Real Haunted Houses
Welcome to Hauntworld's real haunted house links and more. Prepare to find the best websites for finding real haunted houses, photos of real haunted houses, haunted bed and breakfasts, haunted hotels, haunted prisons, and haunted places all over America. Every single site listed has been personally reviewed by our professional real haunted house staff...so you know when you click on a link you're finding exactly what you're looking for! Do you want to suggest a haunted house real website?
Are you looking for haunted hospitals, haunted prisons, haunted places, real haunted houses, Haunted Castles, Haunted Hotels, Haunted restaurants, Haunted Bed and Breakfasts, books on haunted houses, ghost tours, haunted tours and anything of this nature Hauntworld.com has ended all the guess work. We've found the scariest places on earth and listed them all here. If you know of something we have missed please let us know.
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Are you searching to find the creepiest, scariest, REAL haunted houses in America? Look no further than our list of the Top 10 Scariest REAL Haunted Houses in America 2011. Hauntworld.com is your home for all things haunted houses: finding best haunted houses, real haunted houses, paranormal ghost hunting, ghost tours and much more. Each year Hauntworld.com creates a list of the best haunted houses in America. However, this year we are focused on the best REAL haunted houses in America. Have you ever explored a haunted place and wondered if you’ll make it out alive? Hauntworld.com has come up with the ultimate list of the best REAL haunted houses in America which reside in REAL haunted locations whereby the owners of these properties have turned them into commercial haunted houses.
The Haunted House industry is now a ONE BILLION dollar industry and everyone is getting in on the act: major amusement parks, companies who own relevant tourist attractions (such as Winchester Mystery House), and of course haunted house owners. Other notable tourist attractions such as the haunted Queen Mary and The Eastern State Penitentiary with all of its haunted history become elaborate haunted house attractions in October. Do you want to “ghost hunt” while at the same time having the scariest actors in America jump out and make you SCREAM? Inside a haunt like that, who knows if the stalking presence behind you is REAL or something from the OTHER SIDE! When visiting America's best REAL haunted houses, you’ll never know who is real, what is real, and whether your life is in true danger of being pulled into the underworld …with no hope of return.
Hauntworld.com has compiled a list of the TOP 13 haunted attractions which reside in documented REAL haunted buildings, ships, mansions, prisons, asylums, and even real mortuaries. Grab your courage if you dare and take a road trip to visit America's best REAL haunted houses. A trip like this guarantees yourself the ultimate case of the willies, goosebumps and possibly a real life ghost encounter. So now Hauntworld.com presents the top, best, scariest, ultimate, REAL haunted houses in America for 2011…No, make that…in the WORLD.
AFTER YOU REVIEW THIS LIST CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAUNTED HOUSES WE RATED AS THE SCARIEST HAUNTED HOUSES IN AMERICA 2011. CLICK HERE
1. Pennhurst Asylum Haunted Attraction: Prior to opening as a haunted attraction, the old Pennhurst Asylum building sat vacant, falling on decay, for decades. Parts were even vandalized until haunted house owner, Randy Bates (famous for The Bates Motel Haunted House & Hayride in Philadelphia), took over the property and turned this real haunted site into the most controversial haunted house project ever produced. Now, you can walk the grounds and the haunted halls in probably the most terrifying REAL haunted house in America. Located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area in Spring City, PA, this haunted experience offers multiple haunted house attractions, each more impressive than the next. Prepare for one of the most shocking haunt trips of your life. Read the Featured Article, we did on this amazing attraction CLICK HERE or simply visit their website at www.PennhurstAsylum.com
2. Lemp Brewery Haunted House: The Lemp Dynasty once owned one of the biggest brewery companies in the World until prohibition. It was believed, the Lemp family went a little mad. With mysterious deaths and multiple Lemp family suicides, the Lemp family and their legacy slowly faded away. The Lemp's built one of the biggest breweries in the World over a natural cave system known as the 'Cherokee Caves' found underneath St. Louis city, and believed to be cursed. Was it the loss of their empire or the ghosts in the caves that drove them to their edge? The brewery complex spans over 17 acres of old turn-of-the-century buildings, and the haunted house is located under the complex, five stories down, inside a real gothic style cave and cavern system where light is scant and no one can hear you scream. Learn more at www.Scarefest.com or CLICK HERE to read a complete review of this attraction.
