For some people, the appeal of the supernatural is a deciding factor in where to live or go on vacation. The possibility of encountering ghosts provides a certain comfort, proof of a life after this one or the allure of things not understood. While many cities in the US, and around the world, have at least one or more places that have unexplained phenomena occur, the cities listed below seem to be synonymous with the supernatural.
The home of Voodoo (and her Queen Marie Laveau), Spanish moss-draped houses, the dark French quarter, Jean Lafitte and his pirate band, and numerous modern vampire novels, all of these beckon those seeking seedy hidden history to the Big Easy. Locals say that concentration of extreme weather combined with the above-ground crypts opens this city up to ghosts within homes and business’ within the greater New Orleans area.
It isn’t just the locations that add to the feel of this city, it is the city itself, the jazz soundtrack that plays in the background of the thickness that hangs in the air. Prior to NYC is the melting pot of the country, New Orleans was seeing a high immigration of Creole people. This city has maintained its “Southern Charm,” blended with French and Spanish influence.
Top places to visit:
- St. Louis Cemetery No. 1– Haunted by the ghost of Madame Laveau herself who is said to utter Santeria curses to trespassers. Tourists and locals still come every day and leave her gifts.
- LauLarie House, 1140 Royal St.- Reports of the tormented ghosts of slaves and of Mrs. LauLarie have been reported here. Local legend says that the slaves are still entreating the assistance of strangers to help them put the fire that took many of their lives.
- The Sultan’s Palace– In the 1800’s this house was owned by a wealthy man who had multiple wives and children as well as a harem of women and young boys who were kept against their will. One night his family and harem were brutally murdered and hacked to pieces, then the “Sultan” was buried alive in his backyard. Female visitors to this place experience unwelcome advances, he is thought to be responsible for the loud, angry noises, music, and the incense that occur in this house.
In addition to the haunted sights, ghost cats and dogs have been numerously reported, though they very rarely show signs of meanness or hostility.
Galveston was the first city in Texas to have some of the modern advancements we take for granted today such as a library, electric lights, a formal hospital, naval base, newspaper, and a post office. Once in history, it was known as “the Wall Street of the Southwest” because it’s location and climate made it attractive to families from “old money.”
During the early 1800’s, the pirate Jean Lafitte used Galveston as his headquarters and many of his treasures are still rumored to be buried there. In 1867 Galveston was rocked by the worst yellow fever outbreak in its history. The cemeteries were filled to capacity and many bodies had to be moved to locations in other towns. Many graves were unmarked.
In 1900, a level 5 hurricane hit Galveston. Many residents underestimated the impact of the storm and went down to the beaches to greet it. They realized the severity too late. Many were trampled to death as they ran to flee the city. Between 6,000 and 8,000 people died. People grabbed onto anything that would float, including dislodged coffins. The aftermath cleanup found that bones were embedded into buildings.
- Jefferson Davis Hospital– This hospital was built directly on top of one of the most gruesome graveyards from the yellow fever epidemic. It is said that the ghosts from the cemetery and those who have died in the hospital still haunt it’s halls.
- Galveston bay– A ghostly frigate is still seen patrolling the waters on moonless nights. Locals believe it is the ship captained by Lafitte.
- Coffee houses– It is not a rarity to be enjoying morning coffee and to look over and see the prying eyes of a long-dead soldier, still in his Civil War uniform.
- Strand Shop– A body, presumably from the great flood of 1900, is seen floating near the rafters.
Now known as a modern pilgrimage site for modern Wiccans, Witches and pagans, Salem is infamous for the Witch Trials of 1692. It has been branded as “The Haunted Witch City” and is full of haunted shops, museums and houses. The history of this city cannot be denied by the current residents, but it is this very same history that draws so many to these small town streets year after year.
It isn’t just the Witch trials that lead to the hauntings in this city, there have been murders and history dating back from the birth of the country.
- Saint Mary’s Cemetery– Still bearing the epitaphs from those who were killed during the trials, there is a glowing light often seen and the sound of a dog jogging on concrete. There is also an unexplained feeling of being watch that has been reported by even the most skeptical visitors.
- Gallows Hill-Many unexplainable things happen here, at the place where sixteen (presumably innocent) people were hanged. Two dogs were even killed for giving someone the evil eye
- The Salem Witch Trials Memorial and Burying Point Cemetery– The cemetery is right next door to the memorial. Some of the headstones have been worn down from time and weather to the point where they are unreadable. The stone surrounding the memorial benches emblaze the names of the 20 people who were accused of witchcraft. At night, apparitions have been seen in both places.
Infamous for hosting the most deadly battle of the civil war, many insist that it’s soldiers who died never left. Beyond the history written in books, there are stories lost in time in every nook and cranny.
- Gettysburg battlefield– Those who live around this area of Pennsylvania say that the ghost of a general can be seen riding across the field every summer on his ghostly white stallion. This field is acre for acre, the most haunted place in the country with the souls of the fallen soldiers unable to find rest. Candlelight walking tours are offered here.
- The Home of Jenny Wade– She was the only woman killed during the battle of Gettysburg. Her apparition is still seen walking the halls of her home.
- Bed & Breakfasts– There are more than a few B&B’s that served as hospitals during the war. There is a good chance if you stay in one of these, you won’t be alone.
There are enough legends here to fill many books. An Englishman named Oglethorpe founded the city in 1733, he fell in love with the lush shore and the mild climate. It has kept much of its old beauty and Southern Charm. In many of the oldest parts of the town, civil war soldiers still stand guard over the city.
- Fort Jackson– The oldest standing fort in Georgia, it started as an earthen fort. During the civil war, many soldiers died protecting the fort. It is said that their screams can still be heard.
- Hamilton Turner Inn– The sounds of children laughing and billiard balls rolling around on the upper floor can be heard on a regular basis. There has been a man smoking a cigar seen on the roof by staff there.
- Hampton Lillibridge House– This is the only house in Savannah to ever receive an exorcism. The ceremony failed to remove the strange forces. A woman’s scream has been heard and a man was dragged across the floor by an unseen force.