Sunday, October 30, 2011

Most Haunted in New York City

Ghosts of murder victims, suicides and spinsters roam Gotham. No wonder it's the city that never sleeps.

As if it wasn’t enough that we New Yorkers have to cram three to a studio apartment in order to afford to live here. Now we have to share our space with ghosts. The city is overrun.

You probably do want to advertise your hauntings, however. A 1991 New York Supreme Court decision ruled that failure to disclose ghosts is grounds for the nullification of a housing contract.

So, with Halloween arriving tomorrow, check out spooky NYC.

*THE MERCHANT’S HOUSE MUSEUM, 29 E. Fourth St., between the Bowery/Lafayette St.

The Merchant’s House Museum, a preserved 19th-century townhouse, has had its share of ghost sightings going all the way back to the 1930s — most involving the former owner, Gertrude Tredwell, who died in the house in 1933.

“We had a concert given by staff members in 2005,” says Eva Ulz, the house’s education and communications manager. “During the show, the players felt strange pokings and changes of temperature. After, one of the audience members came up and asked who was that little old woman sitting behind the band was?”

The old woman in question had been sitting in one of the house’s period chairs that are not allowed to be used and — even spookier — the witness’ description matched Gertrude to a tee.
“I was giving a tour a few years ago, and I was in the kitchen, and I had the door closed and I was leaning against it,” Ulz says. “I began to feel pressure from the door. Sometimes I get a draft, so I pushed it closed again. It happened again. I pushed it closed. A few minutes later, I was knocked over when the door opened with such force.”

*CAMPBELL APARTMENT, 15 Vanderbilt Ave., at 43rd Street

It was a fairly busy night recently at the Campbell Apartment, the stylish bar located in a wing of Grand Central. A woman climbed the stairs and headed into the single bathroom upstairs and locked the door behind her.

A line quickly formed outside the loo. Restless bargoers waited for her to emerge. And waited. And waited.

Finally, management was summoned. They were unable to open the door, so they called a locksmith. The locksmith arrived and quickly disabled the lock, which had been latched from the inside. The door was opened, and inside the small bathroom was . . . nothing.

It was empty. No sign of the woman whom multiple witnesses had seen go inside.
New York City: Where even the undead have trouble finding adequate public restrooms.
Campbell Apartment owner Mark Grossich and some of his staff suspect the woman might have indeed been a ghost. Her bathroom trick was only the latest in a series of events that have been plaguing the lounge with more frequency during the past year. An older couple in 1920s clothing has been spotted having drinks on the balcony. Wait staff have felt shoves, only to turn around and find no one there. A manager closing alone heard someone distantly calling his name.

*THE HOTEL GRIFFOU, 21 W. NINTH St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues

In June, Stacey Jones, founder of Central New York Ghost Hunters, investigated the Griffou — a former brothel and the scene of a 1905 murder-suicide. One of her techniques is to place a tape recorder in a room to capture so-called electronic voice phenomenon, the sounds of spirits. Down in the Griffou’s wine cellar, Jones began calling out a series of questions. “I asked, ‘Can you tell me about the key?’ Sometimes you just ask random questions and that gets results,” Jones says. While nothing was heard at the time, when Jones later listened back to her tape, an angry voice can be heard snarling, “What do you want to know about that key?”


The complex for retired sailors was built in the early 1800s. Legend has it that a woman lived in one of the houses and kept her disabled son chained in the basement. He escaped and killed her with a pair of scissors. He was caught and hanged on the grounds.

The woman’s ghost has supposedly been spotted over the years, and residents have reported other strange happenings, such as church bells ringing unexpectedly, doors slamming suddenly and hearing phantom footsteps.

Berry and the “Ghost Hunters” team recently investigated — one of two jobs in New York City for the series — and witnessed a number of spooky occurrences. They heard a woman’s voice speaking to them, possibly in Spanish, and captured something resembling a figure on a thermal-imaging camera.

*THE ANSONIA, 2109 Broadway, at 73rd Street

Not every haunting is tied to a violent event. Some spaces just have ghosts like the rest of us have roaches. “To me the common denominator is that there’s always some kind of unfinished business,” says Frank Harris of New York Ghost Tours, which offers haunted West Village walks. “Someone hasn’t lived a full and content life.”

The Upper West Side’s Ansonia, built in 1904, has been the site of many hauntings. A resident reports that her dog walker once awoke in the middle of the night to find a hazy female figure standing over her. She also says one of the elevators is haunted.

Apparitions have often been spotted in the basement, as well. A current doorman says he once saw a shadowy figure down there, and a blogger named Maurice Valentine claims to have seen a ghostly man in period garb appear before him in the stockroom of the North Face store in the building.

“Our downstairs is haunted,” says Mickey Nelson, manager of the American Apparel store in the Ansonia. “People see dark shadows, and we always hear noises. It’s like a humming, but not a humming from pipes. It’s a weird, creepy hum.”

“The lights dim sometimes,” says employee Daisy St. John. “It’s like they have a mind of their own.”

*MANHATTAN BISTRO, 129 Spring St., at Greene Street

One of the city’s most famous spirits is the so-called Ghost of Spring Street, who allegedly inhabits the Manhattan Bistro.

In 1800, a young woman named Juliana Elmore Sands disappeared, later turning up dead at the bottom of a well. (The stone structure still stands in the restaurant’s basement.) It wasn’t long before the well became associated with mysterious goings-on. Witnesses claim to have seen fireballs or heard screams emanating from it. A popular 19th-century pastime was to gather round the well with friends to watch for ghosts.

Current owner Maria DaGrossa-Hanna says neighbors claim to have heard groans and rattling chains in the alley behind the restaurant. Her sister recently snapped a shot of the restaurant’s facade (see cover) that seemed to show a woman’s face looking out into the street. In 2000, DaGrossa-Hanna says wine bottles began flying off a shelf and crashing to the floor. “The way they did it, they didn’t just fall off the shelf, they flew,” she says.

*THE HOUSE OF DEATH, 14 W. TENth St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues

Mark Twain once lived in the building, but it didn’t enter into Halloween lore until 1974 when a little-known actress named Jan Bryant Bartell published “Spindrift: Spray From a Psychic Sea,” which claimed No. 14 was haunted. Bartell wrote that a resident once discovered an old man in her apartment who said, “My name is Clemens, and I have a problem here I gotta settle,” before disappearing.

Shortly after arriving in 1957, Bartell’s dog died, followed quickly to the grave by — she claims — numerous other residents, either by suicide or other odd folly. In 1987, the building was the scene of more bad juju when Joel Steinberg killed his 6-year-old adopted daughter inside.

 *FRIARS CLUB, 57 E. 55th St.