3. The Mortuary: The Mortuary Haunted House sits inside a REAL turn-of-the-century funeral home mortuary, right next door to one of the biggest, oldest and creepiest cemeteries in Louisiana. Can you image the backdrop for a haunted house inside one of the biggest and oldest cemeteries in America? So YES, The Mortuary Haunted House in New Orleans, LA readily makes our list as one of America's BEST locations to get a fright in 2011. Learn more by visiting their website www.TheMortuary.net or CLICK HERE to read our complete featured article online.
4. Terror Behind The Walls: The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA is one of the oldest prisons left standing in America. It once housed notorious gangster Al Capone and many other hardened criminals. Documented as a truly haunted building, the old Eastern State Penn allows touring of the facility year around, but when Halloween season arrives, it becomes even darker than ever as one of America's best haunted houses, Terror Behind The Walls. Eastern State is located in Philadelphia, PA, and is now also home to Terror Behind the Walls. Terror Behind the Walls isn't your average haunted house it's a real haunted prison. To learn more visit their website www.easternstate.org/halloween or CLICK HERE to read a full article on Terror Behind the Walls.
5. The Haunted Prison Experience at the Ohio State Reformatory: Staying with the entire haunted prison theme, you should prepare to walk the halls of another historic prison and home to real ghosts and spirits. This location is additionally the site of several famous movies such as Shawshank Redemption. This old haunted prison located in Mansfield, Ohio will certainly put the chills into anyone who enters its gates. Visit their website www.hauntedx.com for more haunting information about this amazing haunted house attraction. It truly is a haunting “experience” you won’t want to miss.
6. USS Nightmare Haunted House: Come aboard if you dare! The USS Nightmare, America’s Premier Haunted Steamboat, is located on the Ohio River in Newport, KY in the Greater Cincinnati, OH area. We’ve all heard of ships being haunted, but this one takes the cake, as you step foot on a real historic steamboat. This is not your ordinary haunted house experience. The USS Nightmare haunted house is floating on the Ohio River bank and filled with ghosts, ghouls, and long lost passengers still trying to find passage to the other side. To learn more visit their website www.ussnightmare.com or CLICK HERE to read our full article on The USS Nightmare in Newport, Kentucky.
7. The Haunted Cave at Lewisburg: Who knows what terror awaits you in a real cave system, deep underground where no one can find you, dead or alive. Near Dayton, Ohio beneath the peaceful village of Lewisburg, OH, The Haunted Cave is the longest running, most highly-rated underground Halloween attraction in and around Ohio. Located 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine, the Haunted Cave is home to over 30,000 bats, and possibly just as many ghosts and spirits. If you were to get lost, you might NEVER return! To learn more about The Haunted Cave at Lewisburg, visit their website here: www.hauntedcaveatlewisburg.com.
8. Cutting Edge Haunted House: This haunted attraction is located in Fort Worth, TX inside a building built over 100 years ago. It’s one of the only haunted houses in America built inside a REAL meat packing plant, the perfect place to properly dispose of a body. When you go through this haunted house, you’ll see all the meat packing plant equipment still there and still intact, and this Halloween season, it’ll be put to good use making YOU America's next meal! Cutting Edge Haunted House won the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest haunt in America. To learn more, visit their website www.CuttingEdgeHauntedHouse.com or CLICK HERE to read our full article all about Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas.
9. House of Torment Haunted Houses: This is the only haunted house we’ve known to be located inside an old movie theater. Once running classic movies of horror like The Shinning & The Exorcist, this location now makes American scream with real life horror where the characters are REAL. The theater is supposedly haunted and now that the owners have been running House of Torment Haunted House, we must to agree! Your trip to the movies will never be the same again. Visit their website here: www.TheHouseofTorment.com or CLICK HERE to read our full article on House of Torment in Austin, Texas.
10. The Dent Schoolhouse: Who wants to go back to school? Most everyone would love to relive their younger years, but what if that meant entering a 100-year-old school that was closed and condemned, filled with ghosts who want to teach you the meaning of HELL. The Dent Schoolhouse is one of the only haunted houses in America built inside a real, condemned turn-of-the-century schoolhouse. The entire attraction is themed around going back to school, to a haunted school, utilizing everything that was left behind, and we mean EVERYTHING! There are reports from real ghost investigations that the place is filled with the supernatural. Learn more by visiting their website www.frightsite.com or CLICK HERE to read our full article all about this haunted attraction.
