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1. Ohio State Reformatory (Mansfield, Ohio)
Opened from 1896 to 1990, the reformatory housed more than 150,000 men over the course of its history. Located on land once used as a training camp for Civil War soldiers, the facility was established to rehabilitate young male offenders and give them a chance to learn a trade. Initially, the concept worked and recidivism rates were low, but by the mid-20th century the reformatory had been transformed into a maximum-security prison. The huge stone structure, modeled after medieval European castles, included a six-tier, free-standing steel cell block that’s been called the largest of its kind, although many cells were just 7 feet by 9 feet and held two people. Lawsuits about overcrowding and other substandard conditions led to the facility’s eventual closing, in 1990. Several years later, scenes from the 1994 movie “The Shawshank Redemption” were filmed here. Today, the site is a popular destination for ghost hunters, who report hearing unexplained voices and footsteps and feeling unknown presences inside the abandoned prison. Among the spirits said to continue wandering the place is that of a warden’s wife who in 1950 was fatally wounded after accidentally knocking a loaded gun off a closet shelf.
2. RMS Queen Mary (Long Beach, California)
Built in Scotland in the 1930s for the Cunard company, this ocean liner carried passengers across the Atlantic from 1936 to 1967. During its early years, Hollywood celebrities, British royalty and other distinguished guests traveled aboard the 1,019-foot-long luxury vessel, which was designed to hold some 1,900 passengers along with 1,100 officers and crew. With the advent of World War II, the Queen Mary was converted into a troop ship and painted gray, earning it the nickname the Grey Ghost. Tragedy struck in October 1942 off the coast of Ireland, when the Grey Ghost accidentally collided with one of its escorts, the HMS Curacoa, and ripped it in half; more than 300 Curacoa crew members perished. After the war, during which the Queen Mary transported more than 765,000 military personnel (including some 16,000 during one New York-to-Britain voyage), the vessel returned to service as a luxury liner. In 1967, the Queen Mary, having completed 1,001 transatlantic crossings, was retired and permanently moored in Long Beach, where it was opened to the public several years later. Since then, a number of visitors have claimed the ship is haunted, and have described such incidents as seeing people swim in the ship’s old, waterless, swimming pool, or hearing sailors screaming, accompanied by the sound of Curacoa collision.
3. Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, Colorado)
Famous as the inspirational setting for Stephen King’s 1977 horror novel “The Shining,” the hotel opened to guests in 1909 and is named for its original owner, F.O. Stanley, co-founder of a company that made steam-engine cars known as Stanley Steamers. A Maine native, Stanley and his twin brother produced their first vehicles in the late 1890s. In 1903, F.O., who was suffering from tuberculosis, arrived in Estes Park, hoping the mountain air would provide a cure. He later purchased land from an Anglo-Irish nobleman, on which he began building the hotel in 1907. In late October 1974, Stephen King and his wife stayed at the Stanley and were the only guests there; the experience served as fodder for his best-selling book about an off-season caretaker at an old hotel in the Colorado Rockies. Today, the ghosts of F.O. Stanley and his wife, Flora, are said to roam the hotel. Additionally, legend holds that in 1911 a maid carrying a lit candle during a storm entered what is now room 217, which had an undetected gas leak. The resulting explosion sent the maid crashing into the room below; she broke both her ankles but went on to work at the hotel until her death decades later. Since then, her ghost reportedly has haunted the room, sometimes even performing housekeeping tasks. Over the years, there also have been reports of lights turning on and off on their own, objects moving and the unexplained sounds of children running in the halls.
4. Fort Mifflin (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Commissioned in 1771, this site served as an American military post for nearly two centuries. In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the British army laid siege to the fort—in what was the largest bombardment of the entire war—but were held off for more than a month by American forces. The actions of the Americans made it possible for George Washington’s army to safely move into Valley Forge, where they rested for the winter. The fort was rebuilt and later served as a Union military prison during the Civil War and as an ammunition depot during World War I and World War II, before being decommissioned in 1954. Today, Fort Mifflin allegedly is haunted by a host of specters, such as the Faceless Man, believed to be the ghost of Billy Howe, the only Civil War prisoner ever executed at the fort by hanging, and the Screaming Woman, whose identity is uncertain but whose screams have been said to be so loud that the police were called on occasion.
5. Island of the Dolls/Isla de las Munecas (Xochimilco, Mexico)
Located along the canals of the Xochimilco district, south of Mexico City, this small island features trees hung with dolls, a number of which are headless or limbless. Legend holds that decades ago a man named Don Julian Santana Barrera discovered the body of a drowned girl near the island. Soon after, Barrera spotted a doll floating in the same section of water and decided to place the toy in a tree as a memorial to the dead girl. Before long, he was collecting old dolls and, without bothering to repair or clean them, hanging them in trees in an effort to comfort the deceased girl’s spirit. Allegedly, Barrera came to view all the dolls as possessed, and some locals have even claimed that the dolls talk to each other. Barrera continued to fill the trees with dolls until 2001, when he drowned in the canal where years earlier the girl to whom he created this creepy shrine supposedly met the same fate.