The venerable comedy clubhouse was the site of another “Ghost Hunters” investigation.
“They say that the ghost of [vaudeville performer] Al Kelly is there,” Berry says. “I think that he might be. It seemed like something was playing with us.”

In 1966, Kelly died of a heart attack in the famous club’s dining room, and over the years, members have reported doors opening and closing and hearing strange sounds.

The “Ghost Hunters” team heard unexplained knocks on the door and Berry used an electromagnetic-field meter to conduct a “conversation” with a ghost he thinks might be Kelly.


Devil's Night: The History of Pre-Halloween Pranks

We all know what happens on Halloween, the night that little boys and girls dress up and (unwittingly) celebrate the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain and All Hallows Eve.

Anyone who has woken up on Halloween morning to find their house egged, their pumpkin smashed or yard toilet-papered, however, is lucky enough to live where a sister tradition that is not quite as old (but a yearly custom all the same) is also practiced with fervor.

The night of Oct. 30, which goes by a variety of names including Devil's Night in Detroit and Miggy Night in parts of England, sees neighborhood youngsters pull pranks just as diverse as the custom's monikers, ranging from the innocent to the downright dangerous.

So where did this license to cause mayhem come from?

Mischief Night, as it is most commonly known in the United States, has been around in its present form for at least 50 years, when it became a day for playing "tricks" while Halloween itself was reserved for the little one to gather "treats." The practice goes back hundreds of years before that, though, to a time when Halloween and misbehavior were inextricably linked.

In some areas, unfortunately, today's pranks have evolved into acts much scarier than ghosts or goblins.

Mischief always a part of Halloween
Causing mischief has been a part of the Halloween tradition since the very beginning.

The most ancient roots of Halloween come from the Celts of Great Britain, who believed that the day before their Nov. 1 New Year was a time when spirits came back to haunt and play tricks. On Oct. 31, people dressed up in scary costumes, played games, lit bonfires and left food out on their doorsteps for the ghosts in celebration of this otherworldly event, which the Celts called Samhain.

When Great Britain was Christianized in the 800s, the ghoulish games of Samhain merged with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, during which the dead were honored with parades and door-to-door solicitation by peasants for treats — usually a bit of food or money.

After the Protestant Reformation, much of England stopped the "treating" side of Halloween because it was connected to Catholic saints, and transferred the trickery to the eve of Guy Fawkes Night, a Nov. 5 holiday celebrating the foiling of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up British Parliament. Mischief Night in England is still celebrated on Nov. 4.

The Irish, Scottish and northern English, meanwhile, kept up much of their Halloween traditions, including the good-natured misbehavior, and brought their ways to North America with the wave of immigration in the 1800s.

Before the 20th century, Halloween mischief in the United States and Canada happened on Oct. 31 and consisted of tipping over outhouses, unhinging farmer's gates, throwing eggs at houses and the like. By the 1920s and 30s, however, the celebrations had become more like a rowdy block party, and the acts of vandalism more serious, probably instigated by tensions over the Great Depression and the threat of war, historians say.

To stem the vandalism, concerned parents and town leaders tried to ply kids with candy, encouraging the forgotten tradition of trick-or-treating in costume in exchange for sweets, bumping the mischief element from the celebrations of Oct. 31 altogether. It was then that the troublemakers, neighborhood by neighborhood, adopted Oct. 30 as their day to pull pranks.

Rotten vegetables
The custom of vandalism on Oct. 30, oddly, seems to have only developed sporadically, often appearing in some areas but not at all in others nearby.

Nowadays, Mischief Night is especially popular in pockets where Irish and Scottish immigration was common — in northeastern United States but not in the South and West, for example, and in the English-speaking communities of Canada but not the French. Examples of the regional varieties include:
  • Cabbage Night in parts of the northeastern United States, where rotten vegetables are collected and left on porch stoops or smeared on doors and windows. 
  •  Mat Night in English-speaking Quebec, where pranksters steal doormats and switch them with the neighbors'.
  • Gate Night, in the Midwest, where farmers gates are opened, leaving livestock to roam free.
Other popular pranks include the ubiquitous toilet-papering of homes and trees, "soaping" cars and windows and pumpkin smashing.

Though it consists of harmless fun in most places, "Devil's Night" in Detroit is notorious for its ties to gang culture and random acts of arson.

In 1984, more than 800 fires were set there on Devil's Night, leading to a serious crackdown and an Oct. 30 curfew for minors that persists to this day. This year, the mayor of Detroit has recruited an army of more than 30,000 volunteers to patrol their neighborhoods to prevent any similar mayhem.

Read Article Here:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Top 10 HAUNTED HOMES for sale!

10. Ozzie the Ghost!

Some people believe the Ozzie & Harriet home is haunted, but of course in Hollywood where creativity is the norm, there will always be creative gossip. If we had to pick a ghost, charming Ozzie would be a pretty nice guy to have around.

This traditional 5,813sf home was built in 1916 and was the set for The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet that ran from 1952 to 1966, the longest running TV show until The Simpsons recently topped it. Located on almost a half acre, the home consists of 5 bedrooms and 4 baths. The house is very private at the end of a cul-de-sac and is gated. The grounds contain a guest house, separate office and pool. The interior has period details throughout and the home is ready to move into as is or can be renovated at the new owners‘ option. If you're extremely lucky, maybe you'll see Ozzie happily puttering around the yard, though we wouldn't suggest you hold your breath. Priced at $4,245,500. Deal Source:

9. Abandoned Ohio Mansion!

Ghosts might be afraid to go anywhere near Mike Tyson but it looks like something very scary happened at Tyson's former Ohio mansion. The home is complete with a spooky moss covered indoor swimming pool, a massive trashed living room, holes punched through walls, and rusty tiger cages. The boxer lived here for a period in the 1990's and it has sat abandoned ever since. Now on the market, possibly many of the problems have since been resolved, though the agent is clear about the buyer needing to return it to its former “luster“.

On a very private 60 acres of open and wooded land that adjoins a golf course, this almost 10,000sf property in rural Ohio has 5 bedrooms, 7.5 baths and large indoor pool. There is also a separate guard house with another 4-5 additional bedrooms. Grounds have paved walking paths, a basketball court, large decks and . . . large animal cages. We suggest a large Halloween party before renovations begin. No decorating will be involved. Priced at $1,300,000, tiger cages included. Deal Source:

8. $15 Million LA Haunted House?