11. Winchester Mystery House: This is one of the most famous houses in America located in San Jose, California. In 1884, Mrs. Sarah Winchester, Winchester Rifle heiress, left New Haven, Connecticut, leaving behind the graves of her husband and child. She landed in the Santa Clara Valley and began building a new house that became an obsession that was to last her lifetime. Why did Sarah Winchester build the world’s oddest home? We don’t know, but inside that home today is a haunted house attraction not soon to be forgotten. If you dare, you can learn more at www.WinchesterMysteryHouse.com.
12. Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern: Ruby Falls is one of America's natural wonders featuring an unreal natural cave system in Chattanooga, TN Tennessee. A major haunted house has been created inside this cave system taking you down 26 stories underground. No other haunted house has such an amazing natural environment quite like the Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern. To learn more, visit their website www.hauntedcavern.com.
13. Necropolis 13 Haunted House: The owners of one of America's best haunted houses (13th Gate Haunted House) have created one of the WORLD’s biggest catacomb haunted houses. Walk through the city of the dead experiencing real catacombs and tombs, amongst the spirits of the undead. These top notch hauntings are sure to give you the true creeps. To learn more about this attraction visit their website here: www.necropolis13.com
So there you have it, Hauntworld.com offers you a list of the best and scariest REAL haunted adventures for 2011. Please join our facebook page CLICK HERE and join the discussion of what is the best real haunted houses, best haunted houses, best haunted hayrides, and best amusement park haunted houses in America.
Websites to Find Real Haunted Houses
Another Really Nice site to find real haunted houses.
This site had tons of links and links to real haunted houses.
Another page on Shadowlands that show you the most famous haunted places.
This site also lists real haunts by state.
Another cool site that lists real haunted houses.
A super cool list of some of the favorite haunted places in California
Haunted Places in Missouri
Haunted Alton some say most haunted place in America
Haunted Happenings in Ohio
Ghost Tour Haunts of Richmond http://www.hauntsofrichmond.com
Haunted Happenings in Texas
List of Pacific Northwest Haunted Places
Haunted Places in San Diego
Haunted Places in Indiana
Pretty cool site about haunted places in Ohio
Haunted Castles and Haunted Hotels
Lists of haunted castles and hotels in England.
More haunted castles in Britain
Haunted Hotels and Castles in Europe
Nice site with listings about castles in Scotland
About.com list of haunted hotels
Travel Channels list of haunted hotels
This is one wicked website showing you haunted hotels you can sleep in
Nice listing of Haunted Hotels
A really nice list of haunted hotels
Websites to Find Haunted Attractions
Simply the best website to find haunted houses
Another Awesome website to find haunted houes is www.HauntedHouseOnline.om
The absolute best site to find haunted houses.
This is another awesome site to find haunted houses.
Photos of Real Haunted Houses
Very nice site with tons of photos
Really nice site with tons of photos
Photos from Europe
Haunted Alton offers some photos
These guys have a ton of haunted photos
Haunted Prisons in Ohio
Stories about Alcatraz
One of the most famous prisons in Ohio (MansField)
A story about Mansfield Prison Ghost Hunt
Official site for Alcatraz Tours
Probably the best site about Alcatraz
Another super famous Prison, which they claim is haunted in Philly
Iowa largest prison with museum
The most famous Haunted Restaurant attraction in the WORLD (New York)
Most famous haunted restaurant in Saint Louis
Haunted Bed and Breakfasts
The most famous!
Another famous bed and breakfast
About.com list of top 13 Bed and Breakfast
USA Today has an amazing list of Haunted Bed and Breakfast locations
Haunted Bed and Breakfast in Minnesota
Another haunted one in Missouri
A super nice list of haunted haunted inns and more
Books on Real Haunted Houses
Hauntworld offers tons of books about haunted attraction industry
About.com offers a list of the best haunted house books.