6. Whaley House (San Diego, California)
In 1857, seven years after California became a state, merchant Thomas Whaley constructed this two-story brick building for his family, at the same spot where years earlier he’d witnessed the hanging of a thief named Yankee Jim Robinson. Tragedy soon struck the occupants of the new residence: In 1858, Whaley’s young son died of scarlet fever and one of his stores was burned to the ground by an arsonist. Later, in 1885, Whaley’s daughter killed herself at the home following a brief, failed marriage. Over the course of its history, the house supposedly has been haunted by the ghosts of Yankee Jim Robinson, Thomas Whaley and his wife, and even some favorite Whaley family pets. Additionally, visitors to the building have reported feeling presences connected to a period in the late 1860s when the site was used both a theater and a courtroom. The house, which remained in the Whaley family until the 1950s (it’s now a museum) allegedly has been the scene of a variety of other eerie activities, including windows and doors opening on their own and unexplained noises, voices and smells.
7. Aokigahara Forest (Japan)
Situated at the base of Mount Fuji and referred to as Suicide Forest, this site is the most common place to commit suicide in Japan, whose suicide rate is higher than those of many other industrialized nations. A 1960 novel by Japanese author Seicho Matsumoto helped popularize Aokigahara Forest as a suicide destination; in the book, the heroine goes there to end her life. Legend holds that in ancient times, some families who experienced a food shortage due to famine or other hardships would abandon elderly relatives in the forest to die. The ghosts of those who were abandoned are said to now haunt the forest.
Top Seven Haunted Battlefields – From The Civil War To Stalingrad
If you love creepy spots and war history, you’ll love these 7 top haunted battlefields located around the world. Known for massive bloodshed and usually a battle that could only go poorly thanks to anything from poor terrain to a giant outnumbering, these are sites that paranormal investigators have visited for years.
As most of the world begins to experience the fall season, you’ll find that a lot of these haunted spots really come into their own, especially if you’re visiting around the Halloween holiday. Book a visit soon and see for yourself – you may even spot a few ghosts while you learn about these spots’ fascinating war histories!
7 Rarely Known Facts About Savannah
Savannah is a long-standing city known throughout the country for its beautiful coastal landscapes, its well-preserved architecture and its rich, vibrant history. And while some tenets of Savannah’s history are famous – like the life of Juliette Gordon Low and the famous Forrest Gump scene – others are lesser known. Here are some fun facts about Savannah that you probably didn’t know.
1. In Savannah, you can take your cocktails to-go
That’s right – In Savannah, you don’t have to finish your drink at the bar. Savannah’s ordinance allows you to take a to-go cup with you within the confines of the historic district boundaries (West Boundary Street to East Broad Street and to Jones Street). Ask for a to-go cup and take it along with you!
2. Savannah was a Christmas gift to President Lincoln in the Civil War
Union General Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground during his infamous southbound march in the Civil War. When he arrived in Savannah, the city’s beauty inspired him to spare it. Instead of destroying Savannah like he did Atlanta, Sherman sent a telegraph of Savannah, with its neat squares and lush greenery, to President Lincoln offering the city to him as a Christmas present. And what a gift Savannah still is!
3. Savannah’s Spanish moss isn’t a moss at all
When you think of Savannah’s oaks, you can’t picture them without the drape of our idyllic Spanish moss. And if you didn’t know already, Spanish moss is definitely a misnomer it’s not a moss in the least. You also may have heard that it’s a parasitic plant that kills the trees – also untrue. You might be surprised to learn what Spanish moss is a close cousin to . . . the pineapple! Both are epiphytes, which are plants that absorb water and nutrients from the air. Who knew?!
4. Savannah-area General David Hunter made the first emancipation proclamation
David Hunter was a Union General who served during the Civil War. He worked closely with runaway slaves at Fort Pulaski and others at units in Florida and South Carolina. General Hunter was very fond of the ex-slaves, and on 9 May, 1862, he issued an emancipation proclamation for all slaves in those states.
When President Lincoln learned of Hunter’s proclamation, he immediately revoked it. But historians conclude that Hunter’s actions forced Lincoln’s hand, so to speak, which resulted in the Presidential Emancipation Proclamation issued later in 1863.
5. Savannah’s First African Baptist Church was the first black church in the country
This cherished landmark is known for its prominent role as a safe house for slaves and African Americans throughout history. First African Baptist Church served as a stop on the Underground Railroad, and you can still see the holes in the floorboards that were used to ventilate the concealed spaces through which slaves traveled.
This church played an integral part in the Civil Rights Movement as well. It is a lesser known fact that First African Baptist is actually the oldest black church in North America. Today, this church stands on Montgomery Street, where it’s been since 1777, as a testament to the contributions of the black community to Savannah and America.