Sitting vacant for over 16 years unfinished, this house was said to be plagued by alien spacecraft, is said to be sitting on top of an Indian burial ground, was beloved by gangs, addicts and Satanists. The butt of rumors that have become urban legend, the house's history has even become a storyline on a “Law and Order” episode! It is currently for sale at the listed price of $15,200,000. Sitting on 22 acres of the last undeveloped land in LA, the 9,800sf house has 5 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, a 200 bottle wine cellar, six-car garage, stone floors and a pool with Jacuzzi that has a view over the acreage, the city and the Pacific. From the windows you can see snow-capped mountains and the Hollywood sign. There is a 24/7 armed guard on duty now to keep bad spirits away and to prevent damage. Though unlikely that aliens will land or that spirits will arise from some unproven Indian burial ground, the property will likely entice a developer attracted by the land. Ghostly rumors, however, will likely be around for many years to come. Deal Source:

7. John Brown Hanging Site

In historic Charles Town, WV, where Abolitionist Brown met his demise in 1859, 30 years later this grand Victorian was built on the site of his hanging. The land on which it sits was owned by one of the men that captured Brown and who later built a home here. Though the house itself has never been considered to be haunted, its location is one of the most historic in the country. The craftsmanship both in the exterior brick work, turret and widow's walk and in the interior millwork sets this house apart, making it the most notable piece of architecture in Charles Town. The 4-story, 7,037sf home has 5 bedrooms, 5 baths Tiffany glass, handmade shutters and exceptional mantels.

Of John Brown, historian David Reynolds contends that “not only was Brown "right" on slavery and other racial issues of his day, but that his conduct--in causing the Civil War to begin in 1861 rather than, say, 1881--potentially saved hundreds of thousands of lives that could have been lost in a war fought in a time of much greater population and more deadly weaponry and, at the same time, might well have spared an entire generation of African-Americans the humiliating experience of human bondage.” Asking $1,200,000. Deal Source:

6. Evil Clown Haunted House

This is either the chance to out do your neighbors once and for all, or for a town to become known for having the most spectacular Halloween event for miles around! All you Jaycees and civic organizations - heads up! We've all seen ads to come to the Haunted House everywhere you look around this time of year, but did you ever stop to think from where they actually come? We didn't either, but since it's almost Halloween 2011, we thought we'd do a little digging on all things Halloween and this is what we found!

There are companies that consult, design and build custom Halloween venues, or you can rent, but here's a clever company that makes it possible for you to buy a used haunted house kit! (Or how many ways can you say Prefab?) This entire mobile haunted house comes in a complete package and even offers optional add-ons. This scary package includes Evil Clown Town, Alcatraz Prison and Hot Seat electric chair and so much more! It will put Your Town, USA on the map! For $130,000, you can buy the Frightmare Package through the Texas-based Hauntrepreneurs®, a broker for used Halloween Attractions. The package comes complete with production equipment such as tents, lighting and a sound system, fog machine, effect lights, costumes, emergency lighting and exit signs. It's the perfect Halloween haunting! Deal Source:

5. Psycho Murder Victim's House

What do you immediately think of when you hear the name “Janet Leigh?” “Psycho”, of course! You picture her in the shower and you picture that dark Victorian horror of a house on top of the hill overlooking the Bates Motel. Right? We all do! Produced by Alfred Hitchcock, it was a well-scripted, well-cast, horror film, with scenes that would terrify even the most avid horror lover. . . the Victorian house in the film was likely the scariest movie house of all time.

Now Janet Leigh's own former home is for sale and far from being a horror. It has understated clean architectural lines, paved car park, privacy, gated entrance and no ghosts anywhere in sight. Styled in Contemporary Transitional, the design is timeless both inside and out. The perfect home for an avid art collector, the floors are ebony and the walls white, offering exceptional display options. The layout is perfect for entertaining as the public rooms spill out to the patios and stunning views over Hollywood and out over the Pacific. At just over half an acre, the 4,432sf home has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, pool and tennis courts. This property will give your mind a new vision when hearing the name “Janet Leigh” and all thoughts of horror will be long forgotten! Asking $3,950,000. Deal Source:

4. America's Scariest Haunted House !

Not for the faint of heart, this 100-year-old farm house near Olean, NY, is very well known to locals and to all paranormal investigators across the country. Even the History Channel featured it in a special. The house has a history of frightening off its past owners since the 1850's with its 12 or more not-so-friendly ghosts who are frequently seen in their entirety by neighbors, friends, guests, researchers, paranormal investigators and the clergy. In her book, “Echoes of a Haunting”, by one-time resident, Clara M. Miller, she explained the feeling about the house as a build up of pressure under an umbrella that finally releases in the form of activity from these clearly visible spirits. Clara wrote her book from her daily diary and goes into great detail about events that happened there and some she felt might have been related to the house years after moving to Oregon.

Though obviously needing a total renovation, there are many who will be hugely excited about its availability. On 8 acres, the house presently consists of a kitchen, bath, living room, 3 bedrooms and two enclosed porches and a large spring-fed pond. Many seem to think it would make a great research facility for paranormal researchers or equally as an attractive single-family home after renovation. . . . if you have nerves of steel! 100 + year old farm house & stage-coach stop has 12 ghosts. Asking $289,000. Deal Source:

3. The Dean Martin Ghost of Edina, MN

According to their story, Dean Martin stayed at this Minnesota home in 1970 when he was filming the movie “Airport” and he never left. They believe that "Dino" is just one of a number of spirits that haunt this house, which was built near an old Indian funeral site. The owners report numerous incidents of flying tables and beds, exploding water pipes, invisible people and dogs, pounding noises, images of a bloody face in their mirror, missing objects, ice-cold urine pools and a grotesque, hairless cat with glowing eyes and a human's smile. The spirit activity was noticed to increase when the family was preparing to move. The son seems to feel that the most violent spirit got in due to him and his friends using the Ouija board in the basement, as the violent activity began shortly after that. It is probably no surprise that the home is now vacant and has been on the market since May. Deal Source:

2. Haunted Horse Farm !

Don't expect to see ghostly horses grazing the fields or be so lucky as to have a ghostly farmhand stacking hay bales. Instead, turn your attention to your digital camera equipment. For some reason, the normally elusive ghosties on this farm love to have their pictures taken! They will pop up in your pastoral shots and in your family videos and have made themselves apparent over 90 times in the last nine years in and around the farm. They show themselves as orbs, darting lights and misty forms when you're trying to capture that perfect sunset or new foal. Having enjoyed writing about her experiences on this property as a paranormal author, the owner is willing to pass this farm on to the next ghost buster to enjoy.

This 5 acre, fully fenced farm consists of 2 barns and a 2002 constructed 3 bedroom, 2 bath house of approximately 1,150sf and is selling furnished. Fields are well-maintained grazing land in the horse country of Lexington, Kentucky. There have been five paranormal investigations in the past two years - all had positive findings. The next chill running up a spine could be yours! Asking $120,000. Deal Source:

1. New Orleans Haunted B&B

While most going businesses want to keep their ghosts in the closet so as not to frighten off clientele, the Magnolia Mansion has cleverly built its business around multiple ghosts and wish its ghosts would invite their friends! Here the ghosts are friendly with a sense of humor, where ghostly children tease you by moving things around during the night to watch your reaction the next morning. There are reports of a ghostly maid who will tuck you in at night, a child who walks the halls and a bearded man who spends his time downstairs!

