Ok, I have to admit I get a bit sucked in to watching the Travel Channel show “Ghost Adventures” once in a while. My husband and I sat on the couch with his sister during the “Ghost Adventures” Travel Channel Christmas marathon the other night. Maybe part of it is that we like making fun of Zak and Aaron on the show. Zak tries to act so threatening to things that may or may not even be in existence. Yet, he’s scared of snakes and old porcelain dolls. It’s also a lot of fun to mimic “Aaron” and count how many times he says the word “Dude!”
I have to admit that I’m one of those ghost skeptics but someone who wants to believe in ghosts. I love to hear the ghost stories and the rumors of places that are suspected to be haunted. I guess I want to actually see the evidence for myself that ghosts exist, and I don’t believe in them just based on the stories other people love to tell. Let’s just say, the “Ghost Adventures” crew hasn’t made a believer out of me yet, but I am intrigued.
My husband is pretty much in the same boat. He and I love to visit these places that have been rumored to be haunted. We’ve even stayed in one hotel that is said to be haunted. I didn’t get much sleep at that particular hotel, but it certainly wasn’t due to any 3 a.m. wake-up calls by mysterious apparitions floating through our hotel room. It had more to do with an inch-high gap underneath the guest room door that allowed all the hallway light and hallway noises filter into our guest room—one reason why I now bring an eye mask and ear plugs along on trips with me.
So my husband and I have visited a few places that are rumored to be haunted. Only one place I can almost say IS haunted, but it’s more due to a feeling I get when I’m there, but not due to any actual evidence of ghostly events, and I’m surprised the “Ghost Adventures” crew hasn’t been there yet, but they’d probably need to learn German first in order to speak to the German-speaking ghosts.
The hotel where we stayed rumored to be haunted is the Hassayampa Inn in Prescott, Arizona. It’s an older hotel right next to the downtown square. The story behind the supposed hauntings at the hotel is about a newlywed couple that arrived at the hotel. The bride’s new husband left her in the hotel alone while he went out for a package of cigarettes. When he had not returned to the hotel after three days, the distraught bride hanged herself from the bell tower.
Right before the school year began this year our family took a trip over to Punderson State Park in Northeast Ohio. The manor house and lake are both rumored to be haunted. People have claimed to have seen the ghost of a teenage girl at that lake, where supposedly, a teenage girl drowned back in 1977. Other people have claimed to have had encounters with other ghosts inside the manor house, especially in the old wing of the building.
When we lived in Arizona my husband and I went on the “Ghosts of Phoenix” tour. The hour-long walking tour starts at the Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix. It was kind of funny to be walking around with highly suggestible teenagers in the tour group; they overreacted to every thing they heard on the tour. The guides took us into the hotel basement, where children’s voices were rumored to have been heard. We were taken to a hallway near the guest rooms in the hotel and were told stories about some people smelling strawberries from female ghost. There was another room upstairs that the tour guides led us to a door but refused to open the room for fears that might be attacked by a poltergeist—a wicked ghost, rumored to throw chairs at people.
Before we even watched the “Ghost Adventures” episodes of two reportedly haunted places, we took our kids to visit the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia and Gettysburg National Battlefield Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I would say that my then three-year-old daughter and I were pretty “creeped out” when we visited the old prison in West Virginia. I don’t know if it was due to the spirits that supposedly live there or if it was just the nerve-wrecking surroundings. It was the most uncomfortable place to visit, especially the paint peeling off the walls, the visions of prison cells with cot frames bare of mattresses, and stories of hangings of prisoners at Wagon Gate.
(West Virginia Penitentiary)
At Gettysburg, you cannot help but be moved by the monuments scattered around this sacred battlefield ground. Some places in the park were just so beautiful that it was difficult for me to envision all the slain soldiers that once laid here.
(Gettysburg National Park)
I’ve visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Dachau, Germany twice now, and I will have to admit that during both visits I couldn’t quite escape the feeling of utter despair and hopelessness at this place. I’m not sure if this is due to my own empathy that I feel for the victims who were murdered at this place during the Second World War, or if there are spirits of the victims that one is unable to escape during a visit to Dachau. I wonder if anyone else has felt this same sense of doom and foreboding at Dachau or any other concentration camps that are still open as public museums and memorials.
I’m sure we’ll have more opportunities to visit other “ghost sites” in the future, especially since I gave my husband a book on haunted places for Christmas that he immediately began reading. We have one place in mind to possibly visit (and bring his “Ghost Adventures” sister fan along with us), but until that time, I’ll leave you with these places to try for yourself that I’ve already mentioned.
Haunted Places to visit:
- Hassayampa Inn in Prescott, Arizona-- http://www.hassayampainn.com/
- Punderson Manor in Punderson State Park in Northeast Ohio-- http://www.pundersonmanorstateparklodge.com/
- “Ghosts of Phoenix” tour from the Hotel San Carlos, Phoenix, Arizona--http://www.ghostsofphoenix.com/
- West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia-- http://www.wvpentours.com/
- Gettysburg National Battlefield Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania-- http://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm
- Dachau Concentration Camp in Dachau, Germany-- http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de/index-e.html