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Real Haunted Houses for Halloween

Posted by admin On June - 18 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Real Haunted Houses for Halloween


While almost anyone can enjoy an elaborate, set up “haunted house” at Halloween, nothing is quite as scary as a real haunted house. These places where things really do go bump in the night. Where the strange occurrences can only be blamed on one thing – the supernatural. There are plenty of homes, hotels and other types of old buildings that claim to be home to some unseen spirit world residents, but some have become more famous than others.


Haunted House #1 – The Stanley Hotel


While not a house, this ginormous and posh lodging in Estes Park, Colorado does house plenty of guests during its peak season. The Stanley Hotel opened its doors in 1909 and is still open to this day. Stephen King’s stay here inspired him to write his novel The Shining, which became a movie, set and filmed within the walls of this hotel. Whatever spooked him enough to get to writing about ghosts in the Stanley Hotel seems to still be lingering.


Plenty of claims have been made, and the show Ghost Hunters did not one but two episodes devoted to this place. The general findings seem to involve the fourth floor, where the servants’ quarters were once housed. Though the haunting activity does not seem as sinister as what Mr. King created behind door 217, the reports are mainly of children laughing or being mischievous. The Stanley Hotel does not mind this reputation and does, in fact, offer ghost tours for groups of up to 20 people at a time.


Haunted House #2 – Waverly Hills Sanatorium


Opened in 1910, this construction housed up to 50 tuberculosis patients at a time. Since there was no way to treat this disease back then, this place was meant to be a resting facility for patients to recover peacefully while isolated from the general public. As the disease spread faster, though, Waverly Hills was quickly extended to be able to accommodate up to 400 patients.


There are slightly conflicting stories about whether Waverly ended up being a peaceful place or a location of horrific treatment and death. In many reports, at the peak of the tuberculosis outbreak, the sanatorium was still too small and understaffed and many patients were left dying in corners while new patients were brought in. There is a “body chute” where the dead were dropped down to an awaiting hearse. This method was used to bypass taking bodies of the dead past patients in the hospital.


Aside from the massive death toll from sick patients, it has been documented that at least one, but possibly two, nurses committed suicide at Waverly Hills. There has been much documentation of various apparitions, including photographic, and this was another successful stop for the Ghost Hunters crew. Waverly Hills is open for just ghost tours now.


Haunted House #3 – The Sarah Winchester House


Sarah Winchester was the widow of the heir to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and, to try to get over her grief after losing a child and a husband, sought the guidance of a medium in 1881. She was told that her family and home were haunted and cursed by the spirits of the dead who had died as a result of the Winchester products. In order to not die herself, the medium instructed Sarah to appease the ghosts by continuing to build the home. Sarah would not die, as long as the house was always being built.


Construction of the home she acquired in San Jose, California continued for 38 years, 24 hours around the clock. It is estimated the house ended up with around 160 rooms, from the original 6 it started with, but no one can be sure. Everyone who tries to take a count gets lost, confused and loses track of the room count. There are doors and stairs that lead to nowhere.


This is thought to either be to confuse the spirits or just to have some form on construction going on. Sarah would consult her spirits through nightly séances on architecture plans up until her death in 1922. These same spirits are said to roam the confusing hall ways, possibly now trapped by the construction Sarah Winchester created for them. The Winchester Mystery House is open for tours now.


What’s Real or Not?


It is hard to say what’s fact or fiction when it comes to haunted houses. There are certainly some places that just seem to attract too many ghostly reports to simply write it off. One thing is for sure, real haunted houses for Halloween are a great way to get in the spirit of the holiday.


Real Haunted Houses

Posted by admin On June - 3 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Real Haunted Houses


Halloween is the time of year where haunted houses spring up across the country.  What about real haunted houses — which can be visited at any time of the year?  There are hundreds of them, so we’ve listed a few of the good ones below, in case you’re in the area around Halloween and want to experience a few genuine chills and thrills!


Lillian Collins Hospital, located in Turlock, California


This reputedly haunted building was constructed in 1918 and is now in the Sierra Building.  A doctor who worked here invented the MedicAlert bracelet because his daughter had an allergic reaction to drugs when she was there in 1953. The daughter was also the granddaughter of the hospital founder. The hospital was too small and was abandoned eventually.


The Queen Mary, docked permanently in Long Beach, California


This is one of the most haunted ships in the world and it’s also listed on the Natl. Register of Historic Places.  Construction started on the one thousand foot long ship in 1930.  The Great Depression delayed launch and it was sent on its maiden voyage in 1936.  Many sailed aboard her — the Duchess and Duke of Windsor, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Sir Winston Churchill and thousands of troops in WWII.


Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California


Sarah Winchester, of the Winchester Rifles fame, started to build this house in 1884.  She felt guilty over the deaths of those killed by Winchester rifles.  An army of craftsman and workers built the home of 160 rooms, and it took almost forty years to complete.   She always believed that her husband and baby daughter died as the result of those thousands of deaths by Winchester rifles.


Alcatraz, in San Francisco, California waters


Many gangsters and federal prisoners and eventually Native Americans stayed or occupied the land here.  It’s rumored that if a person sleeps in one of the now closed prison’s cells. They will hear banging on the cell doors during the night.


Royalty Theatre in Clearwater, Florida


This place was once a vaudevillian movie theatre and ever since 1921 there’s been a lot of paranormal activity here.  Apparently, an entity called Captain stays here.  He’s bearded and has blue eyes ad wears a blue hat and coat.  He loves the stage and can be heard walking across it.  On a stage wall which has seen twenty coats of paint, a knife image will simply not go away.  Theatre goers do say that the Captain is an amiable man.


Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida


This site is now a college, but it used to be a hotel which was run by a man called Henry Flagler, along with his unstable wife.  The Mrs. hung herself after their daughter died, using the 4th floor of the hotel as the place to do the deed.  The girls dormitory was here and the site is now host to many strange events.  Girls staying here can tell of hearing ballroom music above their heads.  Another girl’s bed shook violently.  The fourth floor is still sealed off.


The Menger Hotel in San Antonio, Texas


This place is reputedly the most haunted in the San Antonio area.  A murdered maid wanders the upper halls.  A lady has been spotted too, and she reportedly died from a broken heart.  President Teddy Roosevelt used to visit the bar here and try and recruit soldiers for his Rough Riders.  His ghost has also been spotted.


Nicholson’s Home in Washington, Louisiana


This was the site of a Civil War hospital where many amputations were performed on soldiers.  An amputee wanders the corridors today.  He is apparently friendly, but simply walks around and around with his one leg.


The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana


This location is known as one of the most haunted in the South.  This gorgeous home was built in the later part of the 1700s.


Old Elerbe Road School in Shreveport, Louisiana


Several people disappeared here and that’s why the school closed up.  One was a janitor who was loved by all.  Children looked for the man and they, too, disappeared.  School lockers are gone and a mural remains of the grim reaper.  During the darkest hours, children are heard screaming and a school bell tolls.


The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado


Stephen King stayed here and it was reportedly the inspiration for his book, The Shining.  He didn’t actually write the novel at the hotel.  Parts of the TV version of The Shining were filmed here.  Stanley Kubrick didn’t use the place for his movie of The Shining.  The hotel is registered with the Natl. Register of Historic Places.


Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California


Montgomery Clift stayed at the elegant, older-style hotel in 1963, while rehearsing From Here to Eternity.  He apparently liked room 928 on the 9th floor, where he’s been heard pacing the hallway, learning his lines, and playing the trumpet.  One would hope that wasn’t all at the same time.


Happy Haunted Halloween!