Posts Tagged haunted places

Halloween Haunts

 “Want to get your Halloween Spook On?”

Here are our Top Five Locations guaranteed to give you the creeps this Halloween Season!

 

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# 5  Myrtles Plantation

As a general guideline, we typically do not encourage our readers to visit haunted homes unless the location has at least a baker’s dozen of frequent entities. Otherwise, it is hardly worth their time and expense, but we will make an exception for Myrtles Plantation’s reported dozen spooks.

Metaphorically speaking, you can’t swing a black cat around your television set this Halloween season and not catch a show that features the fascinating story of romance, murder, and hauntings that reportedly occur at this historic antebellum plantation.  

Learn more by visiting: The Myrtles Plantation

 

# 4 Mansfield Reformatory (aka Ohio State Reformatory)

Built to look like a German Castle, this former palace for the naughty, just gives you the willies looking at it! Who wants to spend time in a prison under the best of circumstances, let alone go to rusty, deteriorating, big house of boo?

Spirits are alleged to abound here! Visitors tell of satistic guards, forelorn prisoners, and even the warden’s own “accidentally” shot wife that still frequent the grounds. During the Halloween season, the facility has an extremely popular paid attraction (must be at least 13 years old) called Prison Experience: Dead Walk – they make it sound so nice!

 Make your own prison break by visiting: Mansfield Ohio Prison Experience and at Ghostly World

# 3 St. Augustine Lighthouse

Unlike prisons, lighthouses are cool places to visit regardless if they are haunted or not. Here you will learn all about the original Blue Man (years before he formed a group) who likes to chill in the basement, as well as the tragic story of the former lighthouse keeper, whose daughters, along with another girl, drowned when the lighthouses supply trolley they were playing on suffered a catastrophic failure!

This is one Halloween beacon sure to lead you to haunted shoals. For more information, we dare you to visit: St. Augustine Lighthouse’s Dark of the Moon tour

 

#2 Peoria State Hospital

This one is a no brainer – in fact, everything we post on our blog is a no brainer – but we do the best we can with the limited resources our DNA grants us.

Peoria State Hospital is always near the top of most recommend Haunted Places to visit list. Someone needs to investigate to see if there is a connection between weird castle designs in prisons and hospitals and frequency of haunting. Perhaps these designs are satellite dishes for the receiving departed.

It is also no wonder the patients here went insane, even the location had more names than Sybil. The facility has been called Peoria State Hospital, Bartonville State Hospital or Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane (how is that for an optimistic prognosis doctor!).

Find out more about their brand of crazy at: Peoria Asylum 

 #1 Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Even if it wasn’t reported to be one of the most haunted places in America, Waverly Hills Sanatorium goes off the spooky richter scale. This expansive sanatorium once housed thousands of patients who were undergoing bizarre treatments for tuberculosis (the “White Plague”).

The real human toll here was staggering. Most patients were sent here to die. Although the actual number of patients who died here might never be known the fact that the facilities tunnel has been nicknamed the “Death Tunnel” or “Body Chute” gives you some sense of the scale of the operation.

Here is how you can check in for treatment: Waverly Hills

It’s a Wrap!

Well that wraps-up our recommendations for our top five locations to get you spooked this Halloween season. Whether you are a firm believer or an ardent skeptic, these locations are sure to get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up!

As always, we welcome your thoughts and recommendations here at Halloween for All.

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Need to Take a Break?

by John Morgan

Micro Fall and Halloween Breaks

The daily challenges that most of us face, seem to be growing in complexity and urgency.

Just reflect on recent conversations with family, friends and colleagues – almost everyone is tasked with doing more, with fewer resources.

Frankly, it is a bear just to hold your own – let alone gain any forward momentum. Dysfunctional, seems to best describe most of our personal and professional lives.

Fortunately, we can all take microbreaks that allow us to hit the mental refresh button.

For example, yesterday, I had a rare business need to take the train from Sacramento to San Jose, California.

