Deep in the South of the USA lie some of the spookiest places on earth. With a dark history of slavery and Confederate battles, it’s no wonder that so many troubled souls from the past still call these places in the South their homes.It's Halloween, so the time is right for some good old-fashioned ghoul and ghost stories...
Opened in 1861, the Alabama State Hospital for the Insane (otherwise known as Bryce Hospital) was once a thriving institution with a reputation for mistreating its patients to such an extent it verged on torture. These days rumours abound that poor tortured souls still call Bryce home, and it's consequentially become a hotspot for paranormal activity hunters. Visitors claim to feel hot and cold spots, see items moving of their own accord, and hear ghostly sounds and footsteps. Scuffling of feet and unexplained creaking doors have also been reported. Some have even seen the tail of a doctor’s coat travel through the halls, and heard screams. We can only assume it was a patient getting their medical bill.
Used to defend Savannah during the American Civil War, Fort McAllister was attacked multiple times in just a few years. Then, in 1864, 71 soldiers lost their lives in a battle that only lasted 15 minutes. The Fort then became a prison camp for hundreds of captured soldiers. When Henry Ford commissioned to have the Fort repaired in the 1930s, he asked the workmen to stay onsite overnight to prevent looting. But throughout the entire repairs programme none of the workmen could last a full night at the sight. Paranormal disturbances – apparently caused by souls haunted by the ghastly happenings that took place all those years ago – drove them away. The disturbances included hearing many strange noises, people shouting military commands in the dead of night, canon fire and people moaning in pain and, worst of all, sightings of a headless solider.
This is one of the most haunted places in Kentucky, and has appeared on a variety of paranormal TV programmes where some have claim it is actually the most haunted place on earth! The nightclub has a violent past as a speakeasy and gangster hangout – and that's not even taking into account its original purpose as a slaughterhouse. There are two famous stories attached to this location. The first is of a pregnant woman who was decapitated and offered up as a satanic sacrifice. The second is the story of Johanna, who is described as a club dancer from the 1940s whose father, a mobster, did not approve of the man she fell in love with. Her plight was recorded in a mysterious diary that was found by the same caretaker who discovered the skull of the first woman. Johanna's suitor was 'taken out' by the mob, and she poisoned herself in the dressing room soon after. A final love poem is penned on the wall. Employees, visitors and paranormal investigators at Bobby Mackey’s Music World have reported experiences with 'shadow people', mists, disembodied voices and balls of light, as well as strong feelings of other beings being present. Some people have claimed they've been assaulted by forces that were so powerful they threw them across the room.
A national historic landmark, the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium boasts a gorgeous Art Deco style and has hosted big names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. A quick glance at the website even now brings up future gigs by Harry Connick Jr. and The Beach Boys. But they better watch out, as the auditorium is haunted. Staff and visitors have reported seeing the door above the foyer open and close on its own, and some even say they’ve spotted a young girl in a blue dress running around the auditorium. Moans have also been heard from the woman’s bathroom where a woman once gave birth. The story is that the ghost of the woman revisits the bathroom to relive the memory of giving birth.
McRaven is considered to be the most haunted house in Mississippi and is also ranked as the third-most haunted house in the entire United States. You might recognise it from the TV, as it has featured in a variety of different paranormal shows. When you take a deeper look into the history of the property it's easy to see why McRaven is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Mississippi. Several former residents have died inside the house, one of whom was murdered. The mansion also served as a Confederate hospital back in the Civil War. Over the years there have been thousands of reports of paranormal activity from a variety of witnesses. Some of the many apparitions that have been spotted in the house include civil war soldiers, Native Americans and even some of the previous owners.
The Pythian Home of Missouri, also known as Pythian Castle, is said to be one of the most haunted places in the area. The castle was a home for orphans and widows until 1942 when the US military took over and used it as a rehab centre for injured troops. Prisoners of war were also kept on the premises, and the ghost of a German POW is still said to lurk inside one of the cells in the basement. Every castle has a history and it’s said that Pythian’s was very dark. If you are brave enough, explore the twist and turns of Pythian’s tunnels and haunted hallways. The castle has also been featured on television shows such as Haunted Collector and Ghost Lab.
One of the most famous ghost stories from Tennessee has got to be the tale of the Bell Witch. The Bell Witch was said to have murdered John Bell and also tormented his entire family with poltergeist-style activity for several years. At one point, the terror was so intense that President Andrew Jackson refused to stay in the Bell house overnight. This malicious spirit is said to be an extremely wicked woman named Kate Batts. She was malevolent in her life and even more so in death, as evidenced by her murderous ghost. She is said to still haunt the eerie cave next to John Bell’s farm – the cave is thought to be one of the most haunted places in Tennessee. Some of the most commonly reported activities include sightings of strange-looking animals, rattling chains and unexplained knocking.
If you visit Staunton Train Depot by day, all you'll see is a charming and fairly welcoming train station. However, by night things are very different. It’s not surprising that there are ghosts here, considering the fact that there have been several tragic events at the station. In 1864, it was burned down by Union soldiers and several people died. There was also a mental hospital close by which had awful living conditions for patients and some say that the ghosts from there have wandered into the station on occasion. There has been a wide variety of ghosts reported here over the past few years, among them a little girl killed in a train accident, a Confederate soldier, several older mental patients and a number of people believed to have died when the station was destroyed by a train derailment in 1890.