For years people have reported hauntings and strange events that cannot be explained. Although many say that ghost and hauntings aren’t true, there is an army of others that will beg to differ. While many people are afraid of even the thought of a ghost there are others that find seeking them to be thrilling. There are those how want to prove that ghost really do exist and dedicate years in the research of this unexplained phenomena.
So what causes hauntings? Many will claim that it’s unfinished business. Others say it’s the strong connection to a certain place. Some also state that not only do ghost stand in our presence, but evil spirits and demons as well. What causes this? What can prevent it? These are the burning questions that paranormal investigators and other researchers try to answer every day.
Throughout the years there has been documented evidence of hauntings at homes, businesses, cemeteries, hospitals, and even prisons. Today thousands of people tour and visit these sites in hope to catch a glimpse of the unknown for themselves and for the pure adventure alone. Here in this book I will not only provide you with the top 25 most haunted destinations in the U.S., but I will also fill you in on the history and hauntings of each and every place.
The tales that are held in this spine chilling tale will leave you baffled with the facts and have you just dying to go and see for yourself. So let’s not delay anymore. Let’s dig into the next chapter if you aren’t scared and if you dare.
#1. The Myrtles Plantation St. Francisville, Louisiana
If you are ever in Louisiana then you must take a tour and stay at the Myrtles’ Plantation built in 1794 and located in St. Francisville, Louisiana. This 650 acre plantation holds many tales of murders, mayhem, and tragedy. There are many stories that surround the house itself. Upon looking deeper into the investigation of this place it was first owed by David Bradford, a very successful man. The home had many owners in fact, but anyone who lived here was struck by tragedy.
David Bradford was an attorney, a wealthy businessman, and also the Deputy Attorney General for his county. Later in life, Bradford was teaching law to a student named Clark Woodrooff. Woodrooff earned his law degree and soon after married Bradford’s daughter, Sarah on November 19, 1817. After Bradford died Woodrooff managed the plantation for his mother-in-law. Years later he purchased the home.
The mysterious misfortunes began when Woodrooff and his wife Sarah started a family with three children while living in the home. It wasn’t long before things took a turn for the worse. Sarah contacted yellow fever and came to her untimely death on July 21, 1823, after only being married a few years. She was only around the age of twenty. This was a widespread sickness at the time and many families were affected by yellow fever, but the nightmare was not over for Woodrooff
On July 15, 1824, Woodrooff’s son fell to the same sickness as well and died almost a year to the death of his wife. Then two months later the yellow fever disease took the life of his daughter too.
He ended up selling the home to a man named Ruffin Grey Stirling who was a very wealthy man. He went on to build a large addition to the home and filled it with extraordinary European woodwork and furnishings. The plantation had previously been known as Laurel Grove, but after the huge renovation the name was officially dubbed the Myrtles’ Plantation for its lovely blooming Crape Myrtles. Four years after the renovation was complete Stirling died of consumption after owning the plantation for 20 years.
The home then went on to be owed by William Winter. Winter, one day while teaching a Sunday school lesson at his home, was beckoned out by a man who said he had some business to take care of with him. As Winter came out on the side porch the man shot him fatally where he died instantly according to witnesses. His wife continued to live there were she also died at the age of only 44.
Then the home was purchased by Harrison Milton Williams. Soon after living there his son fell into the Mississippi river and drown while trying to round up cattle in a storm. The home eventually went to its heirs and was sold to Marjorie Munson, a widow, sometime in the 1950’s.
It was then that strange ghostly occurrences started. She stated seeing the ghost of a black slave woman in a green turban. Later is unfolded that the Williams had also encountered this same apparition. This is where the tale has a mystery to it. The story goes like this.
The legend has it that while Clark Woodrooff lived in the home he had slaves and one in particular that tended to the home and children named Chloe. It is said that Woodrooff forced Chloe into his sexual desires and she complied only because she didn’t want to have to work in the fields. Sometime later Clark begin an affair with another woman and Chloe was terrified she was being replaced. She would listen through the keyholes of doors to eavesdrop in hopes of hearing any news that she was to go to the fields.
One night Woodrooff caught Chloe and cut off her ear to teach her a lesson. She began wearing a turban to cover the revolting scar.