6. Flannery O’Connor taught chickens to walk backwards in Savannah
World-renowned American novelist Flannery O’Connor grew up in Savannah, and her childhood home still stands today at 207 East Charlton Street. As a young girl, O’Connor helped her family raise chickens, and she actually taught one of them how to walk backwards!
7. Moon River Brewing Company is considered by many to be Savannah’s most haunted site
Savannah is America’s most haunted city, but you probably wouldn’t guess that one of the city’s best beer hangouts is its most haunted site. Before it was the bustling brewery that it is today, Moon River Brewing Company was the City Hotel, which was built on Bay Street in 1821.
In 2014, Moon River was named the #1 Top Haunted Spot in Savannah by the Examiner. Ghost tour guides and Moon River’s staff and guests have been reporting apparition appearances for years. But don’t let this discourage you from stopping by your liquid courage will come in handy!
Historic US Ghosts
Unidentified sounds disturb the silence of night. The curtains begin to sway as a cold draft breezes across the room. Could it be the work of a spirit from another world? George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and some of the most recognizable figures of American history may have returned to some of their former haunts. Find out where to encounter the presence of a character from America's past . and we're not talking history books here.
Benjamin Franklin was instrumental in laying the foundation of government for the fledgling United States. He also has a long list of contributions from his work as a writer, scientist, inventor, printer, philosopher, statesman and economist. Although he was born in Boston, much of his legacy is rooted in Philadelphia, where Franklin is buried alongside his wife, Deborah. It is in Philadelphia that his spirit has been known to put in an appearance from time to time. In 1884 a cleaning woman was knocked over by a ghostly figure rushing towards a bookshelf in the Philosophical Society's library. Her description matched that of Franklin. There are also reports of people who spied the philosophical Society's statue of Franklin dancing along city streets.
Famous American Act: United States Founding Father
Haunting Method: Statue in front of the American Philosophical Society comes to life and dances in the street.
Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee, the son of a Revolutionary War hero, attended the United States Military Academy where he graduated second in his class. He was offered the command of the Union Army but declined in order to align himself with the Confederacy. He led a number of successful battles in the Civil War before his surrender at the Appomattox Court House in April of 1865. Perhaps due to the bloodshed he witnessed in America's divisive war, Lee's ghost has regressed back to his less complicated childhood years. A 4-year-old Lee has been seen playing in the yard of his childhood home in Alexandria, VA. The ghost is also the suspected culprit in several pranks, like a ringing doorbell and the rearranging of household objects while giggles echo through the hall. The boy is sometimes accompanied by a phantom black dog and two ghostly girls who may be his sisters. Her description matched that of Franklin. There are also reports of people who spied the Philosophical Society's statue of Franklin dancing along city streets.
Famous American Act: Confederate commander in Civil War
Haunting Method: Young 4-year-old Lee plays pranks at his boyhood home.
General P.G.T. Beauregard
New Orleans, Louisiana
An officer who served with distinction in the Confederate army, General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard ordered the first shots at Fort Sumter and led his troops into the bloody battle of Shiloh where 23,000 men from both sides were killed. Some believe that the General and some of the fallen troops of Shiloh still roam the halls of his home, Beauregard House, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Visitors have reported seeing unearthly soldiers in battle stabbing each other with bayonets amidst the wounded with the sounds of cannon and rifle fire in the background. Beauregard seems doomed to constantly relive the horrible battle, as his ghost is said to appear from time to time in uniform, sadly whispering "Shiloh & Shiloh."
Famous American Act: Led Confederate troops into battle of Shiloh
Haunting Method: General roams ethereal battlefield, whispering, "Shiloh, Shiloh."
New York, New York
With romantic lighting and soft piano music as a backdrop, One If By Land, Two If By Sea restaurant is the setting for almost daily marriage proposals. But diners in the mood for love sometimes have to contend with the angry spirit of Aaron Burr, who is said to send dishes crashing and chairs moving from under dining patrons. The famous politician served as vice president of the United States from 1801 to 1805 after losing his bid for the presidency when Alexander Hamilton threw his support to Thomas Jefferson. In 1804 Burr mortally wounded enemy Hamilton in a duel fought in New Jersey. Burr is not the only unhappy soul from that conflict the spirit of Hamilton has been seen haunting the area surrounding his tomb at Trinity Church in New York.
Famous American Act: Vice president of the US, but primarily known for killing Alexander Hamilton in duel.
Haunting Method: Burr smashes dishes and moves chairs at his carriage house, which is now a restaurant.
The ghost of American president and Founding Father George Washington came to the rescue of a group of Union soldiers waging a battle against Confederate troops outside Gettysburg, PA, during the Civil War. The men were fighting to hold southern troops back from a strategic hill, Little Round Top, when a figure materialized before them, an officer on a shining white stallion with his upraised sword aflame. Dressed in the uniform of the American Revolution, the man was Washington, who then issued the command, "Fix bayonets! Charge!" The Union soldiers charged down the hill, forced the the Confederates into a full retreat and the Northern states were never invaded again. Current Gettysburg residents say that sometimes on hot summer nights they still see a ghostly rider on a splendid white steed galloping across the battlefield.
