mines used to be a bustling copper mining camp before being abandoned in 1938 due to the Great Depression. It’s now a National Historic Landmark that welcomes visitors. Some of these visitors have reported seeing spirits and disappearing tombstones in the mines and surrounding areas. Construction workers nearby have also heard voices and noticed that their tools inexplicably went missing.
The Red Onion Saloon got its start as a bordello in 1897 and is now a restaurant and museum. There is a ghost named Lydia who roams the building, causing cold spots and lingering smells of perfume. Locals think Lydia was a prostitute back in the day, and she apparently has a green thumb. She often waters plants around the saloon, whether they are actually there or not.
In 1921, Police Chief “Black Jack” Sturgus was shot right outside of the Historic Anchorage Hotel. Since then, hotel employees and guests alike have frequently spotted his specter. He isn’t the only paranormal presence around, however. There is a female entity in a wedding dress who hanged herself after being left at the altar. There are also laughing ghost children and the hotel’s ghost log reports many other sightings.
The Orpheum Theatre has hosted thousands of performances since its inception in 1929, and it has also hosted several ghosts. There are apparently at least four different beings who haunt the theatre. The most famous is a young girl named Maddie, who is most often caught on the balcony. Guests have felt her tap their shoulders and heard her “shush” people in the aisles.
Casey Moore’s Oyster House is a great place to eat oysters and experience ghostly encounters. It is said to be haunted by William and Mary Moeur, who resided there in the early 1900s before it became a restaurant. Witnesses have seen the couple dancing upstairs, as well as silverware being tossed off tables and a black-haired woman walking around the kitchen.
The Hotel Monte Vista is famous for hosting several high-profile guests since its opening in 1927. It’s also famous for its supernatural activity. There are a number of known ghosts who are not afraid to announce their presence in the common areas and certain rooms of the hotel. One is the mysterious “Meat Man,” a long-term guest who often hung meat from the chandelier before dying in his room. There is also a woman in a rocking chair, multiple prostitutes, a bellboy, a baby, a dancing couple, and a bank robber.
The Allen House is a gorgeous home with a troubled past. It is haunted by Ladell Allen, who poisoned herself with mercury cyanide after a stormy love affair in 1948. There are at least five other ghosts who roam the house with her. In 2007, the Spencer family moved in and started experiencing a multitude of paranormal events. This included doppelganger experiences, moving rocking chairs, footsteps, a baby’s cries, and more. They have opened their house to the public for scheduled tours.
Before it became Four Quarter Bar, this building was a brothel-turned-murder site. In the late 1900s, the brothel owner fell in love with a prostitute. When he discovered she was in love with a patron, he slit her throat. Ironically, somebody later killed him in the same fashion, and many believe their souls never left. People have spotted trash can lids flipping themselves open, stools swiveling on their own, and more.
The Crescent Hotel has a long history of death. In the 1930s, it served as a sham cancer hospital and it still has a morgue on the bottom level. As recently as 2019, a landscaper found human specimens buried in bottles on the hotel grounds. There are countless sightings of ghosts and reports of other strange supernatural activity. There are even rumors that it houses a portal to “the other side” right above the morgue, where guests frequently pass out.
The Point Sur lighthouse is said to be haunted by the souls who passed away in shipwrecks off the shore. Ghost hunters who have visited the lighthouse say there are at least 20 spirits inhabiting the area. One of these ghosts is a little girl named Pokie who investigators have sometimes heard singing. Many have also spotted a tall man wearing dark blue clothing from the 19th century.
The entire San Juan Capistrano mission is a hotbed for the paranormal, but El Adobe de Capistrano in particular is home to many ghost sightings. In the 1800s, the restaurant was the site of the town’s court and jail. The jail is now the restaurant’s wine cellar, where lots of unearthly experiences have taken place. Some have seen a shadowy ax-wielding friar, and for some he has appeared headless.
In the 1930s, the Queen Mary was a luxury liner before being converted into a transport ship during World War II. It is now permanently docked and operates as a hotel. However, during its active years, there were at least 49 deaths on board. Now, there may be as many as 150 spirits haunting the vessel. There are several rooms and other areas of the ship that have a high amount of supernatural activity, where you may see, hear, and feel strange things.
The Museum of Colorado Prisons is located at the site of a former women’s correctional facility. It shares a wall with a prison that opened in 1871 and is still operating today. It aims to educate the public about the history of the Colorado Prison System by displaying artifacts and exhibits within 30+ cells. The oddest artifacts in the building are the souls of past inmates. Visitors have reported seeing apparitions, hearing mysterious noises, feeling a tug on their clothes, and more.
The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant housed in the former Littleton police department and jail. No one is quite sure who is haunting the building or why, since there are no records of deaths there. However, the frequent reports of supernatural activity suggest that there’s something going on. Waitstaff have heard footsteps and voices, seen faces in glass, and witnessed faucets turning themselves on. There are also stories of people being grabbed and pushed, as well as objects moving on their own.
A list of haunted places wouldn’t be complete without the Stanley Hotel, which famously inspired the Stephen King novel The Shining. The hotel has operated for much of the 1900s and beyond. Its founders, Freelan Oscar Stanley and his wife Flora, are said to reside there after their deaths. Many have claimed to hear Flora playing the piano. Former housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson has also stuck around, moving objects and flickering lights in the room where she passed away, room 217. The hotel is also home to multiple ghost children, a cat, and a dog.
People say the Penfield Reef Lighthouse is inhabited by an old keeper who drowned in choppy waters on his way to see his family. He doesn’t seem to have any spite in his heart, however, for in stormy weather he has been seen in the lantern room, guiding any boats in danger to safety. His ghostly appearances began shortly after his demise in 1916, and he has been known to cause chills, emit moans, and mess with the light before storms. This kind of activity continues to this day. The lighthouse is not currently open to the public, but you may get a good look at it on a cruise.
The Twisted Vine restaurant used to be the site of a bank, and ghost hunters believe that a 19th-century banker haunts the building (perhaps the bank’s first president, Edward N. Shelton). There have also been reports of a little girl, multiple orbs, and at least a couple of phantom women. Witnessed activity includes moving furniture, smoke appearing out of thin air, mysterious perfume smells, and unexplainable taps on the shoulder.
The building that’s now Captain Grant’s Inn was built in 1754 just a few feet away from a now 400-year-old cemetery. When the owner acquired the building in 1994 and started noticing strange things happening around the house, she turned it into an inn. She heard voices, footsteps, and knocks when nobody was there. There was also a picture in one of the guestrooms that she found face down on the floor every single morning. Now, guests share their own paranormal experiences in the inn’s journals. The most daring request to stay in the “Adelaide” room, which is named after Captain Grant’s wife and is supposedly the most haunted.
During the Civil War, Fort Delaware was a prison where Confederate soldiers were kept under horrendous conditions. More than 2,400 people died there, which could explain the high number of supernatural stories visitors have gained. There have been reports of cold spots, moving objects, footsteps, voices, and apparitions appearing out of nowhere. Witnesses have also heard barking dogs with no apparent source.
Crabby Dick’s, located in the Delaware City Hotel, is known for both its seafood and its ghosts. Visitors have heard kids running at night and seen brooms move by themselves. There have also been several apparition sightings, including a chambermaid named Sandy and the wife of the original hotel owner way back in 1830.
The Addy Sea Inn dates back to 1902 and has at least 3 haunted rooms. The bathtub in Room 1 sometimes shakes mysteriously. In Room 6, guests have heard organ music out of nowhere. Former employee Paul Delaney is said to haunt Room 11. At night, visitors often hear running footsteps in the hallways and on the roof. They say the entity on the roof is that of Kurty Addy, who fell off the roof and died.
The dark history of the St. Augustine Lighthouse began during its construction in 1873, when a supply cart killed two of the foreman’s daughters and another little girl. Since then, more tragedies have occurred. Over the years, keepers and visitors have noticed strange footsteps and laughing, and some have even seen the apparitions of young girls.
Ashley’s’ primary spirit resident is a young woman named Ethel Allen, who was murdered near the restaurant in 1934. She is most frequently spotted in the women’s restroom, sitting in a stall or reflected in the mirror. However, guests have also experienced a feeling of being pushed on the stairs, flickering lights, whispering, and moving objects throughout the restaurant.
The 13th floor of the Biltmore Hotel, built in 1926, seems to be the source of its paranormal activity. The most well-known ghost, mobster Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, was killed here. He is known to mess around with the elevators and write messages on the hotel mirrors. Witnesses have also observed a vanishing couple dancing in the ballroom and a woman in white who appears in hotel rooms.
The Johnston-Felton-Hay House, more commonly known as Hay House, is a sprawling mansion built in the mid 1850s. Since 1978, visitors have seen apparitions, heard creepy noises, and experienced unexplainable problems with doors and lights within the house. One wedding photographer may have even captured a specter on camera after using an old hat as a prop. The hat belonged to Parks Lee Hay Sr. The house is now open to the public for tours, but be warned. If you touch the hat, you may disturb the spirit of Mr. Hay.
Savannah is widely considered the most haunted city in America, and the building that houses Moon River Brewing Company is one of its most haunted spots. In the early 1820s, it served as Savannah’s first hotel. It has a long history of violence. Several fights, beatings, and shootings occurred there until it closed in 1864. Today, many of the supernatural events in the building are violent, from bottles being thrown to people being pushed and slapped. Two of the restaurant’s most prominent spirits include Toby, who haunts the basement, and James Stark, who haunts the second floor.