Desperate for attention, Chloe had a plan to cause the family to get sick so she could nurse them back to health and they would realize her importance in the home. She baked a cake for one of the children’s birthdays and added a hand full of crushed oleander flowers, not realizing she added too much. Woodrooff didn’t eat any, but the two children and Sarah ate the cake and all died within a matter of hours. When the other slaves found out they were enraged towards Chloe fearing they all would be blamed and punished so they went to the house and captured her. Then they took Chloe to a tree close to the home and hung her. Supposedly Woodrooff was murdered years later.
Did Chloe ever exist? Record shows she didn’t and official records prove that Woodrooff’s children died from yellow fever as well as his wife. The other daughter lived to be a very elderly woman and Woodrooff certainly wasn’t murdered as he died while living with his daughter and her husband on their farm many years later.
It is said though that Chloe’s spirit wanders the plantation often. Many claim to be awoken by a black woman standing by their beds. Often children can be heard playing also. Could this woman that Ms. Williams and Ms. Munson witnessed be the ghost of Chloe? Could the children be that of Woodrooff’s?
Many other occurrences have taken place as well such as fingerprints on the mirrors that can be wiped away only to return minutes later. There are also reports of a small girl in a long dress peeking into the windows of the house. One gate guard was reported to have quit his job there after seeing a woman walk past him and proceed to the house where she vanished upon arrival to the door. Other stories claim you can hear the footsteps on the side porch of Mr. Winter who was murdered there. There have also been stories of soldiers being killed in the house as they looted, but none of them hold any evidence of being true.
Whatever the case may be, this is one place in the U.S. that is well worth the visit and stay as now the Myrtle Plantation offers a bed and breakfast tour. They have their own site and pricing and tour details can be found there. Many people touring this place have left with remarkable pictures and video evidence that even baffle professionals.
After much research and digging through the lies and truths to this place I have to admit, I am convinced this place is haunted and it is an eerie place filled with what I believe to be many ghosts. There were a number of reported deaths in the house. It is rumored to have been the site of 10 murders, but after searching thoroughly I only found one that’s true. One thing that is true and can’t be denied is the fact of so many deaths happening here on this plantation.
Is the plantation haunted by the ghosts or is it merely haunted itself? It surely holds much mystery and tragedy. So make a plan to go and stay at the Myrtle’s Plantation if you dare…who knows you may see more than you bargained for!
#2. The Chestnut Hill Cemetery Exeter, Rhode Island
In the small town of Exeter, Rhode Island holds a tale of superstition of its people, and desecration to the departed. Stories were made up about a young girl to try and make sense of the horrible illness tuberculosis.
In the late 1800’s George and Mary Brown settled in the town of Exeter and started a family with three children. One of the children was Mercy Brown. As a youngster Mercy was often in trouble with the town’s people and no one thought very much of her. She was known to be tough and have a very short temper and certainly not afraid of anyone or voicing her opinion. Often she was seen walking fences and climbing trees.
As tuberculosis came into the town of Exeter the people of the town tried making sense of the illness and began to blame it on the supernatural despite the evidence of science. After all, treatment wasn’t offered for another 50 years and people wanted answers. People that took on this sickness suffered symptoms ranging from a horrific cough and coughing up blood to pale, transparent skin and sunken in eyes giving them a very scary and unnatural appearance. The people of Exeter were convinced this was something evil.
Not long after Mercy’s mother and sister fell victim to tuberculosis and both died. After their deaths Mercy spent much of her time in the graveyard and was often seen having conversations with her mother and sister. The people of the town began to talk and rumor about Mercy.
Not long after Mercy’s brother Edwin, became infected as well. He was eventually sent to a sanitarium in hope he would recover. Not long after he returned home, but his condition continued to worsen. In this time Mercy also became infected with this dreaded disease. Mercy not wanting the attention and pity hid her illness from everyone. The people in the town recognized the deterioration of Mercy and her look of evil. Not knowing she was sick many started rumoring that she was indeed a vampire.
As her brother grew more ill he stated that at night Mercy would come in and sit on his chest. It is thought later that this was untrue and just his hallucinations from the high fever involved and it was more plausible that Mercy was coming to his aid. As the rumors grew and the stories were told more and more became certain that she was evil and a vampire. Mercy never told anyone of her sickness and soon lost her battle to the disease in 1896.
