Haunted Locations: California

Winchester Mansion
San Jose,California
In 1884, Sarah L. Winchester, wife of William Wirt Winchester and heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, began construction on what is now know as theWinchestermansion. The Victorian mansion was built on 162 acres, had seven stories, 160 rooms, modern heating and sewer systems, gas lights that operated by pressing a button, three working elevators, and 47 fireplaces. There were two basements, over 1200 windows, 950 doors and staircases which led nowhere. On September 30, 1862, William Wirt Winchester and Sarah Pardee were married inNew Haven,Connecticut. Four years later, Sarah gave birth to a daughter who they named Annie Pardee Winchester. A short time later, the first disaster struck for Sarah, as her daughter contracted an illness in which the body wastes away. Annie died shortly after contracting the illness. Sarah was so shattered by this event that she withdrew into herself and teetered on the edge of madness for some time. Sarah and William would never have another child. Not long after the death of her daughter another tragedy struck. William was struck down with pulmonary tuberculosis. He died in 1881. As a result of his death, Sarah inherited over twenty million dollars. Sarah grieved deeply for the loss of her husband and her child. A short time later, a friend suggested that Sarah speak to a Spiritualist medium about her loss. Acting upon her friend’s advice, Sarah sat with a medium who contacted the spirit of her dead husband. Through the medium her husband told her that there was a curse on her family because of all the lives that were taken withWinchesterfirearms. She was also told to sell her property inNew Havenand head west. The medium said she must start a new life and build a home for herself and the spirits who have fallen from the gun. She was told that as long as she was building the house she would live and if she stopped she would die. Shortly after moving to theSanta ClaraValleyinCalifornia, Sarah found a six room home under construction which she purchased and began her building. For the next 36 years she kept 22 craftsmen at work day and night. Sarah believed she could control the spirits who came to the house for evil purposes or to destroy her life. The house had been designed into a maze to confuse evil spirits. The third and most tragic event occurred within the house when the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 struck. The fireplace located in the Daisy Room where Sarah was sleeping the night of the earthquake collapsed, shifting the room trapping her inside. She was convinced the earthquake was a sign from the spirits who were furious that the construction was nearly completed. To ensure the construction on the house would never be finished, she decided to board up the front 30 rooms of the mansion. She also believed that in doing so the spirits who fell when portion of the house collapsed would be trapped inside forever. On September 4, 1922, Sarah died in her sleep at the age of 83. There have been a number of strange occurrences reported at the Winchester House. A couple can be seen lingering in the corner of one of the rooms, the sound of organ music can be heard emanating from the room where Sarah died. There have been reports of hearing footsteps, doors opening and slamming shut on their own; the smell of soup coming from a kitchen that hasn’t been used in years, windows that slam shut so hard the glass shatters. Cold spots are felt in Sarah’s bedroom and some people have even reported seeing the spirit of Sarah Winchester. Mysterious red moving balls of light are seen and doorknobs turn seemingly on their own.

Whaley House
San Diego,California
In 1849 during the gold rush, Thomas Whaley leftNew York City and headed forSan Francisco. The Whaley family business was woodworking and hardware, and with his partner George Wardle he opened a store from which he sold items made inNew York. Whaley was very successful inSan Francisco. He erected a two story residence near the bay and established a prosperous store. In 1851 an arsonist torched his buildings on Montgomery Street so he relocated to Old Town San Diego. There, he setup many businesses and made enough money to return to New York to marry Anna DeLaunnay. When the newly married couple returned to San Diego Whaley purchased some property that was used as the public gallows and in 1856 he began construction on a single story granary. This had been the site of the hanging of the infamous Yankee Jim Robinson three years earlier. In 1857 Whaley had completed another building, a two story Greek revival style brick house in which he would later establish his general store. In 1868 the Tanner Troupe Theatre used the front upstairs bedroom of the house to operate their business. This lasted until 1869. The San Diego County Courthouse used the granary and three upstairs rooms in 1869 for storing records. In 1868, after the establishment of New Town San Diego, there was a conflict as to where the courthouse should be. Whaley wanted to keep it in Old Town. In 1871, while Thomas Whaley was away on business, his home was raided and courthouse documents were taken while his wife was being held at gunpoint. In 1882, Violet Whaley, one of Thomas’ daughters, married and after two years was divorced. The divorce humiliated Violet and she fell into a great depression. In 1885 she shot herself through the heart. For the next few years after his daughter’s death, Thomas ran a real estate office and built a home for his family in downtown San Diego. In 1890 after a long struggle with health issues Thomas Whaley died. After Thomas’ death, the old Whaley house fell into disrepair until Francis Whaley restored it. Francis lived there along with Thomas’ widow, a musician named George and a woman named Lillian until 1913. That is when Anna died in the house. In 1914, Francis and Lillian also died in the house. The house has been listed by the U.S Department of Commerce as an authentic haunted house as it is now home to several ghosts one of them being the spirit of Yankee Jim. The hanging back in 1852 did not go very smoothly. The gallows were made for people of average height. Yankee Jim was a tall man, so when the pulled the wagon out from under him his feet touched the ground and he strangled to death, proclaiming his innocence. People have reported feeling their throat tightening and breathing restricted while in the house. The ghost of Thomas Whaley has been spotted on the second floor. In the room that was leased by the city a chain swings on its own and heavy footsteps can be heard tromping around upstairs above this room. There have been reports of cold spots in the area where Anna was held at gunpoint. There are sounds of “old time” music emanating from one of the rooms along with the smell of a woman’s perfume and an old cigar. Lights in the house turn off and on seemingly on there own. A young girl, who died tragically in the kitchen, has been seen in that room and outside the house. Dishes in the kitchen move on there own. It has also been reported that the windows would open and close on their own, sometimes smashing, and a figure can be seen in the upstairs window from the outside of the house late at night. The cries of a baby can be heard coming from young Thomas Whaley’s bedroom. He was the first to die in the house and it is believed that his spirit is still there. The spirit of the Whaley’s dog has also been seen entering and leaving this room and also outside in the yard. There is a rocking chair in one of the bedrooms upstairs that rocks on its own and people have reported seeing faces, other than their own, looking at them from the mirror.


