Eastern America’s Most Haunted
“…But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced…”– Honest Abe
The East is where, as a nation, we took our first tentative steps and where also, as a nation, we had to deal with a millennium or two of growing pains. In those fledgling 13 Colonies, the U.S. was born, but its delivery was everything but smooth. It was bloody, full of guts, with screaming shouts bouncing off the walls, and for a period – too many of its then peers – a bit of a stillbirth. Those brave 13 Colonies went Medieval on the Brits. And afterward, they went Medieval on the U.K., again, and then on the French, and then on each other. For over 200 years, what would eventually become the birthplace of freedom and equality, suffered under the weight of its ambitions and less-than-stellar leadership. We were learning. We were adapting. We were building a nation — and as the saying goes, “you need to crack some eggs to make an omelet.”
The East is and still is a graveyard. Stumble down any avenue in Boston, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C., North Carolina, or any of those hotspots, and you’ll find a sad story. A cobblestone existence christened in guts and sinew. Each stone, each brick, and each tree has seen tragedy and mayhem. This is the place the pilgrims landed on, escaping religious persecution — and then, a couple of years reenacted what they were running away from. Can you say the Salem Witch Trials? The place where a rowdy bunch of Rebels did their rendition of Star Wars against the British Empire. The place where brothers fought brothers and families died at the end of sharp bayonets. Why is the East of the United States so haunted? Because sometimes, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is its natural manure.” These are Eastern America’s Most Haunted Places.
Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, West Virginia
This hellish mental hospital was haunted long before it was forcibly closed in 1994. Originally built to house 250 patients, the Weston State Hospital (now called the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum) had grown to 2,400 by the 1950s. It became a jail for society’s “untouchables,” taking in alcoholics, independent women, and homosexuals.
At the peak of its overcrowding, violence was rampant, conditions were horrendous, and doctors performed excruciating procedures that left patients permanently disabled or dead (don’t google “icepick lobotomy” unless you want nightmares). With over 2,000 souls buried in the hospital cemetery, is there any question as to why ghost sightings began long before the facility closed?
Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, District of Columbia
The Omni Shoreham Hotel was built in 1930. Henry L. Doherty, one of the hotel’s financial partners, his entire family, and their maid Juliette Brown lived in an eight-floor apartment in the hotel in what is now Room 870. One night, at 4:00 a.m., Juliette felt ill and called the front desk for help. She died before anyone could help her. Later, Doherty’s wife and daughter died mysteriously too. After these unfortunate events, Mr. Doherty left the hotel. The apartment remained empty for over 50 years. The Doherty’s apartment was renovated into a hotel suite. Nonetheless, since its opening, staff and guests have reported strange paranormal activities inside Room 870. Today, this room is known as the “The Ghost Suite.”
Guests who have stayed in the room have reported hearing indistinct voices and seeing the T.V. and lights turned off and on by themselves exactly at 4:00 a.m., the same time Juliette passed away. Some guests also claim that furniture would be re-arranged when they come back to the room. Other paranormal activities include maid carts moving on their own, a cold breeze rushing through the room with windows closed, or a disturbing feeling of constantly being watched. An odd complaint was of a loud piano playing in the room. However, the room was empty, and there was no piano on the 8th floor. The hotel renovated the suite once more, and during renovations, all the dresser drawers were opened by unseen hands. Moments later, they shut again. Guests also claim to see a little girl running around the halls and an older woman wearing a long, old-fashioned dress catching the elevator.
The Amityville Horror House, Amityville, New York
Horror lovers are likely familiar with 112 Ocean Avenue. That’s the address where Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed his parents and siblings in their sleep in November 1974. Three years later, George and Kathy Lutz gained national attention for the “horrors” they experienced after buying the home in 1975: odd odors, green slime oozing from the walls, levitation, devilish creatures, cold spots, flying objects, and more.
The ghostly activity became the subject of a novel and several movies, though the validity of their story has been questioned over the years. Some people believe the house was haunted prior to the murders, and DeFeo was led to madness by an evil presence that still lingers there today. Others believe the tortured spirits of his victims haunt the house. Either way, the house has made Amityville famous, drawing visitors from all over the country. At one point in the late 1970s, the “Ocean Avenue” sign was removed in an attempt to keep people away from New York’s most haunted home.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
When Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829, it was hailed as a shining example of modern prison reform. It’s now remembered as a torture chamber. Inmates were kept in solitary confinement 24 hours a day and fed through a slot in the door, with only a Bible and manual labor to occupy their time. It was enough to drive anyone crazy, and those who did go insane were punished for it — very harshly.