Soon after her death the people in the town of Exeter began to say they witnessed Mercy leaving her grave at night and leaping from building to building and feeding on the flesh of humans. The town’s people wanted something done so Mercy’s father, along with her brother and many of the town’s people, went to the graveyard and exhumed her body.
After taking her out of the grave they discovered Mercy’s body had not decayed yet and when you poked her skin she bled. The people of the town were shocked and blamed her of being an evil presence and a vampire so they cut open her chest and took out her heart and burned it on a rock in the cemetery.
Overcome with fear and superstition, they concocted a drink made from the ashes and water and had Edwin her brother drink it in hopes it would cure him. Then they threw Mercy’s body back into her grave.
However, Edwin was not cured from drinking the potion and died soon after.
Many people say they see blue lights glowing from the cemetery at night. Others have stated of being pushed off graves they didn’t know they were standing on. People have also stated seeing an appreciation of her and they state she has a very stern look on her face and her eyes are locked in a dead stare.
It is thought that she is protecting the cemetery to make sure none of the other graves are desecrated. Many others claim that she visits the ill and ailing people in the town and offers comfort to them. Many have encountered talking with Mercy’s in their last days. So now I think you see why Chestnut Hill Cemetery has been added to the 5 most haunted destinations to visit. Go pay a visit to the graveyard and you just might get to see the ghost of Mercy Brown!
#3. Waverly Hills Sanatorium Louisville, Kentucky
The city of Louisville, Kentucky began in May of 1778. Some 50 years later it would prove to be one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. There was one plague that troubled the city though and in 1900 held the record for the most deaths due to tuberculosis.
Years later in March of 1924, the construction of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium began to help aid to those who were infected with tuberculosis. In October of 1926 Waverly Hills opened its doors. The sanatorium was constructed of four stories of patient rooms as well as minor and major operating rooms, a kitchen and cafeteria, a library, a salon/ beauty parlor, and a morgue. The fifth floor was a heliotherapy department and was used mainly to treat people with tuberculosis of the bone which was done with sunlight. It also was equipped with a swing set for the children to play on.
Many deaths occurred during these times with so many infected. At, one point the sanatorium started using a railway tunnel (what is now known as the body chute) to transport out all the dead bodies so that the ailing patients wouldn’t see.
It normally was used for only transporting the coal, food, and such from the railway, but they thought that the sight of the number of dying victims would really hurt the morale of the other patients so they started sending the bodies down on gurneys to the bottom of the tunnel where a hearses could come and pick up the bodies without being seen.
The disease seemed to be almost incurable until 1943. In 1944 the antibiotic was administered to an infected patient who was cured and the illness went away completely. By the middle of the 1950’s the disease had been practically wiped out of the Louisville area. As a result there was no need for the sanatorium which led to them closing their doors in 1961.
The building did not stay vacant for long. Its doors reopened the following year in 1962 as the Woodhaven Geriatric Sanitarium. Around 1980 the Sanitarium was court ordered to shuts its doors due to improper care to patients. There were stories of patients left in filthy conditions, horrible bed sores, cruel treatment, and very unorthodox and strange experiments.
The building was auctioned off and would sit there for almost another 20 years. In the late 1990’s a man living in Louisville bought the property and in 1998 he began tearing down the buildings. He had plans to erect a 150 foot tall statue of Jesus and build a Christian Meditation Center. He had torn down all of the buildings except for the main hospital and laundry room when his demolition was halted by an injunction because the hospital was on the Nation Historic Register’s endangered list. So the man’s plan was to let it rot until it was condemned. He left the gates and doors unlocked and open so vandals could come and go as they pleased. They destroyed doors, and stole the heating radiators, and slewed the place in graffiti.
At one point the man became so furious and determined to get it condemned he started digging a hole under the foundation in hope it would crack, causing the building to become unsafe and in grounds of being condemned, but the building was solid concrete and fireproof. The building would not give in. Evidence still points to where the man dug to this day. He dug as far as 30 feet.