It was a welcome change. I brought plenty of work with me to maximize my three-hour trip, but I was amazed throughout the course of the journey how wonderful and refreshing brief glances out the window were for my spirit.

As I boarded the train and peeked out the window, I could see the fascinating old railyard buildings. All in various states of disrepair, but thankfully, these buildings somehow seemed to walk that fine line of being “cool and intriguing,” rather than earning the moniker of: “Someone should do something about this mess –  it’s a menace to the community!”

Within seconds of leaving the station, passengers find themselves going over the Sacramento River. This is where two old ghost steam paddle wheelers  are alleged to materialize from time to time. Forever locked in an epic race to see who is the faster of the two vessels.

Old Town Sacramento can be seen along the eastern river bank. It is here where mysterious apparitions from beyond are reported to peer at tourists from the windows of surrounding old western buildings. Many more are said to interact with the living in the areas ancient underground tunnels.

Even Mothman has been reported on the Tower Bridge which can viewed just south of Old Sac.

In minutes, you pass one of the major wetland bird sanctuaries in North America as you travel across the Yolo Causeway. Ducks, geese, pheasants, pelicans, and even sandhill cranes can be viewed as you make your way over this large floodplain.  The influence of Fall was seen everywhere, even though the temperature outside was in the 90s.

The first station stop occurs near UC Davis and from the train you can see the agriculture student’s fields of corn and pumpkins. Next you travel through Dixon, which recently held the title for the world’s largest corn maze!

For the remainder of the journey, I was treated to sight after sight of images of Autumn and Halloween. From my window I could see the eerie looking Ghost Fleet in Suisun Bay, catch sight of the supposedly haunted  Alcatraz and USS Hornet, and view the Oakland Raider stadium, as well as view construction going on for the new 49er stadium in Santa Clara.

The entire trip afforded brief reminders of how beneficial it is to simply take a moment to reflect on the world outside our typical challenges and life routines.

Even if you cannot travel, simply view various web sites of places you would like to see or better yet, challenge yourself to explore subjects or places that you have never focused on before. A great starting point is to see where your blog is being viewed and make it a point learn more about the people and things in that part of the world. Which reminds me that I need to find out how Halloween is celebrated in Moldova!

Let’s face it, we all need to take a break from time to time. If nothing else, it will afford you a fresh perspective from daily grind. As always, we appreciate you taking a macrobreak with us here at Halloween for All.

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Looking for a Good Fright?

Looking for a good scare this Halloween season?

Here is a teaser on Waverly Hills Sanatorium from our friends over at Ghostly World.

We encourage you to check back with us soon, as we are about to publish our post on the top five locations to get spooked this Halloween season!

Whether you are a firm believer or an ardent skeptic, these locations are sure to get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up.

Ghostly World™

Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky

Location:Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Built: Unknown
Operation Time: 1910 – 1962
Status: Open as tourist destination

History

A portion of land was bought by Major Thomas H. Hays in 1883, and called it the Hays’ family home. Since the home was too far from any sort of school, Mr. Hays opened a local school so his daughters could learn.

The one-room schoolhouse soon had a teacher, Lizzie Lee Harris, to teach at it. Miss Harris, having enjoyed Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, entitled the school “Waverley School”. Mr. Hays liked the name, as it was peaceful-sounding, and he named his property Waverley Hill.

When the Board of Tuberculosis Hospitals bought the land, they kept the name and opened the sanatorium; it is unknown when or why the name’s spelling was changed from “Waverely” to “Waverly”. Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened as a tuberculosis hospital in 1910, and had a capacity of…

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Perfect Halloween Destinations

by John Morgan
The Cauldron List

Halloween Travel

But not just any travel, mysterious forces have cast a strong spell on us that requires us to solely focus on those destinations that celebrate the rich tradition and spirit of Halloween.  These are the enchanting locations that we would like to experience – at least once – before we do any haunting of our own.

