Marquette University

Posted in Wisconsin with tags on May 31, 2010 by Haunted History Blog

A postcard manufactured by K.C. Kropp Co. depicting haunted Marquette University in Wisconsin.

Marquette University is a private, co-educational college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The school was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1881 to provide an affordable Catholic education for the area’s German immigrants.

Initially an all-male institution, Marquette became the first coed Catholic University in the world when it began admitting women in 1909. The college would eventually become known for its school of medicine which boasts reputable programs in nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy.

In addition to its storied past, there are a number of spirits that allegedly roam the 93 acre campus. East Hall is perhaps the most popular place for paranormal activity due to the ghost of “Whispering Willie.”

Campus legend states that a young boy named Willie drowned in the swimming pool at East Hall and has since been seen swimming alongside students as they do laps. In addition, Willie is often blamed for other unexplained events in the building including closing doors, flickering lights, and unrolling toilet paper in vacant stalls.

Cobeen Hall is another reportedly haunted spot on Marquette’s campus. According to the school’s newspaper, the ghost of Cobeen Hall is an art critic that tears down posters off the wall in rooms of residents whom it dislikes.

Johnston Hall, Tower Hall, and Varsity Theatre are some of the other locations on campus that both students and staff consider haunted. Visitors interested in seeing some of Marquette’s ghostly locations can take a self-guided iPod expedition or arrange for a student-led tour of the campus.

Stanley Hotel

Posted in Colorado on May 28, 2010 by Haunted History Blog

A postcard manufactured by Dexter Press Inc. depicting the haunted Stanley Hotel in Colorado.

The Stanley Hotel is a 138-room lodge located in Estes Park, Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. It was constructed in Georgian style architecture by automobile designer Freelan O. Stanley and first opened doors on July 4, 1909.

During its early years, the Stanley Hotel catered to rich and famous guests like Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor of Japan, and John Philip Sousa. More recently the hotel hosted Stephen King who was inspired to write The Shining based upon his experiences while staying on the grounds.

While The Shining can be viewed on channel 42 in guest rooms every evening, the hotel is widely recognized for its other hauntings as well. Visitors have reported 100s of paranormal occurrences on the grounds, most of which transpire in the ballroom.

Kitchen staff often claim to hear a party taking place in the ballroom, only to find it empty and cold. People in the lobby have likewise heard the ballroom’s piano being played but have not been able to locate anybody sitting at the instrument.

Apparitions have also been reported to steal guests’ jewelry, watches, and luggage during their stay. While filming an episode of the television show Ghost Hunters, investigators stayed in a room with the “ghost thief” and noticed a moving bed and opening cupboards, among other occurrences.

Today the Stanley Hotel continues to operate as luxurious lodging for upscale visitors. People traveling through the area are encouraged to take advantage of one of the hotel’s nightly ghost tours which visits all the hot spots including the famed ballroom.

Crater Lake National Park

Posted in Oregon on May 22, 2010 by Haunted History Blog

A postcard manufactured by C.T. Art-Colortone depicting haunted Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Crater Lake is a National Park located in Southern Oregon which was established on May 22, 1902. The park encompasses Crater Lake, a body of water which rests in the remains of a destroyed volcano, and the surrounding forestland and hills.

The lake is 1,949 feet deep at its deepest point, making it the deepest lake in the United States. It also has no streams flowing into or out of it and is refilled entirely by direct rain and snow precipitation.

According to Native American legend, two spirits named Llao and Skell fought a gory battle on the lake. Llao apparently ripped Skell’s heart from his chest while Skelly retaliated by dismembering Llao and throwing his body parts into the lake.

Many people think that Crater Lake still contains the spirit of Llao. It is believed that when Llao is angered, he appears in the form of a giant crayfish and snatches people from the lake’s shore down into the water.

Park Rangers often report seeing burning fires on Wizard Island, a small island in the middle of the lake which served as a staging ground for Llao and Skell’s battle. When the rangers boat out to the center of the lake, however, there is no fire, cinder, or site of activity to be found.

Today Crater Lake serves as Oregon’s only National Park and is open daily to curious visitors from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the summer and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in the winter. In addition to the magnificent atmosphere, the park also boasts a campground, visitor center, café, and restaurant.

Union Station

Posted in Missouri with tags on May 22, 2010 by Haunted History Blog

A postcard manufactured by Genuine Curteich depicting haunted Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, opened on October 30, 1914 as the second largest train station in America. The depot was built by famed architect Jarvis Hunt and served as a hub for both passenger and freight rail traffic throughout the Midwest.

The building is noted for its three large chandeliers, each weighing 3,500 pounds, and the Grand Hall Clock, which has a six foot diameter face. The station encompasses a total of 850,000 square feet and features 95 foot high ceilings.