At least three cellblocks are known for paranormal activity. There are shadows, voices, phantom footsteps, apparitions, and aggressive energies that seem to overtake you completely. For some, even death is a prison.
The White House, Washington, D.C.
It should be no surprise that the 229-year-old mansion, The White House, which housed every president since John Adams, is haunted. Members of the Lincoln Family are the most frequently-sighted ghosts — spotted by everyone from Grace Coolidge to Winston Churchill. Perhaps it’s because a grieving Mary Todd held seances in the Red Room in an attempt to contact their son Willie, who died in the house. It seems she was successful. Members of the Grant administration reported seeing Willie’s ghost lingering on the grounds.
President Lincoln himself hangs around the Lincoln Bedroom, the Yellow Oval Room, and the Oval Office. It’s said that his ghost appeared during times of great turmoil, which could explain why there were several sightings during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. If Honest Abe isn’t seen, he’s heard — pacing back and forth — still plagued by the State of the Union 150 years later.
The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
Perched on the outskirts of Colonial Williamsburg, this 329-year-old college earned the nickname “Alma Mater of a Nation” for its strong ties to America’s founding fathers and major wars.
Any place entangled with the birth of America is bound to host a few spirits. Sure enough, wounded soldiers kidnapped Native Americans. A stressed-out former student is said to appear on campus late at night, giving the living students plenty of creepy stories to tell at parties.
Students and staff agree the Wren Building earns the “most haunted” title, as it was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. There’s also a crypt below the classrooms where former Virginia Attorney General John Randolph is buried. His spirit may be hiding out in Wren to avoid the vengeful spirits that are said to haunt his former home, the Peyton-Randolph House. With that much death surrounding it, it’s no wonder there are reports of phantom footsteps in the halls.
Pawleys Island, South Carolina
If you see a man wearing all gray clothing on the beach at Pawleys Island, it’s time to go home.
Locals call him “the gray man,” and any time he’s spotted, it means a violent hurricane is about to blow through the area. His origins are unknown, but one theory is that he traveled to Charleston to see his lover when he was killed trying to outrun a storm. Since then, he’s dedicated his eternal afterlife to protecting others from suffering the same fate.
The ghostly figure has been predicting storms since 1822. There’s even a photograph of him standing on a bridge during Hurricane Florence in 2018.
Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg marked the deadliest battle of America’s deadliest war, claiming 7,000 lives and wounding another 33,000 soldiers between July 1 and July 3, 1863. The violent confrontation turned the quiet fields of Pennsylvania into a veritable hell on earth.
In the aftermath, the dead outnumbered citizens 12:1, and thousands of injured men were left to suffer in the sickly July heat. Over 150 years later, tortured soldiers are still battling there. You can hear the sounds of cannon fire, men cheering, and rushed whispers. You may even feel hands on you, pushing you toward the fray. America’s most violent and deadly battle has turned into America’s most haunted battlefield.
The Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina
George Vanderbilt’s 175,000-square-foot summer home is one of North Carolina’s most popular tourist sites, drawing over a million people to Asheville each year. With its 70-foot-high banquet hall, 65 fireplaces, and grand indoor “winter garden,” there’s no question as to why people wish to stay there — including ghosts.
Guests have claimed to see the spirits of George, his wife Edith, and even a headless orange cat idling around the estate. At night, they hear the sounds of party-goers laughing and clinking glasses, only to find there’s no one around. If that isn’t enough, one of the smaller properties nearby is said to be haunted by the vengeful ghost of a murdered prostitute, along with several other people who were hanged there before it became a forestry school.
Woodburn Mansion: The Governor’s House, Dover, Delaware
The Governor’s House, formerly known as Woodburn Mansion, was built by Charles Hilliard. At his death, the house was owned by his daughter and husband, Dr. Martin Bates. In this 1790 Georgian-style house, wealthy citizens lived until the State bought it in 1965 to become the Governor’s Home.