The Marshall House was originally used as a hospital to treat and house soldiers during the Civil War. The spirits of those who passed away there like to remind visitors of this fact. Sightings range from men dressed in Civil War clothing to a man holding his own severed arm. Staff and guests have also witnessed taps turning themselves on, doorknobs rattling, and the sounds of children in the hallways.
The Nu’uanu Pali Highway, Oahu’s main highway, has many legends surrounding it. There are several spots along the highway that are notoriously haunted. It is said that if you try to bring pork over one spot, your car will stall until you throw it out the window. Another active spot is the Pali Lookout, which is haunted by the souls of soldiers who died there in one of Hawaii’s bloodiest battles. One witness also had an interaction with a woman in white at the Pali Lookout before realizing she was a ghost.
The site of the Hilton Hawaiian Village first opened as the Niumalu Hotel in 1928. Since then, it has been through many changes and renovations. Today, it is one of the largest resorts in the world with 18 restaurants and bars. The hotel halls and its beach are haunted by a woman in a red dress whose identity has never been confirmed. Some see her as a beautiful young woman and others see her as an old lady. Many believe it is the ghost of the volcano goddess Pele.
In 1905, Stanford University co-founder Jane Stanford passed away on the second floor of the Moana Surfrider Hotel from strychnine poisoning, and hotel staff and visitors say she never left. People have seen her in the halls searching for her room, and sometimes she’ll even tap guests on the shoulder. She has also been spotted in the basement and other areas of the hotel.
The Shoshone Ice Caves are a great place to cool off on a hot day. You may also feel some extra chills if you happen to hear the mysterious footsteps and whispers employees have reported in the past. Some think these noises belong to Indian princess Edahow, who was buried in the ice centuries ago.
The building that currently houses BJ’s Bayou was built in 1892 and has served as a hospital and a hotel in the past. Some of its reported ghost residents include a man who was stabbed at the hotel, a soldier, a cowboy, a little boy who likes to play hide-and-seek, two women, and two preteen-aged kids. In addition to appearing as apparitions, the spirits can be heard laughing and talking. They also frequently prank employees by hiding silverware.
Stepping into Silver City is like stepping into the past. This abandoned mining town is home to the Idaho Hotel, which looks almost like it did in the late 1800s. Some have also encountered ghostly figures from the city’s livelier days. There are visions of people who died in a shootout on the hotel’s steps, as well as the hotel’s former owner who committed suicide in the hotel. A man wearing a duster coat is often seen in the stairwell and third floor.
McPike Mansion hasn’t been occupied by a living person since the 1950s, but there are over 11 spirits haunting its walls. Some of these spirits include Native Americans, servants, cooks, a woman who died in a bathtub. Former owners of the house have also stuck around, including Eleanor and Henry McPike and Paul Laichinger. The most haunted room in the house is the wine cellar, where visitors have heard voices and footsteps, witnessed a metal door move on its own, and noticed an odd mist following them around. The house is open for tours so you can take a shot at experiencing some of these things for yourself.
The Country House’s haunted history began in the late 1950s when a woman got into a fight with her lover, who was a bartender at the restaurant. She and her baby sped off and crashed into a tree not far from the restaurant, and they died instantly. Today, people have heard a baby crying at the restaurant and even caught wispy glimpses of the young woman from the story. They have also heard footsteps and pounding on the walls, seen pots and pans moving on their own, and smelled nonexistent flowers.
The most famous ghost of the Congress Plaza Hotel is none other than notorious mobster Al Capone, who spent a lot of time doing business at the hotel in the 1920s and 30s. Witnesses report seeing him in the hotel lobby and bar. Another of the hotel’s well-known entities is Peg Leg Johnny, a former homeless man with a peg leg who was killed behind the hotel. He likes to mess with electronics and flicker lights on and off. The hotel is also home to a six-year-old boy who was tragically killed by his mother and a female presence in room 441 who often kicks guests awake.
This nameless railroad bridge was built in 1906. Since then, many legends have been told about the bridge. In one, a drunken rail worker slipped and fell into wet cement, causing his death. Supposedly, people can hear his moans when a train passes over the bridge. In another story, four workers fell off the bridge into the creek below. Witnesses say they can still hear the splashes of the bodies hitting the water. Another popular legend tells of a mother and baby who fell from the bridge. Her screams can still be heard today.
Before it became a restaurant, Hacienda Mexican Restaurant was a private home. Locals say the building is now haunted by its former residents. The story is that the mansion’s owner had an affair with his maid, but shunned her when she got pregnant. This led to her hanging herself in the attic. Later, the owner shot himself in the basement. Both spirits are said to linger in the building, messing with the lights and appliances and turning faucets on and off.
French Lick Springs Hotel is said to be haunted by Thomas Taggart, who owned the hotel beginning in 1901. Taggart is a welcome presence in the hotel. Guests usually spot him near the service elevator. He even helps operate it when things get busy. The sixth floor is another part of the hotel that’s particularly haunted. When on this floor, people often feel cold spots, see shadows, and hear footsteps and laughter. Receptionists at the front desk also report getting phone calls from unoccupied rooms.
On June 10, 1912, a killer violently murdered the entire Moore family in their house while they slept, along with two of the children’s friends. To this day, nobody knows who committed the murder of these eight innocent individuals, but the tragic history of the house remains clear. Many think that it’s haunted by the souls of the victims because there have been reports of banging noises, kids’ voices, and objects moving mysteriously. Visitors have also experienced feelings of heaviness, the sound of blood dripping, and a bizarre fog that moves between rooms. You can tour the house or if you’re feeling brave, you can even stay overnight.
Long before the location was turned into the first Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe in 1981, a carnival may have existed there. Nobody is sure who is haunting the restaurant, but there have been plenty of paranormal incidents there. Employees claim that kitchen objects move on their own, lights flicker, and blenders turn on and off untouched.
The Mason House has a long history as a hotel, Underground Railroad stop, holding hospital for Civil War soldiers, and tuberculosis sanatorium. With all the deaths that occurred there throughout the years, it’s no surprise that there are over 300 ghosts who have come through the inn. The inn’s owners even know the names of 50 of these ghosts, including a cat named Josephine. Reported activity at the inn includes footsteps, kids playing, electronics acting up, and more.
The Sallie House was once the home of a physician who ran his business on the first floor. One day in the 1900s, 6-year-old Sallie came in with appendicitis. The physician began her operation before the anaesthesia fully kicked in, and she ended up dying painfully on the operation table. The couple who moved into the house in 1993 reported all sorts of strange occurrences. Random fires would break out, the dog would bark at nothing, objects would move, and the operating area felt very cold. Sallie seems to have a hatred of men, perhaps because of the physician; she frequently scratched and caused bruises to the husband who moved in. All of this activity continues to this day, which you might be able to see on a tour.
The Sample Room Tavern is located inside the Midland Railroad Hotel, which burned down in 1902 with several guests dying in the fire. Customers today have smelled smoke and even seen mysterious disappearing flames. People also frequently see ghosts walking around the hallways wearing old fashioned clothing. In particular, there’s an orphaned girl who often runs down the halls, knocks on doors, and jumps on beds.
When it was constructed in 1879, the Beaumont Hotel served as a place for pioneers to rest along their journey. Stories say that the hotel owner’s wife was having an affair with a guest, a cowboy named Zeke. When the hotel owner found out, he shot and killed Zeke, who now haunts the hotel. Visitors have seen him standing at the top of the stairs or heard the sound of his spurs. He also likes to block doors with chairs and turn on clock radios around 2 or 3 AM. The current hotel manager claims that there are 13 spirits who haunt the hotel, and the activity is spread among different rooms.
Now a nightclub, Bobby Mackey’s Music World was originally a slaughterhouse and meat-packing facility in 1850. Many believe Satanic cult rituals were held in the basement after the slaughterhouse closed, where worshippers sacrificed animals and maybe even humans. Passersby discovered a young girl’s headless corpse near the site in 1896. The building also saw lots of violence and shootings, as well as a suicide, during its time as a casino and speakeasy from the 1920s to 1970s. With its huge amount of dark history, it’s no surprise that there are tons of paranormal stories attached to Bobby Mackey’s, including ghost sightings, strange noises, electrical phenomena, moving objects, and possessions. Some even think it contains a portal to hell.
The Old Talbott Tavern is one of Bardstown’s oldest buildings, constructed in 1779. During its long history, it has hosted many famous guests, including outlaw Jesse James. His presence has been observed around the building on many occasions. Hotel staff and guests have also witnessed a woman wearing a 19th century era long white dress, peculiar colorful orbs bouncing around hotel rooms at night, and bizarre flashes of light with no source.
The most well-known ghost of the Seelbach Hotel is the Lady in Blue, a woman named Patricia Wilson. The stories behind her death have been disputed, but it is known that she fell at least six stories to her end at the bottom of an elevator shaft in 1936, and everyone agrees on her physical appearance. She has long black hair and wears a blue gown. Her specter was first sighted in 1987 when a hotel employee saw her walk through the closed elevator doors. Since then, many others have seen her apparition, smelled her perfume, and felt cold spots.
Since its opening in the 1920s, the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium has welcomed several performers including Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash. The shows it has hosted over the years have attracted guests from all over, including a few who have stuck around in the afterlife. There is a little girl in a blue dress who often runs around the auditorium, a man who speaks every so often, and a woman in the bathroom who can be heard moaning. The woman gave birth there years ago. There is also a door in the auditorium that frequently opens and closes on its own, and patrons can sometimes hear clapping from the seats.