The man then decided in 1999 to start a haunted hospital called “The Awakening of Waverly Manor.” He finally called it quits and sold the place to the present owners in 2001. In the same year Fox television’s hit series “Scariest Places on Earth” decided to do a documentary on the place with the help of the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society as guides. They since had started a restoration to revive the place to its original condition. They have also held a haunted hospital each year since and have made major profits already to help aid in the restoration.
Many witnesses state they have seen apparitions, shadow people, voices, whispers, footsteps, the smell of food, people being touched, tripped, and even pushed! People also report of seeing orbs and even objects falling on them. It is said that room 502 is a very haunted area here.
It is rumored that 2 nurses committed suicide here. Researchers are baffled by the fact that EMF meters go haywire in the place and lights flicker without any power to the building. They also can’t understand why all their equipment sometimes melts from the inside and cell phones short out.
This Sanatorium has also being the set for the movie “Death Tunnel” and the feature of the documentary “Spooked”.
This is truly a place to send chills up your back. If you are interested in visiting, Waverly Hills simply contact the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society for a scheduled day. Many people go here each year and walk out changed forever. If you really want to experience the ghost roaming the halls of the sanatorium, hoping to be released one day to go back home, then make an appointment if you dare. Just hope they don’t want to leave and go back home with you!
#4. The Stranahan House Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The Stranahan House began as a trading post for the Seminole Indians and early pioneers in 1901. It is the oldest building in its area and was used for many other things including a community center, a post office, and a town hall.
Frank Stranahan decided to get the place because of its location and having the ferry barge right across the river. Frank became a wealthy businessman, banker, and the Fort Lauderdale’s first Post Master. He soon met Ivy Julia Cromartie in 1900, who was Fort Lauderdale’s first teacher.
They soon married, but Ivy immediately lost her teaching license due to the fact that teachers were not allowed to be married in those times. She continued to teach anyway giving many Seminole and African American children a good education.
Several dances and festivities were held on the top floor at the Stranahan’s home and by the year of 1906 the Stranahans called this home permanently until the death of Ivy in 1971. At the ripe old age of 90, she peaceful passed away in her sleep. As for Frank, things took a dark turn for him during the Great Depression. His bank failed and he couldn’t repay all the people he owed.
This was just too much in Frank’s eyes so he took his life by tying a rope and weight around his waist and jumping into the river which is right beside the house. Ivy continued living there, staying in the top section of the house and renting out the bottom to people, and at one point the bottom also operated as a restaurant.
In 1973 the Stranahan House was place on the National Historic Society and in 1979 they took over the care and upkeep of the place also. The home now acts as a museum and a tourist attractions bringing tons of people each year to experience this remarkable place.
Many strange and unusual things have occurred over the years at this mysterious home. Some have claimed to have spoken to Ivy and burglar alarms have gone off, and when the police arrive no one will be there.There have been several occurrences where employees quit because of the strange things going on inside the home. Once an entire group on a tour witnessed an apparition of a woman sitting in a rocking chair and the distinct smell of a sweet perfume could be detected. This is thought to be the ghost of Ivy.
There is also a true tale of a death in the home besides Ivy. Ivy would teach the children from her home. It is said that a young Seminole girl fell dead in the front door of the home. Her cause of death is unknown, however paranormalists have gather data on EVP’s of the little girl in question. When one researcher in particular was standing by the front door he asked out,” Did someone fall here?” You can clearly hear the words of a small girl say, “Me.”! Very eerie!
I would say the most troubling events are the residual haunting of Frank Stranahan. Many have said and witnessed Frank standing at the river and jumping into the river over and over again claiming his life time and time again. He died such a horrific and tragic ending so only one can realize why this type of haunting takes place here.
Is the ghost of Frank Stranahan angry with his decision and wishes to return home to Ivy? Is the little girl caught in between worlds? Does Ivy roam the place to makes sure it is taken care of and safe as she always did in life? Or is she waiting on Frank to return so they can reunite? One thing is for sure the Stranahan House is one of the most haunted places in the U.S.
Different types of tours are available to the public and in my opinion if you are in Fort Lauderdale you would be crazy not to go there. Or would you be crazy to go? You just might get to talk with Ivy or the little girl, or maybe even encounter Frank in his creepy residual haunting of his horrible ending in life.