Another good listing of haunted house books
Book on haunted Inn’s across America
These guys wrote a book about haunted inn’s across America
About.com has a list of the best haunted inns in Massachusetts
Magazine on Haunted Houses
Movies Based on Real Haunted Houses
Website devoted to the Amityville Murders and House
Fangoria Horror Movie Reviews
Great Site to find movies about haunted houses
Thousands of Horror Movie Reviews
Really Cool Horror Review Site
Magazines for Haunted Houses
Magazine for the haunted house industry
On Line Paranormal Magazine
Ghost Story / Ghost Hunting Links
Welcome to Hauntworld.com list of creepy ghost hunting, paranormal, and ghost story links. Below find websites that can help you find creepy real haunted houses, ghost stories, and ghost hunters. Happy Hunting!
The Story of the Lemp Mansion
The city of St. Louis, the capital of Missouri, is home to what may consider to be one of the most haunted places in the country: the Lemp Mansion. In fact, the Lemp Mansion was ranked by Life Magazine in the 1980s as one of the top nine most haunted places in America. Built in 1868, William J. Lemp and his wife, Julia, moved into the mansion in 1876.
William J. Lemp Sr.’s father, Adam Lemp, began the successful Western Brewery company which eventually grew to encompass 40 breweries throughout the St. Louis area. In 1862, William became owner and operator of Western Brewery after the death of his father. While the company experienced rapid growth and immense success, the tragic decline of the Lemp family began.
William Sr. and Julia had six children; the oldest, Frederick, was the favorite of William’s and the apparent heir of Western Brewery. In 1901, when Frederick passed away due to significant health problems, William became despondent and overcome with grief. Eventually, he committed suicide in 1904 by shooting himself in the head. In the following years, three more of the Lemp children (including the youngest daughter) committed suicide: each one, just like their father, shot themselves.
Today, the Lemp Mansion has been renovated into an inn and restaurant and is said to be haunted by the ghosts of several members of the Lemp family. Alleged paranormal occurrences in the house include the opening and slamming of doors, unexplainable knocking and footsteps, candles lighting on their own, and glasses flying off a bar and crashing to the floor. Visitors have reported an overwhelming sense of sadness in certain parts of the house and a feeling of being watched. Some have even claimed to have seen apparitions of members of the Lemp family, most notably Charles Lemp, the third son of William Sr. and the last Lemp to live in the mansion before he shot himself. One report states that while the house was being renovated, a painter became uneasy and felt like he was being watched. He immediately ran out of the house, leaving all his supplies and never returned.
There are countless areas and places throughout the country where strange occurrences and supernatural phenomenon seem to take place. And while it would be difficult to label one single state as the most haunted in America (bizarre happenings surely occur in every state), paranormal experts seem to agree that there’s no doubt that the majority of hauntings and paranormal activity centers around once specific place in the U.S. – Ohio. The Midwestern state along with its neighboring states comprise a major paranormal hotspot in the country; chances are, you’re never more than a stone’s throw away from an area where something rather strange has happened.
From the original Native Americans who hunted in the dense forests to the early settlers cultivating the land, the great Buckeye state has been inhabited for hundreds of years. Its hills and valleys are chock full of mysterious and places, especially in the southeastern portion of the state along the Appalachian ridge. One of those places is known as Hocking Hill, an area known by locals to be particularly haunted. During the 19th century, Hocking Hill was bustling with small towns that were settled because of the rapid growth of the iron and railroad industries. Once the industries faded, so did the towns. Little remains other than a handful of scattered settlements, abandoned tracks, and dilapidated ruins, creating the perfect backdrop for haunted happenings.
If you’re looking for a more immediate adrenaline rush, try one of Ohio’s many well-known haunted houses, like the 7 Floors of Hell located in Berea, the state’s largest haunted house. Or Dead Acres of Pataskala; with more than 50,000 square feet spread out through 50 acres, it has the frightening and unique reputation of being one of the scariest haunted houses in the country.
Another infamous haunted place in Ohio is the United States Air Force Museum located in Dayton. Night guards have reported seeing apparitions and hearing mysterious voices and sounds throughout the museum. For example, strange, unexplained lights have appeared in a B-24 plane and the ghost of a young Japanese boy has been seen standing next to the bomber that dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. While you may not be able to visit during the night (when most of the occurrences are said to have happened), this notoriously haunted museum is definitely worth a trip during the day – admission is free!