Haunted Locations: Colorado

Stanley Hotel
Estes Park,Colorado
The Stanley Hotel is a 138-room Georgian hotel inEstes Park,Colorado, that was built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley and catered to the rich and famous. Freelan Stanley was the inventor of the Stanley Steamer, a steam power horse carriage. In 1903, F. O. Stanley came toEstesParkupon suggestion from his doctor.Stanleysuffered from tuberculosis and came west fromMainefor the fresh air. Impressed by the beauty of the valley,Stanleydecided to invest his money and his future there. Equipped with running water, electricity, and telephones, the only amenity the hotel lacked was heat, as the hotel was designed as a summer resort. Any heating in the hotel came from fireplaces on the first floor until 1979 when heating was added. TheStanleyhotel is reported to play host to a number of entities from the spirit world. The ghost of F.O. Stanley himself is most often seen in the front lobby and his favorite room when he was alive, the Billiard Room.Stanleyis said to appear to behind people in tour groups while visiting the hotel and bartenders has reported seeing him walk through the bar towards the kitchen. Flora Stanley, Freelan’s wife haunts the hotel as well. Her piano playing can be heard in the music room. Employees and guests alike have reported hearing music coming and they look into the room they could see the keys on the piano actually moving on their own. When they walk through the door to get a closer look, the music and the movement of the keys stop. Guests who stay on the fourth floor often report hearing children playing in the hallway at night when no children were even staying in the hotel. Room 418 seems to be the room with the most activity in the hotel. Staff and guest have reported seeing the impressions on the bed as if someone had been sleeping there when in fact there had been nobody in the room. Room 407 is believed to be haunted by the spirit of Lord Dunraven, the previous owner of the land. He is seen in the corner of the room near the bathroom and he turns the lights off and on. A shadowy figure has also been seen peering through the window when the room is not occupied. Strange noises and footsteps are heard throughout the massive building.

Brook Forest Inn
Evergreen, Colorado
In 1913 Edwin F. Welz, of Vienna, Austria, and his wife Riggi of Switzerland, settled on the land that now houses the Brook Forest Inn. When they first arrived there was a cabin that they renovated. They also built some additional structures, landscaped the ground and planted some vegetables. By 1919, the Brook Forest Inn was opened. The Inn had running water, baths, and electricity and could accommodate up to 130 people. These were luxuries at the time. By 1935 the Welzes had built several guest cottages, a stable and swimming pool and in 1937 construction was completed on a medieval turret of white and rose quartz that is known as the Bell Tower House. Edwin and his wife owned and operated the Inn until 1946 when they sold it. The couple had one child, a son, who was born in 1911 and passed away in 1922 because of pneumonia. Prior to World War II, the Inn was a meeting place for the Nazis. It is reported that the dining room carpet covered a large swastika painted on the floor. Rumor also had it that a large sum of Nazi gold was buried in or near the Inn at the outbreak of the war. Tales of murder involving Bund members and a secret burial in the Inn have also been told. It is also believed that Jesse James visited the area in 1876 after the Northfield, Minnesota bank robbery to bury the money. There are stories of many afterlife visitors as well. It has been reported that a small child who died on the third floor possibly of influenza is heard running up and down the third floor hallway knocking on doors. There is another story about a stable hand named Carl. Carl is rumored to have strangled his wife, who was the chamber maid, in one of the suites. There are two versions of what happens next. One story states that after murdering his wife, Carl hung himself in the livery stables up the street from the Brook Forest Inn. The other version states that he hung himself in one of the rooms on the second floor. Carl’s spirit has been seen lurking throughout the hotel on numerous occasions. Neighbors to the Inn have reported seeing a full apparition of a woman on the balcony of one of the suites when the Inn was known to be vacant. Maids in the Inn have complained about the smell of rotting flesh on the second and they have reported objects in the Inn moving around on their own. The sounds of doors opening and closing on their own also are heard. There have also been reports of light anomalies and ghostly sounds in the Inn.