Famous American Act: First president of the United States
Haunting Method: Washington gallops across Gettysburg Battlefield every summer.
Former mistress Betsy Ross is said to haunt her house where she sewed the first American flag. Ross, who is buried on the premises, has been seen weeping while sitting on her bed. In addition to the ghostly Mrs. Ross, the basement is often disturbed by mysterious whisperings that may belong to the displaced spirit of Charles H. Weisberger, the founder of the Ross Memorial. Others attribute the secondary haunting to the tortured soul of a gift shop employee who was murdered during a robbery years ago.
Famous American Act: Credited with sewing the first American flag
Haunting Method: Ross cries at the foot of her bed in her former house.
Abraham Lincoln's life may have ended prematurely when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth in 1865, but his presence lives on at the White House. Famous later occupants, including President Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady Grace Coolidge, reported seeing a tall, gaunt figure in several rooms of the residence. From time to time, people walking by on the street have reported seeing a shadow of Lincoln's dimensions in the window of the Oval Office where the president often stood gazing at the Potomac River during the days of the Civil War. And Lincoln is not the only presidential haunting in the White House. Mary Todd Lincoln said she heard a man with the unmistakable voice of Andrew Jackson stomping and swearing in the Rose Room.
Famous American Act: President of United States
Haunting Method: Lincoln's tall figure has been seen roaming the halls of the White House.
More frightfully fun Halloween 2017
The spooky season is here, and you can catch a DENTON HAUNTS ghost tour on a couple of special dates, and don’t miss the Denton County Office of History & Culture’s PARK AFTER DARK tours of the murder mystery surrounding the Phantom Farmer of the Bayless-Selby House!
If that ain’t enough, you can visit these 5 most haunted places in Denton from WDDI, and most of last year’s local Haunted Attractions are at it again this year. There are also plenty of scary movies and Denton’s Day of the Dead to check out! Have a spooky but safe Halloween, friends!
7 Historical Haunts - HISTORY
By Goodridge Wilson © 1992
Issue: July-August-September, 1992
Editor's Note: The following information was taken from the book, "Smyth County History and Tradition" by Goodridge Wilson, published in 1932 in connection with the Centennial Celebration of Smyth County.
The unusual name of this community came from the fact that it was a ford of the river on William Campbell's land seven miles from the ford near Authur Campbell's fort at Royal Oak. The land was patented by Col. John Buchanan and transferred by him to his brother-in-law, Major Charles Campbell. Charles Campbell died in 1767 and about 1770, his widow moved out to this land with her son William and her four daughters.
The Campbells became a prominent family in the history of not only the region but the new country fighting for its independence. Mrs. Charles Campbell was born Margaret Buchanan. She was from Buchanan and died in 1777 at an "advanced" age and is buried in the Preston graveyard near Seven Mile Ford. The graveyard is located on a hill about three hundred yards off Route 11 (Lee Highway) and one mile west of Seven Mile Ford. The family graveyard is filled with notable family members, one of which is the son, William, of Charles and Margaret Campbell.
William Campbell was a Revolutionary War hero. In addition to the battles noted on his grave marker, he also played a prominent part as a lieutenant in Dunmore's War at the Battle of Point Pleasant. His grave marker read:
"Here lie the remains of Brigadier General William Campbell. He was born in the year 1745 and died in the service of his country in the year 1781 in the camp of General Lafayette near Richmond. By the unanimous election of his brother officers in command at King's Mountain. For his heroism and gallant conduct on that occasion The Congress of the United States voted to him and the officers and privates under his command the following resolutions: Resolved that congress entertain a high sense of the spirit and military conduct of Colonel Campbell and the officers and privates of the militia under his command displayed in the action of October 7th in which a complete victory was obtained over superior numbers of the enemy advantageously posted on King's Mountain in the State of North Carolina and that this resolution be published by the commanding officers of the Southern Army in General Orders. At the head of his regiment he brought on the Battle of Guilford and was the last to quit the field. His zeal, talents, and courage were rewarded by high testimonials of his country's gratitude and have inscribed his name on the history of the Revolution. His bones were brought hither and this stone erected by the husband of his only daughter, Frances Preston."
William Campbell's wife is also buried here. She was a sister of Patrick Henry. Her marker reads:
"Elizabeth Russell - born Henry. By a first marriage wife of General Will Campbell. By a second marriage wife of General Will Russell. A devoted and fervent member of the Methodist Church her life was passed in the love and practice of its doctrines. She died March, 1825. Placed here by her grandson, Wm. C. Preston."