The Most Haunted Places in California
Disneyland: Anaheim, California
The thought of ghosts residing at Disneyland sounds like a fantasy, but there have been many reports of paranormal behavior at the happiest place on earth. Many of the ghosts who haunt the theme park are guests who died on rides and continue to haunt the area. Specifically, a ghost of a man who died on Space Mountain haunts the ride and occasionally employees hear his screams after park hours. It is also said that the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is haunted by evil spirits. In the ride, you’ll see dozens of fake ghosts, but some are real. Guests and workers have complained about having their hair pulled, being shoved or pinched or feeling watched.
Alcatraz: San Francisco, California
There have been thousands of reports of paranormal behavior on Alcatraz Island for many, many years. Visitors, former guards and former prisoners have reported clanging, screaming and sobbing within the old prison. Cell blocks C and D specifically show a lot of activity. Cell block D was home to Al Capone and some have even reported hearing banjo music playing there. Millions of visitors from all over the world visit Alcatraz each year to feel the cold spots, hear the screams and witness the paranormal activity of trapped souls in the walls.
Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California
This place became known as the Winchester Mystery House because of all the odd activities that have taken place inside the mansion. There was hardly a building plan, so there are also many odd features in the mansion, such as a staircase that leads directly to the ceiling. The house is said to be haunted by ghosts who were killed by Winchester rifles. It is known that only continuous construction on the house will appease the ghosts who haunt visitors and workers.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach California
After the ship was docked in California in the 1930s, testimonies of ghost activity were immediately reported. The entire ship is reported to be haunted according to people who have heard little children crying in the nursery room and splash noises in the swimming pool area. There have been many professional paranormal investigations on this ship and it has been concluded time and time again that the ship is haunted. Today, it is possible to take a paranormal tour of the ship.
Ghost Towns in Texas
In the mood for a real fright? Spend the month of October spooking yourself from visits to some of the scariest ghost towns in the state of Texas. You are sure to be frightened by the dilapidated, eerie ruins that are left in these towns.
Business was booming and Indianola, Texas was one of the most prosperous cities on the Texas coast. Now, most of the city is located underneath the bay. Residents of the city thought that they were protected from hurricanes, but in 1875 a giant hurricane took place and wiped out the town. There are faint remnants of the town, such as pieces of the town courthouse that remain and can be seen by visitors. A visit to Indianola is eerie as there is a clear understanding that a bustling town with a booming economy used to exist there.
Helena was a busy city until the town made the decision not to pay a bonus to the railroad. City officials made this decision to avoid having the railroad go around the town. During this time, any town without access t to a railroad had a difficult time keeping business afloat. In response to not paying the bonus to the railroad, the president of the railroad company re-routed the train to be even further away from the town. Residents began moving away and in a flash, it became a ghost town. Plenty of ruins from the town still exist and are certainly worth a visit.
This coal-mining ghost town was once a booming town but today has a population of 25 people. With over 10,000 people in 1886, this town specialized in mining coal and was known as one of the largest coal-mining towns in all of Texas. In 1903, the mining employees unionized and the mines closed down. Thurber then became a ghost town. A cemetery still exists which has over a thousand graves to see. Other buildings also remain standing, such as homes, a church and old businesses.
- Saint Francisville Parish, Louisiana
by Joz Badough:
For those of you that don’t already know, Myrtles Plantation is purportedly the most haunted antebellum plantation home in America. Originally built by a member of the whiskey rebellion, it became the homestead for cotton and sugarcane growers throughout the century. With mystery, murder and prestige surrounding its two hundred plus years of existence, this house is practically a guarantee if you want to have a paranormal experience.
As far back as I can remember I have been mesmerized with Myrtles Plantation. The first time I ever laid eyes on The Myrtle’s was via the television series “Unsolved Mysteries” with Robert Stack, (remember the guy that always wore a trench coat regardless of the weather) where he profiled real-life mysteries with cheesy reenactments and at the end of the show would inevitable wrap it up with the slogan line “if you know anything about the… call 1800Unsolved“ or something like that.
