Ghost and haunting stories are becoming more and more common all across North America; sightings, encounters, apparitions, nightly hauntings and spooky happenings, all of it happening right in our own back yards!
Here is the ultimate top ten list of haunted places in North America! (Clicking a link will open another page.)
1) Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, IL
This 1800s-era cemetery has been largely abandoned since 1965, and since then has fallen victim to vandals. Among the toppled tombstones it is said that satanic and occultist groups perform ceremonies, and over 100 reports of strange phenomena have been collected.
Among them, ghost lights, inexplicable lights and voices, apparitions, strange photos, anomalous recordings and sightings of unbelievable creatures. There is also a nearby haunted lagoon, a phantom farmhouse and a stretch of haunted turnpike near Bachelor’s Grove.
2) The Old Spaghetti Factory, Gastown, Vancouver, British Columbia
If you are looking for eerie eating in Vancouver, check out the Old Spaghetti Factory in the Gastown neighbourhood. You may hear stories of inexplicable cold drafts and moving table settings, shenanigans attributed to the ghost of a certain train conductor who met his end during a tragic collision on the underground railway track upon which the restaurant is built. Enjoy the delicious food, but watch that your cutlery doesn’t float off on you!
3) The Lemp Mansion, St. Louis, Missouri
Built in the 1860s by the Lemp family (who created “Falstaff” beer), the Lemp Mansion is said to be haunted by the family, which was surrounded by tragedy. William Lemp’s son died in 1904, and afterward William committed suicide in the house. In 1920, his daughter also committed suicide, and later so did William Lemp, Jr., and Charles Lemp, leaving the family completely torn apart.
Since then, the house was sold and became a boarding house and later, in 1977, a fine restaurant (which is still open today). Workers and boarding tenants have reported feelings of being watched, vanishing tools, strange sounds, apparitions, glasses flying through the air, a piano playing by itself, voices and other strange occurrences.
4) Villisca Axe Murder House, Villisca, Iowa
In 1912, the J.B. Moore family (the parents and their four children), along with two children who were staying over that night, was murdered in their beds in a shocking crime for this otherwise small, peaceful community. The murders were never solved, but since then many unusual phenomena have been reported in the house. The Moore home was restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, and today is open to overnight visitors.
Guests have reported children’s voices and laughter, falling lamps, moving objects, and odd sounds, while others have recorded audio, video and photographic evidence of supernatural activities. Psychics who have visited the home have also reportedly communicated with spirits.
5) Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta
A blocked off stairway, said to be haunted by a tragic bride, and a mystery missing room, rumoured to be locked forever to contain the family of ghosts that inhabits it, give rise to multiple tales of hauntings and eerie events in this historic and beautiful chateau hotel.
6) St. Louis Ghost Train, St. Louis, Saskatchewan
If you pass through the village of St. Louis, Saskatchewan, late at night, be on the lookout for the phantom lights out on the dirt road where the train tracks used to be. Whether these lights are a paranormal phenomenon or the perfectly natural occurrence, the curious appearance of these lights nearly every night has attracted curious onlookers for over thirty years. Some say the light is a ghost train, others the lantern held by the spirit of a conductor who lost his head on the tracks and searches eternally to find it. The realists claim that it is simply a refraction of headlights from the highway a few miles off.
7) The Old Slave House (Hickory Hill), Junction, IL
The Hickory Hill mansion was built in 1842 by a wealthy man, John Hart Crenshaw, who owned several salt tracts. Although it was illegal to own slaves in Illinois at this time, it was legal to lease slaves from other states to work in the salt mines.
Crenshaw imprisoned slaves, some of whom were kidnapped, in the attic of the mansion in narrow cells and manacles. He reportedly tortured and beat the slaves for many years, and also “bred” his own slaves, until eventually his cruel practices were discovered and he retired to become a farmer.
In the 1920s, the house was opened as a tourist attraction where slavery existed in Illinois; however tourists began reporting sounds of people crying and moaning coming from the attic, cold chills, and whispers. Things intensified when a ghost hunter named Hickman Whittington went to the attic shortly after it opened and spent a few hours there. Though he was in perfect health at the time, he died a few hours after leaving the mansion.
Reportedly, hundreds of people tried to spend the night in the attic after Whittington’s death, but would leave, terrorized, before morning (one man did finally spend the night there in 1978, and reported strange sounds).
Currently, the Hickory Hills mansion is owned by the state of Illinois, and is scheduled to open as a historic site (but has not yet re-opened to visitors).
8) The Winchester Mansion, San Jose, California
Sarah Winchester, a wealthy widow, built the 160-room Victorian Winchester mansion in 1884. It was such an unprecedented project that construction workers worked on the home 24 hours a day for 38 years. The home has many bizarre features, built to keep out evil spirits, including false doors, a room built for séances (where Sarah developed building plans that ghosts sent to her) and a stairway that leads to the ceiling, and many supernatural occurrences have happened there.
Sarah Winchester reportedly spoke to spirits nightly at midnight and since then people have reported organ music in the Blue Room where Sarah died, apparitions, cold spots, a smell of chicken soup in the kitchen, red balls of light and more. Today visitors can take tours of the mansion (including special night-time flashlight tours).
9) Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan
Howie, the affectionately named ghost of Regina’s Government House, has been credited with the opening and shutting of doors without aid of human hands, unaccounted-for footsteps on the stairs and the mysterious movement of items from one location to another. Some theories hold that “Howie” is actually the ghost of the former cook of Lieutenant-Governor McNab, who died in the house. However, others claim that there are more than one ghost inhabiting this historical mansion which once served as home to Lieutenant-Governors of the Northwest Territories.
10) Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba
This castle-like hotel in Winnipeg is rumoured to be haunted by a number of ghosts. Even a Canadian Member of Parliament was so convinced of a presence in her room that she fled from her room in the middle of the night.