William and Elizabeth Campbell had one daughter, Sarah Buchanan Campbell, who married General Francis Preston. She was the mother of General John S. Preston, of the Confederate Army and Senator William Campbell Preston of South Carolina who was friends with Daniel Webster. Their daughters married prominent men and their son-in laws were Rev. Robert J. Breckenridge of Kentucky, Governor Wade Hampton of South Carolina, Governor James McDowell of Virginia and Governor John B. Floyd of Virginia. Sarah Campbell Preston's husband, Francis, was a member of Congress during Washington's second term when that body was assembling in Philadelphia. He served in the War of 1812 as colonel and afterwards was elected Major General of Virginia Militia.
Another item of interest is the home built for Francis and Sarah Preston in Abingdon, Virginia. It is still standing today and is known as the Martha Washington Inn.
The William Campbell home was named Apsenvale and although it is not still standing, there is a historical marker noting its location and the site of William Campbell's grave on Route 11, seven-tenths of a mile west of the Seven Mile Ford historical marker. Aspenvale is the name that is most commonly used for the home today, but in William Campbell's own correspondence, he wrote his address as "Aspen Ville."
Through the years, the land passed down from the Campbells to the Prestons through family connections. As noted before, Sarah Campbell, only daughter and inheritor of the Campbell estate, married John M. Preston. He managed his wife's property and was an astute business man. He developed the lands for farming and built several thriving businesses there such as a mill and a log tavern. (More about the log tavern later.)
Preston built a large (some 24 rooms) brick home which was to house generations of Preston descendants. Family tradition states that Mrs. Preston wanted the house built further from the river and on a hill and she was not pleased at the location where her husband built it. Because of its location, she would have nothing to do with the house. The land was in the Preston family into this century. Captain Charles Preston sold the ancestral estate to settle his debts and moved to eastern Virginia.
The Preston home contained many valuable documents pertaining to personal correspondence during the Revolutionary War period. Many of those were sold to the Library of Congress. They included letters written and signed by General William Campbell, Colonel Arthur Campbell, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, the Floyds and many others from pioneer days up to the Civil War. The family kept back a letter in the handwriting and signed by George Washington and some letters in the handwriting and signed by Jefferson and Monroe. Unfortunately, some of the family documents were taken by a Professor Lyman C. Draper of the Wisconsin Historical Society who visited the place before the first World War when collecting his material for the documentary history of the western movement in national affairs. He borrowed a great number of papers promising to have them copied and returned, but gave no receipt for them. As far as anyone knows, they are still with the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin.
Now, more about oral history concerning the old log tavern built on Preston lands. Following the Revolutionary War, this area of the country was still practically a wilderness. People who lived further west would come through on an eastward trek to sell their crops and cattle to the people in cities and return back this way with money. Many a traveler with money is said to have mysteriously disappeared in the middle of the night when lodging at this tavern. There were tales circulated by servants and poor people who were said to have stumbled upon midnight grave diggings up certain hollows where ghosts are still reputed to walk. However, it is certain that in 1892, a small cave was discovered not far away in which were found 21 skeletons. A doctor examined them and declared they were the bones of white men, women and children and that their probable age corresponded with that of the old log tavern.
During the Civil War, Captain Preston married and was living in the beautiful old family home. In 1864, Stoneman came through Southwest Virginia on his famous raid. His troops took possession of the Preston home and were said to hack beef on the mahogany tables, stable their horses in the halls and first floor and generally mess up the place.
From the end of the Civil War the home was used as a gathering place for the Preston family members in the summer. When Captain Preston and his wife were in their prime, the home was constantly filled with as many as fifty visitors at a time who were housed and fed at the house.
When the railroad was built through the Preston lands at Seven Mile Ford, John M. Preston gave the right of way in return for a contract awarding passes on the road to himself and his sons and their wives as long as they should live, and also stipulating that all trains should stop at Seven Mile Ford on demand. The depot was burned in Stoneman's Raid during the Civil War and rebuilt in 1881. When the railroad was first built, the post office was put at Baker's Mill which was near the railroad bridge over the river between Seven Mile Ford and Chilhowie.
An interesting aside that has nothing to do with the Campbell-Preston families is some information about voting that was told by W. N. McGhee, twice sheriff of Smyth County who lived near Seven Mile Ford. He was born in Washington County in 1864. His father was Joseph McGhee and told W.N. that he voted for "Marion" as the name for the new county seat, but unfortunately didn't mention other names in contention. This indicates that the name of the county seat was chosen by popular vote.
Joseph McGhee also said that under old property qualifications for voters, if a man owned a horse, he could vote. One fellow qualified by swearing he owned a horse, which was in reality a shaving-horse on which carpenters shaved wood with draw knives!
Exploring Baltimore's Historic Haunted Dive - The Horse You Came In On
There’s no controversy about which bar in Baltimore, Maryland is the oldest – the honor belongs to The Horse You Came In On.
Founded as a saloon (under a different name) in 1795, this bar has been quenching the thirst of sailors, shipbuilders, and all other kinds of miscreants since its opening. When it was founded at what is now called Fells Point, the port of Baltimore was an important shipping center for the young United States. Cargo from throughout the world arrived and offloaded here, including African slaves during the height of the American slave trade.