That was when I got my first peek at the controversial picture of “Chloe’s shadow” standing outside the courtyard next to the kitchen. Was this photo for real? Or did someone take the time to pain stakening fake this photo for national attention? Do let me note… this picture was taken before the day and age of digital photography and whilst adobe photoshop was still in its conception stages…
Decades would pass before I would actually get the chance to visit this captivating piece of history. Not only was I drawn to the mystery and possibility of it being haunted, the history and culture of the area had me enthralled as well. Even as a child something told me I would be there, one day, I would stand in this home I had only seen pictures of and read stories about… one day I may be able to actually experience a “ghostly experience” at Myrtles Plantation.
Life would take me for a loop and then another… I got distracted with work, family then drama and more drama. I would eventually end up relocating to Louisiana, a ghost hunter’s paradise. Many Sunday afternoon drives would lead us past the old plantation home that was neatly tucked behind a thicket of trees hidden from the casual passerby. Each time only getting a glimpse of the sign that read “The Myrtles Plantation - Circa 1796 - "One of America's Most Haunted Homes".
Months later I get an email from a girlfriend; I have been begging her to make the short three hour trip to visit me here in sugar cane country for almost a year now. It seems she had some coworkers that were just as curious about the Myrtle’s as I was. We plan our stay on a weekend that was as close to the full moon as we could get thinking that would guarantee paranormal activity!
Weeks pass and our Myrtle’s weekend finally arrives. My girlfriends get to the house hungry and eager to start our trip. We opt for a local Mexican restaurant with happy hour margaritas. After getting our fill we head the car in the right direction to head north, but not before stopping at the local daiquiri hut to load up on some tasty liquid refreshments for the thirty minute drive. Thanks to the lingering margaritas and the fresh daiquiris, the Baton Rouge rush hour traffic was much more tolerable!
Lively conversation and unpredictable traffic seemingly cut the trip time in half. By the time we reach Saint Francisville my face and gut are already cramping in unison and I am gasping to get enough air to finish the next onslaught of laughter… at this point I am not sure I will make it thru the weekend without going into cardiac arrest from the constant irregular breathing patterns.
After much confusion with the barrage of directions we were given we see the sign. An older somewhat dilapidated hand painted sign that has faded in years of sunlight. As we turn into the driveway the once lively and wound up group turns silent… the view ahead sets a theme that makes you feel as if you have stepped back in time. The alleyway that serves as the road is draped with a mix of age-old crepe myrtles and oaks that are laced with hanging moss. The sun peering through anywhere he could get a chance to force his rays through the thick brush of leaves overhead... and there, up to the right, there she sat… Myrtle’s Plantation Home. Tears filled my eyes as I released I had finally arrived at the place I have longed for, for so many years.
We practically barrel out of the car with our luggage hoping to catch the last “Mystery Tour” of the day, however we had missed it by 10 minutes or so. The door to the Gift Shop/Check In Desk is closed and locked… luckily we find our keys to our room hung on the hook along with a makeshift map of the place highlighting our designated sleeping quarters for the evening.
We find that our key only fits one door to the back of the building. Immediately upon opening this door there is a flight of stairs. The narrow staircase was enveloped with two walls on either side and at a forty-five degree angle straight up! Now I have been told, and it is evident when looking at the clothes that were made back then, that people of this era were small in stature. Very very small, at least in comparison to this 5’6” couple hundred pound german-irish girl. Each step couldn’t have been more than 8” wide, which made for a clumsy trip both up and down when one has a size 11 shoe!
The stairs lead up to a lobby styled hard wood floored area with two rooms on each of the longest walls. At the end of the lobby behind the staircase are stationed two “modern” bathrooms equipped with showers. Erie dark portraits grace the walls. I am still not sure if they painted them that dark back in the day or just the centuries of fireplace soot and cigar smoke have turned them a dull dark color. The doors after years of the house settling leave a slight gap where one could peek up and see the ceiling in the rooms. We note that the room directly across from us has a light on… room number 11. We ask the night time curator if there were guests in that room, to the best of her knowledge no. The next day, when thumbing thru the photo album of eerie pictures sent by previous visitors we would note that that particular room light was always on… when asking our breakfast host, why the light was on, he stated “I must have just left it on when cleaning yesterday…” however, when asked again later he simply looked away while stating… “I don’t know nothing, alls I do is cook and clean around here…”
Our rooms are side by side with a suite door in the middle; supposedly one of these rooms was the “nursery” all too long ago… we assumed the other was the “nanny’s” room. The rooms were dressed in “period” furniture with armoires and a few portraits purportedly painted during that “era”. To add to the creep factor, there is seemingly some sort of door in every nook and cranny… you know those small doors that look like they are made for midgets that lead into the attic area… the ones where creepy things always happen on horror movies. To add to that, all the “small” doors are padlocked shut keeping us from being able to satisfy our curiosity about “what is really behind that door and where does it really go to?”.