The main ghost of Muriel’s is a man named Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, who bought the property in the 1790s. The site had a past of holding slaves and servants. In the Great New Orleans Fire of 1788, part of it was damaged. Jourdan built his dream home there, but lost it one day in a poker game. He was so distraught over this that he committed suicide on the second floor of the building. The owners of Muriel’s have turned that space into a Seance Lounge, where most of the paranormal activity occurs. However, visitors have also encountered other spirits roaming around different areas of the restaurant.
The Myrtles Plantation was an antebellum plantation built in 1796 that now serves as a bed and breakfast. A photographer discovered the ghost of Chloe in 1992 when he unknowingly captured her on camera. Chloe was a slave who was hanged after poisoning and killing her owner’s family. The plantation is also home to William Drew Winter, who was shot outside the house and died on the stairs. Guests have heard his footsteps, as well as the sounds of a piano repeating the same ominous chord and children playing.
The Museums of Old York encompasses eight historic buildings, a museum center, and a nature reserve. The most haunted is the Emerson-Wilcox House. There, visitors have seen a woman who was hanged for witchcraft, known as “The White Witch,” peering out of windows. She also walks around nearby, even playing with kids at the daycare across the street. Another haunted area of the complex is the Old Gaol, where prisoners were kept until they were eventually hanged. Some say they can hear the weeps of a Native American woman named Patience Boston, who had to give her newborn child away before being hanged.
The Jameson Tavern, built in 1779, is known to be haunted by at least two entities. The most commonly seen ghost is that of Emily, a little girl who lived in the building in the 19th century until a fire took her life. Emily has been witnessed running in the house with the bottom of her dress whipping around corners. She has even played with kids in the restaurant. In addition to Emily, visitors have spotted a tall man wearing a top hat in a doorway.
In 1950, Dr. Oren Lawry Jr. bought the building now known as the LimeRock Inn, using it as his home as well as for his medical practice. Today, guests have reported seeing and hearing apparitions throughout the inn, from the stairwell to the parlor and foyer. These ghosts are said to belong to Dr. Lawry’s former patients.
Fletchertown Road and the woods surrounding it are home not only to ghosts, but to the legendary Goatman, a creature that resembles a goat-man hybrid. Some believe the Goatman is a goat farmer who lost his mind when teens killed his animals. Others think he is the result of an experiment at the Beltsville Research Agricultural Center. In 1971, people blamed the Goatman for the death and decapitation of a dog found in the woods. Since then, the legend has continued, with many reported sightings over the years.
The Horse You Came In On Saloon is known for being the last place poet Edgar Allan Poe was seen alive in 1849. It’s also known for its supernatural activity, some of which Poe himself may be responsible for. The current bar manager says lights and TVs flicker on and off on their own, glasses shatter untouched, a desk drawer opens on its own, and witnesses have glimpsed figures in the mirrors.
During the Great Depression, more than 20 people jumped to their deaths from the Lord Baltimore Hotel. At least three of these individuals haunt the hotel - a man, a woman, and their 7-year-old daughter Molly. Molly is always seen playing with her red bouncing ball, and can sometimes be heard screaming and crying. The hotel elevators often travel to the 19th floor unprovoked, perhaps because of a young girl’s suicide that occured there.
The land this state forest sits on used to be owned by the Wampanoag tribe, which would explain the frequent sightings of Native American ghosts. The forest is also home to Pukwudgies, troll-like creatures from Wampanoag legends that enjoy throwing rocks at people and luring them to their deaths. Additionally, in the 1970s and 1980s, there was lots of Satanic cult activity in this area, making it even more haunted.
Stories say that the original owner of Stone’s Public House, John Stone, killed a man during a poker game and buried his body in the cellar, where he still resides today. Some also think that the restaurant is haunted by a ten-year-old girl named Mary, who was hit and killed by a train on the tracks nearby. The souls of the Scott family may also haunt the building. The Scotts bought the place in 1858 and experienced tragedy after tragedy not long after, including alcoholism, malaria, and more.
Salem, where the Salem Witch Trials occurred in 1692, is famous for its haunted history. The Hawthorne Hotel is no exception. Many of the hauntings come from the sea captains who constructed the buildings around the hotel. There is a large wheel in the hotel restaurant that spins as if a sea captain is turning it. Two guestrooms are particularly haunted. In Room 612, a woman’s ghost is often seen outside the door and felt inside the room. In Room 325, people have felt phantom touches, heard babies crying, and noticed lights and faucets turn on and off by themselves.
There have been stories of supernatural activity all around Mackinac Island, which was first settled by the Odawa tribe and became the site of many battles during the Revolutionary War. At Fort Mackinac, visitors have seen phantom limbs, heard babies crying, and noticed furniture and toys move mysteriously. At Fort Holmes, people often see three soldiers talking with one another. There are stories of women accused of witchcraft at The Drowning Pool and a young girl named Lucy at Crow’s Nest Trail. There are also tales of an evil black mass at The Grand Hotel and a broken-hearted man named Harvey at Mission Point Resort.
The Grill House is known for their ghost Jack, a lumberjack who stayed there during its days as an inn in 1847. He died from injuries acquired in a fight and was buried somewhere on the property with no tombstone. Jack often turns on lights and faucets, opens and closes doors, and moves furniture around in the restaurant.
There are several spirits known to haunt the Holly Hotel. One is the hotel’s first owner, Mr. Hirst, who most often makes his presence known with the smell of cigar smoke or the sound of his laughter. There is also a woman named Nora Kane who appears often in photographs, leaves behind a scent of perfume wherever she goes, and enjoys singing and playing the piano. Other ghosts include a young girl in the kitchen and the Hirsts’ dog Leona.
The Wabasha Street Caves were used as speakeasies where gangsters liked to gather during the Prohibition era. Stories say that three gangsters in particular were shot in the caves and can be observed wandering around today, quickly vanishing and walking into walls. There has also been a ghostly woman spotted at the bar and when live music was played there in the 1970s, equipment would sometimes fly off the stage spontaneously. Tours are available on Saturdays and the caves host a weekly Swing Night on Thursdays.
Before Black Woods Grill & Bar became a restaurant in 1994, it was an orphanage. During these days, an orphan named Sarah is said to have fallen down the stairs to her death. Many of the supernatural occurrences in the restaurant are attributed to her. She reportedly likes to knock things off tables. There’s also a woman in a white gown who is often seen for a split second before she disappears.
The Palmer House Hotel opened in 1901, and over the last two decades there have been numerous reports of unearthly activity inside its walls. A young boy who supposedly passed on at the hotel is often heard playing in the hallways. Some think writer Sinclair Lewis, who worked there briefly, also haunts the hotel. A few of the strange happenings in the building include objects moving on their own, sudden temperature drops, odd noises, faucets turning themselves on, and people being touched.
Since its construction in 1797, McRaven House has observed many deaths. The death that has led to the most supernatural activity is that of Mary Elizabeth Howard, who died inside the home during childbirth at 15. Many guests have seen her specter and been the subject of her pranks. The apparition of John Bobb can also be spotted on the balcony. Bobb turned the house into a Confederate field hospital and was killed by Union troops 100 yards away. After that, the house changed hands to the Murray family, of which four members died within its walls. Today, you can tour the house and see if you can get a glimpse of these ghosts.
King’s Tavern was built in 1789, making it the oldest building in Natchez. The legend of King’s Tavern says that in the 1930s, workers were renovating the fireplace when they found three skeletons. They also uncovered a mysterious dagger, perhaps the one that founder Richard King’s wife used to kill his mistress Madeline. Madeline is the tavern’s main ghost, touching and pushing visitors and creating odd images in mirrors, but customers have also heard a baby crying.
Linden Bed and Breakfast is an antebellum home that hosts guests as well as spirits. The mansion’s original structure was built in 1785. At the front entrance, visitors have seen a ghost-like horse-drawn carriage. A man and a woman are known to haunt the property. The man wears a top hat and often appears in one of the guestrooms, and the woman has been observed jumping off the roof before vanishing.
The Missouri State Penitentiary is a maximum security prison that housed inmates from 1836 to 2004. During that time, prisoners were forced into labor, 40 executions were performed, and a riot broke out in 1954 where four inmates died. A couple of the more well-known prisoners who served time at the penitentiary include women’s rights activists Katie Richards O’Hare and Emma Goldman. The man who assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr., James Earl Ray, was also an inmate here before he escaped. Today the penitentiary is open for many different kinds of tours, including several ghost tours.
In the 19th century, Lemp Mansion was owned by the wealthy and successful Lemp family, who owned a popular brewery in St. Louis. Things took a turn for the worse in 1901, when William Lemp Sr. lost his son. Not long after, he shot himself in his bedroom. During the Prohibition era, the company tanked, sparking a string of suicides within the family. William Lemp Sr.’s daughter Elsa shot herself in 1920, and then William Jr. and his brother Charles killed themselves in Lemp Mansion. In 1975, the building was turned into a restaurant and inn, but the Lemp family hasn’t left. Employees have reported seeing apparitions, as well as hearing strange noises and invisible fingers playing the piano.
While The Elms Hotel is an old building, its existing form has only been around for about 110 years. Two fires destroyed the building in 1898 and 1910. While no one died in the fires, people say that the hotel is haunted by a spirit who was involved in one of them. One of the most haunted rooms of the hotel is the pool room, which used to be the site of a speakeasy. It is thought to be haunted by the ghost of a gangster who was shot there. Visitors have also felt hands tugging at their ankles while they swim. Other phenomena throughout the hotel include moving objects, odd noises, apparitions, random chills, and liquor going missing while locked in the bar overnight.