Originally, the bar was quite small with stables in the rear to keep horses while customers imbibed. Its legacy, then, is as a saloon rather than a respectable tavern of the day (like Gadsby’s Tavern down in Alexandria, Virginia). This is fitting considering its proximity to the dock and the type of clientele it saw.
The current name of the joint draws from this legacy. Howard Gerber bought the place in 1972 and changed the name from Al and Ann’s to The Horse You Came In On. He then got a friend to dress up like a cowboy and ride a horse into the bar on opening day. That pretty much sums up what this place is like – funny and fun with an odd sense of humor, but always keeping an eye to the past.
When you walk inside, the first thing you notice is just how damned big the place is. Years ago the owners expanded the bar by replacing the area in the back that housed the stables with three brand new bars, including a tequila bar and a bar with more of a Tex-Mex sort of feel.
The small bar at the front entrance is the authentic 18th century saloon. The furniture and décor are new, but as Rob Napier, the long-serving manager and bartender told us, after 200 years of service things will get updated. He pointed out the tin ceiling, which was probably added in the 1800s, and the electric lines added in the 1900s. Things change.
But not necessarily everything. We think the atmosphere is probably about like it was back when it was founded. It’s energetic but comfortable, bawdy but thoroughly enjoyable. The live music, played 7 days a week, can get a bit loud, but not so much that you can’t have a conversation across the table. It’s easy to see yourself here back in 1849, having a drink at the bar with your friends. And if you had been there then you might have noticed a local, down and out writer having a drink before walking out into the night.
That writer would have been none other than Edgar Allen Poe. You see, this bar was the last bar he would have passed on the way to his house, and so he was known to frequent the place. It’s thought, in fact, that this was the last place he drank before being found on the night of October 3, 1849, deliriously wandering the streets of Baltimore. He died four days later.
It’s Poe, in fact, that Rob tells us is the ghost that causes so much havoc at The Horse. They typically refer to him as “Edgar,” and even Rob, who says he was never really a believer in the supernatural, has had his run in with the spirit. He told us that late one night, as he was closing up with another bartender, they went to lock the front door when suddenly, a beer mug sitting on top of the bar shattered into a pile of broken glass for no reason at all. Rob turned to see a look of terror on his bartender’s face and so asked him what was wrong. The bartender took out his phone and showed Rob a picture he took the night before. It was of a shattered beer mug that exploded in the exact same place on the bar just as he was closing up. Needless to say, Rob is now a believer.
The Horse has a full bar and can whip up just about anything you can order, but they are known for their Jack Daniels and tequila programs. They infuse their own cinnamon, honey and green apple Jack Daniels. They also have a Jack Daniels bottle program where you can buy a whole bottle, leave it there, and then drink off it until empty. They also infuse tequilas and have a huge selection of the smoky, agave-based spirit at their tequila bar.
Lastly, they do have a full kitchen and a great selection of pub grub. We tried the crab and cheese soft pretzel and the street tacos, and we’d definitely recommend either one.
If you visit Baltimore, don’t miss the historic Fells Point, with its 19th century cobblestone streets and historic buildings. And, of all the places to visit, make it a point to have a drink at The Horse You Came In On. Order an Old Fashioned or local beer, raise a toast to Edgar Allen Poe, and drink in some history!
Boston is a “city of champions.” That appellation is not only about its dominance in sports. It’s about Boston being one of the country’s leading medical and academic hubs, too.
Boston is known for achieving many firsts. Boston Latin, established in 1635, was the first public school. We hosted the first World Series — the Red Sox took on the Pirates — in 1903. The first organ transplant was in 1954 at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. The Boston Marathon, which began in 1897, was the first marathon in the United States.
It was this vibrancy that drew me to Boston, a city with a rich African-American heritage. It was the epicenter of the country’s Abolitionist Movement, playing a major role in the Underground Railroad. But, I quickly learned that the city has an inglorious history, too. The ugliness that surrounded the busing controversy is the most prominent example, but there are others that reverberate around the city today. I’m thinking of Charles Stuart, who blamed a black homeless man of killing his pregnant wife to try to cover up his crime. More recently, there was the Henry Louis Gates, Jr., episode. The esteemed Harvard professor, who is black, was arrested trying to open his door. The police thought he was a burglar.
That was the history that Saturday Night Live comedian Michael Che waded into when he said Boston is one of “the most racist city I’ve ever been to.” Che had no idea that he hit the city’s third rail when he made the joke during a pre-Super Bowl “Weekend Update” segment. Nearly two months later, during an appearance at Boston University, his controversial statement still simmered for many Bostonians. He received even more criticism when he refused to recant or apologize.
There really is no way to quantify how racist Boston is. But, looking at Boston’s racial history through the lens of public school education, one can easily see how its troubling past is still present today.