The Woodburn apparitions began around 1815, and the mansion has been the dwelling of benevolent and wine-likable ghosts. One night, Dr. Bates and his wife had Mr. Lorenzo Dow, a Methodist preacher, as an overnight guest. The next morning, as Lorenzo was descending the stairs, a guest dressed in a colonial garb passed by him, shuffling up the steps. Sitting down at the breakfast table, he suggested waiting for this guest. The Bates were puzzled because Mr. Dow was the only guest in the house. The Preacher described the man he stumbled upon in detail, and it was revealed that the man was Mrs. Bates’s long-departed father, Mr. Charles Hylliard III. Mr. Hillyard’s ghost is known as the “wine ghost” for his peculiar love for good wine. According to Dover history, if a glass of wine is left downstairs all night, the glass will be empty by the next morning —- indicating that Hilliard has been on the premises again. When living in the mansion, even former governor Charles Terry Jr. reported seeing Mr. Hylliard’s specter helping himself to a decanter of wine in the dining room. A previous owner of Woodburn also reported filling a wine decanter every night, only to find it empty the next day. A second ghost has been seen floating and gliding around the house dressed in a Revolutionary War costume. Even footsteps going up the stairs have been heard by the previous owner at dawn when no one else could be accounted for. A third ghost, not a friendly one, is thought to be one of a Southern slave raider during the pre-Civil War who hid one night in the huge Poplar tree in front of the mansion. He unfortunately slipped, his head got caught in a hole in the tree, and he later died from hanging. People have seen his specter hanging in the tree. The fourth seen apparition is a little girl wearing a red-checked gingham dress wandering around the gardens.
Beall-Dawson House, Rockville, Maryland
The Beall-Dawson House was built in 1815 by Upton Beall, a wealthy man who worked as a Clerk of the Court for Montgomery County. This house was considered the biggest and most inspiring house in all of Rockville during the 1800s. The brick estate was constructed to provide a home for Upton, his wife, and his three daughters. It was primarily built to presume Beall’s wealthy status. After Beall and his wife died, their daughters continued living in the house until each perished. Later on, the house was bought by the Dawson family and years later by the Davis family, who helped restore the house around the 1940s. Then in the 1960s, Davis sold the house to the City of Rockville and transformed it into the Montgomery County Historical Society’s headquarters. The city has managed to maintain its original architecture, and today the house serves as a museum of the 19th Century Rockville.
However, the museum holds more than antiques and 19th-century memorabilia. Visitors have claimed to have seen an African-American specter lurking in the area. The ghost is known as the “ghost bricklayer” at the Beall-Dawson House. The apparition is seen laying down bricks in the archway of the kitchen entrance. Some witnesses have even tried to speak to him, but the full-body ghost stands still. Then, he turns around, glances at people, and vanishes into thin air. Some museum staff believes he is the ghost of a slave from the 1800s who worked at the property laying the original bricks to the house or Nathan Briggs, a worker during the renovations who later committed suicide. Also, members of the Montgomery County Historical Society have stated hearing strange footsteps throughout the house and disembodied voices calling the name “Priscilla,” the second daughter of John Dawson, who died in the house in 1922.
S.K. Pierce Mansion, Gardner, Massachusetts
Sylvester Pierce was the owner of the S.K. Pierce and Sons Furniture Company. The company’s success led Pierce to build a mansion that fitted his public status. Pierce, his wife Susan, and their son finally moved into the house, but everything went downhill when Mrs. Pierce died of a rare bacterial illness. A year later, Pierce married Ellen and had two children. He later passed away in 1888. Years later, Ellen died, and the three sons began to dispute the mansion and the furniture business. Unfortunately, the Great Depression took its toll on the business while S.K.’s.. youngest son, Edward, took over the mansion. To make ends meet, Edward and his wife turned the house into a boarding home where tales of drinking, prostitution, and murder became the standard.
A prostitute was strangled in the red bedroom on the second floor. An immigrant named Eino Saari was believed to have self-combusted to death in the master bedroom in 1963, and a young boy drowned in the basement. Since then, strange paranormal activities have taken place in the house. As a result, the house has passed through different owners over the years. Today the house is a tourist attraction with daily guided tours. Disembodied footsteps on the stairs and halls, slamming doors, and objects moving on their own are some of the experiences that different guests have encountered. Entities such as a shadow figure in the basement and a dark-haired woman with an eerie smile have been seen lurking in the house. Guests have also experienced moving furniture, screens flying off windows, sudden temperature drops, and foul odors. One visitor even felt as if unseen hands were pushing her down the stairs, while another guest was almost shoved out of a third-floor window by an undetected presence. People believed that these manifestations might be of Pierce’s family, the red room strangler, the prostitute, the young boy, Eino Saari, and other dark entities from the boarding era of the house. Paranormal experts claimed that the spirits in this mansion could channel electrical energy into the ability to move objects and force their will physically on their surroundings and living victims.