It is still daylight so we walk around the property and snap shots of the breathtaking scenery. The hanging moss and thicket of trees reflect the epitome of South Louisiana. There is stillness in the air, and the good ol’ southern humidity and heat is causing us to sweat out more than we can drink. Though small town life is only a mere couple hundred yards away, and you could hear the steady hum of traffic passing in the short distance, there was an eerie sense of having been sucked back in time. As we walked the ground there was an undeniable sense of something “engulfing” you… was it just the mere energy of being in the presence of such history? Was it the beauty of the moss laced trees before the sunset? Or was it the feeling of being watched from behind the lacy curtains that graced each window to the home?
After a bit of walking and talking and sweating like a whore in church, we opted to hit the onsite dinner for some refreshments and a snack before planning our next activity. Fortunately our rowdy bunch is seated in the back of the restaurant away from the other “casual diners”. Our waitress is dressed in uniform as she greets us. At this point we can only decide on for water as the alcohol and humidity have dehydrated us almost beyond repair. As we mull over the menu, we laugh at the local cuisine, one of the items being “turtle soup”. Upon her return the waitress overhears our comments about the soup and proceeds to tell us a story. Mind you, the woman is about 4’10” tall, and when she opens her mouth you can tell she is pure bred Cajun. She proceeds to tell us about the time her young son had a “rich” friend over for dinner, he loved the soup so much he asked for more without knowing what he was eating… and just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse she continues with a story on how they caught that turtle for that soup. You see, it was a snapping turtle. And what’s the best way to get him to stick his head out than to put a stick in front of its nose, at which point he reaches out and snaps onto the stick, therefore affording them the opportunity to drive a nail in its head to kill it…
I thought my guests were going to fall out of their chairs. I am muffling my laughter so hard from the inside that I believe I have caused myself a hernia as I watch the shade of green slowly fade and turn back to pink as the look of horror still graces their faces. As the lady walks off to get our order to the kitchen I burst out with laughter and said… “you gotta love the locals!”
Okay, okay so even after the horror story, I still had to try the turtle soup… I mean come on we eat oysters and crawfish, why not try it? Everyone at the table agreed that it was quiet tasty, and fortunately there were no big “chunks” of turtle to chew on… we can now all say that we have had “turtle soup”.
We gathered out on the courtyard to enjoy the last few minutes of the night. We were joined by two other girls that had given us a tour of the main part of the house to which only they had access to at the time. This portion of the house housed the infamous “mirror” and “seventeenth step”…. We discussed the things that people have reported happening to them throughout the ages and how supposedly a crucifix was balanced on the bed of the guests from the night before. We compared stories on the history of the house and who actually haunts the place. And once again, just when you thought it couldn’t get any creepier, not one, not two but THREE black cats show up in the courtyard. Mostly skittish and not fond of being held, one eventually took up residence in my comrade’s lap.