Take, for example, Boston Latin, a magnet school that attracts the city’s best and brightest. That school, however, is now under two investigations (one by the school department’s Office of Equity and one by the U.S. Justice Department) for fostering an environment that’s hostile to minority students. When a white student threatened to lynch a black female, the school’s administration neither informed the girl’s parents nor took swift disciplinary action against the white student.
Boston Latin School sits in a district where 77 percent of its school-aged children are black and Latino. The school’s percentage of blacks are 8.5 percent and 11.6 percent for Latinos. Today, black and Latino enrollment is half of what it was two decades ago. That’s a step — maybe two or three steps — backward.
For some, the busing crisis of the 1970’s is the city’s old past. But the impulse that led many of Boston’s white middle class families to flee to the suburbs — rather than address the challenge to provide educational parity for all of Boston’s school-aged children — lingers today. Their legacy is leaving a high concentration of its urban schools in both poverty and in disrepair.
While Boston doesn’t have as direct of a “school-to-prison pipeline” like many other major urban cities across the country, it has been reported that there is zero-tolerance in Massachusetts when it comes to disciplining students of color. Black school-aged children in the Bay State are disciplined, expelled and suspended at four times the rate of white children. (Latinos are three times as likely to receive punishment.) That leads to repeated arrests and evidently incarceration.
When Renee Graham tried to point out the racial disparities that persist in Boston, the reaction from the internet was swift and brutal. Most of the comments pointedly accused Graham and black people as being racists, too. “Racism is a two way street.” Other comments accused blacks using the race card for not embracing Boston’s Irish culture. The kinder responses were aghast by Graham’s op-ed, because they either had black friends, communicated cordially with black officemates, would date outside their race or had a black neighbor.
Many of the comments, however, were blocked. Readers, like myself, wished this one from Jeff N. was, too:
“If you want to know why everyone hates you n****rs, your article is a good reason why. Better yet, take a trip to Roxbury, you might find your answer there as well,” he wrote.
Those comments are proof that Boston’s racial past is not dead. It’s not even the past.
7. Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, LA
With the striking pathway shaded by century-old oak trees greeting you at the plantation gate, Oak Alley Plantation  is simply a fascinating place to visit. There have also been many supernatural experiences reported by both staff members and visitors, and it&rsquos not uncommon for visitors to catch glimpses of figures, feel cold spots, or hear strange voices. One staff member felt someone touch his arm while working alone at the mansion. Another tour guide actually saw two different figures appear, one in the kitchen and the other in the Lavender Room. The Oak Alley Plantation grounds are enchanting, beautiful, and full of rich history, but they are also mysterious. Guided tours are available on the hour and half hour from 9:30 a.m. to close daily.
Discover New Orleans’ dark side on this two‐hour haunted history ghost tour. Hear tales of famous hauntings from your local guide, and visit the French Quarter’s most infamous and eerie locations.
5-in-1 New Orleans Ghost & Mystery Tour
Ghosts, vampires, witches, voodoo, and unexplained mysteries — this tour has it all!
New Orleans Cemetery Tour
A Tour like no other, focusing on several different historical Cities of the Dead at the end of Canal Street, including Cyprus Grove Cemetery, St. Patrick Cemetery, Dispersed of Judah Cemetery, Charity Hospital Cemetery &&hellip
Garden District History Tour in New Orleans
Explore the lavish Antebellum section of New Orleans that was the original city of Lafayette, our first American city.
With over 20 years of excellence under our belts, we provide the best haunted tours in New Orleans. Make no mistake if it doesn’t say Haunted History Tours, then it isn’t the original!
These are the New Orleans tours you’ve heard about featured on A&E, History Channel, Discovery Channel, SyFy Channel, Fox Network, and recommended by The Travel Channel as “The #1 tour in New Orleans… a must-do!” Mildly theatrical, hugely historical, and thoroughly entertaining, Haunted History Tours offers a variety of daily and nightly tours that are sure to leave you spellbound! Come join us for a spine-tingling experience today!
Over 20 Years of Excellence!
The owner was very helpful in booking our tour. Cedric was hands down amazing. He made the tour very fun, and if I go back and take another tour, I want him as my tour guide. Spooky and informative, we learned a lot about the ghosts and graveyards of New Orleans!! This is a must do tour if you go to NOLA, and make sure you get Cedric!
Rose was a wonderful guide, very knowledgeable and passionate about her subject. She went really deep describing folklore, historical, societal, and cultural origins of vampires that mirror our fears and perceptions reflecting it back to us. All of these were done in a way that made us able to relate and think deep about who we are.
I highly recommend this tour if you want to dig a little deeper and learn what New Orleans was and is all about and how it came to be the city we see nowadays. Thus a very, very interesting tour given by Toast, who's is an excellent storyteller, with a solid knowledge of history, funny anecdotes and music.
We toured with Toast (yes tour guide was named Toast), who was absolutely amazing. He told us numerous different stories of the area including hauntings and other parts of New Orleans history. He was incredibly entertaining and the two hours flew by. We went to several different graveyard sites as well as a local park and the old Charity Hospital.