Designed by architect James H. Calrow and completed in 1858 from fortunes made from cotton, Magnolia Mansion is one of New Orleans most photographed homes in the Historic Garden District and considered to be one of the most important examples of Antebellum architecture. It was also the headquarters of the American Red Cross during World War II. A raised Greek Revival mansion of approximately 13,369sf, there are 13 bedrooms and 14 full baths that could be changed back into a single-family estate.

A perfect place to hold your “Spooktacular Gatherings” and “Ghostly Galas!“ Asking price is $3.2M.

Read Article Here :

Friday, October 28, 2011

15 Haunted Colleges: Of Course New Jersey is Included

Halloween is getting closer, and I’ve got even more spooky stories from college campuses in my trick or treat bag. Last time, I was just playing around with stories of bumps in the night and benign Casper-like toddler ghosts. This time around, however, I promise scarier, more malevolent ghosts.

Just researching these stories is getting me all jittery. Last night, I was walking my dog at the park. There was no moon out or streetlights on. Even the stars seemed dimmed. Of course, a spectral fog hung in the air- you’ve got to have the fog. I had rarely seen a night that dark. And I swore I could feel eyes watching me out there in the thick darkness. So I ran around the park, practically dragging my poor dog behind me, scurried into the safety of my house, and watched my kids’ entire Care Bears: Season One DVD set just so I could get to sleep. I know, I’m a big chicken.

But I also can’t help dishing it out. So here goes another serving of 15 fiendishly frightful forays into that phantom field of the unknown:

1. Bradford College: Unfinished Affairs

Bradford college ghostNow vacant, this college was recently visited by a band of ghost hunters, who discovered more haunting happenings there than they had bargained for. Prior to their visit, they were well aware of two old stories that pervaded the campus about a sordid affair between a female student and a priest that occurred at the Academy Building. When the student got pregnant, she either killed herself or was killed by the priest. A similar but more recent story came from Denworth Hall, the drama building, in which another female student had an affair with a professor and got pregnant. She threatened to tell the administration, and he killed her. Supposedly, her ghost still haunts the theatre, playing tricks on visitors or singing “Hush, Little Baby” from the upper floor.

At the Academy Building, the ghosthunters felt a great deal of negative energy, recorded the trademark cold spots, and saw the forms of two people: a young, blonde female who appeared to be fleeing something and a man in black, overcome with anger. They also recorded a host of other peculiar phenomena throughout the building.

At Denworth Hall, although not expecting to find anything interesting, they encountered the ghost of the female student, singing her favorite tune. Apparently, she started as a shadow then developed into a more visible form. Dressed in Flapper Era clothing, she descended a set of stairs carrying a doll, singing to it mournfully. As the ghosthunters exited the building through a tunnel, they could hear the student screaming out after them, “Wait! Wait! Don’t leave!”

This college also houses the ghost of a little boy, a bloody phantom old woman who has a thing for foreign exchange students, a ghost man who haunts the theatre stage, and a dark figure that hangs around the catwalk above the stage. No wonder this place has been shut down!

2. University of Notre Dame: Win One for the Gipper’s… Ghost?

Notre Dame University GhostIt would make sense that Notre Dame’s most famous graduate ever would continue to grace the university from the grave. No, I’m not talking about Rudy- he’s still alive. I’m referring to the Gipper himself of the now immortal “Win One for the Gipper” speech. According to accounts, George Gipp, legendary ND football star of yore, has a habit of hovering over students’ shoulders and then dematerializing just as they sense him and turn around. They catch him just as he vanishes into thin air.

The Gipper especially prefers to frighten students working late at night backstage at the university’s dramatic theatre department. Which leads one to wonder: Why would a deceased football great hang around spooking a bunch of drama kids? My theory: He’s a jock. What jock can refuse terrorizing a bunch of drama nerds- even from beyond the grave? Watch out, chess club. You’re next!

Also roaming the grounds of Notre Dame are the restless spirits of the Patawatami Indians who inhabited the banks of the St. Joseph River. Of course, it turns out that Notre Dame was built on, say it with me,… INDIAN BURIAL GROUNDS!!! The ghost Indians prefer to hang around Columbus Hall, where they ride up and down the front steps on ghost horses.

3. University of Georgia: Unhappy Spectral Southern Belles

university of georgia ghostMany of the buildings at this Athens, Georgia, school are old, certainly old enough to hold a lot of secrets. The Alpha Gamma Delta house, for example, is rumored to have been the dwelling place of its founding family. Oh, and it’s also the house where their daughter, Susie Caruthers, hung herself in despair over having been stood up at the altar. It just so happens that the house resembles a three-tiered wedding cake. According to legend, passers-by catch glimpses of Susie in the attic window, the room where she killed herself.

As far as the sorority girls are concerned, some prefer to keep the story under wraps so as to protect the sorority’s reputation. Other sorority members embrace the ghost and her influence around the house. They speak fondly of doors opening and closing on their own, of the lights cutting off randomly and then coming back on, and of things moving around on their own. Just part of living with other girls, I guess. Girls who live in the “Engagement Suite,” rumored to have been Susie’s room during her engagement, claim to have incredibly good luck in love, with marriages occurring magically within a year of leaving the room. Word to the wise, ladies: Susie’s a good friend to have.

At the Phi Mu house, following incidents of phantom crying being heard from the top of the stairs, a Ouija board revealed that a girl named Anna Hamilton was haunting the building. Students also uncovered a tale of murder and secrecy in which Anna’s fiance was killed before her eyes and his body buried beneath the front steps of the house. Creepy! The students tried to investigate the alleged murder with people who knew Anna but to no avail. They remembered Anna but grew upset when asked about any murder. Hmmmm… Sounds like it’s time to call Scooby and the crew or Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Also at U of Georgia, the ghost of a Confederate office, Major Charles Morris, likes to rock in his old rocking chair at the president’s office and roam the halls of the administration building. Sounds like a fun place!

4. Montclair State University: Bad Boogeymen at Clove Road

montclair university ghostThe Clove Road Apartments on this college’s Montclair, New Jersey, campus are apparently a gateway to Hell. Not really, but there is definitely some scary stuff happening there. Starting things off on the wrong foot, this place was built on, of course,… an INDIAN BURIAL GROUND!!! I mean, that just opens the door for killer clown puppets, scary, staticky TV screens, people peeling their faces off in the bathroom sink, and the undead marching out of your swimming pool. The American Founders should have put a footnote in the Magna Carta or something about not building on Indian burial grounds. Everyone’s lives would be a lot easier. But, oh well: hindsight is 20/20, I suppose.