Take a tour of the Stranahan House and I’m sure you’ll agree this is one of the most haunted destinations in the U.S.!
#5. Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery Chicago, Illinois
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery lies in a suburb of Chicago and was first established in the early 1800’s. The name Bachelors actually came from the name of the Germans that first settled in this area and not because of the legend that only bachelors were buried here. This cemetery has been run down and abandon for many years now. What used to be a resting place for the departed has grown to an infestation of restless spirits who roam the cemetery and the woods of Bachelor’s Grove.
Samuel Everden, the Postmaster, owned the property and donated it for burials. In 1844 the first burial took place at Bachelor’s Grove. It was a lady by the name of Eliza (Mrs. Leonard H.) Scott. The last recorded burials here in this cemetery took place in 1965 when Laura M. McGhee was laid to rest and in 1989 Robert E. Shields was cremated and buried in the family plot. For at least 20 years this place has been almost forgotten. Its headstones strolled about, graffiti, weeds grown up that engulf grave sites, and even grave robberies.
I done some research and found out that the last person known to be the caretaker of Bachelor’s Grove was Clarence Fulton. His family was some of the first settlers in the area of Chicago. He painted a much different picture of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. He described the resting place as almost a park. He stated that many people came to this place and visited graves, fished and swam in the pond on site, and even had picnics under the shade of the beautiful trees.
This certainly is a much better atmosphere that what it has become today. The disrespect and desecration that has been done has definitely left a bad impression the ones buried there and with proof to back it up with well over 100 reported cases of suspicious and paranormal activity.
By the 1960’s Bachelor’s Cemetery started to show it signs of wear and tear and isolation when a nearby road leading to it was done away with. The place starting to show signs of hoodlums in the cemetery spray painting on the headstones and knocking them over and breaking them. Now there is just a pathway leading off the road that you can walk to you foot. There were even reports of grave being robbed and bones would be found on the ground all around the cemetery where vandals would dig up the coffins in hope to find jewelry on the bodies. In my own personal opinion, I don’t think a human being can get any lower than that. That is the ultimate disrespect and God have mercy on them. No wonder the disrupted souls haunt this area so much. Why anyone lets a cemetery get in this condition is beyond me. These are the resting places of people after all.
Even more disturbing this is the home to black magic and occult rituals. Small animals and even chickens have been found bloodied and sacrificed on the grounds of the cemetery. Mysterious scribbling and signs are also among the cemetery.
On one particular night in the late 70’s two Cook County Preservation Officers reported an incident that they both witnessed the apparition of a horse and an older gentleman riding a plow attached to it. They stated that it came directly out of the pond! Soon after the officers were told that in 1870 a farmer was plowing a nearby field when something spooked his horse causing the horse to go into a raging panic. Unable to control the plow and horse, the man became entangled in the reins and was drug into the pond resulting in both of them drowning. This same ghost has been seen by many other people as well.
There have also been reports for decades about a phantom car that rides the roads near the cemetery. Many witnesses state the car will be there one minute, and then it’s gone! There has also been the legend of the disappearing house. People coming to the graveyard will see an old farm house along the trail, but when they approach the house it vanishes. Others claim it was there and then just disappeared. There is no such record of a house in this area, but some say a foundation is hidden somewhere in the woods.
ons of reports have been taken where people have seen red orb-like lights flashing through the air at night all along the path and in the cemetery.
There also has been several reports about the ghost of a lady. She is known by many as “Mrs. Rogers”, “White Lady”, and “Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove”. She is said to be holding an infant wrapped in a blanket. I done some research on this and found in a video a gravestone with the last name “Fulton” on it. Directly behind her headstone was indeed a small gravestone with the word “INFANT” on it. Just maybe this is Mrs. Fulton and her baby that so many claim to see. Did she die while giving birth? Who knows?
There is also a grave marker beside hers that reads “FATHER”.
The spirits of children and men and women alike can be found nightly at the restless and run down Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. It does have a no trespassing sign so ever at your own risk. Many people visit here and if I am in Chicago I certainly couldn’t taking a look through Bachelor’s Grove and after hearing this chilling tale I’m sure that you will want to add Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery the your list and certainly the list of the top 5 most haunted destinations in the U.S.
Psychic and Medium Billy Caputo
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