We booked the French Quarter Ghost Tour and it was so much fun. Katrice was an absolute professional when dealing with less than ideal participants and the general rowdy public. She was engaging, educational, and the highlight of our night. We loved hearing the history and the stories as we walked the quarter.
OUR SUBURBAN TOURS & GHOST HUNTS
The Naperville Hauntings Ghost Walk
A SPOOKY LOOK AT ONE OF ILLINOIS’ MOST HAUNTED CITIES
Diane Ladley’s long-running Naperville Ghost Tours by Heartland Hauntings are now operated by Chicago Hauntings! Different company, same award-winning, eerie walking tour through one of Illinois’ oldest and most haunted cities. You’ll hear of deadly citizens, horrific massacres, graveyards and ghouls on this spooky foray into Naperville’s haunted history.
The Great Lake County Ghost Adventure Bus Tour
AN ALL-DAY EXCURSION THROUGH ONE OF ILLINOIS’ MOST HAUNTED REGIONS
Journey outside our Chicago haunted tours and into Lake County, Illlinois–one of the nation’s most haunted regions. From the notorious “Gate” of Libertyville—where legend tells of a long lost girls’ school massacre—to the wandering spirits of Six Flags amusement park to the ghosts of Cuba Road, this 7-hour coach tour with stops will introduce you to the ghost lore of this storied county, stopping for lunch at an actively haunted pub. And you’ll ghost hunt along the route! 7 hour tour includes lunch with soft drinks (cash bar available). BYOB. Departs from Long Grove, Illinois. If you’ve enjoyed our Chicago ghost tours and want more, this tour is for you! Sorry no waitlist! Sundays in October.
The Archer Avenue Triangle Bus Tour
IN SEARCH OF RESURRECTION MARY
Few roads in the world can rival the haunting reputation of Archer Avenue, an ancient Indian trail now known as one of the most haunted roads on Earth. The ghosts of Archer Avenue include banshees, werewolves, phantom monks, and Chicago’s most famous ghost, the vanishing hitchhiker known as “Resurrection Mary,” who is said to have burned her ghostly hands into the gates of Resurrection Cemetery one fateful night long ago. Departs from Willow Springs, southwest of Chicago. Two pub stops. Strictly limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. Spaced seating and you MUST wear a mask while on board. Sorry no waitlist! Sundays in October.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ALL OF OUR TOURS HERE:
Our our classic Original Chicago Hauntings ghost tour founded by ghost hunter and author Ursula Bielski is a 3 hour, fully-narrated, haunted history tour of Chicago by luxury coach, with several stops off the bus. Join us to see Chicago’s most haunted locations!
$49 adults. $39 children.
OR …. STEP INTO THE STREETS & ALLEYS OF OLDEST CHICAGO WITH US . . .
Loop ghost tours are a dime a dozen, but only we take you through the storied River North district . . . the settlement of earliest Chicago, the shadow of Fort Dearborn, and the site of the original Courthouse and Gallows. We’ll tell you of the ill-fated Eastland disaster, the “Titanic of the Great Lakes,” and the Gangland ties to these fabled streets. Includes a pub stop at the beloved Billy Goat Tavern, home of the Curse of the Chicago Cubs and the world renowned “Cheezeborger, Cheezeborger” of Saturday Night Live fame.
Fridays and Saturdays at 6pm
$19 per person.
OR ….GHOST HUNT WITH US ON A REAL PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION!
In addition to the city’s number one haunted Chicago tour, we also offer Chicago’s only public paranormal investigations, where you may join in on a ghost hunt of Lincoln Park, one of Chicago’s most haunted places, and investigate the original Chicago City Cemetery grounds, site of more than 10,000 unmarked graves, the site of Suicide Bridge and location of the bloody St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, one of Chicago’s most haunted places. You’ll also hear tales of the night the devil came to St. Michael’s church in Old Town, at deadly lightning strike, ghost ships of Lake Michigan, the story of “Candyman” and the tragic still unsolved “Tylenol Murders.” Our veteran investigator guide will teach you how to use simple ghost hunting tools. You may be surprised at what you find on this one of a kind expedition . . .
Our Lincoln Park Hauntings Ghost Hunt Tour runs select evenings, year ’round.
$29 general admission.
OR JOIN ONE OF OUR POPULAR SPECIALTY TOURS….
Our Archer Avenue Triangle & Resurrection Mary Tour takes you through the atmospheric, winding trail of one one America’s most haunted roads to trace the steps of Chicago’s most famous ghost, Resurrection Mary, and the phantom friends who join her in this storied region along the building route of the ill-fated Illinois & Michigan Canal.
Our Lake County Ghost Adventure Tour is an all-day, epic journey through one of Illinois’ oldest and most haunted counties, where you’ll visit–and ghost hunt–some of the state’s most notorious sites, including the Devil’s Gate, Cuba Road, White Cemetery and more. Meets in Long Grove and includes lunch at a haunted pub.