Union Cemetery, Easton, Connecticut
This 400-year-old haunted graveyard is considered to be the creepiest and most haunted cemetery in the United States. This cemetery is haunted by the “White Lady” and “Red Eyes.” The White Lady has been haunting moving cars on Route 59 – the cemetery’s eastern boundary – for 70 years. Those who have seen her describe her as a woman dressed in a long white gown with a white bonnet hiding her face and long black hair. Besides appearing on the Route, she has also been spotted floating throughout the cemetery or sitting on top of headstones. Even though nobody knows for sure who the White Lady is, some say she died in childbirth and is looking for her baby, others say she murdered her husband, and others say she was murdered and dumped in the graveyard.
The other cemetery’s ghost is known as “Red Eyes,” as it loves to stare at people from the bushes. Visitors have reported feeling as if someone is watching them from a distance. Suddenly, they feel as if someone is breathing down their neck. As they turn around, they are faced with bright Red Eyes staring down at them. As they begin to run, they feel footsteps, but no one is around. Red Eyes is believed to be the ghost of Earle Kellog, a man who was set on fire and perished from the flames right across the cemetery in 1935. Even if it is considered trespassing, people who have dared to stay at night at the cemetery have seen inexplicable white fog, cold spots, and floating shining orbs. The place has drawn the attention of the notorious paranormal investigators’ Ed and Lorraine Warren, who have captured images and videos of the “White Lady” on several occasions. They have also photographed eerie images and audio recordings of a woman screaming throughout the cemetery.
Omni Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
The Omni Mount Washington Hotel was built in 1902 by wealthy coal mining and railway entrepreneur Joseph Stickney. Initially, the hotel only opened during the summer, becoming a true paradise for guests such as Thomas Edison, the Vanderbilt, and three U.S. Presidents, among other celebrities. For Joseph and his wife Carolyn, the hotel was their home. They were quite fond of it. However, shortly after the hotel began operations, Stickney died from a sudden heart attack in 1903.
Soon, Carolyn remarried French Prince Lucinge and moved to France until he died. Carolyn – now a Princess – moved back to her beloved hotel, where she spent her remaining days. She died in 1936. After her death, strange paranormal phenomena and ghost sightings have been reported around the hotel. They are believed to belong to “Princess Carolyn,” who has made the hotel her eternal home. Staff and guests have seen Carolyn’s ghost leaning over the balcony of the hotel, where she enjoyed standing, overlooking the guests. Employees have also reported seeing her floating throughout the hotel hallways and descending the stairs toward the dining room. Lights have also been seen flickering inexplicably in the Tower guestrooms. Carolyn also loves appearing in the background of guests’ photos. Nonetheless, the spookiest phenomenon occurs in her old suite, now guest room 314, or as it is known today, the Princess Room. This room still holds her actual bed, so guests have awakened in the middle of the night to find Carolyn sitting on the bed brushing her hair. They also sensed her perfume around the room and found the tub filled with water when no one was around. Paranormal investigators, who have been in this room, claimed that Carolyn was caught in their EVPs and had a conversation with them.
Wood Island Lighthouse, Biddeford, Maine
The lighthouse was built in 1808 and has housed more than 200 keepers. One of its keepers was Thomas Henry Orcutt, who lived through the horrendous crime that took place in the lighthouse. Howard Hobbs was a 24-year-old fisherman around Biddeford who loved to end his days drinking. On June 2, he went on a bender with his buddies. Nearly at dusk, he finally decided to return to his shack when he ran into his landlord, Frederick Milliken. He was also a game warden and a deputy assistant on the island. Milliken confronted Hobbs because the rent was overdue. At that moment, he noticed that Hobbs was drunk and was carrying a rifle. Concerned that Hobbs was waving a rifle around, he asked if it was loaded. “It is not loaded,” Hobbs answered. However, when Milliken tried to check if it was loaded, he was shot point-blank in his chest by Hobbs.