Here is The Cauldron List’s top Halloween Travel Destinations:

 

The Real Dracula’s Castle
Romania

And you thought Ravens and Crows got a bad rap when literature refers to them as a “murder of crows” or an “unkindness of ravens.”  How would you like to go on Ancestry.com and discover that you are related to Vlad the Impaler and his father Vlad II Dracul from order of the House of the Dragons?

I am Vlad to See You!

Many attribute Vlad the Impaler as the real life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s immortal Dracula.

OK, things are never as easy as they seem. There are actually three castles in modern-day Romania that claim to be “Dracula’s Castle”:  Bran Castle, Poenari Castle, and Hunyad Castle. Although it worth pointing out the Stoker’s own notes state that he invented the castle and placed it on an empty mountain top.

We figure it is not every day we get sojourn through the rugged Transylvanian and Wallachian terrain so why not visit all three.  Just make sure to drop by the local Romanian Leu Store to pickup plenty of garlic, crucifixes, and wooden stakes – along with greeting cards, batteries and helium balloons (what else does one go to the Dollar Store for?).

Festival of the Dead
Salem/Danvers, Massachusetts

Talk about Halloween sensory overload: witches, necromancy, séances, Celtic ceremonies and dramatic fall foliage all in one – better make that two – locations!

Just like in Dracula’s Castle, time seems to cloud the record, as various parties claim to be the real fright deal in order to entice you to spend your boo bucks in their locations. In Massachusetts, both Salem and Danvers claim to be the sight of the original witch trials of 1692 and 1693.

It appears that Mrs. Hickok, my eighth grade history teacher, must have had a broom in the game for promoting Salem, because she never once called it the Danvers Witch Trails. Where do the lies end Mrs. Hickok? Was the Boston Tea Party really a Gloucester Espresso Soiree?

Just like the curtain between the physical and spirit world grows thinnest around Halloween, perhaps you will become clairvoyant enough to decide which witch community has rightful claim to the historic witch trials. Either way, a trip here will leave you enchanted.

 Sleepy Hollow, New York

Finally, a Halloween location that exists without much controversy. After all Halloween is not worth losing your head over – just don’t tell the Hessian I said that!

There is plenty to see and do in this small community to celebrate Halloween. Although there are parades, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and various festivals and events held throughout the community approaching Halloween, the one can’t miss event is the annual Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor (tickets are required and they do sell out quickly).

Sleepy Hollow is a fantastic destination to celebrate Halloween. You will experience the same spooky locations that inspired Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  You might even be unfortunate enough to sight the Headless Horseman himself.  If you do, just make sure you can outrun the person next to you. That should be enough to ensure that you come out head and shoulders above the rest of the Halloween revelers.

 

Stonehenge, Hill of Tara, and an Irish Pub
Great Britain

The foundation of today’s Halloween celebrations can directly trace its origins back to the Ancient Druid, Roman and Catholic traditions and beliefs that blended in the melting cauldron that is Great Britain. As such, Great Britain is a dream location to celebrate Halloween!

Visit to Hill of Tara and other Druid locations where Samhain festivals were originally held.  Warm yourself by a bonfire, the likes of which brought some of Halloween’s most recognizable symbols of the bat and owl to become indelibly linked with the holiday.

Then find a warm pub, enjoy a pint or two and recount the legend of “Stingy Jack.” Who tricked the devil in an Irish pub and in the process became the inspiration for the modern-day jack-o-lantern.

So those are our recommendations for perfect Halloween destinations that celebrate the spirit of Halloween’s rich history and traditions. As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.

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How to Get in the Halloween Spirit

By John Morgan

Welcome to September! If you love autumn and especially Halloween, then this is the time of year when you really start building excitement as the days grow shorter and the nights get cooler. To help you generate enthusiasm as Halloween pulls us all into its gravitational field, we thought you might enjoy these tips to help you get into a Halloween spirit:

 1. GO SPELUNKING!  

What is more eerie than going underground or reading the word “spelunking” for that matter?

Your senses will thank you for the change of scenery. There is stillness in a cave unlike anywhere else. Amazing and somewhat alien structures will captivate your eyes.