Union Station made news headlines on June 17, 1933 when four unarmed FBI agents were gunned down by gang members attempting to free a captured fugitive named Frank Nash. The bloody event came to be known as the “Union Station Massacre” and it is believed that both Nash and one of the gang members died in the gun battle as well.

The Massacre has since spawned a number of ghost stories at the depot, several of which include the spirit of Frank Nash. Security guards have reported seeing a headless man on surveillance cameras reminiscent of Nash, whose was riddled with so many bullets during the shootout that his head was severed.

In one instance, a security guard witnessed the headless man sitting on a bench in the station and sent his coworker to investigate. When the coworker entered the room, he reported that it was empty even though the headless spirit could still be seen on camera.

Guards also claimed to have noticed a woman in a black dress walking down the stairs who disappears at the foot of the Grand Staircase. Phantom travelers with suitcases, mysterious train whistles, and unexplained screams have also been documented at the depot.

Today Union Station is home to Science City, an interactive science center with more than 50 hands-on exhibits, as well as a theatre and diner. The depot continues to serve commuter rail traffic with daily Amtrak service to both St. Louis and Chicago.

Alcatraz Island

Posted in California with tags on May 5, 2010 by Haunted History Blog

A postcard manufactured by Edward H. Mitchell depicting haunted Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California.

Alcatraz Island, also referred to as “The Rock,” is a small island located 1.5 miles offshore from San Francisco, California. The island was originally discovered in 1775 by Spanish explorer Juan Manuel de Ayala who named it “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” or “The Island of the Pelicans.”

The island first served as home to the Alcatraz Island Lighthouse which was constructed in 1853. On January 1st, 1934, the United States Department of Justice opened a prison on the island which remained in use for 29 years.

Several famous inmates served time at Alcatraz, including men like Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert Franklin Stroud, also known as “The Birdman of Alcatraz.” The penitentiary claims that none of its prisoners ever successfully escaped, with most being caught, shot, or lost at sea during their attempts.

Many people who visit Alcatraz believe that the energy of those who once served in the prison still remains. Night watchmen have reported the sounds of clanging chains, moving cell doors, and men running through the empty cellblocks.

Cell number 14D is considered the most haunted area of the prison. During the 1940s, an inmate was confined to the dark cell and immediately began screaming that a “creature with glowing eyes” was locked in the cell with him. The next morning, guards inspected the cell and found the convict dead with apparent strangulation marks around his neck

Today the island is a National Park Service historic site open to the public year round. Visitors interested in the site’s paranormal history are encouraged to attend one of San Francisco’s many ghost tours or to visit the prison during its daylight hours.

St. Augustine

Posted in Florida with tags on May 1, 2010 by Haunted History Blog

A postcard manufactured by Curt Teich & Co. depicting haunted Charlotte Street in St. Augustine, Florida.

St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest European settlement in the United States.  The city was first established by Juan Menendez de Aviles in 1513 and served as a center of Spanish power for over 200 years.

The original settlers of St. Augustine encountered several hardships, including famine, wars and the occasional hurricane.  After the British raided the city in 1763, Spanish fortunes further declined and the city was eventually sold to the Americans.

As one of the most historic areas in the country, St. Augustine has developed a colorful tradition of ghosts. Old buildings like the Casablanca Inn and St. Francis Inn on Charlotte Street have made the city a favorite destination of paranormal enthusiasts.

At the Casablanca Inn, a ghostly lady is often seen waving a lantern back and forth to notify smugglers at sea that Federal Agents were in town.  The St. Francis Inn is home to an African slave spirit named Lily, who is often seen by visitors roaming the hallways dressed in all-white.

Today St. Augustine is preserved in its original 16th century setting as a Spanish colonial town.  Several historic sites and ghost tours are open year-round for curious visitors interested in its strange history.

Niagara Falls

Posted in New York with tags on April 24, 2010 by Haunted History Blog

A postcard manufactured by Colourpicture Publications depicting the haunted Niagara Falls in New York State.

The Niagara Falls are a voluminous waterfall located on the Niagara River between New York State and Canada. Listed as one of the World’s seven natural wonders, the Falls were formed when receding glaciers carved a gorge through Niagara during the Ice Age.

The Falls are renowned for both their beauty and as a source of hydroelectric power. More than four million cubic feet of water flows from the Falls every minute making it the most powerful waterfall in America.

In October 1829, Sam Patch became the first documented person to plunge over the Falls and survive. His leap began a long tradition of daredevils attempting dangerous tricks over Niagara, but not all survived the descent.

The spirits of several people who perished at Niagara continue to haunt the landmark to this day. Visitors report strange apparitions at the base of the Falls and fisherman recently discovered the bones of a young Indian warrior sacrificed over the gorge.

Several ghost tours and haunted houses have capitalized on these legends and are currently open to tourists year round. An estimated 20 million tourists visit the Falls each year making it one of the World’s most popular destinations.