Anyway, back to Clove Road. This place is bad news. Tenants have reported electrical appliances turning on and off of their own accord, lights on the second floor flashing on and off by themselves, disembodied knocks on bedroom and bathroom doors, “unearthly” noises emanating from the woods behind the apartments, and, get this, shadows lurking around in the woods. Uh, I think I would have demanded my deposit back from the landlord by now and checked into the Motel 6 across town. I mean, “unearthly” sounds? Lurking shadows? Hello! Red flags all over the place! But, alas, I digress…
It gets better (or worse, I guess). Tenants reported being overcome by an “unsettling feeling or nausea” whenever they discussed the strange phenomena at their apartments. The roommates, best friends when they moved in, had inexplicably negative feelings toward each other and would often fight and squabble. Their apartments would be chilly even though the thermostat was set at 80 degrees (aka cold spots). We know what cold spots mean. Cold spots equal dead people. One female tenant told of waking one night to find a man dressed in 19th century garb standing over her bed, staring at her lovingly. Thinking it was her roommate’s boyfriend mistaking her for his girlfriend, she told him he had the wrong bed. The man suddenly disappeared into thin air.

I say, kids, it’s time to find another apartment. I don’t care if you like the cheerful peach decor. Get yourselves out of there before everyone starts growling evil incantations and spewing green slime. Seriously…

5. Drew University: Ghosts Getting Religion?

drew university ghostOne of our stories comes from this Madison, New Jersey college’s theological school. It seems funny that a church or a seminary would have ghost stories. I mean, it’s a church. Aren’t those supposed to be free of, like, spooky stuff? Evidently not. One student reports hearing the sound of breathing in the otherwise empty chapel while he was saying his prayers. He got up and looked around the small room and found no one, nothing to explain the breathing sound. The sound grew louder and heavier. Thoroughly frightened, the student took off like a bat out of… heck.

Other accounts tell of mist-like apparitions forming on the second floor of Asbury Hall. Witnesses are certain the mists are not steam or tricks of light. But they do recall being gripped by fear in their presence. According to rumor, a seminary student hung himself from the attic rafters, and the mist is his despairing disembodied spirit still roaming the halls.

Also at Drew U, the ghost of Roxanna Mead Drew, wife of the original founder, makes spooky appearances now and again. Madison firefighters tell the story of the fire at Mead Hall, started by a painter’s torch, in which two firemen spotted a woman walking unphased through the raging flames. They moved toward her and called out to her. Suddenly, they realized she was dressed in old-fashioned attire, and, a second later, she vanished before their eyes. Apparently, Mrs. Drew just decided to show up for the burning of her namesake.

6. St. Charles Community College: Footprints, Flying Papers, and Ghost Boys

ghost boy st charles community collegeThis small campus in Cottleville, Missouri is allegedly the home of a large paranormal infestation. Even in buildings with no apparent history, ghostly activity has been widely witnessed by students and faculty alike. Whoever is haunting them is a terrible houseguest, as most incidents revolve around loud footsteps, bumps, loud conversations, muddy footprints, and doors slamming by themselves.

One notable report came from a housekeeper cleaning in the library during closed hours. No one was around. They heard a commotion behind a service desk and went to check on it, but found no one there. Upon returning to the spot they had been cleaning, they found muddy footprints tracked across the carpet, starting from the, gulp,… MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR!!! The spooked housekeeper called another staffer to come to the building, but, of course, the footprints had VANISHED! Isn’t that just the way?

Another event happened in the new Technology Building where several housekeepers were working. Without warning, the ceiling tiles in many rooms “started jumping up and down.” Other housekeepers were called to the scene via walkie-talkie. By the time they arrived, “papers on the bulletin boards in the building were standing out from the wall, as if they were trying to fly away, rather than hanging down against the wall as usual.” This phenomenon continued for another hour until it stopped just as suddenly as it had started. That’s like freaky Poltergeist stuff! And the fact that it was witnessed by several people over an hour only amps up the freakiness.

In what I think is the most bone-chilling story, campus residents have reported seeing a ghostly nine-year old boy dressed in 19th century dress following them around. For some reason ghost kids are scarier than ghost adults (like that white-faced ghost kid from The Grudge… I’m getting scared just thinking about it). This kid prefers to scare the pants off people by appearing at night and following people when their alone. Creepy! Other than the following thing, it has not been established whether the boy actually says or does anything in particular. All I’ve got to say is, someone’s gotta find that kid’s ghost mom and have her give that kid some attention instead of letting him float around and freak people out.

Speculators at St. Charles have their theories: air masses of different temperatures mixing and colliding with each other in the buildings (whatever); the tragic deaths of early European settlers; and, of course, that old stand-by, the Indian burial ground.

7. Franklin & Marshall College: Haunted Songs and Spectral Wrestlers

Franklin and Marshall College GhostsLate one night in Diagnothian Hall on the Lancaster, PA campus, a music professor was listening to a recording of a Souza duet called “Red Cross Nurse,” which is about a nurse bandaging wounded soldiers during World War I. As the song played, the professor began to hear “sounds apart from the music … moaning, rattling sounds, and overall, the sounds of a person in intense pain” coming from the other side of his office wall. He ran to the other side of the wall only to find an empty room. A few years later, this same professor was listening to music in his office late at night, a piece entitled “Haunted Landscape” that was composed about the nearby Gettysburg battlefield and the “lingering presence” often felt there by visitors. Obviously, this professor hadn’t been spooked enough by his first experience. Anyway, you can guess what happened next: the same ghostly sounds of suffering were heard. It had long been known that the hall acted as a hospital during the Civil War, housing the dead and wounded from many battles, including that of Gettysburg. The music professor theorizes that his musical pieces about Gettysburg and war hospitals literally woke the dead.

In Distler House on the same campus, students (even in large groups) have reported strange noises coming from the upper floor of the building, noises like “squirrels running in circles.” Over the TV room in the building, people have reported sounds of moving furniture, horseplay, and rough-housing. Turns out Distler House used to house the school gym, with the upper floor containing an indoor track and the room over the TV room acting as the practice room for the wrestling team. Apparently, the dead are still interested in maintaining their ghoulish figures (sorry, bad joke). But those wrestling singlets have got to be pretty foul by now.