As you grow accustom to your adventure beneath the surface you will notice new earthy and mineral smells. If you do not have any caves in your area, you might want visit a local mine or take an underground city tour.

 2. VISIT AN OLD GRAVEYARD

Is there anything spookier than wandering through an old cemetery?

As you carefully and respectively make your way through the cemetery, clues will begin to unfold. Family stories begin to reveal themselves. Echoes of love ones eternally united, valiant heroes honored, and untimely tragedies can be heard as you walk back through time.

3. GO BIRD or BAT WATCHING

Halloween is filled with bird and bat images and lore. Seek out viewing areas where turkey vultures, crows, ravens, owls, as well as bats, are likely to be observed.

After all, it is virtually impossible not to get in the Halloween spirit when you sight a “murder of crows” or an “unkindness of ravens.” And did you know that Bats make up twenty percent of the planets classified mammal species?

So it is likely that you have some flying near you! Even if you fail to spot one these fascinating winged Halloween icons, we bet that you will still be happy for spending some quality time outdoors.

4. BUILD A BAT HOUSE

 We have all seen the news about the viruses that mosquitoes can transmit. Did you know that more people have died from mosquito carried diseases than all the wars in history combined?

What better or more environmentally friendly way to combat this threat than by encouraging the greatest mosquito eradicator of all time – the Bat – to do their leathery winged thing by building them a bat house.

5. TAKE A TRIP TO PICK YOUR OWN APPLES & NUTS

 These are two of the oldest symbols associated with Halloween. Harvest time is one of the most important events for any culture.

You owe to yourself to go out, roll up your sleeves, and track down and subdue your own fruits and seeds.

Plus, unlike most ventures, you will be in complete control of quality – if you do not like it, do not pick it. There is always another orchard just on down the road.

 6. GO TO A HAUNTED PLACE

 Every region has someplace that is considered haunted. All manner of structures and locations have accounts of strange things materializing and interacting with us mere mortals.

Whether you are a paranormal investigator or a firm skeptic, you will surely be entertained – perhaps even a bit frightened – as you explore around the edges of darkness and understanding.

7. WATCH A MOVIE, LISTEN TO MUSIC or READ A BOOK

Each of us has their own unique tastes in this category…so we will not even try to give recommendations on how to scratch your unique Halloween media selection itch.

However, if you do not find any movie, music, or reading options that appeal to you…why not flip the topic over and write and film your own short movie, compose your own music, or write your own Halloween story? This can all be done for your own entertainment; no critic ever need see or hear what you produce unless you want them too.

8. PAINT, DRAW or CRAFT A HALLOWEEN THEMED WORK

Here you get to let your imagination run wild! We hear some of you already saying, “but I am just not creative.” To that we say, “so what!”

Give it a try anyway, you might discover a hidden talent. It does not matter if you are creatively challenged or you are the next Grandma Moses, the goal here is to have fun and to get you in the Halloween mood.

9. GO SHOPPING!

 We get it, there is probably nothing scarier than looking at your finances, especially when your discretionary boo bucks have vanished quicker than the Invisible Man and your household budget is stretched beyond even Elastigirl’s breaking point!

However, there is shopping and then there is spending. Sometimes just wandering through the various stores fall collections, smelling the pumpkin spice candles, or scanning the costumes is enough to get us in that Halloween frame of mind.

It can also be fun to visit a thrift stores to create your own costume or take a trip to a farmer’s market to immerse yourself in the tastes, sights and smells of the season.

10. SURF THE WEB!

Hey, you found us all right – so you already know that there is a growing community online who share your passion for Halloween.

There are virtually limitless resources on the web to help you explore what fascinates you the most about this special time of year – and we thank you for allowing us to be one of them!

The ways to enjoy and foster the spirit of Halloween is as varied and dynamic as the people celebrating it.

As such, we welcome your recommendations on how you get into the Halloween spirit. You are encouraged to drop by anytime and we look forward to posting more fun activities and recommendations on how to make Halloween fun for all!

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