Oct 06, 2016 03:38PM
● By Ashley Pape
INVESTIGATE FIVE OF THE COUNTRY’S SPOOKIEST SITES
History repeats itself—most often when ghosts just can’t move on. The following destinations treat visitors to a uniquely haunted experience, but that’s not all they offer guests. Our intent is not to scare you away from these hauntings, but send you on a spirited adventure throughout the United States.
Moon River Brewing Company
Not only is Savannah one of the oldest cities in Georgia, it’s also one of the original 13 colonies. Historical sites abound, each one chronicling the people, places and events of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. It’s easy to point out the haunted historical locations of last stands and “surrenders gone bad” in the city, but much more enticing is an old-fashioned ghost story involving a haunted brewery.
Moon River Brewing Company is housed in one of Savannah’s oldest buildings. From hotel and post office to bank and bar, the building has seen its share of visitors since it first opened in 1821. Many a mishap, argument and gunfight has unfolded on the grounds in the past 200 years.
And as the stories go, these malicious events have led to ghosts making their presence known in the most obnoxious of ways—such as “pushing” around the visitors. But don’t let this deter you from visiting. While you are there checking out the spirits, enjoy one of Moon River’s award-winning brews.
The Driskill Hotel
The Driskill Hotel in Austin is a Lone Star landmark. Cattle baron Colonel Jesse Driskill built his eponymous hotel in 1886, and today, the building is designated as the oldest operating hotel in Texas. Playing host to inaugural balls for many Texas governors and lavish events for international dignitaries over the years, the hotel has accommodated grand parties—and party guests.
Spend a night at the Driskill Hotel and you just might hear the sound of big band music revelers of years past in the lobby. Hotel guests have reported seeing partygoers dressed in elaborate ball gowns and tuxedos. This may not seem too spooky—until they learn there are no social events taking place on the property that night.
But the ghosts are friendly, and the only haunting to be had by the spirits is a little light flickering and making their appearance known on occasion throughout the hotel. Who knows? They might even suggest you try a fresh house-made pastry from the hotel’s 1886 Cafe and Bakery.
Old Town Pizza
In 1974, the Accuardi family opened Old Town Pizza in Portland, Oregon. It quickly became a legendary landmark. And thanks to a “working woman” named Nina who lived more than 100 years ago, it is also a haunted landmark.
As the legend goes, Nina met her demise after being pushed down an elevator shaft in Portland’s Merchant Hotel. Although it was decades later that the defunct hotel would become a pizzeria, Nina seems to have stuck around since her murder to roam the restaurant. Present-day patrons of Old Town Pizza catch a glimpse of Nina’s ghost now and then or catch the scent of her perfume as she passes by.
Stop in and grab a slice and a beer—Old Town Pizza is also a brewpub now—but don’t be surprised if an unexpected guest joins you for happy hour. We hear she smells divine.
While it may have been the Brits who commissioned Fort Mifflin— as it is now named—it became an American fortification in 1777. Over the next 240 years, Fort Mifflin would experience the Civil War and both World Wars, giving the resident ghosts plenty of time to perfect their hauntings.
While a variety of educational and history buff-worthy guided tours are offered at Fort Mifflin, only the paranormal tour will engage your spirit senses. A popular haunted spot on the guided tour is the location of the screaming woman.
In the early 1860s, a woman named Elizabeth Bunker lived with her husband Warrant Officer Gunner Benjamin Bunker in the officer’s quarters. She suffered from gastritis, and the pain was so intense she would scream. Back then, her wailing and shrieking could be heard throughout the fort. And, as any good ghost story goes, her screams can still be heard centuries later.
The LaLaurie Mansion
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Crescent City may be known for voodoo and vampires, but there are plenty of ghosts who call New Orleans’ French Quarter home. It seems a haunted mansion sits on every corner. But one ghastly tale stands out above the rest, according to Haunted History Tours, a company that prides itself on being the experts when it comes to the history—and haunting—of New Orleans.
As the story goes, the well-to-do LaLaurie family lived in a mansion on Royal Street in the Quarter during the early 1800s. During one of the family’s lavish parties, a fire broke out and quickly spread. While the fire was being put out, the firemen and party guests heard screaming coming from the basement of the home. When they made their way to the lower level and opened the door, to their horrid surprise, they discovered servants and slaves shackled to the walls who had apparently been used in various science experiments. We will leave the gruesome details to the tour guide.
Of course, the mansion has been haunted since the disaster, and over the years tales of unexplained phenomenon have riddled the history of 1140 Royal Street—the LaLaurie Mansion