There are two areas of Bear Canyon that you should avoid if you’re scared of ghosts. Near Bear Canyon Rd. and the Bear Creek log cabins, witnesses have spotted a man trudging through the snow during snowstorms. His identity is unknown, but he appears to be either a cowboy or a fur-trapper. In the woods near the Bear Canyon trail, many have reported seeing a little girl in white who tries to lure female hikers into the woods.
Before it became Montana Ale Works in 2000, the building used to be Little Montana Freight Company. During that time, a pallet fell on top of an employee and crushed him to death. His ghost wears a red and black checkered shirt and has been seen floating mid-air in the pool room. Employees who close the restaurant at night have witnessed locked doors opening and closing on their own and radios that turn themselves on. One night, the security system kept detecting movement even though no one was inside the restaurant. An employee heard a loud crash in the kitchen before this activity stopped, and the next morning she found that nothing had fallen or broken in the kitchen.
Chico Hot Springs is home to a spirit known as the Lady in White. Many believe she is the ghost of Percie Knowles, the hotel’s original owner back in 1900. It seems she is still devoted to protecting the hotel. Once, when partiers broke into the hotel’s pool area in the middle of the night, she appeared floating above the pool and scared them away. Knowles once lived in Room 349, where people can smell her perfume and where a particular rocker is always found facing the window no matter how it was left before. There is also a bible in the attic that never seems to get dusty.
Centennial Hall Museum was built in 1897, but it operated as a high school before the town converted it into a museum of local historical artifacts. The legend says that in 1944, a girl died in the music room after someone poisoned her clarinet reed. After that, teachers started seeing apparitions of a young girl. Now, people have seen a rocking chair move on its own and have heard music coming from the music room even though there are no longer any instruments in there.
Faceless Fred is the famous phantom at The Speakeasy. Fred was the owner of the general store that occupied the building before it closed in the 1940s. As the story goes, Fred’s wife found out about an affair he had with a prostitute, cut off his face, and buried his body right outside the store. His ghost has since stuck around. He is said to wear a flannel shirt and overalls, and as his name would suggest, his face is missing. There are also other entities who roam around the restaurant, including a mother and daughter who died in a prairie fire nearby.
The Arrow Hotel, built in 1928, has a number of ghosts who walk its hallways. One is believed to be a former owner who passed on in the hotel. Visitors have also seen a gray-haired man, a red-haired woman, and a man in the cigar room. The hotel’s hotspots include Room 205 and the basement. Along with apparitions, hotel staff and guests have witnessed furniture moving mysteriously and strange noises.
Many believe the Governor’s Mansion is haunted by former Carson City governor Danver S. Dickerson, who took office in 1909. Since he and his family passed away, visitors have had various paranormal experiences. People have heard disembodied footsteps and caught doors opening and closing on their own. They’ve also glimpsed apparitions of a woman in a white dress and a little girl. These female ghosts are supposedly Governor Dickerson’s wife Una and daughter June. You can visit the Governor’s Mansion on one of Carson City’s ghost walks.
Pioneer Saloon is said to be haunted by actress Carole Lombard, who died when her plane crashed into nearby Potosi Mountain in 1942. Her husband Clark Gable stayed at the saloon for three days waiting for news and the recovery of her body. She is most often seen in the women’s restroom. A miner from Goodsprings’ days as a mining town haunts the bar area. The third ghost of Pioneer Saloon is a gambler who was killed during a card game. There are still three bullet holes in the wall from the day he was shot.
The Mizpah Hotel is famously haunted by a woman dubbed The Lady In Red, a prostitute who was strangled and stabbed to death in her room by a jealous man. The exact place where she died is now located in the hallway between Rooms 502 and 504, and her blood stains are still underneath the carpeting. Other spirits in the hotel include miners who were killed in the basement and children who haunt the third floor. Guests have reported the elevator acting up, feelings of people in bed with them, whispers in their ears, and pearls mysteriously left on their pillows.
The Amos J. Blake House, built in 1837, was previously the home of state legislator Amos J. Blake. It is now a museum. Eleven different ghosts roam the house, including a legless woman in a bonnet, a little boy, and a friendly cat. Witnesses have seen the apparitions of these spirits. They’ve also experienced bells ringing without moving, odd sounds, objects moving on their own, and unexplainable feelings of nausea.
The Windham Restaurant is known to be haunted by three ghosts. The first is an old man in a blue suit named Jacob, a former resident of the building who had a heart attack and fell down the stairs to his death. Another is a boy named William, who people believe was struck by a horse-drawn carriage in the road and brought into the building where he passed away. The last is a nameless young girl who lived in the home in the 1980s and was the victim of a car accident. Some of the reported paranormal activity at the restaurant includes objects moving mysteriously, boxes floating in midair, strange voices, and the feeling of being touched.
The Mount Washington Hotel was built in 1902 by businessman Joseph Stickney. A year later, he passed away, leaving his wife Carolyn a widow. Today, hotel staff and many visitors have observed things that suggest her ghost haunts the hotel. She has been spotted on the balcony and the staircase, but she is most frequently seen in Room 314, which was her private suite when she was alive. The bed she used with her husband is the same one guests use when they stay there. Sometimes, guests will see her sitting at the end of the bed brushing her hair.
The Pine Barrens are spread across 1.1 million acres and are made up of thick forest, abandoned village buildings, and old gravesites. The Pine Barrens are also the source of many myths and legends, the most famous of which is the Jersey Devil. The Jersey Devil is said to have the face of a horse, the head of a dog, wings, horns, and a tail. He has been observed in and around the Pine Barrens, destroying crops and animals and terrorizing the community.
The Lake House got its start in the early 1900s as a place for dancing and parties. Eventually, its reputation began to skew more toward the unsavory, hosting an illegal brothel and a speakeasy in the Prohibition era. The restaurant is now haunted by a variety of spirits, including Polish immigrants who were the original owners, a woman dubbed the “Lady in Black,” and a ghost named Victor.
The Flanders Hotel was originally built in 1923. With its history as a place for gangsters to meet and conduct illegal activity, as well as the catacombs underneath the building, you might think dark spirits haunt the hotel. However, the hotel’s most famous ghost is the cheerful Lady in White, a young woman named Emily who is often seen dancing, laughing, and singing. She is most often spotted in the lobby as well as the second and fourth floors.
In 1951, a water heater exploded in the lobby of the KiMo Theatre. The explosion injured several people and killed one: a six year old boy named Bobby. Since then, his apparition has been observed on the third floor and balcony of the theatre. It has become a sort of tradition for performers to leave little gifts for the boy so that their show will go well. On at least one occasion, those who neglected to do so experienced exploding lightbulbs and swinging doors during their show.
Luna Mansion is home to a few otherworldly entities, the most well-known being Josefita Manderfield Otero, also called Pepe. Pepe lived in the house until (and beyond) her passing in 1951. Her favorite rocking chair is often caught rocking, and people have also seen her specter. She has been described as a woman with frizzy red hair in a white 1920s-style gown. Patrons have also spotted an old groundskeeper in a long dark coat, Compadre Cruz. Other ghostly residents of the mansion include former servant Lola and an unidentified shoeshine boy.
The St. James Hotel was built in 1872 by Henri Lambert as a saloon and restaurant. It hosted several people, including famous outlaws and cowboys who were prone to violence. It is said that over 26 deaths occurred in the hotel since its opening. Lambert’s wife Mary Elizabeth passed on in the hotel in 1926. Her ghost has been seen and heard in Room 17. The other haunted room is Room 18, which the owners keep locked and never rent out. It’s where Thomas James Wright was shot and killed, and where his spirit remains. He doesn’t like to be bothered, but a former owner once saw his orb floating in the room.
The Rolling Hills Asylum began housing people in 1826 when it was built as an almshouse for the poor and a mental institution. It wasn’t a particularly happy place. When staff deemed a patient unsafe, they put them in a solitary confinement chamber and referred to them as an “inmate.” One of these individuals was named Roy, who lived at the facility from age 12 until the end of his life with a physical deformity called gigantism. Visitors have claimed to see his vision around the asylum. There’s also the spirit of Nurse Emmie, a cruel nurse who everyone hated and feared. Patients who died in the building were buried outside, and many of their souls linger as well. Today, you can visit the asylum for ghost hunts, guided tours, and other events.
It is said that there are 20 phantoms who wander around One if by Land, Two if by Sea. The building was at one point used as former vice president Aaron Burr’s carriage house, so some think his spirit haunts the place. There is also a man who likes to stand by the fireplace and a woman in a black dress who is often seen on the stairs. Stories say that she fell down the stairs and broke her neck. Some of the bizarre activity reported in the restaurant include being pushed by invisible hands, objects moving on their own, inexplicable drafts, and electronics acting up.
The Shanley Hotel is no stranger to tragedy. Five years after Beatrice and James Shanley acquired the hotel in 1906, they lost three children. None of them lived past one year. Beatrice’s sister Esther also lived at the hotel and suffered an untimely end from influenza. The barber’s 3-year-old daughter Rosie fell into a well across the street and died. In 1937, James passed away from a heart attack. While they’re not the only spirits who haunt the hotel, Beatrice, James, Esther, and Rosie have all been spotted around the property in their ghostly forms.
The Devil’s Tramping Ground is a mysterious area in the woods that has remained completely barren for over 300 years. The area is an almost-perfect circle with a diameter of 40 feet. People have tried to plant things there, but anything they plant is quick to die. Some even say that objects left inside the circle are found outside the circle the next morning. Scientists haven’t been able to fully explain why this may be occurring. According to legend, the devil himself comes to the circle at midnight every night and stomps around, killing everything within it.