Seriously, though, are these cases of buildings retaining some kind of “psychic residue” of their pasts that they just replay on a loop in the present? Spooky stuff. Here’s more…

At the Alumni House, guests have reported feeling strange sensations as they lay in their beds at night. The bell at the administration building has been known to ring randomly and without human manipulation, possibly as a result of the building being built on, gulp, GALLOWS HILL!!! Up until recent decades, the ghost of a deceased, obsessive professor who was killed in an auto wreck in the middle of accumulating pieces for a collection at the school museum, his late life’s work, still occupied the library, where he made odd noises at night and caused elevators to go to the wrong floors.

8. Sweet Briar College: A Car-Thieving, Towel-Stealing, Heavy Breathing Ghost Girl

sweet briar college ghost daisy williamsThis girls college abounds with stories about the founder’s daughter, named Daisy, who died while a teenager and has been purported to still cause mischief on campus today. She is blamed affectionately by students and faculty alike, who are on a first-name basis with the ghost.

One account tells of two co-eds who took their dates up to Monument Hill, where Daisy’s statue stands, and told the guys the ghost stories they knew. When one of the girl’s made a casual joke about the monument, the parking brake on her car suddenly released, sending the car rolling down the hill. The four kids reached the car in time to stop it, jumped in the car, and drove away with the doors still flying open.

Another story is told about a girl making her way to the laundromat with her laundry baskets. She suddenly had a strange feeling and looked up at the bushes to her right. To her surprise, she found her towel, which should have been at the bottom of her basket, hanging from the bushes. She remembered having it after she had done laundry last, so she couldn’t have dropped it. Strangely, the towel was not dirty as would be the case if it had been dropped or left somewhere on campus. When she got back to her room, she searched her towel drawer for the towel. It wasn’t there. Naturally, the female student assumed that Daisy must have taken an interest in her towel and hung it out on the bushes for all to see. Some roommates think they can just get into everything…

In a more frightening account, a student awoke one night in her dorm to the distinct sound of loud, heavy breathing. She thought it was her roommate, but when she glanced over at her, her roommate was awake in bed, holding absolutely still. The breathing was coming from high above them. It sounded human. They had locked their door, as they did every night. Her roommate asked, “Is that you?” The student answered no, and the breathing ceased. They didn’t talk about it until later, remarking that it didn’t sound friendly. Maybe Daisy has taken on a more sinister tack. Look out, girls…

9. Shepherd College: The Haunting Homecoming Queen

ghost girlAt this West Virginia school, a story circulates in Gardiner Hall about a past homecoming queen who slipped in the shower, hit her head, died, and now haunts the premises. One student tells of how he was assigned to a room where the room number was always set upside down. When he inquired about it, he was told not to worry about it. Then one night, while his roommate was out of town, he was awakened by the sound of footsteps inside his room. They moved across the room from the door to the desk. Then the student heard the sound of shuffling papers. The footsteps moved to the foot of the student’s bed and, yikes, “a cold sensation erupted.” Say it with me: “I see dead people … ALL … THE … TIME!” 

The day after his harrowing experience, he asked several students about it, and they told him about Patricia, the homecoming queen, her accident in the shower, and her picture that hangs in the lobby in memoriam. The numbers in his room, it turns out, were always upside down because Patty preferred it that way. She had some kind of beef with Mabel Gardiner, after whom the building was named. The student went on to say that he awoke one night before summer break later that year to see a bright flash of light in his mirror. When he looked up, he saw a young woman with dark brown hair and a white outfit. Apparently, she communicated with him because he claims to have more information about her and her hauntings. Run away, man! That girl has some serious issues.

10. Ohio University: Playful Poltergeists, Pentagrams, and a Headless Buffalo

For some reason, Ohio just seems to have more than its fair share of haunted colleges. Dubbed “the most haunted college in the country” by some, this Athens university certainly follows suit. It’s old, which means it has a lot of history, which means you can expect a lot of ghostly traffic.

In several different buildings, poltergeists throw objects, lock doors, flush toilets, and- gasp!- unroll rolls of toilet paper. Phantom marbles sounds will be heard from ceilings and the sound of dripping water. Disembodied laughter will sound from the center of an empty room. Some students have reported feeling threatening presences hovering in front of their faces. Others tell of ghosts spooning with them in the middle of the night (oohh-kay… time to find a date, preferably a living one).
Perhaps the most notable haunted site on campus is Wilson Hall, which as amassed a disproportionately large number of hauntings in its short 42-year history. There have been, of course, a number of suicides there. Dark, shadowy figures roam the halls, leaving unfortunate students feeling chilled and frightened. Athens ghost folklorists believe that Wilson Hall’s high frequency of hauntings is due to its location. Apparently, Wilson sits smack dab in the middle of… Athens’ five pentagram cemeteries!!! That’s good enough for me.

Lastly, the university’s West Green sits on, you guessed it, an Indian burial ground. Besides hearing Indian chants at the site, students tell of Stroud, a headless buffalo that still roams the area. It turns out Stroud was killed by some Confederate soldiers near the end of the Civil War. To hide their plunder, the soldiers cut off the buffalo’s head and stuff it full of loot. This has left the buffalo’s restless spirit to wander West Green for eternity. Someone should tell him his head is hanging on the wall of Buffalo Wings and Rings in town.

11. Illinois University: The Gray Ghost, a White Lady, and Creepy Closets

white lady illinois university

This school has its share of ghostly footsteps, spectral suicide victims, flickering lights, and windows that open and close on their own. But IU also has a few unique stories of its own.

In one such story, a female student was returning to her room in Alpha Phi Omega Hall to get something while everyone else was at a party. She had been drinking but still insists that the following was not imagined as a result of intoxication. As she ascended the staircase, she saw a man standing at the top of the stairs, dressed in gray. Cautiously, the girl squinted to get a better look at the man, realizing suddenly that the man had no face. The student ran out of the house screaming bloody murder, but no one heard her… You’re probably thinking that they found her dead, but you’re wrong. She lived to tell the tale to her sorority sisters, who subsequently thought she had had one too many swigs of Halloween punch. Since then, the Gray Ghost has been sighted widely around campus.

In Crampton Hall, the same building where a student was found hung by an unknown hand in his closet, a male student went to his room to get ready for a night on the town. When he didn’t come back for a long time, his companions went to look for him. They found him naked, hanging upside down in his closet, and too frightened to tell them what had happened. Later, the same student was awakened in the middle of the night by a loud noise and found a man standing over him. The mysterious stranger turned and disappeared into the closet. Perhaps, this was an elaborate hazing performed by frat boys from Narnia.

Or perhaps something more sinister. In the basement classrooms of Rammelkamp Chapel, students have reported seeing an old woman in white. When she sees them looking at her, she quickly vanishes into thin air.

