A guide to the skeletons in America's closet
Dennis William Hauck, an international authority on paranormal phenomena, deems these haunted places as being among the most noteworthy in the United States. More can be found in his book, The National Directory of Haunted Places (Athanor Press, 1995).
Chatham Manor, Fredericksburg, Va.
A love affair was brought to an end here by George Washington. An aristocratic English friend of the owner thought that a trip across the ocean would end his daughter's romance with a commoner. But her suitor followed and the lovers plotted an elopement. Washington, who happened to be staying at Chatham, learned of the romance and had the man arrested. The girl returned to England and was married; her ghost came back and today haunts the grounds.
Cheesman Park, Denver, Colo.
Formerly Mount Prospect Graveyard, a cemetery for criminals and epidemic victims. In 1893, the city hired an inept undertaker to remove the 6,000 to 10,000 bodies buried there. Chaos ensued. Corpses were broken into pieces to fit smaller caskets, body parts were mixed up, and many of the graves were looted. The remaining bodies were simply plowed over. The spirits are still upset over that one.
Pike Place Market, Seattle, Wash.
The underground ramps of this shopping plaza are haunted by the ghost of an American Indian, Kickisomolo, daughter of Chief Seattle. In 1854, the chief prophesied that once his tribe was gone, its spirits would continue to haunt their former homeland.
USF Constellation, Baltimore, Md.
The frigate, built in 1797, was the first commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy. It got off to a bad start. In 1799, a sailor was tied to a gun and blown to bits for falling asleep on his watch. His ghost and that of the captain who ordered the execution haunt the ship today.
Whaley House , San Diego, Calif.
Recognized as an official haunted house by the state of California, the two-story brick house was built by Thomas Whaley in 1857. Whaley rented part of his house to the town of San Diego to be used as a county courtroom and department of records. It soon became the center of a power dispute that ended in its being ransacked and the Whaley family terrorized by disgruntled townspeople. Later, Whaley tried in vain to collect damages. Today, Whaley family ghosts account for strange noises and mysterious lights.
The White House, Washington, D.C.
Of its many haunted rooms, the most interesting is the Lincoln bedroom. Lincoln was likely the most mystical of our presidents. He regularly sought advice from deceased world leaders through a medium.
Winchester House , San Jose, Calif.
This 160-room house has 950 doors and was actually built for ghosts by Sarah Winchester. In 1884, her husband and only child died. When Sarah went to a medium to try to contact their spirits, he suggested that she build a house for all the spirits of the people killed by the rifle that bore her husband's name. Much of the building is based on the number 13, and there are many blind passageways to deter evil spirits. Winchester left instructions in her will that ghosts continue to be welcomed.
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