For many ghost geeks, their love of paranormal investigation stems directly from an affinity for history. One of the coolest and often easily forgotten aspects about the recent uptick in paranormal tourism, is that for many historical locations, the influx of ghost hunters is helping to protect and preserve incredible buildings that might have been lost long ago.
The next time your skeptic friend says ghost hunting has never accomplished anything, show them this list full of fantastic examples of how the paranormal community has helped to protect and preserve some badass haunted locations, and in the process, save the history that is still very much alive inside of them.
There are so many ghosts said to haunt Fort Mifflin that it would be impossible to name them all. The fort, which has been nicknamed the “most haunted place in the USA”, has been leaving its mark on American history from the Revolutionary War to WWII. Some of the most famous spirits that have stuck around over the years include the Screaming Woman, often witnessed and heard around the Officer’s Quarters with such volume that the police have even been called, and the Lamplighter, who wanders the grounds holding an oil-burning lamp… and those two are just the tip of the iceberg.
With a massive cast of active sprits, Fort Mifflin has become a beacon for paranormal investigators who have captured compelling evidence that ranges anywhere from ‘Class A’ EVPs to full-bodied apparitions on camera, to pushy phantoms with a habit of making physical contact, and even the strange smell of baking bread lingering in the air.
(Photo credit: Fort Mifflin, Facebook)
There are plenty of abandoned hospitals in America, but few of them are quite as legendary as Waverly Hills Sanatorium. From the 1800s to the early 1900s, tuberculosis ravaged the country, and by the mid 20s, Waverly Hills was considered the most advanced sanatorium in the entire country. At the time, fresh air and sunlight were thought to have been one of the cures of tuberculosis, and though many survived their stay at the hospital, hundreds of people succumbed to the illness.
Wavily Hills’ most famous area is known as the “body chute”, a tunnel that leads from the hospital to the trains so as not to upset the still-living patients. Today the tunnel is considered one of the most terrifying haunted places in the entire country.
Since the hospital was so overcrowded during the days of its operation, many of the patients suffered from serious neglect, and some were even subjected to truly barbaric forms of treatment, which is why so many investigators believe that the spirits of Waverly Hills have refused to move on.
There’s numerous ghosts who have been seen, heard, and communicated with over the years at Waverly Hills Sanatorium, where most of the unexplainable experiences take place on the hospital’s fourth floor.
Waverly is a much-loved location for ghost hunters, and one that will continue to draw the attention of the paranormal community for many years to come.
(Photo credit: Waverly Hills, Facebook)
For anyone who has ever been fortunate (or brave) enough to Pennhurst Asylum, you understand why it’s considered to be one of the most haunted places in the world, because its very sad history is still very much alive behind its crumbling walls. Pennhurst Asylum housed over 10,000 patients, many of whom were children abandoned on building’s doorsteps because of disabilities that ranged from Down Syndrome to Autism.
The patient-to-doctor ratio was abysmal thanks to the very limited budget that the state of Pennsylvania was able to give to Pennhurst. Most of the children suffered from terrible neglect that ranged anywhere from being tied to metal gurneys to being forced to sit in their own filth for hours at a time. The conditions were truly deplorable.
Over the years, there have been many unexplainable experiences that visitors and paranormal investigators alike have witnessed while spending time on the grounds that make up the asylum. Because the conditions were so horrible, when Pennhurst was eventually forced to close, the horrifying reports coming from the property changed the way that the mentally ill were cared for, and for that reason, Pennhurst Asylum is an important piece of history worth preserving.
Almshouses were not uncommon in smaller towns, and Rolling Hills Asylum, then known as the Genesee County Home, is one of the most haunted of them all. In the mid 1820s, a ‘working farm’ was a place of refuge for the mentally ill, unwed mothers, the elderly, and orphans who had no where to go and no one to care for them.
Many of the spirits still said to haunt Rolling Hills lived their lives inside the building, working in the kitchens, gardens, and farm. Roy, who is considered one of the most famous ghosts at Rolling Hills, suffered from gigantism, and was abandoned when he was just 12 years old. Today, his giant shadow is often spotted walking though the halls of the building.
(Photo credit: Rolling Hills Asylum, Facebook)
Once an almshouse, Ashmore Estates was built in 1916, and was a fully-functioning facility until the late 80s, when it closed its doors indefinitely. Originally, the land was part of the Coles County Poor Farm, which was home to the downtrodden and mentally insane from 1857 to 1869. Unfortunately, it soon became less of a haven for those in need and more of a nightmare, with conditions described as truly deplorable. The facility quickly became not just unsanitary, but a very unsafe place to spend any time at all.
Over the years, Ashmore Estates has gone though quite a few emergency renovations thanks to some beat-downs from mother nature, but the property owner, Robbin Terry, has done a wonderful job preserving the history of the incredible building.
Ashmore Estates is a very active building, and once you experience it for yourself, you’ll realize very quickly that many of its former residents are still very present in the building today.
St. Albans Sanatarium is the picture-perfect haunted asylum on a hill. Not only is the building one of the most haunted in Virginia, the hospital has a dark history to match its infamous reputation.
The most active area in the building is often referred to as the “suicide bathroom”, where two of the hospital’s patients took their own lives in the same bathtub. Over the years, a wonderful group of people have been working hard to keep the sanatorium alive and well, and thanks to the haunted history attached to the building, more and more people are learning about St. Albans and the ghosts that still call this massive mental heath hospital home.
The exact details of what took place during the morning hours of June 9, 1912 at the little white house in Villisca, Iowa are still unknown, but what details we do know are grisly. Before daybreak, an intruder broke into the Moore family’s home and slaughtered eight innocent people in their beds, including six children.
The home has become the sight of one of the most infamous murders in American history, and as a result, become a hotbed of paranormal activity as well. Visitors report experiences that range anywhere from disembodied voices to feeling as if they are becoming possessed. The Villisca Axe Murder House has drawn the attention of paranormal investigators for years, who come from all over the world to experience the bizarre activity contained within its walls.
(Photo credit: Villisca Axe Murder House, Facebook)