Troubled by what he had done, Hobbs ran to the lighthouse to look for Orcutt and turn himself in. Both hurried back to help Milliken to find his wife crying over his lifeless body. Overcome with shame and guilt, Hobbs went to his shack, placed the rifle in his mouth, and shot himself. This horrendous crime marked the beginning of several ghost sightings and paranormal activities around the lighthouse. Habitants have seen the apparitions of Hobbs and Milliken surrounded by a strange white mist. Also, strange footsteps and voices have been heard when no one is around. Some have even reported seeing strange dark figures disappearing into thin air while walking at night. People who have visited the lighthouse at night have heard loud shouting from inside, supposedly by spirits of former keepers who still safeguard the place. Also, during the several restorations to the lighthouse and keepers’ house, workers have witnessed how objects are constantly moved out of place without explanation.
The Farm on Round Top Road, Harrisville, Rhode Island
The Farm on Round Top Road is the actual location where the story that inspired the movie “The Conjuring” took place. This Colonial house dates to 1736 and is known for its mysterious history of paranormal activities. Spirits have inhabited the home for some time, and its current owners report that they still do. “The Conjuring” depicts the detail of the Perron family, who lived in the estate during the 1970s. As of today, this house is likely the most haunted in the United States. Immediately after Carolyn, Roger Perron, and their five daughters moved into the house, strange occurrences began. Carolyn reported seeing how the broom would move from place to place around the house. Then, she would find a small pile of dirt in the middle of the kitchen minutes after she had cleaned it. Also, the girls would witness spirits lurking in the house, especially in the basement. However, things started to escalate from harmless experiences to threatening ones. A strong rotting smell began to invade the house, and the beds would tremble inexplicably every morning at 5:30 a.m. Also, no one wanted to set foot in the basement as a strong cold, eerie presence was felt in the area.
Other events, such as objects launched across rooms and smashed into walls, doors slammed, and glass shattered, became a daily thing. But the most frightening experience was when Carolyn Perron felt a piercing pain in her leg while sitting in the living room. Looking down, she noticed blood coming out of a small wound that wasn’t there before. This represented the push they needed to call paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren to investigate what was happening. The investigation revealed that a woman named Bathsheba Sherman lived on the property in the 1800s. Some say she practiced witchcraft and was involved in satanic rituals killing infants by piercing their brains with a large sewing needle, just like the one used in Carolyn’s leg. During a séance, this spirit possessed Carolyn. She started to speak in strange tongues with an unrecognizable voice. Her chair levitated, and she was thrown across the room. After the Warrens exorcized her, everything returned to normal. The family stayed until 1980, when they could afford a new home. Even though the Perrons weren’t bothered again by Bathsheba, the actual owner’s Cory and Jennifer Heinzen, believe she still prowls the house.
Battery Carriage House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina
The Battery Carriage House Bed and Breakfast Inn is one of the city’s historic hotels. While the main mansion is a private residence, eleven guest rooms are located in the mansion’s Carriage House and the raised basement of the main house. This part of the house is known as the Battery Carriage House Bed and Breakfast Inn. The mansion was originally owned by a merchant who worked with cotton. During the Civil War in 1860, the mansion was abandoned due to its close location to the city’s defense lines. In 1870, the mansion was bought by Col. Richard Lathers, a South Carolina millionaire. He renovated the house to use it as a social and political meeting place to unite the northern and southern leaders amicably. His efforts were in vain, so he sold the mansion in 1874 to Mr. Hastie’s great-great-grandfather, Andrew Simonds. Since then, several generations of Mr. Hastie have lived in the house and are non-related habitants.
The house fell into disrepair for years. Fortunately, Drayton and Kat Hastie rescued the house and restored it into an elegant inn. As of today, the Hasties owned the property with some unusual guests. Room 8 is the spot with the most frightening apparition. Guests have described seeing a headless torso floating in the middle of the room. It awakens guests by making disembody noises. The specter is believed to belong to a soldier from the Civil War who suffered severe injuries. Then in Room 10, there is a cuddle-loving gentleman apparition. He loves to lie down in bed with guests, especially women. As guests discover him, he disappears through a built-in cabinet. Some say the ghost belongs to a college student who committed suicide by jumping off the roof. Another room with a ghostly presence is Room 3, where a cell phone’s loud and odd sound awakens guests. However, guests have testified that they turned off their phones before bed. They have also seen glowing orbs floating around the room. Also, the dripping sound of water wakes guests, but when they get up to turn the faucet off, there is no real water anywhere.