While there’s no known evidence of tragedy or darkness in The Country Squire’s past, staff and visitors are convinced it’s haunted. The oldest part of the building was built in the 1700s but it only became The Country Squire in 1961. Many speculate that Joe West, the original owner, still hangs around to make sure things are going well. The apparition of a little girl has also been seen. People have reported shadows in the Baronial Hall, the oldest section of the building. They have also heard laughter and footsteps throughout the restaurant.
The most famous ghost at the Omni Grove Park Inn is the Pink Lady. No one is completely sure about the Pink Lady’s identity, but she was either pushed or fell to her death from the atrium around 1920. The Pink Lady often appears as an amorphous cloud of pink smoke, but she has also appeared as a full apparition. Room 545 seems to be a particularly haunted area. As one painter approached the room, he got chills so bad he refused to go further. 35 years later, the Engineering Facilities Manager had the same experience. Neither of them knew of the other.
In 1931, a woman named Sophie was bludgeoned to death by her husband in their bedroom. The Harvey Public Library now stands on her murder site, and it looks like she hasn’t left. Sophie likes to play pranks on the library staff, frequently moving books around and hiding keys only to return them when asked. She’s also known to flicker lights on and off. Unsurprisingly, Sophie has a particular distaste for men, but she hasn’t inflicted harm on anybody.
Saul’s is a hidden underground speakeasy that operates just like the ones in the 1920s, with a secret password. The building’s main level used to house a menswear store owned by Saul Shark, who is said to haunt the bar. Staff and guests have witnessed objects move on their own, cold spots, and strange noises. When people talk about Saul and the building’s history, the lights sometimes flicker as if Saul is listening. Every night of the weekend, the bartenders at Saul’s leave a drink out for the bar’s namesake. The next morning, some of it is missing.
The Rough Riders Hotel was built in 1884 and was named after Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. Roosevelt was the first president to visit the small town of Medora. Nobody knows much else about the hotel’s history or why there is a little boy haunting the top floor, but staff and patrons alike have heard the boy playing in the hallways, laughing, and flushing toilets.
The Sedamsville Rectory was built over a century ago in Sedamsville, a small neighborhood in Cincinnati. While it was once a place of holiness, the owners have claimed that there’s a demonic presence in the house. They’ve experienced cold spots, extreme feelings of sadness, and unseen violence in the form of scratches and shoves. Some also think the house is haunted by former clergyman Father Donald MacLeod, who was hit by a train near the building in the late 1800s. On two separate occasions, a man and a child were mysteriously found dead in front of the house, and their souls are said to haunt the place too. If you want to explore the rectory, you can join an organized ghost hunt.
The Golden Lamb sits in a building that’s over 215 years old. Over the years, it has witnessed several deaths leading to spirits that still hang around. Civil War-era congressman Clement L. Vallandingham accidentally shot himself in the building. He died the next morning. Ohio Supreme Court Justice Charles R. Sherman also passed on there, which left his family broke. People believe his guilt has caused him to stay and haunt the building. A little girl named Eliza Clay also passed away at The Golden Lamb from a sudden illness. Visitors have spotted the ghost of a girl who is either Eliza or a girl named Sarah Stubbs who lived in the building as a child.
The history of the Buxton Inn goes back to 1812 when it was built by Orrin Granger as a tavern, post office, and stagecoach stop. Now, at least 4 entities haunt the inn. The first is that of Granger. The second is that of a future owner, Major Horton Buxton, who renamed the tavern in 1865. There’s also the Lady in Blue, the subsequent owner named Ethel Houston “Bonnie” Bounell. She’s most often seen in Room 9, where she died. Her cat Major Buxton has also been observed roaming the inn. Other supernatural hotspots include Room 7, the courtyard, and the balconies.
When the Cherokee Strip Museum opened in 1932, it served as a hospital until its closure in 1970. It was abandoned for six years before being converted to a museum. Some of the original surgical suites are still intact on the second floor, where most of the peculiar activity occurs. There’s a bloodstain there that repeatedly comes back after being cleaned. People have caught glimpses of orbs and shadows, as well as the apparitions of a soldier and a young girl. Visitors have heard footsteps, felt cold chills, and noticed things move and fall in inexplicable ways.
The building that currently hosts Gabriella’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria was built around the 1920s and acted as a dance hall, a gambling house, and a bordello before it entered the restaurant scene. There are a few ghosts that may inhabit the building, including gangster Pretty Boy Floyd, a playboy named Russell, and an unidentified girl. Restaurant employees have seen orbs and shadows and heard echoing voices. They’ve also experienced dishes and salt shakers falling off tables, televisions that refuse to stay off, and phone calls with nothing at the other end but unintelligible shouting and strange noises.
Before the Stone Lion Inn became an inn, it served as a private family home and a mortuary. The 113-year-old building is haunted by the family who originally owned the home, the Houghtons. One of the children, Augusta, died of whooping cough. Many believe she still resides in the house. Her father has also been spotted smoking his pipe. A woman named Sarah might also haunt the property. The inn’s current owner and her son have experienced countless supernatural phenomena, such as doors slamming shut, footsteps, and toys being moved. Guests have also witnessed children by their beds and the sounds of kids playing and jumping on beds when no kids were there.
Highway 101 runs along the Oregon coast and has many legends behind it. The most well known tale is that of Bandage Man, a disfigured man wrapped in bandages who disappears as suddenly as he appears. He can sometimes be seen walking along the beach, but he has also been known to appear right outside of car windows and even in the backseat. He supposedly smells like rotting flesh and at times leaves bandages behind.
Old Town Pizza & Brewing is located directly above the Shanghai Tunnels. In the early 1900s, these tunnels were used to smuggle goods and kidnapped individuals between land and sea. They also served as secret passages to underground brothels, opium dens, and gambling houses. The tunnels themselves are haunted, of course, and the restaurant above is haunted by a woman named Nina who was forced into prostitution. She was murdered where the restaurant now sits. Customers often see Nina in a black dress and can sometimes smell her perfume.
The Wolf Creek Inn was originally a stagecoach stop for early pioneers in 1883. Many believe the inn is haunted by author Jack London, who stayed there on several occasions. Guests have seen his specter and heard his voice. Another spirit at the inn is speculated to be One-Eyed Charlie, a female stagecoach driver who died there. As if the ghosts weren’t enough, there are also rumors of a vampire-like creature who visits the inn on occasion. He has been described as a man or a monster with fangs and blood around his mouth.
As the site of one of the bloodiest battles in American history, it’s no surprise that Gettysburg has been called the country’s most haunted town. Because the battle was so widespread, almost all of the town is considered a battlefield, and paranormal phenomena has been witnessed throughout. One site of note is the Devil’s Den, a natural rock formation where ghosts are often seen, heard, and felt. It’s common for visitors to hear gunfire or drums there. Gettysburg College is also particularly haunted. There, two people once boarded an elevator that took them to the basement instead of their destination. When the doors opened, they saw a Civil War-era operating room complete with wounded soldiers and doctors covered in blood.
The Harmony Inn began as a private residence in 1856 before being turned into a hotel and finally, a restaurant. There are many spirits known to haunt the place, including the original innkeeper Louie, an elderly woman on the second floor, a little girl wearing a white dress, and a young boy in the hallway. Paranormal activity reported at the restaurant includes odd temperature changes, objects flying through the air and moving without explanation, strange noises and voices, flickering lights, and apparitions.
Hotel Bethlehem was established in 1921, but the structure it occupies was built in 1741. There are a few known ghostly residents of the hotel. May Yohe was a successful singer in the late 1800s who was born at the hotel, which was then owned by her grandfather. Her ghost is often seen and heard singing and dancing in the lobby. She has also been spotted in the 3rd floor exercise room. Francis “Daddy” Thomas is another spirit at the hotel, a man who served as Bethlehem’s town guide in the late 1700s. He’s most often observed in the boiler room. There’s also the soul of Mrs. Brong, a former landlord who hangs around the kitchen and restaurant. Finally, in Room 932, there’s a mysterious being who has caused a high number of supernatural incidents.
The Conjuring House, also known as the Arnold Estate and the Farm on Round Top Road, is one of the most famous haunted houses in the country. The home was built in 1736 and the paranormal activity that has occurred there inspired the 2013 movie The Conjuring. The Perron family, who lived in the house for a decade, first experienced small oddities and prank-like incidents. However, as time went by, the otherworldly presence became more sinister. Wife and mother Carolyn was even possessed during a seance and the family’s dog, who refused to enter the house, was suspiciously found dead one night. The public can now set up private daytime and nighttime investigations of the house.
Tavern on Main was built in the 1700s and is home to at least three ghosts. There’s a timid ten-year-old boy who seems to be looking for his parents, a woman named Alice who often cries in a particular booth, and a man who has communicated clearly and intelligently with investigators. Along with these apparitions, employees and guests have also witnessed objects being thrown at or dropped on people, and investigators have recorded the sounds of kids giggling.
The Graduate Providence, previously known as the Providence Biltmore, was built in the early 1920s with financial backing from Johan Leisse Weisskopf, who was a practicing Satanist. During his time there, it is rumored that he hosted ritual sacrifices, threw disreputable parties, and held purification rituals in the basement. When Weisskopf learned that he lost all his money in the stock market crash of 1920, he jumped from the window in his 14th floor room. He is now said to haunt that room as well as every room he passed on the way down. The hotel has such an eerie vibe that it inspired Robert Bloch’s Bates Motel from Psycho and Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel from The Shining.