Now let me interrupt myself here and share an insignificant but hilarious story. As we are sitting around the table next to the water fountain, enjoying the view of the right near full moon and stars, a toad makes his way onto the courtyard bricks. One of the black cats spots him immediately and heads toward him. When suddenly a woman in our group jumps up and heads toward the toad to save him. My heart cooed at the sight of someone so diligently trying to save the life of a fellow creature, I imagined she was going to set him aside perhaps in a potted plant to spare his life from its predator. When suddenly she scoops up the toad and hurls him a good five yards off into the grass… the collective sound of gasps and the looks of horror on each woman’s face was enough to write an entire Saturday Night Live skit about... no the toad didn’t make it… evidently it was paralyzed from its fall and became dinner to the black cat after all… it was definitely one of those “you had to be there” moments…
After dinner we retire to our “lobby” area outside our room and play the “angel board”. Mind you the “angel board” is merely an Ouija board “dressed up” with a picture of an angel in the middle with no “goodbye” on the bottom. I had read somewhere that there was no proof that the infamous “Chloe” ever existed. To those of you not familiar with the stories… Supposedly there was a black house maid named Chloe that was “forced” to have an affair with the Master. She was later caught eavesdropping at which point the master cut off her ear and forced her to work manual labor in the field. Purportedly, to earn back the respect and her value as a house maid (which was by far an easier job than a field worker) she baked a birthday cake with oleander leaves which contain arsenic, as she knew how to “cure” those with arsenic poisoning, she was sure she could nurse them all back to health and earn her place in the home once again. However, she used too many oleander leaves and inevitably killed the wife and two daughters. Rumor has it that she confessed to the grounds slaves what she had done, hoping that one would have a better idea on how to save the dying women, but to no avail. She was “lynched” or hung in the front yard and her body was thrown into the river. It is still not known whether she was lynched by the master or the other slaves that were trying to show her mercy. Meanwhile there is no record of her anywhere, and according to the records one of these girls she supposedly poisoned grew up to a ripe old age.
So alas, back to the story, when we asked the “board” if Chloe was for real it said no, but Cleo was… we were clueless of who “Cleo” was as we had never heard anything of the like and thought the board was just playing tricks on us. The next morning at breakfast as we thumbed thru a “Myrtles History” book, it was stated that a voodoo priestess by the name of Cleo was in fact hired by the family to heal a dying daughter. When the daughter did not survive, they killed the priestess!
After having been creeped out enough by the “angel board”… we donned for bed and debated as to whether or not we get to sleep with the lights on, our room won and we got to keep the bathroom light on! We hunkered down, said our “good night john boy’s” and settled in for a good sleep. As my girlfriend and I lay in bed, suddenly I was overcome with fear… I tried in vain to find interesting things to talk about just to keep her awake. For some reason a fear had crept into my normally calm demeanor, was I picking up empathically the fear that was in the room from all the years gone past? Or was it simply residual upset from having the bejezus scared out of me by the two pranksters throughout the day and I was laying there waiting for their next antic?
Then suddenly there was a scuffling on the floor at which point in unison we said “did you hear that?” no sooner did the words leave our mouth did the end of our bed start shaking violently, only to be followed by the thunderous laughter of our suitemates! Seems Miss Prankster number One had crawled, on her hands and knees mind you, CRAWLED into our room and shook the edge of our bed, all the while her roomie was “faking conversation” in the other room to make us think they were BOTH in bed. Well that was all my already fragile nerves could handle. And not to mention the numerous other antics this set of pranksters had pulled throughout the day, I knew I was in for a very long night! For instance Miss Prankster number 2, had the most hideous sounding recording on her phone… it sounded like the voice off of the movie “when a stranger calls”… in a breathy airy voice it said “ihhhh seeeee youuuu”… needless to say, regardless how many times she played the damn thing it still got a rise out of us and never got old!
After damn near skinning the prankster we all settled back in, at which point my bedmate had fallen fast asleep as I lay there with my eyes wide shut. My heart was pounding, my mind was carrying out the wildest of scenarios then desperately trying to find my “spirituality” again and ground myself. At this point nothing was helping me calm down. I had not been this scared since I was a child. As I lay there trying in vain to get my mind off of “scary” things and starting to calm a bit I felt as if someone was standing over the bed staring down at me. I contemplated opening my eyes to prove to myself there was nothing there, then the thought occurred to me, “what IF something was really there?”… I would surely end up in the insane asylum. Squinting my eyes together even tighter I rolled over to face my bed mate… I called her name a few times before she opened her eyes… this is the conversation verbatim…
In a tone right above whispering… “Pam? Pam?… I can’t go to sleep; I’m scared for some reason…”
She bats her eyes open like a sleepy child waking and closes them and says… “hmmm, say ten Hail Mary’s and go back to sleep”…
Okay I thought, I have long since abandoned my catholic belief system and a part of me was afraid doing such praying would disturb if not piss off the eternal house guests, but at this point it was worth a shot… so I prayed…