12. Cal State University Channel Islands: Home of the Undead Insane

UC channel islands ghost haunted

Don’t be fooled by this school’s young age (it opened its doors to students in 2002). This school used to be one of the most crowded, infamous insane asylums in the United States. [Note: many schools are built on the former grounds of asylums, and these schools usually experience hauntings. In fact, Congress should pass a bill forbidding anyone to build on the site of a former asylum- just like with Indian burial grounds.

Going against all horror movie caveats, the Cal State organization thought it would be a bright idea to use an already haunted sanatorium for their university. Former cells have been converted into classrooms and study halls. Does anyone else here see red flags flying up? Unfortunately, they won’t learn their lesson until it’s too late and the student body has sprouted horns, and the entire campus is swallowed into the tenth level of hell.

Thousands of men, women, and children passed through the halls of this place, ranging from autistics to schizophrenics to violent psychopaths. Brutal, old-school methods were used on inmates, including electroshock therapy and lobotomies. While it was still in operation, Camarillo State Hospital employees reported numerous terrifying supernatural encounters. The place was shut down in the early ’90s. New students are already reporting ghostly occurrences.

One former employee tells of a janitor who, while cleaning a ladies restroom, spotted what was obviously a pair of male legs in one of the stalls. She knocked on the door and told the occupant that he was in the wrong restroom. When she didn’t get a response, the janitor opened the stall door, only to find the stall empty. One of the supervisors saw a man enter the women’s restroom dressed in one of the old patients’ jumpsuits. She followed him to chase him out- he was obviously a confused inmate. When she entered the room, however, no one was there. She called in another female supervisor who had seen the man. They talked for a moment, and then the other woman screamed, her face as white as, well, a ghost. The supervisor spun around to see the man standing right behind her. Then, he vanished before their eyes.
cal state channel islands ghostOther creepy stuff: one nurse was sneaking a smoke outside the empty cafeteria when someone grabbed her hard by the shoulders and jerked her back. When the nurse gained her footing, she glanced around the room only to find that the room was empty, the doors locked. Another nurse was grabbed by her hair and yanked back so hard her chair almost fell over. Also, one of the units featured a mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves where Grumpy’s face would transform occasionally into a sinister image. Also, a dirt road that runs behind the buildings is said to be very haunted, with bizarre accidents occurring regularly there.

Nowadays, the spirits are as busy as ever. Children’s voices can still be heard from what used to be the children’s center. Old swing sets swing without any wind or hand to push them. Other students have heard shouts and banging there. Some claim to have seen a black, shadowy figure. An old woman in white has been seen wandering the halls. Another old woman has been spotted outside the bell tower, asking for directions to the chapel.

Shushing voices have been heard in the bathrooms. A man has been seen spinning around in the parking lot until he disappears under one of the streetlights. Students have reported seeing people out of the corner of their eye who vanish when they look directly at them. One female student told of how her boyfriend stole a painting from one of the wards, began acting bizarre, and became possessed by the ghost of a former inmate. When he went nuts and threatened to kill her, she called the cops, and he was eventually admitted to a mental institution.

Many have reported inexplicable nausea and headaches upon setting foot on campus. First-day-of-school jitters or something more sinister at work?

13. Berea College: A Phantom Runner, Undying Tragedies, and the Ghostly Tour Guide

berea college ghostTucked away in the Kentucky woods, this obscure liberal arts college houses quite a few phantoms. As with so many other colleges, many of these hauntings are said to originate from tragic happenings in the school’s past. Still, it also has its odd, inexplicably random haunting.

Take, for instance, the Phantom Runner of Pearsons Residence Hall. It turns out that back in the 1920s, one of the school’s football stars, Charles Seabury, Jr. died of a broken neck while playing ball. His grieving father donated money for a new gym on condition that the school would never again have a football team. The school honored his request. Apparently, however, young Seabury has not ceased his pursuit of sports. To this day, students report the sounds of someone running up and down the fourth floor hall early in the morning. Phantom breezes blow past students with no apparent origin, leaving the students feeling chilled and frightened.

Also like many other colleges, a couple of Berea’s ghosts come from rumored suicides. In James Residence Hall, a female student hung herself in the elevator shaft after being taken advantage of. Students tell of finding wet footprints leading toward the old shaft, which has since been converted into a janitor’s closet. The footprints go in, but none come out. Another female student was rejected by her boyfriend after he got her pregnant. Unable to endure her shame, she hung herself in the Fairchild Residence Hall attic. Students report seeing a mysterious candle in the attic window and hearing footsteps and a melancholy rocking chair creaking in the attic.

In a much lighter tale, one student was taken on a campus tour by a strange young man in a 60s-style suit. When it came time to show him the library, the tour guide showed the building that used to be the library. The student told him that the new library was elsewhere and the guide agreed. That was when four more 60s-style students appeared, holding each other up, one of them crying. The odd tour guide vanished, and the students reported feeling an acute sense of loss and seeing a demolished, muddied, 60s-era tow truck being taken to the city dump. The student was left perplexed and you probably are, too.

14. Mount Holyoke College: A Picture Paints One Word

mount holyoke college ghostPaintings seem to naturally invoke reflection, study, curiosity, and awe. At this South Hadley, MA college, however, one painting invokes madness. Apparently, Deacon Porter, one of the school’s early supporters, had an illicit affair with one of the school’s founders Mary Lyons. When Porter’s wife, Hannah, discovered his treachery, she vowed to get revenge on him. She exacted revenge from beyond the grave, it seems. A portrait of her, with its intense, staring eyes, is said to have driven a female student to insanity. It is unclear why the painting would exact its revenge on an unrelated female student or if the painting exists at all. Actually, there is little evidence to support any of the story. But it sure is spooky…

15. Kenyon College: 17 Ghosts and A Gateway to Hell

This well-known liberal arts college is apparently quite crowded… with the dead. One hall is haunted by a spectral insomniac, a former student who committed suicide in his dorm room. Another hall is haunted by a female student who died before she could attend classes; she continues to rearrange furniture from the grave, scaring her living housemates and exhibiting a complete lack of talent in interior decorating. And at yet another hall, another suicide victim flushes toilets, flicks lights on and off, and knocks on doors randomly- some people never grow up.

In the pool building and dance studio, a former high-diver cracked his head on the building’s glass ceiling, broke his neck, fell into the pool, and drowned. To this day, lifeguards will hear someone thrashing in the water, screaming for help. When they run into the pool room, it is empty, the water calm. In the dance studio next door, people have heard the same splashing sounds. They’ve also reported showers turning on and off by themselves. Wet footprints appear in the dance studios, and eyewitnesses have seen a white face with wet, slicked back hair peering out of the building’s windows.

haunted elevator shaftAt the theater building, security guards tell of curtains opening by themselves, light bulbs being unscrewed by themselves, and the ghastly sound of a body falling hard on the stage. Years ago, they say, a student fell from the catwalk and that the sound of his demise is being replayed again and again. At the fieldhouse, another ghostly runner frequents the track; it also likes to play music in the supply cage and open doors. At one of the female residence halls, a jealous spook haunts the elevator shaft where he apparently met his doom during a dangerous prank. He also likes to appear in the girl’s rooms and block their doors with furniture. He tried to harm female students, trying to smother one with a pillow on one occasion. Another hall is haunted by the victim of a fraternity pledge gone wrong, in which a student was struck and killed by a train.