Oakwood Cemetery is also known as Hell’s Gate because of all the supernatural experiences people have had there. It has been around since the 1800s, making it the oldest cemetery in Spartanburg. There’s an area in the back of the cemetery called Potter’s Field, where orphans and the poor were buried in unmarked graves. In addition to strange mists, cold spots, and sightings of a Lady in White, many visitors have reported that their cell phones stop working when they enter the cemetery.
The house where the Brentwood Restaurant resides dates back to the early 1900s. Restaurant employees and visitors have experienced moving shadows and apparitions of a man, a woman, and a child. Several people have also glimpsed a mysterious face in a window upstairs. On more than one occasion, guests have gotten stuck in the second floor bathroom. The identities of the restaurant’s spirits are unclear, but they could belong to previous residents and owners of the building.
The Battery Carriage House Inn has been around since the mid-1800s, existing in many forms including a home and an apartment building for college students. Its most recent iteration as the Battery Carriage House Inn began in the 1980s. Since then, sightings of ghosts and reports of supernatural events have been plentiful. The most active rooms are Rooms 8 and 10. In the middle of the night, a man in Room 8 was awakened by a man with no legs and no face. The Headless Torso has been seen on multiple occasions in the same room. Room 10 is home to the Gentleman Ghost, a slender man in the form of a shadow with a nonthreatening aura who has also been detected by several different people.
In 1919, the Homestake Opera House was used as overflow housing when the Spanish flu swept through the town and the hospital didn’t have room to treat everyone there. Over 100 patients stayed in the opera house and many of them died, which could explain the paranormal happenings throughout the building. Investigators have observed shadowy forms and witnessed rocks being thrown by an invisible force in the pool area. They’ve also heard voices on the stage and the sounds of furniture being moved in the dressing rooms.
Oyster Bay is located inside the haunted Fairmont Hotel where several violent deaths took place. In the late 1800s, Oyster Bay not only served fresh oysters but also served as a bordello and gambling house with singing servers. While not all of this has continued into the modern century, the restaurant still serves great oysters and also has a karaoke bar. Some think there are some old patrons who have stuck around, too. In the restaurant, diners have spotted the ghost of a man wearing a black coat and top hat.
Alex Johnson opened his hotel in 1928 and it seems he loved it so much that he stayed around after his passing in 1938. Several guests have glimpsed his ghost around the hotel. There’s also the soul of a little girl who is often found on the eighth floor knocking on doors and laughing in the hallway. The most commonly sighted spirit, however, is that of the Lady in White. In the 1970s, the young bride died as the result of a fall from her Room 812 window. The death was formally ruled a suicide, but most believe someone murdered her. Today, the woman can be seen on the eighth floor. There have also been claims of the Room 812 window opening overnight and dresser drawers being turned upside down.
The legend of the Pigman is often associated with the beautiful Meeman-Shelby Forest. The story says that a man working at an explosives plant had an accident one day during World War II. The result was a horribly disfigured face. Now, locals say that he can be caught wandering around the forest at night wearing a pig mask. He has also been spotted on the nearby “Pigman Bridge” in Millington whenever there’s a full moon.
The Greenbrier Restaurant has been famously haunted by a young girl named Lydia since the 1930s. On her wedding day, she waited for her beloved for hours before going back to the restaurant, which was then a lodge where she was staying. Heartbroken, she hanged herself from a beam above the second floor landing. Lydia can now be seen on that landing, and sometimes wandering around the restaurant.
The Read House Hotel, particularly Room 311, is known to have large amounts of paranormal activity. In the early 1930s, Al Capone stayed in the room. However, the guest who haunts the room is a woman named Annalisa Netherly. When her husband caught her with another man in the room, he beheaded her in the bathtub. Those staying in Room 311 have reported seeing shadowy figures, lights flickering on and off, water running when no one has turned on the faucet, and more.
Decades ago, Yorktown Memorial Hospital served as a rehabilitation center for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. When it shut down in 1980, the building was abandoned. The current caretaker has witnessed sounds of tapping on a glass pane that separates a staircase from the rest of the building. He has also noticed apparitions walking around when the lights are off. Some visitors have also reported talking dolls and a large black mass with glowing red eyes. The hospital is on private property and is closed to the public, but you can book a guided tour.
There are four presences that inhabit Cajun restaurant Catfish Plantation. In the 1920s, Elizabeth was murdered in the house (where she resided) on her wedding day. Today, she can be spotted in the bathroom and looking out windows. Will was another former resident who died in the house from an illness, and diners often see him on the front porch. Caroline lived in the house until she died in 1970 of old age. She’s most likely to be found in the kitchen. The fourth ghost, Lola, never lived in the house, but was murdered nearby in 1929. Together, these spirits cause strange activity in the restaurant. They mess with kitchen equipment, toss food around, turn lights and water on and off, and more.
Colonel Jesse Driskill opened the Driskill Hotel in 1886, but had to give up the property not long after. Some think this is why he still hangs around today. He likes to flicker lights on and off, and guests can sometimes smell his cigar smoke. There’s also the presence of a man named Peter Lawless, who lived in the hotel for 31 years and continues to stay there past death. Witnesses often see him in and near the elevators. There’s a bride who shot herself in Room 329 after her fiancé left her at the altar, and a four-year-old girl named Samantha who died after falling down the stairs. There’s a portrait of her on the fifth floor, and many believe she haunts the painting.
The most famous ghost of the Rio Grande Depot, which was constructed in 1910, is the Purple Lady. Legend says that after an argument with her fiancé, she threw her engagement ring onto the tracks. Soon realizing that she made a mistake, she went onto the tracks to retrieve it and was hit by an oncoming train. Strange incidents have occurred ever since then. The Purple Lady likes to play with lights and move objects around. People have also noticed her in the women’s restroom singing and turning faucets on at full blast. Along with the Purple Lady, some believe an old station master haunts the depot.
There are over 100 spirits lurking in Leslie’s Family Tree at any given time. With so many, investigators haven’t even tried to identify them all. However, the owners have identified a Lady in Red. They’re also aware of a Lady in Blue who committed suicide after her son (who also haunts the restaurant) drowned nearby. Some parts of the restaurant are over a century old, and the basement was once a place for boxing matches and gambling. This is where the highest amount of paranormal occurrences are. Objects move on their own, laughter and footsteps can be heard, and sometimes apparitions can be seen.
The Holiday Inn Express in downtown Salt Lake City, previously the Shilo Inn, is the site of some tragic deaths and possibly occult activity. In 1978, Immanuel David committed suicide by carbon monoxide. He, his wife, and his seven children believed he was God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost. When the family learned of his demise, they took their lives at the hotel. Wife and mother Rachel first threw the younger children from the 11th floor balcony before the older children jumped on their own, followed by Rachel herself. Only one of the kids survived. Since then, hotel guests have heard laughter and observed game machines seemingly play themselves. A maintenance man often finds tools moved and lightbulbs unscrewed.
The Dutton House is one of many historic structures at the Shelburne Museum, but it’s the only one that’s clearly haunted. It was built in 1782 in Cavendish, VT and was abandoned for 40 years until the Shelburne Museum picked it up. It’s uncertain who is haunting the house, but in its history over 11 people died there. The most haunted part of the house is the upstairs, where witnesses have heard laughter and footsteps. Some mornings, the bed looks as if someone had been sleeping in it. A few visitors have even noticed apparitions of a crying girl and a man in torn up clothing.
Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse is located in the Norwich Inn, which Charles and Mary “Ma” Walker bought in 1920. The Prohibition forced Ma to sell beer illegally in the basement. Today, she is seen wandering through the dining room and guest rooms upstairs (particularly Room 20). She wears a long black gown and it seems her favorite thing to do is turn faucets on and off.
The Green Mountain Inn is said to be haunted by a tap dancing ghost called Boots Berry. He was born in 1840 in Room 302 and became a heroic horseman. Circumstances landed him in jail one day, where he learned to tap dance and earned his nickname. When he returned to the house, he saw a little girl stuck on the roof above Room 302 on a snowy day. He was able to save her before he tragically slipped and fell to his death. Now, during snowstorms, guests can hear the sounds of his tap dancing on the roof.
There are several spirits who live in the Ferry Plantation House, including a former slave named Henry and a general named Thomas H. Williamson. A boy and a girl have also been seen at the top of the stairs. Investigators believe the identity of the boy is Eric, who died after falling from a window in the house. They think the girl may be Bessie McIntosh, a resident of the house who was 5 years old when she passed on in 1860. There are also photographs which show a pregnant woman in blue looking out a window, perhaps Bessie’s mother Isabella. Ferry Plantation House is open to visitors every Saturday.
In 1816, a young couple came to stay at Gadsby’s Tavern, which was then a hotel. The young woman stayed in Room 8 where doctors treated her for an illness, but neither she nor her husband would give them their names. Right before she died, they revealed their identities to the hotel staff and doctors but made them swear not to tell anyone. The husband then left town without paying for anything. Today, the beautiful woman nicknamed the Female Stranger haunts the restaurant. She has been seen in Room 8 and the kitchen.
The Fort Magruder Hotel sits on land where nearly 4,000 soldiers died at the Battle of Williamsburg in 1862. Construction workers have found bones and battle artifacts buried around the hotel. With so many casualties, it’s not surprising that the hotel is haunted. Staff and guests frequently see apparitions of soldiers, but they have also noticed a 12-year-old girl who haunts the second floor and a man who died of a heart attack in one room.