The Emlen Physic Estate, Cape May, New Jersey
The Emlen Physic Estate dates back to 1879 when Dr. Emlen Physick Jr. built it as his residence along with his widowed mother, Frances Ralston, and his maiden aunts Emilie and Isabella Parmentier. Although he came from a long line of famous physicians, he didn’t continue his medical career. After he inherited his father’s wealth, Emlen Jr retired to a quiet farming life until his death on March 21, 1916, a year after his mother’s death. Consequently, the Estate was willed to Aunt Emilie in 1935. Later, when Emilie died, the Estate was transferred to neighbor Frances Brook, who took care of her in her last years. Since then, the house has been owned by several owners who didn’t stay long. No one has been able to live there because of its hauntings. In 1970, the house was abandoned, but the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) saved it from being demolished in the early 1970s.
The Estate is believed to be haunted by its original owners Dr. Emlen Physick Jr, his mother, Frances Ralston, and Aunt Emilie. Visitors have described seeing dark ghostly figures lurking in the hallways and hearing footsteps following them. Also, the strange voice of a young child can be heard in several areas of the house. Other visitors have claimed being tapped on the shoulder and noticed a woman dressed in Victorian clothes wandering the Estate. Some say it is the spirit of the mother of Emlen Jr. Besides the spirits of the Physick family, the dogs owned by the doctor also haunt the place. The staff has identified the barking sound of dogs on the Estate when dogs are not allowed on the premises. Emlen Jr. was a dog lover who had 14 dogs as his friends.
Bube’s Brewery, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
This brewery is considered one of the most haunted eateries in Pennsylvania, as ghosts wander its corridors and catacombs. It dates back to the mid-1800s when German-style lager beer became famous among IPA fans across America. The lager beer demand kept increasing, and by the 1860s, a brewery boom was inevitable. As hundreds of breweries emerged all over the United States, young German Alois Bube grasped the opportunity and bought a small brewery in Mount Joy. Over the years, he expanded his business by building a Victorian hotel where he could store beer and offer accommodations to passing travelers. Bube died suddenly at 57 years old in 1908. Even though the brewery closed during Prohibition in 1920, Bube’s family lived on the property until the 1960s. Bube’s brewery is the only of the “lager era” that has remained almost intact condition in the United States. The complex began restoration in 1968 and continues today.
However, not only is the brewery famous for its lager beer but also because of its paranormal activity. The Catacomb Restaurant is the place with the most sights. The staff has heard unexplained laughter echoing when the place is empty. Shades have been spotted sitting at the tables to disappear later, and spirits have been seen drifting across the room. Guests also claimed to see the ghost of Alois Bube’s granddaughter floating in the halls of the brewery or standing near a portrait of Alois in the restaurant. Her spirit has also been perceived wandering the hotel wearing a long white gown with her hair pulled up.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, New York
Who hasn’t heard of the Legend of the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow? Well, that’s just one of the many legends associated with Sleepy Hollow. There is also, for example, the Bronze Lady story, known as the Other Legend of Sleepy Hollow — a crypt where a unique bronze statue sits. The story begins with Civil War general Samuel Thomas who became a millionaire through coal and railroad deals after the war. When he died in 1903, his widow, Ann, built a mausoleum at the top of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where she laid him to rest. However, the mausoleum wasn’t enough to honor her husband. Ann wanted a sculpture to beautify Samuel’s grave. Therefore, she hired the best sculptor to create a huge woman sculpture in bronze seated across the general’s grave. The Bronze Lady was larger-than-life and had a sad, mournful face. When Ann died in 1944, she was laid next to her husband. Soon enough, different stories about the statue’s spookiness began to unfold. It was believed that whoever sat in her lap would be cursed for life. However, this curse had a different meaning depending on who told it.
The first version says that whoever sits in The Bronze Lady’s lap, jumps back down, spins around three times, and looks back at her, would be hunted forever. Another version says that if you climb into her lap and peek into the mausoleum’s keyhole, you will see General Thomas’s ghost. And the last version says that if you dare to touch her face, you are surely cursed. Or if you insult it, you’ll be risking bad luck. Whether these stories are true or not, one thing is for sure; the Bronze Lady has a frightening sense that no one dares to contradict. Those who have dared to hop in her lap have lived to tell the tale but have also reported being victims of strange incidents over the years. Some that might even be inexplicable. Some visitors to the cemetery have also reported hearing unsettling cries. As they made their way toward the sound, they ended up in front of the Bronze Lady. Suddenly, the weeping stopped, but tears came out of the statue’s eyes. It is believed that Ann cries the death of her beloved husband through the statue every night.
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