To top it all off, Old Kenyon, which was the site of the deaths of nine male students when a fire consumed the old building, continues to experience a plethora of supernatural activity. The nine fire victims glide up and down the halls. They are said to be visible only from the knees up because the new reconstructed building was built ten inches higher than the original one. Students on lower floors will see ghostly legs protruding from the ceiling. Lights turn on and off; toilets flush. Scenes of panic are reenacted from that terrible night, with screams of trapped students being heard, doors being shaken violently, and male voices calling, “Wake up! Fire!”

To complement this severely haunted school, students claim that a gateway to hell exists at its main gates. They may not be too far off.

Are you scared yet? Did you have to call a friend or relative into the room to keep you company while you finished reading? You big baby. Honestly, there are some spooky things out there, especially, it seems, at college. And I’m not just talking about the sorority girls. If you’re searching for a college, avoid these places like the plague. I just hope you’re scared so I’m not the only one.

Article by Marcus Varner

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to Survive a Zombie Attack in NYC

How to Survive a Zombie Attack

A fight-or-flight primer to outliving the urban undead.

Zombies tap into the psyche of New York City like no other ghoul. Their insatiable hunger for braaaaains mirrors our own depthless ambition and magnifies our most crippling anxieties: fear of random violence; fear of the chaos that lurks inside every crowd; fear of the stranger with one thing on his mind. Is it any surprise, then, that end-of-days parables like The Walking Dead (which just kicked off its second season on AMC), Brian Ralph’s graphic novel Daybreak (out now from Drawn + Quarterly), and the Resident Evil series (now shooting its fifth installment) strike such an emotional chord? read more [+]

Stay-GoShould You Stay or Should You Go?
Either way, there will be trouble. A debate.

TaxonomyKnow Thy Enemies
Before you can kill them, you must understand them.

MetLoot the Met
The top four zombie-defense tools at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Go BagThe Go! Go! Go! Bag
Everything you need to flee the horde.

RefugeHole Up Here
Where to seek refuge in a city of 8 million cannibals.

Zombie BrainThe Zombie Brain at Work
Two neuroscientists explain.

WinnersWho Will Win in the End?
Depends who you ask.

Golden RulesGolden Rules
Three very important things to remember.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10 Great Places to Sleep with a GHOST

For some travelers, the ultimate amenity is a ghost. In a recent survey, 44% of respondents said they had visited a haunted house. More than a quarter said they'd like to sleep in one. A good place to encounter a spirit might be a B&B, says Brian Megless of, survey sponsor. "The properties are unique and full of stories and historical importance," he adds. He shares some favorites with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY.

Featherbed Railroad Bed & Breakfast Resort
Nice, Calif.
The spirit of a former railroad worker is said to haunt one of the nine cabooses that make up this rail-themed Northern California inn. Several guests say they've seen a man in striped pajamas sitting on a bed in the Celebrations caboose, which is decorated for Halloween every year. 800-966-6322;

Red Garter B&B
Williams, Ariz.
This Victorian inn operated as a bar and bordello until the 1940s, which might explain the continued presence of Eve, a former call girl. "Guests have felt the bed shake and felt people touching their arms when no one was there," Megless says. 800-328-1484;

1906 Pine Crest Inn & Restaurant
Tryon, N.C.
Psychics say an energy vortex may be responsible for the otherworldly occurrences at this Blue Ridge Mountain inn. "The furniture mysteriously moves around in the guest rooms and common areas," Megless says. For example, a former innkeeper said he once woke up and found his dresser blocking the door and clothes scattered around the room. 800-633-3001;

Penny House Inn
Eastham, Mass.
This restored 17th-century sea captain's house is home to several playful spirits, Megless says. One named Charlotte makes a loud impression. The staff has learned she loves to crank the volume of the spa's sound system. "They're really careful when they turn on the music," Megless says. 800-554-1751;

John Denham House
Monticello, Fla.
This 130-year-old inn has a long documented record of haunting — as does the entire town of Monticello, which is near Tallahassee. The National Historic Register B&B even hosts ghost-hunting weekends, where guests learn how to track spirits and collect audio, video and photographic evidence of paranormal activity. 850-997-4568;

Black Horse Inn
Warrenton, Va.
Three ghosts have been reported in this former Civil War hospital — a history that Megless notes "definitely makes it a little bit more creepy." One female spirit, believed to be a nurse, laughs in men's ears. Another spirit, the "Christmas ghost," seems to have toppled a Christmas tree several years in a row. Now the tree is wired to the wall. 540-349-4020;

Magnolia Mansion
New Orleans
Travelers need only read the inn's guest book for accounts of the spirits seen here. "This may be the most happily haunted B&B on the list," Megless says. Guests describe hearing movement in their rooms at night, and then waking up to find pillows stacked at the foot of their bed, and their belongings rearranged. One woman had the sheet pulled up over her, and her cheek stroked by a spirit known as "The Caretaker." 504-412-9500;

Ghost Rails Inn
Alberton, Mont.
This inn once housed Milwaukee Railroad work crews, but it's Bertha, the former property owner, who may still roam the halls. "She continues to make the bed in Room 5 and fluff the pillows and carry the towels down the hall," Megless says. Other ghosts include a tall, silver-haired woman who moves belongings around in Room 8, and a male ghost often seen in Room 9. 406-722-4990;

Colonel Taylor Inn B&B
Cambridge, Ohio
Joseph D. Taylor, a Civil War soldier and four-term U.S. congressman, still roams the halls of his former home, guests say. "Even though it's a smoke-free B&B, people have seen smoke from the colonel's pipe lingering in rooms he used to frequent," Megless notes. In addition, the owner's family and tabby cat have been spotted in the home, where beds rock mysteriously and toys move on their own. 740-432-7802;
Foley House Inn
Savannah, Ga.
When renovators found human remains in the wall of this Savannah inn, it seemed to confirm a local legend. In a deathbed confession, a former innkeeper admitted to killing a boarder in self-defense and hiding his body. Some guests report hearing noises and feeling a mysterious rush of air. Over the years the spirit has picked up a name in honor of his final resting place, Megless says. "The locals refer to him as Wally." 800-647-3708;