The Campbell House is where the Campbell family lived until tragedy struck. In the early 1900s, one of the Campbell children was kidnapped and the other three were murdered. In the house is a portrait of Amasa Basaliel Campbell, the mother of the children. Visitors have claimed that her eyes seem to follow them as they move and often report overwhelming feelings of dread when they enter the house. The house is now a museum that showcases what life was like for Spokane residents at the turn of the 20th century.
The Oxford Saloon was built in 1900 and has served as a store, a boarding house, and a bordello. One of the saloon’s ghosts is that of Henry, a policeman who died trying to break up a fight one night. He’s usually found around the stairs leading to the basement and in the women’s restroom. There are also three spirits who live on the second floor of the building, which is now used as office space. One is a man who wears a bowler hat. Another is the owner of the bordello, Kathleen, who appears wearing a purple gown. The third ghost is that of Amelia, a prostitute who was found dead in a closet.
The main spirit haunting the Tokeland Hotel is that of Charley, a Chinese immigrant who worked as an indentured servant until he escaped to the hotel. He lived and worked at the hotel until his captors came looking for him. Hotel staff hid him in a room behind the fireplace, and he ended up dying of carbon monoxide poisoning after someone lit a fire. Charley seems to be the one causing the shadows, moving objects, strange noises and odd flashes of light throughout the hotel. Room 7 is particularly haunted. There’s also a ghost cat that resides at the hotel. People have felt it walk around their legs and jump up on their beds.
The site of the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park, now abandoned, has a dark history. In 1783, a Native American tribe killed 2 children who lived on the land. This caused the children’s father, Mitchell Clay, to retaliate by killing several Native Americans. In the 1920s, an amusement park opened on the property, but things kept going wrong. Multiple horrific accidents occurred, leading to 6 deaths and the closure of the park in 1966. Years later, construction workers found that the park (and the Clay’s home) had been built on a Native American burial ground full of mostly children’s skeletons. The land had been cursed for centuries. Visitors to the park today report mysterious noises and a single swing moving on its own. Trespassing is not allowed, but you can set up a tour or attend the Dark Carnival in October.
There are three entities known to haunt the General Lewis Inn, which was built in the early 1800s. The most well-known is the Lady in White, who lives in Room 208. People have also heard the sounds of a little girl crying in Room 206, only to find the room empty when they open the door. A former slave named Reuben was hanged in the dining room, where he spends time today. Customers say he sits in a corner and have witnessed napkins floating in midair.
The Blennerhassett Hotel, which opened in 1889, has a few spirits roaming its halls. Some think the man who built the hotel, William Chancellor, is one of these spirits. He is seen in a gray suit with slicked back hair, a beard, a top hat and a cane. In the library and second floor, visitors often see his cigar smoke. There are at least a couple kids who like to play in the second floor hallway, and a little boy who haunts the kitchen and elevator area. One ghost called “The 4 O’Clock Knocker” sometimes knocks on a particular door at 4 in the morning, although he’s never very consistent. There’s also a man in a white tuxedo often caught in the hotel mirrors.
The haunting of the Summerwind mansion dates back to 1918. The building was constructed as a vacation home for the Lamont family, who abandoned the house after seeing a specter in the basement. Their servants claimed to have noticed a ghostly woman in the driveway, as well. Decades later, the Keefer family bought the house but Mrs. Keefer was so uncomfortable there that she left without packing up her things. In the 1970s, the Hinshaw family moved in and according to legend, found a human skull in the wall. They soon experienced more paranormal activity such as apparitions, bizarre shadows, voices, and appliances breaking down mysteriously. The mansion burned down in 1988, but parts of its structure remain. The site is on private property, so you’ll need to get permission if you decide to visit.
Shaker’s Cigar Bar was built in 1894 over an old cemetery, which could explain some of the inexplicable happenings many witnesses have reported. It was also owned by Al Capone in the 1920s and operated as a speakeasy and brothel, where prostitutes died on the second and third floors. Employees and guests have noticed ghosts and shadows, heard voices and knocking, felt the building swaying, and more.
The ghosts of the Karsten Hotel belong to Kewaunee mayor and hotel founder William Karsten, his five-year-old grandson Billy, and a housekeeper named Agatha. Karsten used to reside in the zone that’s now Rooms 205 to 210, and he died there in 1940 of a heart attack. Today, people can smell his cigar smoke in that area. Billy likes to play in the hallways and sometimes plays with living kids visiting the hotel. Agatha lived in Room 310 and announces her presence with the smell of flowers and the sounds of knocking and crying. Some have also seen her apparition.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into relocation centers in 1942. Heart Mountain Relocation Center was one of ten relocation centers across the country. The camp operated like a little town, with schools, a hospital, and residential areas. However, families weren’t allowed to leave and were crammed into small shabbily constructed living spaces. Several buildings are still standing today. Visitors have heard disembodied footsteps and other strange noises at night when the “Shadow People” come out.
The Speakeasy Restaurant is located in the Hotel Greybull, which housed a speakeasy in the basement during the Prohibition era. It was part of a tunnel system where illegal alcohol could be brought in from Canada. Some believe it was also used as a brothel. Now, the owners say there are six ghosts haunting the building. There have been sightings of apparitions wearing Prohibition era style clothing as well as sounds of laughing men.
In 1902, William F. Cody, better known as Buffalo Bill, built The Irma Hotel. He named the hotel after his daughter. The two of them are said to haunt the building, with Bill wandering the halls and knocking on doors and Irma rocking in a chair in Room 16. Room 35 is another particularly haunted room, where guests have seen the apparition of a soldier’s bottom half. They’ve also witnessed water turning itself on and off and experienced their personal items being moved.
In September 2019, my boyfriend Andrew and I spent 3 days in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Months earlier, we planned to see one of his favorite bands in Boston. I had to cancel, so he went with a friend instead and had an amazing time. He insisted we find a way to see the show together, even if we had to travel. I looked up the tour dates and saw that the only ones left were in Europe. So I jokingly said, "Let's go to Copenhagen."
And that's how we ended up in Denmark for a long weekend.
Day One: Plane Day
Andrew and I got up around 6 am, which was horribly early for both of us. We drove from our place in Western Massachusetts to my parents' house near Boston. Then we headed to Logan Airport for our flight with Scandinavian Airlines.
Travel nerves and excitement always have a weird effect on my body. I'm not sure if it was the exorbitant airport prices or if I just wanted something quick, but I decided that Sbarro was the most appealing dinner option. That probably didn't help. I had a bit of a stomach ache and didn't feel great. But like always, that subsided after takeoff.
Knowing it would be morning when we landed, I tried to get some sleep but didn't get more than a few light hours. The flight wasn't very long and my sleep was interrupted several times by flight attendants serving meals. Not that I'm complaining. I love food (even airplane food sometimes).
Day Two: Christiania, Church of Our Saviour, Hot Dogs, and Tivoli
After taking the bus to our Airbnb and dropping off our stuff, we visited the hippie commune of Christiania. It's a unique place that felt like a different world. It was cool to walk around, view the artwork, and just feel the vibes.
After that, we walked around without much of an agenda. We had a lot of time to kill before the Airbnb would be ready for us. We ended up going to the Church of Our Saviour, which had a spiral staircase leading to the top. As you approach the top, the stairs begin to wrap around the church on the outside. The views of the city were gorgeous. But, well...we didn't think about what it would mean to be almost 300 feet above the ground on a windy day. The narrow stairs were made even narrower by the amount of people shuffling past us. The railings were a bit too low for comfort, too. We were both kind of terrified, but we made it back alive.
After that little adventure, we showered and took a nap at the Airbnb. That did wonders for our post-flight grogginess. We ate at a random kebab place and then took the bus to the Tivoli area, where we got hot dogs from a cart called John's Hotdog Deli. Shoutout to them for having such incredible hot dogs! We may have returned a few too many times during our short trip.
Next, we went into Tivoli Gardens, which turned out to be the best decision ever. I had some idea of what it would be like, but it blew all my expectations out of the water. It was breathtaking. And since we were there at night, it was lit up with a million lights.
We were able to hop on some fun rides before they closed. Some of them looked terrifying, like the Himmelskibet (one of the world's tallest swing rides...no thanks). I wanted to ride more, but we had gotten there too late.
Not everything shut down, though. A Danish musician named Christopher played on a big stage. Neither of us knew who he was, but he seemed pretty famous. He had a lot of fans singing along and cheering in the audience.
We took some pictures around the park before heading back for the night, but not before Andrew bought another hot dog.
Day Three: Smørrebrød, Oatmeal, Bikes, Superkilen, Botanical Garden, and Michelin Star Dining
We started the day with a visit to a cafe for some smørrebrød (SMUHR-blruhd). We struggled a bit with the pronunciation, but our Airbnb hosts tried their best to teach us. It's a Danish open-faced sandwich made with dense rye bread and a variety of toppings. I went with potato. If you know me at all, that's not a surprise. Give me potatoes in any form and I'll eat 5 pounds in one sitting.
After breakfast, we rented some bikes and rode around the city. This was a big deal for me. Not because it's the classic thing to do in Copenhagen, but mainly because I've had a tumultuous relationship with bikes. Long story short, I gave up on them in high school after too many bad experiences. But at the ripe old age of 25, I hopped back on and rode through the streets of Copenhagen. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be thanks to their wide bike lanes. I did hit an old Danish man in the back of the leg, but luckily he was understanding.
After checking out some parks and gardens, we stopped at a place called GRØD, which means "porridge" in Danish. There, we had some oatmeal porridge with caramel sauce, apples, and nuts. We also got hot chocolates. This was my boyfriend's second trip to Copenhagen, and he knew this place was good. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was super cozy.
