Back in your school days it was easy to think that everywhere and anywhere was haunted. Even as a grown-up it is easy for pretty much anyone to come up with their very own ghost story about any place they choose. The end result is some brilliant, sometimes creepy, tales of haunted buildings and ghosts. Here are 5 of the strangest haunted places in the USA
1 – The Devil’s Tower (Alpine, New Jersey)
It is not unusual for old towers to look scary and have ghost stories attached to them especially towers named “The Devil Tower” like the one built in Alpine, New Jersey.
Just like nearly every haunted place The Devil’s Tower has many tales about how it came to be but here we will look at just one and probably the most famous. According to local legend back in the early 1900’s a wealthy man built the tower so that his wife could see the skyline of New York without actually having to go to New York. Just before the tower was completed the wife ventured to the top of the tower only to find her husband in a romantic embrace with another woman. Totally distraught by what she had seen the wife threw herself from the top of the tower to her death.
Totally distraught by the death of his wife (the same wife he loved so much he was cheating on her) the wealthy man stopped all construction on the tower and sealed off the underground passage that led to the tower in the fear his wife’s ghost would return to haunt him.
Nowadays it is claimed that if you drive around the tower 8 times in reverse the ghost of the wife will possess the car and crash it into a tree killing all on board.
This ghost legend leads most people to ask two questions. First, what does the dead wife have against people that drive around the tower in reverse? Second, why would anyone ever want to do this in first place especially if the end result was death?
2 – Starvation Heights (Oalla, Washington)
Once upon a time, mainly in the late 1800’s, you could claim to be whatever you wanted to be. You could wake up one morning and decide to tell everyone that you were a writer and everyone would happily believe you without ever asking for proof.
One such example of this was the case of Linda Burfield Hazzard who one day decided to proudly claim that she was a doctor. You would imagine that anyone visiting a doctor would require some sort of proof in the form of a medical degree but apparently this was not the case back in the 1800’s. This meant that she was able to rent her cottage to people who were seeking her unique “starvation cure.” The starvation cure was nothing special and had her patients surviving on nothing but soup for forty days while also participating in small laborious tasks such as walking set distances every day. This may seem like an easy way to lose weight but as the days ticked by and starvation set in the set distances that patients were required to walk increased which led to several patients dying.
It was hardly surprising that many of the patients who died left their entire estates to the pretend doctor so it was not long before her embezzling scheme was uncovered and people finally began to question her doctor credentials.
It is hard to decide whether the actions of Hazzard were actually murder but the end result was her cottage becoming haunted. Over the years there has being hundreds of paranormal events recorded in her cottage. Poltergeist activity is said to happen in the bathroom where autopsies were performed. Many paranormal investigators have said they heard voices coming from the attic begging to be dug up.
Anyone hoping to visit Hazzard’s cottage will be disappointed to know that it been torn down mainly because no one was willing to live there due to the many horrific stories surrounding the building.
3 – Winchester Mansion (San Jose, California)
The Winchester Mansion is probably better known by its tourist attraction name The Winchester Mystery House. Construction of the mansion began in 1884 under the direction of Sarah Winchester who was the widow of William Wirt Winchester, the man famous for the Winchester rifle.
According to legend the mansion is said to be haunted by the ghost of everyone who was killed by a Winchester firearm and was allegedly built under bizarre circumstances. Apparently Sarah Winchester fell into a coma after the death of her child and her husband. When she came out of the coma she sought the help of a medium who instructed her to build the mansion so she could forever be surrounded by the spirits of those killed by Winchester weapons. If this is not strange enough the medium also instructed her that the mansion must be built constantly and if construction was ever to be halted then she would die.
Building work on the mansion went on 24 hours a day from 1884 right through to Sarah’s death in 1922. When it was finally time for construction to stop the building was 7 stories high, consisted of 160 rooms and had 17 fireplaces. It was said that the mansion had many features specially built so that to confuse spirits. These features included doors leading to nowhere and windows looking into other rooms.
4 – Toys ‘R Us (Sunnydale, California)
Out of all the tales of haunting on our list the haunting of a Toys ‘R Us in Sunnydale, California is the best known and therefore the most widely accepted. Even the many employees who have worked at the store over the years unanimously agree that the place is haunted.
The haunting of this Toys ‘R Us store originated many years before the building was built and the area was nothing but farmlands. According to legend a farm hand fell in love with an orchard owner’s daughter only she did not feel the same way in return.
Broken hearted, the farm hand decided that the best way to ease his pain was to start chopping wood with an axe. This decision ended in disaster when he managed to hit his own foot with the axe and quickly bled to death. It is this farm hands ghost who is said to be responsible for the haunting at the Toys R’ Us store. It would be easy to assume that the ghost wanders around the store trying to murder people with a bloody axe but according to those who have had an encounter the ghost prefers to simply play with the toys and play pranks on employees.
A common occurrence in the store is a ball bouncing down an aisle or toys being out of place on the shelves when employees turn up for work in the morning. There have also been many reports that when you enter the bathroom alone someone turns the faucets on. This quite obviously implies that this ghost is either a pervert or has a compulsive hygiene disorder.
5 – Devil’s School (Jacksonville, Florida)
There are plenty of school in America that are said to be haunted but Devil’s School in Jacksonville, Florida is unique because the legend that surrounds the school is so ghastly.
The school was originally named Public School Number 4 but gained its name of the Devil School from the following stories.
Firstly back in the 1960’s a furnace in the school exploded killing several students and faculty members. The ghosts of those killed in the explosion are now said to roam the halls of the school. While this may be easy to dismiss as nothing more than a made up story thee school was shut down due to the fact no teachers would work at the school due to the many unexplained occurrences.
Secondly there are many rumours that the old principal of the school was a secret cannibal. According to legend there were many students who fell asleep in class and were sent to his office and never seen again. It is said that the closet in his office had been converted into a meat locker room where he would skin his victims then hang them on meat hooks until he could find some free time for a lunch break. A lunch break when he would sit and enjoy the taste of human flesh.
Third and probably the least imaginative story surrounding the devil school is the story of a janitor who went completely crazy and started murdering students in the hallways. What makes this last tale unbelievable is that there is no record of students being slaughtered in the national news.
The last story surrounding the school claim that the school was shut down due to budget cuts. While shut down Satanists moved into the school and went about painting the place with strange graffiti. It is said that investigators who have visited the school reported Satanic graffiti on the walls and a strange tree growing randomly in the very centre of the building.