Haunted Locations: Connecticut

Captain Grant’s Inn
Poquetanuck, Connecticut
Captain Grant’sInnwas built by Captain William Gonzales Grant in 1754 for his wife Mercy Adelaide Avery. Grant died at sea, while Mercy lived into her 80’s and the home continued to house three generations of the Grant Family. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers used the home as a Garrison, and during the Civil War, the home was a safe haven for runaway slaves. There are many unexplained stories of supernatural events in theInn. Upon arrival, visitors are told about the ghost that likes to play jokes by knocking on the door. When you go to open it no one is there. Guests that have stayed in the Adelaide Room have encountered the ghosts of a mysterious woman and her two children. They are believed to be former residents of the house. They sometimes turn the TV on and off or knock down the shower curtain. Other guests have reported something stroking their face while they slept. Footsteps can also be heard from up above. One of the staff members has reported the spirit of a child passing straight through her body as she stood there frozen.

Undercliff Institution
In the early 1900’s there was a sanatorium built to house sick children with diseases like rubella, German measles and mumps. The majority of the children that came here were brought here to die. There was tremendous pain and suffering in this building throughout the years. People that live near the institution claim they can hear the sounds of children screaming and drying coming from inside. Apparitions can also be seen in the windows of the building. It has been reported that former patients can be heard running around the hallways trying to escape orderlies. Screams can be heard emanating from rooms where shock therapy was administered to patients. People have also claimed to see the spirit of a former patient, who was murdered by a group of other patients with plastic utensils, lurking around the old courtyard. Undercliff has been abandoned since the mid-1960s, but the patients still seem to be there.

Union Cemetery
UnionCemetery is one of the most famous and most haunted cemeteries in theUSA. There are tombstones dating as far back as the 1800’s. The earliest, readable tombstone is from 1825. TheEastonBaptistChurch, which stands to the right of the cemetery, was built in the 1840’s. There are many ghost stories surrounding this cemetery. The most widely told is that of the “White Lady,” a manifestation of an unknown woman in a white gown and bonnet who appears in the roadway near the cemetery. This ghost has been seen in and around the cemetery for years. Many people have claimed that she appears suddenly in the middle of the road leaving no time for the driver of the vehicle to stop. After hearing a thud as they hit the woman with the car, they pull over to check for the woman and for damage to the vehicle but nothing is found. Although she is the most popular, she is not the only ghost in the cemetery. People have reported seeing the ghost of a old caretaker roaming around the cemetery, and men dressed in uniforms from another era, who actually speak to the them. The sounds of babies crying, footsteps running up behind you, and there have also been reports of an invisible hand throwing rocks at people in the cemetery.

Lighthouse Inn
New London, Connecticut
Originally named Meadow court for the wildflowers that surround it, the Lighthouse Inn has graced New London, Connecticut with its beauty since 1902. It was built as a summer home for Charles S. Guthrie and designed by architects William Emerson, of Boston and famous landscape designer Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed Central Park. In 1906 Charles Guthrie died. His wife continued to live in the house until 1925 when she sold it. Meadow Creek reopened as the Lighthouse Inn in 1927. The Lighthouse Inn has been used for numerous weddings and social events. One particular wedding story has been recounted for years. The story says that a young woman who was to be married slipped while coming down the stairs and snapped her neck, killing her instantly. Many people have reported seeing the apparition of a young bride roaming the halls of the Inn and also in some of the room. There is a second story that talks about the hurricane of 1938. It says that two children died as a result of the storm and can be heard running through the halls of the Inn. Also reported are temperature drops and high EMF readings.