HashOut: 2007/11/04
This blog has moved. We welcome you to our new home at http://hashout.org

America's Best Spooks & Spirits

Wandering through the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, is a journey through an obsessive mind. The maze of some 160 rooms was built by the widow and heir of the Winchester rifle fortune. Saraw Winchester felt haunted by spirits of those killed with her husband's weapons. Warned by a medium that she would die if she stopped building, she kept labourers working day and night for 38 years, constructing windows with 13 panes, chimneys (which she considered doors for ghosts) that didn't rise through the roof, stairs to nowhere and a secret séance room. Sarah died peacefully in her sleep at age 82. If you're in California, you can visit for the day for $28.95, kids & seniors, $25.95.

There are hundreds of other "haunted houses" all over the US where you can pull the covers up over your head:

Like 200-year-old Myrtles Plantation in St Francisville, Louisiana state. Built on a Red Indian graveyard, it's one of America's spookiest houses -- said to be inhabited by no less than seven apparitions. If a grim caretaker tries to turn you away at the gate, you might consider leaving. He was murdered in 1927. Brave souls can book rooms for between $115-$230.

Since the brutal murder of her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden has been immortalized in song and story. At their house, now the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts, you can eat the same meal of bananas, cakes and coffee that the Bordens did on the morning they were murdered. The rate of $200 includes a private tour of the house. Then visit the Fall River Historical Society to view evidence of the crime, including photos of the murder scene and the skulls.

Legend has it that a runaway Spanish don and his lover, an Italian opera singer, once lived on the site of Belhurst Castle. Rumours of secret tunnels and hidden rooms are more fantasy than fact, says the Geneva Historical Society. But mystical music lovers can listen for songs at the Gothic-style mansion built in 1889 in Geneva, New York state. Some guests claim to have seen a woman in white on the hotel lawn, and others hear lullabies sung.

If you want to sing along there, or at a poltergeist's palace near you, start by reading Haunted Hotels by Robin Mead or Dinner & Spirits by Robert and Anne Wlodarski. Many hotels, inns and bed-and-breakfasts now have their own websites. Check out: hauntedhouses.com; hotels.about.com/cs/hauntedhotels or allstays.com/Special/haunted.htm.
» Continue reading

Read more on