It’s a well-established, totally irrefutable, 100 percent certified, scientifically verified fact (cough…cough…break eye-contact…cross fingers) that paranormal activity goes off the charts around Halloween (then, and New Year of course, as this 1989 documentary Ghostbusters II reveals).
Of course, encountering a ghost isn’t as simple as stepping outdoors at this time of year. Ghosts are a deeply troubled spirits of the deceased. Unhappy with how they died, they remain in part trapped in our world, unable to pass to the afterlife. Yes, if it’s an apparition you want, you’ll have to journey to a place where the former resident or residents aren’t, how shall we say, ready to become one of the dearly departed.
Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado (USA)
There’s a reason why this otherwise idyllic mountaintop retreat became the inspiration for one of the most famous horror novels and movies of all time – The Shining. For starters there’s the dead child in room 418 who likes to tickle guests in their sleep. Then there’s the conscientious, yet deceased, head chambermaid Ms. Wilson, who’s always on hand to help guests tidy their luggage. And the owners have actually lost count of the number of reports of apparitions in the ballroom.
Berry Pomeroy Castle – near Totness, Devon (UK)
The ruins of this once grand 14th-century castle are tucked away from prying eyes deep within a wooded valley. And that’s just the way its ‘round-the-clock residents like it. Two tormented souls known only as the White Lady and the Blue Lady famously roam the roofless corridors and broken stairwells here. They say the White Lady is the spirit of Margaret Pomeroy, who starved to death while imprisoned in the dungeons by her jealous sister. Just who the Blue Lady is, nobody knows. But ask around and you’ll hear whispers that she lures innocents into the ruins, only for them never to be seen again.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium – Louisville, Kentucky (USA)
Just over a hundred years ago, Jefferson County, Kentucky was ravaged by an outbreak of tuberculosis. The fact that locals dubbed it the “White Plague” tells you all you need to know about how bad it was. Disparate to quarantine sufferers from the rest of the town’s population, the authorities set up a makeshift sanatorium on the top of a nearby hill. Today, a deserted hospital that cared for tuberculosis sufferers until the 1940s stands on the same spot. Dozens, hundreds even, succumbed to the virulent disease here. When you think of the horror they witnessed and experienced, it’s no wonder so many of them haunt the vacated wards at night.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
(Image: Brett Levin Photography)