October is the perfect time of year to go visit your local haunted house. And I don’t mean the thrill ride type, I mean the real ones. Now, I’ll be honest and admit that I’m a big scaredy cat. I can’t even watch scary movies any more. They give my already fertile imagination too much to process. So my preference is nice ghosts please. Is that too much to ask?
I have been to several haunted places and even taken some ghost tours. Just about any old building or historical site has stories. Here are a few of the places I’ve visited (Caveat – my visits are usually NOT to see the ghosts. Ha!):
The Driskill Hotel (Austin, TX)
The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, was built in 1886 by a cattle baron. It’s a gorgeous old hotel and I’ve been there several times for brunches, teas, bridal showers, and so on. There is a portrait of a little girl holding some flowers on the third floor that causes people to feel odd. There are the usual reports of hearing people when no one is there, and feeling something touch your face. There are also reports of ghosts seen sitting in chairs or at windows.
The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, CO)
First opened in 1909, this gorgeous Victorian hotel is possibly best known for having inspired the location for Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. The hotel has been featured as one of America’s most haunted hotels with numerous stories from visitors and staff. They even have a haunted page on their website. I just go there for the beautiful surroundings and a nice fancy lunch.
The Missouri House (Austin, TX)
Currently the home of Buffalo Billiards – one of my favorite places to chill in Austin – the Missouri House was built in 1861. It is reputedly the first boarding house in Austin, and rumored to have been a brothel. I just know that one of the bar tenders talks about ghosts upstairs, particularly in what is now the storage area. Creepy!
The Alamo (San Antonio, TX)
The Alamo is the famous mission that was the location for a major battle in the Texas’s war for independence from Mexico. The famous “Remember the Alamo” cry was a result of this battle in 1836 in which almost all men fighting for Texas perished, including famous names such as Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie. Many say that the spirits of Bowie and Crockett, and of the other brave defenders of this Mission turned Fortress remain to this day, still watchful and resolute, still prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. The Alamo was a school field trip for me. I have been back to visit since, of course.
Old Sacramento (Sacramento, CA)
Originally a gold rush town, it had its beginnings in 1848 when a merchant started a store on the American River to service all the gold diggers. After several devastating floods, they raised the street level above flood-lines in 1862, literally dumping dirt into the original buildings. You can still see the old town in spots under the boardwalks. It is rumored that the underground area of Old Sacramento is so haunted that the transients don’t like sleeping down there. We love to go there for the shops and the restaurants.
Lafayette Park Hotel (Lafayette, CA)
I stayed at this beautiful hotel when visiting my grandmother, who lived in Lafayette for a time. I did not experience anything. But apparently, guests have complained about a little girl calling for her mommy and jumping on the beds. They also have reports of pictures falling off the walls, vending machines dispense soda on their own, cold spots, and slamming doors.
I’m sure I’ve visited many more haunted places. For example, I didn’t realize that the Lafayette Park Hotel was haunted when I stayed there. I found out today while researching haunted places in San Francisco. 🙂 My parents both have a love of history, and so we’ve visited many Civil War battlefields, historical houses and buildings, old towns, and other interesting places. I’d bet money some (if not most) of those are rumored to be haunted!
What places have you visited that are thought to be haunted? Did you see anything? Hear it? I haven’t yet. And I’m kinda glad about that!