Next, we rode to Superkilen, an urban park full of interesting art that celebrates cultural diversity. It has tons of places to hang out, activities to do, and structures for kids to play on. The weather was wonderful and we felt at peace there, sitting on a hill and just enjoying the day.
We also visited the Copenhagen Botanical Garden, which was lovely. Next door, there was a Butterfly House. I have a fear of butterflies and anything that flutters, but I went in anyway and it wasn't too bad.
For dinner, as part of a birthday gift to me, Andrew took me to a restaurant called Kadeau. It has two Michelin stars and serves multi-course meals sourced from the Danish island of Bornholm. In all, we each had 17 courses, some with wine pairings. It was the fanciest meal I've ever had and I left with a full and satisfied stomach. Even though I'm not a seafood fan, I enjoyed every seafood dish they created.
It was a great day full of firsts and I was able to face two fears in one day!
Day Four: Food Tour, Design Museum, and Muse Concert
Our last full day in Copenhagen was lovely. We returned our bikes and relaxed at a park before meeting up with a food tour group. We make a point to book a food tour in every city we visit and we always enjoy it. It's a nice way to learn about a place and socialize with other people. Plus, we're both obsessed with food.
During the tour, we tried some local honey, smørrebrød, rhubarb and elderflower juice, licorice, handmade hard candy, apple wine, beer, hot dogs, chocolate, and an assortment of crackers, cheese, and jam. It was all delicious (except for the licorice and insanely hoppy beer, but that's only because my baby tongue hasn't acquired the tastes).
After eating, we wanted to visit the Royal Library but it was closed. We wandered around until we came across the Design Museum and decided to check it out. It was inspiring. The most exciting part was when we unexpectedly came across a 3D model of a building that's located 10 minutes from our home in Massachusetts.
We ate more hot dogs for dinner, struggled to get train tickets, and returned to the Airbnb before heading back out for the Muse concert at the Royal Arena. It was a great show, but let me tell you...Danish people are tall. As an eternal emo kid, I've been to over a hundred concerts in my life and I've never had such a hard time seeing the stage.
After the concert, we stopped at 7-Eleven because I was craving a slush. It was about as good as I expected it to be (that is, not very good). Finally, we took a series of trains and buses back to the Airbnb.
Day Five: The Worst Parts of Traveling
The last day was a travel day. Saying goodbye to a place is never fun, especially when your visit is as short as this one. Andrew woke up feeling ill, which lasted all day. I did my best to help him feel better, but I'm sure all those buses and lines and the 7-hour plane ride weren't pleasant for him. We're still not sure what caused it because we ate the same things and I never got sick. The way I see it, feeling unwell for no clear reason is part of the travel experience. Luckily, Andrew felt better the next day and it was back to normal life.
Even though we only spent 3 days in Copenhagen, I loved it. As soon as I stepped outside, I knew I would.
Everything felt so open and clean, the total opposite of New York City (Nothing against NYC! I like different cities for different reasons). Despite my fear of bicycles, I enjoyed riding around the city quite a bit.
And I love their style. Stepping into a cafe felt like stepping into my bedroom. When I redid my room a few years ago, I had no idea there was an entire country with the exact same design tastes as me. I've also identified with hygge (HUE-guh) my whole life. I'd love to go back and stay longer next time. I could even picture myself living there at some point.
The leaves are beginning to change, the pumpkin-flavored drinks are coming out, and the weather is getting colder in New England. It's officially fall.
Now, I'm happy to stick around through "leggings and light jacket" season, but when I need to switch to snow boots and heavy layers, I'm dreaming of summer. To make matters worse, winters in New England seem to last a whole six months.
I've shivered through cold winters my whole life, but this year my boyfriend and I are considering a change. Especially since quarantine has kept us cooped up for so long, we don't want to give up our ability to comfortably spend time outside. Luckily, because we both work remotely, it wouldn't be crazy for us to escape the snow for a few months.
Here's where we hit a snag - the nature of my current work prohibits me from working abroad. Maybe you're in a similar situation, maybe your passport won't arrive in time for your trip, or maybe you don't want to deal with currency exchange.
Not to worry - it's no hurdle you can't jump over. If you want to know where you can travel without a passport, check out these options.
1. U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean. There are around 50 islands in total, but the main islands (and the only ones open to visitors) are St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John.
St. Croix is the largest of the three. The island has been ruled by seven different nations, giving it a rich history and unique feel. Walk around one of the two main cities to take in the history or visit one of the island's three national parks to soak up some natural beauty. St. Croix also has two dozen public beaches to choose from if you want to scuba dive or just relax.
St. Thomas is great for families with its many diverse things to do. It's a docking point for many cruise ships, so you'll find lots of duty-free shopping and family-friendly activities. St. Thomas is home to a popular zipline, an aquarium, and of course, plenty of beaches.
St. John is the smallest main island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It's where you should go if you're looking to bask in nature away from the crowds. Two-thirds of the land have been designated as a national park. Wildlife tours and hiking trails galore!
2. Puerto Rico
As the largest U.S. territory both in size and population, it's hard to run out of things to do and see in Puerto Rico.
If you're a history buff, check out Old San Juan. The charming cobblestone streets and colorful and historic buildings are sure to impress.
If nature and wildlife are your thing, check out El Yunque Rainforest. It's home to the native coquí frog, named after the loud mating calls you'll hear at night. Of course, there are hundreds more species of animals and plants throughout the rainforest, as well as several waterfalls and other natural wonders. For an unforgettable experience, you might also want to make a trip to one of Puerto Rico's three bioluminescent bays, where microscopic organisms make the water appear to glow in the dark.
3. Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands are made up of fourteen small islands in the Pacific Ocean. The three main islands are Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. Of the three, Saipan is the most popular with tourists.
Explore the history of the islands by learning about native Chamorro culture and visiting the many buildings left over from World War II. There's also no shortage of beach activities in this tropical paradise. The beaches are great for sunbathing, scuba diving, jet-skiing - you name it. The islands are also home to many cliffs, which are perfect for adventurous travelers (cliff jumping, anyone?).
Guam is technically one of the Mariana Islands, but it's a separate territory further south. It's also the largest island in Micronesia (a subregion of Oceania composed of thousands of small islands).
You'll see lots of history in the capital of Hågatña and throughout the island, including Chamorro and World War II artifacts. For a one-of-a-kind experience, try diving between two shipwrecked ships - one from World War I and another that coincidentally landed just feet apart during World War II.
Guam also has beautiful beaches with diverse marine life, a wildlife park, a fantastic night market, and tax-free shopping.
5. American Samoa
American Samoa is another U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean and the only one in the southern hemisphere. It's made up of seven islands, with the largest and most populous being Tutuila.
With ninety percent of its land untouched and left to its natural wonder, American Samoa might be a nature enthusiast's best bet. Visit the National Park of American Samoa, the National Marine Sanctuary, or one of the many beaches in the area. Just make sure to ask permission first, as a lot of the beaches are privately owned.
If you want to experience culture, Samoan heritage is alive and well. Native Samoan villages still very much exist and welcome visitors (as long as they're respectful, of course)!
You didn't think I'd leave Hawaii off the list, did you?
Hawaii consists of six main islands: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii. They're all gorgeous, but each one has something different to offer.
Kauai is perfect if you like spending time in nature. Tropical rainforests, mountains, valleys, cliffs, rivers, beaches - it has it all.
Oahu has more of a city vibe, at least around Honolulu, but you'll still find plenty of places to relax.
Molokai is the place to go to immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture. Most people who live there are Native Hawaiians preserving their traditions.
Lanai is the smallest island of the bunch, but still has a lot to offer. From luxury resorts and spas to rugged outdoor activities, it has something for everyone.
Maui is a popular vacation destination and a fantastic island for all-around fun and relaxation. It offers stunning beaches teeming with sea life and plenty of land and water activities to keep you busy.
Hawaii is also called the "Big Island" for obvious reasons - it's almost double the size of all of the other islands combined. With the vast amount of land, you can experience a range of climates and terrains.
7. Mainland U.S.
It might not sound as exciting as going to a faraway island, but don't rule out the warm and beachy destinations on the mainland.
On the west coast, Southern California is known for its wonderful beaches and warm weather. Many of these beaches are close to Los Angeles, so if you've ever wanted to visit Hollywood, you can kill two birds with one stone. Further down the coast, you can also find great beaches near San Diego.
On the east coast, look no further than Florida. As a peninsula, its beaches go on for several hundred miles. The eastern side of the state meets the Atlantic Ocean while the western side faces the Gulf of Mexico. And if you insist on an island, you can go to the Florida Keys. The Keys are made up of five separate regions, each surrounded by crystal clear blue waters: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, The Lower Keys, and Key West. Each region has something to offer for everyone.
To be honest, I'm not sure why it took me so long to start a blog.
It was probably fear. Most of the choices I make (or neglect to make) stem from fear. But I don't want that to be the case anymore - so I've spent the last few months building a business and taking steps out of my comfort zone to make my dreams come true. This blog is another one of those steps.
Expect to see posts about my personal journey and self-development, general wellness, and travel. Occasionally I may post about other random topics that speak to me. I'm a girl with many interests.
I would be thrilled if this blog gets readers and helps someone out there to take action or feel less alone. But first and foremost (at this point in time), I want this to be a space for me to make writing a regular practice. I want to improve my skills and creativity, I want to express my thoughts, and I want to invite you to come along if you want to.
Maybe the blog will develop into something else in the future. Who knows? All I know is that I want to write. So write I shall.